Knife & Fork Review – Avondale Estates

From “Knife & Fork” magazine

August 2009, Vol. 27, Number 7

Shoot right out of the DeKalb Farmers Market’s driveway, cross E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, and, unless you decide to shop for pecan pie at Southern Sweets on the way, you will find yourself in less than three minutes at the brand-new second outpost of Savage Pizza (115 Laredo Dr. 404-299-5799), in the kind of converted gas station that lends itself to such a project.

Folks who live in Avondale Estates can’t quite believe their luck, for there may not be a sweeter and more family-friendly joint than this indepen­dent pizza parlor whose humble original digs on Virginia Avenue near Briarcliff abutted Stone Soup and kept many a local family from having to cook when they didn’t feel like it. Back then, Savage Pizza and Stone Soup were owned by the same partners and had the kind of hippy-dippy personality that thrived in California. Savage migrated to Little Five Points, where it created a strong identity, and Stone Soup took a decade-long sabbatical before resurfacing on its own on the edge of Cabbagetown.

Before California Pizza Kitchen came to town, peddling gourmet recipes and far-from-Italian ingredi­ents, Savage Pizza put pineapple on its pies and hit some excellent flavor combinations we, as true minimalists, could only vaguely relate to. Maybe because we have mellowed with age and no longer feel that a pizza can only be topped with tomatoes, cheese, and the occasional slice of sausage, we love the gourmet angle of the chicken Florentine pizza (garlic white sauce, roasted chicken, fresh spinach, yellow onions, Gruyère, mozzarella, and parmesan) and the Cajun pizza (same as the above minus the spinach and plus spicy red pepper sauce, shrimp, and andouille), both on the list of favorites transferred to the new location.

The decorating angle (a shrine to superheroes) and the inflatable ducts resembling a bouncy castle have captured our hearts. Put us in a corner with a huge fresh Caesar salad topped with mini-toasts and a small White on Red pizza made with lots of thyme-seasoned ricotta on top of a sauce that is mostly crushed tomatoes, and we won’t tell you how we feel about the barstools (too short) or the pizza dough (relatively dull), while we chew happily under the gaze of Wonder Woman and the Silver Surfer.

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