I’m not going to the movies with my boyfriend any more. Take me to see World War Z, shame on you. Take me to see Elysium… shame on you again AND I’m not coming with you next time AND you’ll have to smuggle your own candy in inside your pants, a skill we all know is best left to a professional who we all know is me.
At least we ate the best pizza I’ve ever had in Charlotte.
Charlotte is consistently pegged as a city severely lacking any true culinary identity. Chicago hotdog. Philadelphia cheesesteak. New York pizza. Seattle coffee. Nashville BBQ. Boston LOBSTAH. Charlotte? No one really knows.
While I can’t say Charlotte’s pizza scene is particularly special (I’m from the land of the Chicago deep dish, for god’s sake), I can say we’ve at least got several players in the game. There’s Fuel, the iconic gas-station-turned-pizza-parlor that feeds hungry hipsters New York-style pizza by the slice after last call and into the wee hours of the morning at their original location on Central Avenue and in growing franchises throughout the Carolinas. Brixx is another Charlotte-borne pizza franchise making waves across the Southeast with their thin, crispy wood-fired pizzas (that, in my opinion, are nothing special). Intermezzo is a personal favorite for slices the size of my head, ample vegetarian toppings and that “everybody knows your name” kind of feel. And Pure, the new kid on the Charlotte pizza block, is making a serious statement with their farm-to-fork menu feature locally sourced organic produce, North Carolina-milled flour and compostable, biodegradable utensils.
Despite that (and the fact that that list could go on and on), I’ve always felt that my Charlotte pizza experience was lacking… something. That something, as it turns out, was Zio.
Zio is a family-owned and operated restaurant serving authentic Italian food from recipes passed down through generations. The coolest part? A lot of what’s on the menu comes straight out of their on-site garden. Consider me SOLD.
Adam had the caprese salad with tomatoes and basil straight of the garden and homemade mozzarella. I went with the beet salad because I never met a ball of fried goat cheese I didn’t like.
I was intrigued by the “hot pie,” a classic created by Uncle Duff in the 1940s that was wrapped in an iconic white paper steeple to keep it hot without getting soggy. But since anything cooked over an open fire is a must in the summer, we went with a grilled pie with spinach, roasted garlic, artichokies and sun-dried tomatoes.
The crust is perfect–light char from the grill, crispy on the outside, doughy on the inside, dense but thin. I died.
I regret to inform you that after this perfect meal I had to go watch Jodi Foster get stabbed in the neck (a fate she kind of deserved for that terrible fake accent she was using), but now I never have to go to the movies with Adam again and I can spend all my free time at Zio. So I win.