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Nov 25, 2003 03:47 PM

Pizza in Charlotte

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Recently I've had the opportunity to go to two Charlotte area Pizza shops. The first one was Fuel Pizza Cafe. I had read a lot about it and how it has won all these "best of" awards but I have to tell you that I was disappointed. I went there with a friend and we ordered a Jerk chicken Pizza. We both just ate one slice and that was it. I don't know if it was just that kind of pizza or what. The next time I go there, I'll try a more traditional pizza. We also ordered their buffalo wings. The wings themselves weren't that bad but the Blue cheese that came with it was terrible. I asked for a ranch dressing instead and it was just as bad. The other place I went to was called Ice Cream and Pizza Works. It's located in Lancaster Co. SC on 521 just across the NC border,which is only a few miles from Ballantyne. This place had some good pizza. Probably some of the best that I've had in a while. It's owned by some 19 year old pizza whiz kid(see the article link) and he does a really good job. The garlic bread was great, I nearly filled up on it and didn't have room for the pizza! But I have to say that the buffalo wings here were really bad. I scanned a copy of the menu if anyone wants to email me. But they serve typical items, pizza, subs, pasta's and calzones. Oh, and ice cream.


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  1. Also try Mama Lena's, just off of the corner of Sharon Amity on Albemarle Rd.
    as well as Portifino in the shopping Center at Eastway Drive and Central Ave. (Love their pasta dishes).
    I have to agree with you Fuel Pizza. I think its over- rated. Sauce is certainly too sweet for me. But I do love their garlic knots

    7 Replies
    1. re: Jibe

      Although Fuel Pizza is in our neighborhood, we have never eaten there. Have you ever tried the House of Pizza on Central? If you do, try the house dressing on your salad.

      1. re: Raine

        I haven't been to House of Pizza in a while, I'll need to give it a try, so I can sample the dressing. I do love the house dressing at Portofino, very garlicky. I always ask for extra on the side.

        I too, live near Fuel Pizza, (the on at Central & Pecan) I don't go there too often, but its close and the kids love it.

        1. re: Jibe

          Is Pizzarelli still a viable Pizza option in Charlotte?They operated a pizza restaurant on 51 in Pineville for a number of years and had a restaurant on South Boulevard near South End that morphed back and forth between a full service Italian Restaurant and a Pizza place.

          If I recall Neal Zarelli, the owner, was a trained opera singer and would work his way between tables singing at the Highway 51 location while diners ate. This was in the late 80s and early 90s.

          He made a very good thin crust brick over pie for a number of years.

          1. re: YourPalWill

            The Zarelli location at South End closed a few years ago and is now a Fuel Pizza. I agree with everyone here that Fuel's food is vastly overated. It is like eating cardboard. There used to be a great place called Nirchi's located on South Blvd close to Morehead that had the best sheet pizza hand down. Their wings were also top notch. Too bad they closed shop. Just as with chinese food, Charlotte has a bunch of mediocre places for pizza but nothing outstanding. Mellow Mushroom and Portofino's get my nod as the best we've got right now. We need a Barley's. Try a slice if you're in Greenville SC or in Asheville...

            1. re: easzman
              Brent Kulman

              Try Luisa's Brick Oven pizza.

              It's near the Park and Woodlawn intersection on Abbey Place. Great New York style thin crust pizza with that classic brick oven taste. Warning: Don't fill up on the yummy garlic bread if you want to save room for pizza.

            2. re: YourPalWill

              Dude! I remember when zarelli put me on his lap and started singing Danny Boy to me, I was 7. It was food and atmaspher that brought my family there. I will never forget that. It's truly sad that it's gone, because I would go back just for the sauce he made.

      2. So. What happened to Wolfman Pizza? They had a good selection of Calif. type pizza when I was a Charlotte resident in the mid-90s.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Paul H
          Brent Kulman

          Wolfman's is still around, with multiple locations around Charlotte. They produce what I consider to be the Cali-pizza style and do a pretty good job with that, as does another local chain called Brix.

        2. One of the best pizza places in Charlotte is Villa Francesca's. My favorite is the grandma's pie slice, I like the center slice.

          2 Replies
          1. re: waitress

            I'd second that, with the exception of the middle slice. Give me an edge -- you get more of the good crusty crust.

            1. I found another photo of Villa Francesca!

              1. Talk about bringing back an old thread!

                Anyway, my favorite pizza in town comes from Intermezzo.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mljones99

                  Agree that Intermezzo has the best pizza in town. And, their steak sandwich is in my opinion better than Growler's reuben which just won the sandwich battle in the Observer.