With COVID isolation driving us both nuts, Mrs. Pie and the Pizza Snob decided that a safe escape from the confines of our Tennessee home was in order. Where safer than then fresh salt air and sunshine of our favorite place on the Florida Gulf Coast. Of course, once we got there, it wasn’t long before I started checking out the pizza scene and discovered something new on 30A, Lola Coastal Italian in Rosemary Beach. This would be the first new pizza I’ve tasted in over seven months!
So, we headed out one night for an early dinner to the Lola destination and were surprised to find it in a familiar spot. Lola and a crepe shop have split the large location previously occupied by the Acme Ice House, a place where we previously dined and enjoyed pizza.
Despite only taking over part of the Acme location, Lola, a semi-casual place, still occupies a large space plus now offers some distanced open air eating outside. We were a bit surprised that ordering was at the counter, but that was OK, and we picked some salads to kick off a Margherita pizza at the beach price of $21. With the room to ourselves, we sat at the counter in front of the twin pizza ovens where we got to watch our pie get tossed and baked. Later looking at my photos of Acme, I was surprised to see that these ovens were once theirs.
While waiting and watching our expert cook, we had the pleasure of meeting the owner, Certified Master Chef, Tom Catherall. We chatted and learned that he had sold several restaurants he owned in Atlanta and had now retired to 30A to operate Lola. We couldn’t of course discuss Atlanta without me mentioning the great pizza of Antico. Tom said that he was friends with those folks and that we would see how his pizza followed their lead and used the same dough.
Well, Tom really got it right. Lola’s pie was a sublime masterpiece! This was another fine example of the hybrid style of making a Brooklyny Neapolitan with a crisp crust. Lola’s pie had a delicious light blend of cheese and sauce atop a thin charred crust. The deep dark rich San Marzano tomato sauce just blew me away. Our pie was mouth-watering delicious and chewy!
Fast-forwarding, its now two months later and we revisited Lola last night to find a new front sign (pictured above) and the same delicious pizza. This time I had a whole one to myself and Mrs. Pie and our guests all went for Italian specials from their daily menu. All were pleased, but no one more than I. I’m glad that Tom has settled in and I am hoping that a pie every year at Lola becomes a tradition.
This is by far the best pizza you will find on 30A. Not to insult anyone, but if you are a casual pizza eater who orders from Dominos or Hungry Howie’s, this may not be your thing. But, if you are someone who appreciates the good stuff, the Lola pie is for you!
PIZZA SNOB RATING ***** Sets the Standard
Lola Coastal Italian
10343 E. County Hwy 30A
Rosemary Beach, FL 32461