On the Road with PMQ - November 2015

From Pigeon Forge, Tennessee to Shanghai, China, the PMQ crew travels the country and the world in search of pizza trendsetters and moneymakers.




 

Atlanta—Sofo Food Show

PMQ took a retinue of staffers to the Sofo Foods Expo and hosted the first Wired Up-Fired Up Online Ordering Conference, featuring five of the country’s top vendors of online ordering. The event also featured a U.S. Pizza Team Trials competition, with Drew French of Athens, Georgia-based Your Pie (yourpie.com) capturing first place with his Peach Prosciutto pie.

PMQ hosted a pizza making competition and the first Wired Up-Fired Up Online Ordering Conference at the Sofo Foods Expo in Atlanta.

 

Miami—Crust 

Chef Klime Kovaceski and his wife, Anita, are already building buzz at their recently opened Crust (crust-usa.com), a concept that combines creative pies—such as the Grilled Octopus Pizza, featuring prosciutto, Kalamata olives and roasted red peppers—with a Mediterranean-flair menu. Tracy Morin, PMQ’s senior copy editor, worked her way through the eclectic menu, from Yuca Fries to Palacinka (Eastern European dessert crepes), after which the social media-savvy owners promptly tweeted to followers about her visit.

PMQ’s Tracy Morin put her trust in Crust, a Miami pizzeria that serves creative pizzas with a Mediterranean flair, and wasn’t disappointed.

 

Syracuse, New York—Original Italian Pizza

Morin also hit Syracuse, New York’s Original Italian Pizza (myoip.com), known by locals as OIP. This steadily growing powerhouse started as a modest 700-square-foot pizzeria and has reached seven locations in less than a decade (with more on the way, including a fast casual-inspired concept with full bar), thanks to brisk slice sales and its famous char-grilled chicken wings (now widely copied by competitors). 

Slices are selling like hotcakes at Syracuse, New York’s Original Italian Pizza, which has grown to seven locations in less than 10 years.

 

Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Smoky Mountain Brewery & Big Daddy’s Pizzeria

Brian Hernandez, PMQ’s test chef and host of PizzaTV’s “Adventures in Pizza,” will be riding high in the Appalachians and stopping in at a pair of popular East Tennessee mainstays: Smoky Mountain Brewery (smoky-mt-brewery.com) and Big Daddy’s Pizzeria (bigdaddyspizzeria.net). The Turkey Creek location of Smoky Mountain Brewery boasts one of the region’s largest working microbreweries, while Big Daddy’s Pigeon Forge shop has the Hollywood Arcade, a cotton candy-colored funhouse for kids and grown-ups alike. The latter has been named the “Most Kid-Friendly Restaurant” in Sevier County.

The Hollywood Arcade game room is a popular attraction at Big Daddy’s Pizzeria in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

 

Shanghai, China—FHC China 

American pizza makers will join a contingent of PMQ staffers in a journey to the Far East for China’s largest domestic food show this month. We’ll host the first-ever Triple Panel Pizza Challenge, a competition with a panel of international judges from China, Italy and the United States. Last year’s FHC event drew 2,400 exhibitors and 34,761 attendees. Thanks to the growing influence of PMQ China, our sister publication, pizza has become an increasingly important component of the FHC show—the event has been the host venue for the Chinese Pizza Championship since 2006.

American pizzaioli are invited to join PMQ for a trip to Shanghai and the FHC China Food Show in November.

 

 

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