Foodie heaven! That’s were my husband and I spent Sunday evening along with a group of Tallahassee Food Bloggers that received a personal invitation to enjoy a new wood fired pizza restaurant, Joe Mama’s Wood Fired Pizza!
The area’s only locally owned wood fired pizza restaurant has made its début in Midtown Tallahassee. The Nunneley family (Jim, Tori, Devon and Ian) started their first wood fired pizza business four years ago in the small coastal town of Port St. Joe, Florida in a kitchen that Jim describes as, “my kitchen cubicle,” which Jim and Tori still run. Their new location here in Tallahassee seating 85, was larger than they initially anticipated when planning the restaurant, but alas, architectural issues prevented them from making it a quaint little eatery and I think that’s a good thing!
Here’s a little family history, Jim the “pop” of the family, began a career as a chef in his 20’s until he became burned out and turned to wholesale seafood. After a while he felt the chef vibe calling his name again and decided to open their wood fired pizza restaurant based on the same fresh ingredients he prided himself on when he was a young chef running their restaurant in Michigan. Devon, his daughter, fellow foodie blogger of The Feasting Phoenix and lawyer, decided she wanted to help the family expand their pizza goodness, so she took a year and spent it touring Italy and all the pizzerias that she could find, tasting and blogging along the way and then to come home to bring Joe Mama’s Pizza to the Tallahassee area, which she helps run with brother Ian.
No freezer, fryer or microwave oven for this fresh ingredient restaurant! They pride themselves in only offering the best quality and strive to “let the food speak for itself.” Crushed San Marzano tomatoes shipped in from Italy and fresh herbs and spices make up their sauce and their house made dough, a mixture of Double O and Red Wheat Flour that they process over two days to allow it to progress for the perfect pie crust! Fresh toppings and a custom wood fired oven made in Tuscany heated to perfect pie making temp of 600 degrees, these pies are sure to get your taste buds talking! But they don’t just stop with pizza. A tossed at the table house salad for 2 with their house made vinaigrette and daily made Focaccia bread which they serve several sandwiches on and a quest to not make waste, they use the daily leftover bread to make their homemade croutons for the salads. YUM! Check out their menu online!
During our visit on Sunday we enjoyed the Joe’s House Salad and four of their specialty pies, the Due, the Fumoso, the Margherita and a simple cheese pizza. By far, my favorite and a must try in my opinion, THE FUMOSO! Their house crust topped with “La Quercia” Speck, fresh tomatoes, red onions, provolone and pecan pesto, TO-DIE-FOR!!
Now, what do they have to offer to drink? Well, they serve Pepsi products and water, but for the wine and beer drinkers, they have an awesome selection of craft beers and imported wines. We were served a sampling of their white and red house wine selection, I loved the white (I can’t drink red so I did not try it), Centine Toscana 2011 by BANFI served at your table in a wine chiller. My husband the avid craft beer drinker was very happy to see they offered his most favorite beer, Southern Tier 2X IPA on draft!! I’ve blogged it before and I’ll blog it again, we need more restaurants like this to offer “good beer” selections along with good food! I brought Harley along so he could give a little craft beer guest blog insight for those interested.
Here is Harley’s personal take on the beers they offer:
As a self-proclaimed “beer snob” I must say I was quite impressed by the selection of beers available at the newly opened Joe Mama’s Pizza. America produces some of the best craft beers in the world and it is nice to see some on the menu at local establishments. After all, what goes with pizza better than beer! I prefer really hoppy IPA’s (India Pale Ale) and Joe Mama’s has a great double IPA from the Southern Tier brewery out of Lakewood, New York. This beer is quite hoppy with less of the bitterness that usually comes in IPA’s. If IPA is not suited to your palette there are plenty of other selections that you can choose from including a blueberry ale and a seasonal imperial pumpkin ale. It is also nice to see several selections from the Cigar City Brewery out of Tampa. If you enjoy great beer, fantastic pizza and prompt friendly service then Joe Mama’s is the place for you!
To finish each dinner, a lot of people like to indulge in a little sweet goodness and Joe Mama’s Pizza offers two house-made dessert options for your sweet tooth! Roadhouse Cheesecake served with optional whipped cream and fresh berries and for the chocolate lovers, Joe’s Pot of Chocolate, which is a Belgian custard with whipped cream and shaved chocolate. We did not try the desserts, but I am sure they are divine!
Descriptions get your attention? Your taste buds like the photos? Then get out and get your eat local fix at Joe Mama’s Wood Fired Pizza, located in Midtown Tallahassee at 1307 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL ~ (850) 577-1231. They are only open for dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm and Friday and Saturday from 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm. While you are there say hi to Devon and Ian, they would love to know how you like their food and restaurant!