Kevin Godbee · Jul 8, 2016 · 3 min read
I've never said "WOW!" so many times in one sitting. I had a small personal pizza that had four slices. Each slice is about 8-9 bites, and I said 'wow!' with every bite. If you're doing the math, that's 36 'wows!'. Usually, your sensory adaptation gets you acclimated to new tastes and aromas, but not in this case. This pizza was so amazing that every bite tasted just as good as the first bite. I literally said 'wow' every time.
I'm from New Jersey, so I'm a bit of a "Pizza Snob". You really can't beat New York / New Jersey pizza. Pizza Box, however, equals it. It is not like NY style pizza at all. Let's get that straight right away. It is different, but equally amazing.
It's a small mom & pop shop, and Adam, Andrew, and Kelley are so friendly and inviting that you feel like you are in their home. The small space fills up fast, so I suggest going early or late. Go for lunch right at noon when they open, or have a late lunch at 2 or 3. Or just wait for a table if you have to. We walked in at noon, and we were the only ones there. By 12:30, the place was packed.
When they first opened, they were only open for dinner, but now they are open for lunch too. Tuesday - Friday they open at noon, and Saturday, they open at 5. They are closed Sunday and Monday to recharge their pizza-making-super-powers.
Pizza Box specializes in wood fired pizza, made fresh to order with the dough and sauces made fresh in-house, and they use organic, seasonal ingredients. One of the pizzas, the Debbie's Veggies, changes each month based on which vegetables are in peak season.
The wood fired oven uses Apple, Hickory, Mesquite, Cherry and Oak woods, which provide a unique delicious flavor to the ultra-thin crust. You'll need a fork and knife to get started, but you can switch to my favorite method of hand-held, folded in half pizza eating once you get the first bite done.
Everything is cooked in the wood fired oven - meatballs, vegetables. The caramelized onions are done in the wood fired oven, in a 2-step process. First, the whole onion is roasted, and then it is peeled and cut up and re-roasted in a cast iron skillet.
Here's a tip for a fun flavor sensation: Take a piece of onion off of your pizza and eat it by itself. Do this with a pepper too. The individual flavors are so delectable that it's like an extra flavor bonus treat.
Even though the pizzas are made to order, they only take about 10-15 minutes to come out, and you can eat them straight out of the oven. They are hot, but not scalding. However, if you let it cool for five minutes, you can taste all of the flavors better. But, at the same time, you want to eat them fresh. Kelley told us that they have takeout, but she doesn't recommend it for the best experience. This is fresh pizza with fresh ingredients that taste best hot out of the oven. Lori took one piece home and ate it later in the day and said that Kelley was right - it's better fresh.
Lori ordered the Saint Michael's Supreme - Fire Roasted Red Peppers, Mushrooms, Boar's Head Pepperoni and Caramelized Onions over House made San Marzano Tomato Sauce and house made blend of Italian cheeses. You can see it below fresh out of the oven, and then after Kelley added some fresh grated cheese to it.
I had The Lover Boy special which is not on the menu. (They could also call it the "36 wows" pizza.) It has San Marzano Tomato Sauce, Fresh Mozzarella, Homemade Meatballs, Herb Whipped Ricotta, Cherry Peppers, Caramelized Onions, and Fresh Basil.
Another great thing about Pizza Box is that you can eat an entire 12" pizza and not feel bloated or overstuffed. A lot of times after eating pizza, we feel tired and full. After eating at Pizza Box, we both felt invigorated.
This is some of the best pizza I've ever had, and I can't wait to go back.
923 Central Ave.
St. Petersburg, FL 33705