A Slice of Heaven
The holiday season is here, y’all! Though things look different this year than holidays past, I’ve noticed that the hustle and bustle surrounding Christmas is still in effect. To me, pizza is like a Christmas tree: you can dress it up with all of the toppings or keep it simple. If you’re hosting anyone this holiday season (or are craving something other than Christmas dinner leftovers), check out these Triad pizza establishments.
Cugino Forno — Greensboro, Clemmons, and Winston-Salem
In 2016, three cousins opened Cugino Forno in Greensboro’s Revolution Mill. In Italian, ‘cugino’ means cousin, ‘forno’ means oven. Cugino Forno prides itself on using fresh ingredients and preserving Italian culinary traditions. The pizza at Cugino Forno is hand-tossed before cooking in a wood-fired oven. All pizzas are served with a side serving of tomato sauce for dipping or drizzling.
Cugino Forno’s menu features 11 signature pizzas. A couple of my favorites include the Livorno (Italian sausage, tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil, and garlic) and Napoletana (sweet red pepper, Italian sausage, onions, and mozzarella). They offer a marinara pizza with tomato sauce, oregano, and garlic for dairy-free/vegan diners. You can add additional toppings, such as caramelized onion and mushrooms, at an additional charge.
The interior is outfitted with several picnic-style tables, which are perfect for large dining parties. Large paned windows line the walls, allowing natural light to pour through.
Pandora’s Pies — Elon, NC
If you know me, you know I attended undergrad at Elon University (go Phoenix!) When my friends and I wanted something other than Domino’s or Papa Johns, we went to Pandora’s Pies. Established by Peter Ustach, who is the son of my middle school art teacher (small world!) and a fellow Elon grad, Pandora’s is the perfect place to grab a slice — or whole pie. Their menu focuses on locally sourced ingredients/vendors such as Goat Lady Dairy, Red Bud Farms, and Simple Kneads. You can build your own pie or choose one of their specialty pies, such as the Green Eyes (homemade pesto, eggplant, arugula, mozzarella) or the Sinatra (red sauce, prosciutto, goat cheese, pesto, and Parmesan).
Sticks and Stones — Greensboro, NC
There’s something irresistible about food cooked in a wood fire oven — it’s one of the things that makes Sticks and Stones pizza a Triad icon. They make a point to use fresh, local ingredients and are focused on eco-friendly practices. Several of the menu items are named after Ryan Adams songs — a North Carolina native. My personal favorite is the Firecracker (tomato sauce base, bacon, roasted red peppers, mozzarella, and anchovies). It’s the combination of the tangy tomato sauce, briny anchovies, and generous chunks of bacon that makes this pizza sing!
All of the restaurants mentioned above offer pickup and delivery options. At this time (late December 2020), Cugino Forno and Sticks and Stones offer dine-in options with social distancing practices in place.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!