Pizza Quest: TRUE Crafted Pizza
Last night my wife and I were able to go on a date (thank, Mom, for watching the boys) for the first time since we brought our second son home from the hospital. To celebrate, I kept where we were going a secret in hopes that it would heighten the sense of enjoyment.
The secret was, I had discovered a new pizza place in Charlotte (via the Twitters) and it looked really interesting. Sure, it's 25 minutes from where we live (can't have it all), but after viewing the story of the restaurant and looking at the menu, I knew this had the potential to be a spot we go to over and over again.
TRUE Crafted Pizza is located in the Stonecrest Shopping Center off Rea Road and in the top right part near the Theater (as you enter the Shopping Center). They have a good sized menu with interesting looking salads and sandwiches, but we were there for the pizza, of which there are two kinds (Oven-baked and Grilled).
When you arrive, you enter in the lefthand door and walk up to the counter to place your order. Once you order, you seat yourself (the staff were helpful in pointing out where we could sit), and your food is brought to you by a team of people who float in and out.
Because we're doing field research (this is the #PizzaQuest, after all), we ordered a bunch of food. We also ordered a couple of beers (I, a Jalapeno Pale Ale from Birdsong Brewing, and a Copper from OMB for my wife).
To kick things off, we ordered the Crispy Risotta Fritters with Marinara Sauce.
All I can say about fritters is that they looked really good (my wife enjoyed them as a novelty), but by the time I got around to grabbing one, the first of our three (that's right, three) pizzas showed up. The Sausage and Peppers oven-baked pie.
As you can easily see from the picture, this is a well made pizza. The dough produces a tasty, airy, and chewy crust with a good snap on the edge (cornicione for the fancy types), and the toppings are fresh and compliment each other well.
Quickly following this came our grilled pizzas. We ordered the Grilled Marinara Pizza, as well as the Grilled Pesto Pizza.
(It's at this point that I have my only quibble of our time at TRUE, and that's down to the pacing of the food arriving. The appetizer had barely landed when the first pizza arrived, and then the two grilled followed within minutes. To be fair, we didn't ask for the pizzas to be staggered (our mistake), but nevertheless a bit of a gap between the appetizers and pizzas would be welcome.)
As to the grilled pizzas, they were excellent. My wife especially enjoyed the crust on this pizza, whereas I think I preferred the over-baked pizza crust. The Marinara pizza was all about the sauce which was bright and well-herbed, and the Pesto pizza was simply delicious.
After we set to work on the pizzas in front of us, we were visited by one of the co-owners, Todd. Todd was very kind to indulge us in a bit of conversation about the origin of TRUE as well as asking us our opinion on the pizzas. After a few minutes, he left and returned with a treat for us to try. "You can tell a lot about a place by its meatballs" he said, and dropped this off for us to try.
If Todd is right, then what you can tell about TRUE is that they have a very good thing going. The meatballs were delicious, as were the pizzas. We look forward to returning.