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Passion for Pizza: Locally owned pizza franchise slays with yummy food and super service

I’ll admit: I’m a bit skeptical when it comes to franchise restaurants. I fear if the founder isn’t involved in the daily, hands-on operation, there could be a lack of upkeep.

Your Pie proved my theory wrong.

Your Pie makes sure every pizza is made to order and with top-notch ingredients, as shown in Southern Heat. Courtesy of Your Pie

Your Pie makes sure every pizza is made to order and with top-notch ingredients, as shown in Southern Heat. Courtesy of Your Pie

Not only was everything about the experience executed flawlessly, but all staff members I encountered were genuinely friendly and went out of their way to make sure my needs were catered to. Keep in mind, I don’t walk into eateries I’m going to review with a sash around my body labeled “Beware: restaurant critic.” From the employees’ perspective, I’m a regular customer like everybody else.

Your Pie’s dining room was clean and spacious, and has an industrial, fast-casual feel. The rules are simple: Pick an entrée (a 10-inch pizza, salad or panini) and tailor it to your heart’s delight. There’s nothing too artisanal here, like roasted garlic, truffle oil or shiitake mushrooms, but there’s plenty of classic enhancements to make a killer pie. Indecisive eaters can choose from a roster of house favorites. Everyone else who thinks they have cracked the secret code for the perfect pizza (guilty) will be satisfied with the lineup of veggies, meats and cheeses. Your Pie is essentially personal pan-pizza heaven. 

If I’m eating pizza at a restaurant, I’m fully prepared to indulge. When I’m in my own kitchen whipping up a pie, I err on the side of health by making a few smarter choices, like whole wheat dough and extra veggies. The fact that Your Pie offers a completely customizable individual whole wheat pizza made my heart skip a pepperoni.

At other fast casual joints (say, a Mexican chain), items like tortillas are yanked out of a bag. At Your Pie, the first person helping down the line is actually stretching and tossing scratchmade dough right before the customers’ eyes. The pie then moves down to get dressed, and thereafter into an impressively large wood-fired oven it goes. Anyone who’s attempted entirely homemade pizza knows the dough is everything. Sure, toppings give the pie its fun and flavor, but dough that’s too tough or too thick or too thin can lead to all kinds of problems. Achieving the Goldilocks of pizza dough is no easy feat. 

That being said, Your Pie has dough down to a science. Even with a hearty handful of garnishes, the crust (very Neapolitan-inspired) stays crackly, earthy and maintains just enough texture to be eaten from end to end.

First up was something from the list of signature specialties: Southern Heat. The zesty little number had a Buffalo sauce base, shredded mozzarella, chicken, red onions, and jalapeños. The buttery sauce had a mild kick and every piece of chicken was juicy. The peppers were diced and spread out just enough to get a nice spicy smack on the tongue every other bite. I opted for ranch and blue cheese as side dippers, and both were creamy and homemade.

For “my pie,” I went with a whole-wheat crust with sharp provolone, creamy ricotta, pepperoni, basil, and pineapple. Whole-wheat dough can sometimes lose elasticity that gives regular, double-zero flour (used in Neapolitan-style dough) its magic, but Your Pie’s wheat crust still had a great char and chew.

Though the restaurant is clearly pizza-centric, they have a small assortment of yummy pressed sandwiches. Just for taste, I went for their pesto turkey panini. It consisted of high-quality ingredients on superior bread. From across the glass, I thought I spotted a smaller version of a standard sub roll, but once it was griddled, it had great crunch (but not the kind that hurt the roof of my mouth).

Props for being thoughtful about all-things-carbs, Your Pie.

Your Pie salad is also as scrumptious as their pies. Photo courtesy of Your Pie

Your Pie salad is also as scrumptious as their pies. Photo courtesy of Your Pie

I’m a pizza-and-salad (and beer) girl, so I knew I couldn’t do this review justice without getting my greens on and sampling a frothy beverage. My husband and I split the house Greek and it was a generous, refreshing medley of romaine, black olives, sweet red onions, briny banana peppers, and salty feta. The homemade dressing was citrusy and light. 

We decided to take most of our food to go, so we hopped onto some stools as we waited. The bar area was small, but the few options on draft were local and thoughtfully selected. There also was a solid assortment of craft bottles and cans. Our pizzas popped out of the oven so quickly an employee put them in a hot box for us while we finished our bubbly bevs.

Everything about the dine-in experience at Your Pie was stellar. But folks who can’t make it out of the house can find them on Grubhub (which means I no longer have to fight with my friends over putting pineapples on pizza). 

Your Pie … my pie … our pie. Cheers to a place where everybody knows our names—and whether or not we like jalapeños or pineapples on our pizzas!

DETAILS
Your Pie
4403 Oleander Drive, Suite G
(910) 769-5767
Open daily: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m; Sundays, open ‘til 8 p.m.
yourpie.com/stores/wilmington

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, 910tix.com. Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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