One of the Pizza Snob’s unwritten rules is to only blog about places that specialize in pizza. I therefore typically exclude places where pie is merely a sideline to their main menu. I recently made an exception for East Nashville’s Lockeland Table after getting repeated reports about how good their pizza is.
The occasion was our wedding anniversary, and Mrs. Pie and I arrived just in time for our early evening reservation. A few years earlier for the same event, we were sent away when they lost our booking. Forgiving their past blunder, we were willing to give them a second chance, but not after reconfirming our slot before we left the house.
Lockeland has a great corner location in a predominantly residential section of East Nasty. This is an area where you have a good chance of finding a parking spot on the street. They have a classy looking storefront that oddly sits just across from the Italia Pizza & Pasta joint which boasts a giant pizza mural on the side of its building facing Lockeland. It’s quite nice and comfy inside, and there is also an outdoor front patio.
Although our stated intention was to try their fancy fare, which turned out to be quite good, I was able to suggest that we try their Margherita pizza as an appetizer. With the Margherita as the requisite pie for a classy joint, the Lockeland menu had a few special variations plus a daily feature. I guess you could say that the prominence of the wood-burning brick oven in the main dining room made pizza something more than just a sideline for Lockeland. In fact, you can even sit at a stool in front of the oven and have your pie while overlooking the pizza process.
The Lockland pie ($14) was sized just right for a pre-dinner appetizer or a solo blast. Cut into four large slices and lightly coated with tomato sauce and covered with big blotches of cheese, it was a pretty site. But, here’s one for the books, the usual basil leaves were replaced by a sprinkling of pea sprouts! (Recognized courtesy of Mrs. Pie’s culinary skills.) The crust gently swelled at the edges with a scattering of visible char.
Surprisingly delightful was how crisp this was for a Margherita. In fact, the slices stood firm with nary a sag when you took one to your mouth. All this made for a savory and delightful crust that although cooked crisp, remained somewhat moist and chewy. The cheese was of good stock and tasted wonderful. As it looked however, the tomato sauce was in fact a bit light and thin–a richer stock and some flavorful seasoning would have made this score better overall.
All in all, this was a great-tasting pizza that I would try again. I did notice that some of the specialty pies looked to have a thin crispy crust, so on a return visit I may be willing to experiment. After enjoying this pie, I stayed traditional Italian and had a fine plate of spaghetti and meatballs for “dessert.”
So, although the name “pizza” is missing from its name, the Snob will give the Lockeland Table the nod as a place to go to for a good pizza. You may even be able to skirt the crowd to grab a quick one at the oven-seating. But, if you go for the full dining experience like we did, be sure to make (and check) your reservation!
PIZZA SNOB RATING ****Near Perfection
1520 Woodland Street
Nashville, TN 37206