Before we begin my latest look at yet another pizza joint, let me repeat what I’ve said before about use of the word “’za” to refer to pizza. It’s inappropriate and its use should be forever banned. No one I know ever says “za” nor would I want them to.
That out of the way, I had heard good things about a new place in my home haunt of Nashville called ‘za Wood Fired Pizza, and it just seemed like a good place for me and my work pal, Pizza Mike, to grab what I like to call a workday “E-E-L.” (That stands for “Early, Extended Lunch.”) So that is what we did when we headed over to Hillsboro Village, my favorite Nashville neighborhood that dirtbag developers are doing their best to ruin.
‘za itself sits on the redeveloped site of Music City’s once famous Sunset Grill. This fine-dining restaurant was a well-renowned spot where a lot of record company money was spent by execs and where many top-name Country stars loved to hang. It closed in 2015 after 24 years, and today this space houses one of those quick-food mini-malls where several specialty local eateries like ‘za share space. It’s a good efficient concept, and ‘za occupies two small rooms on the west side of the building.
The room where you order has a few tables as does another adjoining open air space. In full view is a rather cool-looking large wood-burning pizza oven. ‘za offers a Neapolitan pizza experience. I stuck with the plain and basic $12 Margherita while Pizza Mike savored some meat and spent a dollar more going with the one they call “Pepp in My Step.”
I kicked my lunch off in a good way with a kale Caesar salad that had an amazing spicy dressing. Another bonus about this place was that they offered free sparkling water on tap in addition to the still kind. We opted to eat al fresco, and it wasn’t long after the last piece of kale got stuck in my teeth that our pies arrived.
Rating this one by the eyes, my first reaction was one of delight to the top end crust that was freckled with some heavy spots of char. Lifting the first of my six small slices, I was quite surprised how solid the crust was for an N-pie. It had no flop whatsoever! Said crust was super tasty, and I also took a strong liking to the taste of the light touches of both the cheese and the sauce. The cheese was layered quite evenly and may have been thinly sliced as opposed to being dropped in a blob. My pie was also not the least beast soggy in the middle which sometimes is a downfall for a pie like this. So far, so very good.
Once I got going, I realized that it tasted fantastic. It was also just the right size with which to solo over for lunch. Pizza Mike liked his peps and had this to say: “Great sauce, great crust!” For me, I’m a sucker for crisp, charred crust, and that was truly the high point of this pie. Perhaps this crust expertise comes from the fact that the ‘za people know their way around dough, also being the proprietors of the great Music City breakfast spot, Biscuit Love.
Overall, while the ‘za pie it wasn’t anything to change pizza history, it was otherwise quite satisfying, light and delicious. I plan on going back and will try to avoid the temptation of being distracted by the Grilled Cheeserie next door!
NOTE: If you are reading this real time in the midst of the COVID-19 mess, ‘za have altered their hours to 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm daily. Dining rooms are closed, but you can place a carryout order in person or a to-go or delivery order by clicking here.
PIZZA SNOB RATING ****Near Perfection
‘za Wood Fired Pizza
2005 Belcourt Avenue
Nashville, TN 37212