Peyton Smith was on The Less Desirables The Less Desirables July 17 and talked about his dream to move from only having a unique food truck to having a full blown pizzeria. The food truck is Forno Moto and now the dream has come true: Mission Pizza Napoletana opened earlier this month.
Peyton took a jump with the public and started a Kickstarter campaign in which he raised the monies necessary to tackle the objective back over the summer; around the time of his appearance on TLD. The oven burns around 1000 degrees Fahrenheit and makes a 10-12 inch pie in less than 90 seconds. Impressive!
Stephanie and I took the time to go check out the goodies they bake and give our review.
We split the EAC pizza which has tomatoes, Italian sausage (and lumps of it!), mozzarella cheese, garlic, pickled peppers, and oregano. We opted to have the fried (sunny side up) egg put on as well.
We also ordered the meatballs, covered in red sauce with very fresh mozzarella and basil. We figured it was an Italian staple, and when in Rome…
The meatballs came and we dove right in. The thing that usually gets one with meatballs in restaurants is that sometimes they have the tendency to have an airy, fresh out of the freezer quality to their taste. Also, there is generally some canned characteristics in the sauces. There was no danger of either of those things being cumbersome to the experience. The meatballs were definitely not frozen, but made fresh at the restaurant and the sauce was also made in-house. The finest of tomatoes, cooked at a high heat at the beginning to get the flavor and natural sugars to pop. Add some garlic and basil then turn down the heat and allow no reduction and you get a sauce that is not too thin and not too thick. Did I mention the mozzarella? Draped across with the care of a meatball blanket that keeps it comfy in it’s stewed bed. Add a sprinkle of basil to the top and you’ve yourself a darn fine dish.
The pizza arrived and looked fantastic. The richness of the red sauce was a good cradle for the house-made sausage, mozzarella, peppers and spices. We noticed, however, at around 2 pieces in, we didn’t have the egg; we noticed it right about the time Peyton came to check on us. Ignoring our protests to making a complete new pizza, he set out to “make it right.” We finished off the meatballs in the meantime.
The new, correct pie arrived and we dug in, as you do. Note, Stephanie doesn’t like pickled peppers (and truly neither do I) so we only had them on one side of both pies. They were quite spicy on the one without the egg and we wondered if the egg actually diffused some of the heat as they weren’t as prevalent on the second. Also, if I had to say anything that wasn’t a raving “positive” about either pizza, I would say the egg kind of made the tips of the slices a bit soggy. However, that did nothing to diminish the taste.
Peyton spent time fixing up this old building that was in dire need of a facelift. There’s nothing overly fancy about the decor, but it’s comfortable and the counter area is a good place to watch the magic that happens in the kitchen. The restaurant’s bar features all NC beers with the exception of the obligatory Morretti, an Italian staple. Peyton did say that he’s attempting to work some other regional craft brews from New England and other places into the mix if he can get the distributors to get on board. Stephanie was glad there was an actual sweet red wine on the menu. The libations are more than acceptable and add true value to the fare.
Price wise, the Mission Pizza Napoletana is a slice of what other places may cost. The most expensive plate on the menu is Cioppino which is spicy tomato broth with shrimp, clams, and triggerfish. That being said, everything is very reasonably priced and plentiful.
Mission Pizza is located at 707 N Trade Street in Winston-Salem on a block with much positive growth over the years and the pizzeria will be the latest piece of the cultural expansion that is happening in the 700 block of the Arts District’s champion area. As of now, it is open Monday-Saturday 5pm-10pm but there may be plans to stay open later on the meatiest nights of the week: Thurs-Saturday as there is a street window in the bar area and Peyton mentioned in his TLD interview that he wanted to serve the late night bar crawlers.
There are plenty of boutique and indie pizzerias in this town or Italian eateries that may serve pizzas and I’ve tried many of them. I will put it on the pizza pan right now, THIS is the best pizza in Winston-Salem. It’s also the best meatballs that I’ve had, homemade quality, in fact.
In the realm of pizzerias, Mission Pizza Napoletana is definitely 5 Chopsticks.