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Stop 50 Wood Fired Pizzeria - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Stop 50 Wood Fired Pizzeria

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  • Stop 50 Wood Fired Pizzeria

    Here's a place I found in my hometown. The wait for completion of my backyard pizza oven project was getting to me so my baby and I went out for pizza. I had heard of a place in town that served real wood-fired pizza but never gave it much thought. The world is full of posers. We showed up at a place that used to be a little mom & pop convenience store in my youth. Well, it changed. A four foot wall rings the outside of the building. Atop the wall sits various planters of herbs (free for the pickin'). Very inviting. Inside, I stopped and froze in place. Immediately I knew. I had been here before. The rustic no-nonsense interior and the huge, round mass of bricks comprising the wood burning oven beckoned. Come in. Either I stumbled onto the Star Trek Holodeck or the dude who runs this place built a replica of Pizzeria Bianco right here.
    Like any geek, of course, I walked over to the oven. I like to think I'm somehow being pulled. Anyway, mouth agape, I'm staring at the oven. I start blathering about things in the non-sensical. But Chris Bardol, the owner, doesn't seem fazed. He understands because he is one of us. A real Pizza Geek. He gave me a quick tour. I'm handling the peels and gaping into the awesome WoodStone oven. Somehow sensibility took over and I returned to my table. After a short while, sensing I wouldn't bite and most of the foam around my mouth had dissipated, Chris came over to our table. I said "Dude, this place is cool, have you ever been to Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix? Confession. Chris said he was there about four years ago and like the rest of us, he drooled. He said he lurked around the counter and dreamed. I said, “Me too!” And I have video to prove it. We both agreed that Chris Bianco is a true gent and he seemed oblivious to the hoards of wide-eyed, mouth breathing pizza geeks which gather around his pizza counter, daily. Chris said he has been in the food industry for years and wanted something for his wonderful wife, Kristy, and himself...but what. Once inside Bianco's, he knew. Pizza!
    They bought a place in his old neighborhood and voila!
    Well... more like dream, plan, work, work, work.. figure out... plan some more... sweat sweat -cry & scream...work some more. And then, like magic...Voila!
    Well folks, my baby ordered the firecracker appetizers (garlic salted fingers of blistered pizza dough which come with a roasted crucible of some kind of a hot sauce and goat cheese concoction. Mmmm!
    Of course, the pizza. Two things about good pizza. First, in a wood burning joint you have to order a pizza margherita. To me and just about everyone else, this is a baseline. Next, how does it taste cold? In this case, I will never know about number two. You see, the knife and fork are just superfluous table weights. I am compelled to pick up the slice, fold it like you’re supposed to and eat it like the pizza gods intended. *Munch*Munch*Gulp. Gone.
    Honestly, I have no need to travel to Phoenix for pizza.
    Somehow, Chris Bardol, who used to be just like us, figured out how to get on the other side of the looking glass. He ain't no poser.
    This pizza is awesome.

    Last edited by PizzaPolice; 10-07-2006, 06:51 AM. Reason: Full literary license.

  • #2
    Oh, great.

    Now I have to wipe the drool off the keyboard.

    Thanks, guys...


    • #3
      Re: Stop 50 Wood Fired Pizzeria

      Living in northern Indiana does not allow a person who is craving napolitano pizza many opportunities. I have been been trying to perfect pizza making and have been researching on how to make a backyard wood fired oven just to make pizza's. I am glad to see I am not the only guy who is on this quest and can act like a drooling fool at the prospect of pizza.
      I was able to visit Stop 50 last Saturday with my wife and twins after I seen a local news report on them. This was a dream come true...no more drives into Chicago just to get a pizza! Upon arrival I was drawn to the oven like a bug to a light...this was too good to be true. Chris must have seen this look before...I started babbling how I was on the quest for the perfect pizza crust / recipe and rambled about my lame attempts. He was very gracious and explained how he got in the business. We talked a little bit about techniques and recipes. Then my wife dragged me back to the table so we could order. Wow! We ordered an endive salad with raspberry dressing. This was a work of art...very good start. Then we ordered a sampler platter....wow again. OK, time to order the pizza. We ordered the prosciutto and vegetable pizzas. OMG This was too good to be true. This was the absolutely best pizza I have ever eaten. The rosemary and basil on the pizzas were fresh and beautiful. We took our remaining pizza home and ordered an extra prosciutto to go for company we were having that evening. Chris came out and explained how to re-heat it in our home oven to give us the best results (of course he was right). That night, everybody who ate it said the flavor and texture was the best they ever had too.
      If for some reason Chris and his wife read this..keep up the excellent work. We will be back and for anybody else. It's well worth trip.

      If you want to go (I am no way affiliated with them, just highly recommend it):
      Stop 50 Wood Fired Pizzeria.
      500 S. El Portal Dr.
      Michiana Shores, IN 46360
      Last edited by Mongojerry; 12-05-2007, 11:58 AM.


      • #4
        Re: Stop 50 Wood Fired Pizzeria

        Welcome aboard,

        "Craving pizza napoletana". I can relate to that.

        Where did you have your first, good Pizza Napoletana?

        Pizza Ovens
        Outdoor Fireplaces


        • #5
          Re: Stop 50 Wood Fired Pizzeria

          Chh chh-chh, uh, chh chh-chh, uh
          Chh chh-chh, uh, chh chh-chh, uh...

          Great! Now I'll have that in my head the rest of the day. Thanks, Jerry.

          The cool part about living in Granger is you are only a short drive from Wings, Etc. We drive there at least once a month just for wings.