Life is so good in that the Pizza Snob gets to spend a lot of time in the part of the country where the best pizza is made: New York and New Jersey. Let me just say, if you don’t agree with that statement, I beg to differ in a big way. But, that doesn’t mean that I won’t venture for pie in the other 48 states. Especially when I come across a place like Alabama’s Midtown Pizza Kitchen which features the craftwork of a chef who hails from Rome, Italy.
Making my annual beach run with Mrs. Pie to the Florida Panhandle, my search for a lunch spot en route uncovered MPK. Although their original location is in Montgomery, I opted that we visit the more traffic and parking friendly location in nearby Prattville which is just a few miles north of the state capital. The MPK there is an “easy-off and easy-on” from Interstate 65. Situated in the recently-new High Point Town Center shopping area, MPK is open at the usual strip mall hours of 11-9 but has an early 2pm close on Sundays.
Mrs. Pie and I hit Midtown Pizza Kitchen just after their 11am opening on a late summer Saturday. Outside, their sign read just “MPK.” I get not disclosing the “M” since this location is not in midtown. At least they try to emphasis the importance of the “P” by adding an emoji-like pizza slice at the end. Inside, it was not crowded at this early hour, and we were seated at a comfy table in the center of the casual big room. A long bar dispensing beer and wine and a trusty wood-burning pizza oven were both in full view.
MPK turned out to be a good pick insofar that Mrs. Pie wasn’t in the mood for pizza and MPK features a fine selection of “Salads and Such.” We both started off with great salads of differing species. My pizza selection of course was the one at the top of the menu which they labelled a Margherita.
The pizza, a 12-incher cut into eight small slices, was one that I found hard to pigeonhole and characterize. It was odd to see a full covering of cheese on a pie of this type. While it looked to be Mozzarella, the taste revealed that it may have had some slight blend to it. To say that it had “Light Red Sauce” was somewhat of an overstatement. I detected scant sauce, and the sliced cherry tomatoes that sat atop the cheese alongside the basil were meant to do the work instead.
But, the credit here in making this pie rather desirable was its hollowly-textured crust that was noticeably darkly-charred along its edges. It was satisfyingly tasty. Overall, the impact of the sliced tomatoes and the oil off the cheese may have made this pie a little too “juicy” for me. Juicy also means that by the time you get to the last slice its sadly soggy.
To quickly sum this one up: great crust, heavy on the cheese and sliced tomatoes can’t do the work of some true “Italian gravy.”
MPK’s pie deserves credit for a unique and creative artisanal design. Sometimes I struggle though accepting something that is different since I’m such a slave to tradition. Still, it was a good delicious pizza that I’d recommend you trying. If you are open to something outside the norm, I think you’ll enjoy this one much like I did.
PIZZA SNOB RATING ***1/2 Working on a Good Thing
Midtown Pizza Kitchen
584 Pinnacle Place
Prattville, AL 36066