Fresh Eats: Pure Pizza

If you haven’t been by the 7th Street Public Market in the past few weeks, then you haven’t discovered the recently opened Pure Pizza.  And now Charlotte Fresh feels sorry for you.  Because you are missing out on some really good pizza.  And that’s saying something since CF is a born-and-raised Jersey Girl.  (But my heart’s all yours now, CLT!)  Having said that, you won’t find exactly the kind of NJ/NY pizza parlor pie that I grew up with (which, incidentally, is the best in its category) at Pure Pizza.  Instead, you’ll be surprised to encounter a fresher tasting pizza – one with a crust that has a nice chew to it and that showcases beautiful toppings, many locally sourced.  A pizza that actually lets you taste all that is on it and in it.  WHAT?!  Back up the truck – did CF say there’s a pizza that knows how to go local when possible?  Yep.  Someone pinch me.  Meet Charlotte’s farm-to-fork pizzeria.

Pure Pizza - it's open!

Pure Pizza – it’s open!

I am not kidding – CF is really, really picky about pizza.  In fact, Hubby and I don’t really go out for pizza anymore.  We’ve been making our own at home for years because 1) most crusts make us sad, and 2) we like to put our own local toppings on it, especially goat cheese. (No, goat cheese does not make for a snooty pizza.)  So when Hubby said Pure Pizza was opening up, we kept tabs on progress to see if our dreams really could come true.

And it seems they have because owner Juli Ghazi and her business partners/culinary team/advisors (including Chef Peter Reinhart, Austin Crum, Chris Reinhart & Gene DiaPolo) choose to source toppings and ingredients locally whenever possible.  For example, Windcrest Farms produce is featured along with Bosky Acres goat cheese and mushrooms from Clover Mushroom Farm (they sell mushrooms at Regional and Matthews).  Even the crust is made from Sprouted Ancient Grain and/or unbleached bread flour, both organically grown and milled in North Carolina.  Some of the shredded cheese is from NC, too.  Swoon.  My kind of pizza heaven.  Not everything is local, which is understandable.  And when not locally sourced, Pure Pizza goes for quality, taste and consistency like with its organic DiNapoli tomato sauce.  In speaking with Juli, we learned that she aims to source more and more ingredients locally when possible, and I like that in a restaurant owner.  The fact that she will keep trying to do more encourages me to support her.

Hubby and I were right on the scene the first week, and we went for the mighty T-Rex.  Yum.  Hubby likes meat pizza.  Remember, he’s a piglet when it comes to sausage.  It didn’t take us long to eat half of a large pie, it was so good.  And then we looked longingly at the other half, telling each other to be good and save it for later.  The very next week, CF got lazy with cooking… er, busy with work, that’s it… and guess what Hubby brought home for dinner?  Pure Pizza.  This time, he went for the Wild Mushroom.  Yum.  Yum.  This obsession has to stop…my pizza stone will get jealous.

Pure Pizza's The T-Rex.  Note how little extra grease there is.

Pure Pizza’s The T-Rex. Note how little extra grease there is.

The delicious crust.  Yes, I took a bite before I took a pic.  Hurt me.

The delicious crust. Yes, I took a bite before I took a pic. Hurt me.

Pure Pizza’s crust is amazing, and it should be given that Charlotte’s very own Chef Reinhart is an advisor.  It’s not a typical NJ/NY crust, (so if you’re picturing that stop it) but a very, very good pizza crust – and you get a little container of honey to dip the crust in if you want to.  A nice touch.  Choose your crust:  Sprouted Ancient Grain, Classic Neapolitan or Gluten-Free Sprouted Ancient Grain.  And choose one of many deliciously-designed pies, or make your own with custom toppings.

So scramble over to Pure Pizza when you get your pizza jones.  Just don’t cut ahead of me in line or my Jersey might come out.


Where to find it: Uptown at the 7th Street Public Market, 255 E. 7th St., Charlotte, NC 28202. Phone: (980) 207-0037.  Hours: Monday to Friday, 11:00am-9:00pm.  Saturday 10:00am-9:00pm.

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4 Responses to Fresh Eats: Pure Pizza

  1. george says:

    I haven’t made it out to the 7th Street market in months but now maybe I have a reason. Always looking for a good pizza. The review was a bit long and not super convincing but a picture does tell a 1000 words.

    • Thanks, George, for reading and for your comment. Alas, I’m not a food critic so I know to leave that to the professionals. So I am glad the pic of the T-Rex is enticing enough – I always believe the food should sell itself. Among my goals are to share local food resources and information in a fun, campy way and to create a dialogue around the need for more access. Would love to hear about your experience at Pure Pizza. Remember, for me it’s a win-win to find a good pizza made with local ingredients that I didn’t make by myself at home.

      • jim King says:

        Obviously some folks have a different idea of a good pizza than I do.
        When I picked up the pizza box and the weight was like a feather, I knew from the start, this piece of crust would have very, very little cheese, but I did not realize how little toppings would be on the pizza. With so many other pizza places in Charlotte with, “more-4-your buck” I’m surprised this place has lasted so long.
        When I shared my exprience with Groupon, I was refunded my money as a future credit.

      • Thank you, Jim, for reading the blog and for taking the time to comment and to share your experience. Yes, of course, different people have different pizza preferences for various reasons. For example, I am from the NJ/NY area and have a preference for that style. I don’t write as a food critic, however. Charlotte Fresh is an advocate of local food and provides information and education for people to learn about the advantages and positive impact on the community when buying local food. CF also helps readers find local food if that is their interest. CF is proud of Pure Pizza for their mission to source and use local ingredients as much as possible. They are currently expanding into a larger location in NoDa, and I congratulate them on their success and growth in their niche, and for supporting the local farming community. All the best, CF.

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