I love pizza adventures! When I was in Chicago, Nicole and I took a trip to the new WOODEN PADDLE PIZZA. I’m sure I’ve told you before, but I love young adults who follow their passion and make a business out of it. I adore Jonathan and Brianna, and am so proud of them for trying their hand at a new concept that could change the way people eat GOOD pizza. I’ll let you read on to Nicole’s review of the pizzeria (Thanks Nicole!):
A pizza place that churns out individualized pizzas in just two minutes for the same price as a Chipotle burrito? Yes, please! We can’t believe someone hasn’t thought of this sooner.
Good thing that Jon and Brianna at Wooden Paddle Pizza in Orland Park are on top of the fast and fresh food trend and are bringing it to the world of pizza. With an oven that bakes the pizza in just 2 minutes by heating it at 800 degrees, Wooden Paddle offers a pizza alternative to Potbelly’s and Chipotle. The concept is simple: choose your size – 10 in., 12 in., or 14 in. – your dough – white, wheat, or gluten free— your sauce – tomato, basil pesto, roasted vegetable, sweet barbeque, or extra virgin olive oil— your cheese—mozzarella, provolone, fontina, or vegan mozzarella—and whatever veggies or meat toppings you want for $1 extra per topping (but basil can be added for free!). The options are plentiful, but not overwhelming, and by the time you decide what you want, your pizza is nearly ready.
We tried three different variations and all were delicious.
1. A traditional tomato sauce on white crust with pepperoni.
2. “Pretty Fly for a White Pie,” one of the regulars on the menu, which has all the cheeses (except for the vegan) on evoo sauce with cracked pepper on top.
3. Basil Pesto sauce, fontina cheese and roasted red peppers on wheat crust, half with prosciutto and half without, because I’m a vegetarian.
This last one was my favorite, because the basil pesto sauce and wheat crust are just so good! Wheat crust really makes everything more delicious, and Jon put in a lot of effort with the dough recipe. In fact, Felicia thought they should nix the white crust altogether. I brought back a basil pesto pizza with roasted red peppers for my sister and friends and they loved this one too. Maybe it will become a menu staple?
Massive Wheat Dough Ball being prepared and measured out
I also brought back a pizza with the roasted veggie sauce, which to me is a nice alternative to tomato sauce (I don’t like tomatoes), and everyone was really happy with it and the vegetable combo of mushrooms, spinach and red peppers that I put on top.
What else makes this place awesome? The menu is a cool-looking infographic that makes ordering easy, they also offer three types of salads — Caesar, caprese and a simple green—and all natural fruit sodas that have an amazing cranberry raspberry flavor and lemonade that is way better than usual. Oh and they have gelato—the salted caramel was our favorite.
So the trip with Felicia to Wooden Paddle Pizza was well worth the hour drive. The pizza is delicious and the owners are just so welcoming, and passionate about their pizza. They showed us how the dough is made and cut and put in the fridge for no more than 5 days so that it stays fresh, the dough is then pressed super thin, so that it can cook in the two minute time-frame, the cheese is weighed to the exact ounce so that it melts completely in the oven, and the basil and spinach are always put on before the cheese so that they don’t burn. I think once they create a super-efficient assembly line, this concept will be franchise ready, and we hope they open in Chicago soon!