All pizza connoisseurs have a collection of restaurants from all over the country that they consider to be real traditional Italian pizzerias—such as Pepes Pizzeria in New Haven, CT. Their chefs are pizziolos and their pies are to die for. Some restaurants burn a few logs and build a big oven but Hard Knox Pizzeria, right off Kingston Pike in the Shops at Western Plaza, is recreating authentic Italian pizza the real way and they’ve got the taste to prove it.
Hard Knox has shelves of wood by the front door and a brick oven visible from anywhere you sit in the dining room. They’ve got every flavor of Italian soda, and kids can mix and match all they want. The special board small pies and salad combos for lighter appetites and they offer two beers, the ‘heavy weight’ and the ‘light weight’ which are really Downtown Grill’s Blonde and Alt. If you don’t like gelato for desert, consider the s'more pizza instead.
Serving up beer from a Knoxville brewery isn’t the only way Hard Knox has gone local. Their food supplier is from Morristown and their produce supplier is located right around the corner on Southernland. They use recycled paper and plastics and they recycle the old fashioned way, sorting it out back and bringing it to the Kroger right down the street.
Hard Knox proprietors Jill Johnson and Dean Bastian spared no expense making sure their pizziolos knew what they were doing. Before they opened Hard Knox they brought in Michael Fairholme of Wood Fired Consulting, a chef trained in Naples by master pizza maker Enzo Coccia. The Hard Knox website can tell you all about this promising new restaurant's history.
If you haven’t been to Hard Knox yet, you are truly missing out. They welcome take out if you want to eat at home so don’t be afraid to call ahead. All the contact info you need is on their website as well as their menu. Check out the slide show below from our latest visit to Hard Knox. Marianna and I both got white pies, she got La Motta and I got Iron Mike and we both had some Gold Peak iced tea (tasty). We'll be back again soon.