P.B.'s Woodfired Pizza
1607 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy.
I generally follow two guidelines when choosing my next dining destination: 1) Try to put at least two months between visits to outlying markets; and 2) Don’t do the same type of cuisine two weeks in a row. I broke both rules in one fell swoop with my recent trip to P.B.’s Woodfired Pizza in Maryville.
The Grub Spouse and I had just been to Maryville three weeks earlier, and I had reviewed a pizza place only the week before. But with my short list becoming uncomfortably short, I tossed my self-imposed restrictions out the window, especially since several of our trusted Blount County friends had dined at P.B.’s and raved about it.
P.B.’s is in Brown’s Creek Shopping Center on East Lamar Alexander Parkway, tucked away in narrow space that’s easy to overlook. The interior likewise doesn’t make a lasting impression. The nondescript space is saturated in beige, with only seven or eight tables and where the most distinctive item on the walls is a pepperoni-faced clock.
When we walked in for Sunday lunch, the place was eerily quiet. We received no greeting, acknowledgment or seating instructions from the owner couple, both of whom were behind the counter, focused on keeping pizzas rotating in and out of the wood-fired oven.
We finally surmised that there was no sit-down service and that we were to step up to the cash register to order. We first gave ourselves a crash course in the menu, which didn’t take long. P.B.’s makes 8-inch ($3.49) and 13-inch ($4.99) cheese pizzas on either regular or whole-wheat crust, and then you can add toppings for 59 cents and 89 cents each, respectively.
They also make specialty pies like meat deluxe, veggie ranch, barbecue chicken and honey mustard chicken for $5.99 and $10.99, respective to size. Toppings include all the usual suspects as well as salami, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, banana peppers and jalapenos. Available sauces include ranch, olive oil and Alfredo. Pasta lovers can also try P.B.’s baked spaghetti made with any of the pizza toppings.
We got a 13-inch pizza on regular crust with beef, onion and mushrooms and also ordered a 13-inch barbecue chicken pizza on regular crust to take home to The Grub Sprout. The chicken pizza also features bacon and onions.
While we waited, more customers flooded in, and the conversation loosened up a little. After a longish but not unreasonable wait, our dine-in pizza was brought out, hot from the oven. And my friends had been correct; the food was fantastic. The crust was not too thin, not too thick, soft, warm, chewy and cooked to perfection. The toppings were chopped into smallish pieces (my preference) and distributed in fair portions, along with gobs of gooey cheese. The Spouse and I polished off all eight slices in short order.
I later tried the chicken pizza at home and thought it made an even stronger showing. The barbecue sauce was delightfully distinctive, and the grilled flavor of the chicken really shone through.
Honestly, this was some of the best locally made pizza I’ve tried in a while, and we got two meals’ worth for only $16. I think the owners could use a little practice in customer relations and at creating an inviting space, but I won’t let that stop me from putting out an APB to be on the lookout for P.B.’s.
P.B.’s Wood Fired Pizza
Address: 1607 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy., Maryville
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Saturday’s; dine in and carryout
No alcohol service
Bottom Line: Consider a trip to Blount County for this mom-and-pop shop’s wood-fired pizza pies.
© 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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