The (non-highway) road that connects Wilmington and Newark in norther Delaware is known colloquially as Kirkwood Highway. It’s a large thoroughfare that, for most of my life growing up, was the center of my world. People generally don’t live on Kirkwood; it’s pretty much all commercial land, so there’s all sorts of car dealerships, retail shops, and yes, even restaurants.
Argilla Brewing Company is one such establishment, getting their start as a pizza place down on one end of Kirkwood before opening a couple locations in Pike Creek, my neck of the woods. After dabbling in home brewing, they realized that their business could change drastically with the addition of unique beers. Thus it was that Pietro’s Pizza became Argilla Brewing Company, though the pizza place didn’t die.
The pizza place certainly didn’t die. They still make all their dough fresh daily, and it shows. Delaware pizza has a bit of a reputation for bland crust, particularly when my parents compare it to their western New York roots or anything from the City itself (don’t even get me started on Chicago). Pietro’s crust is an exception to that Delawarian flaw, though it still tastes more like Delaware pizza than anywhere else (and not in any kind of bad way; rock on, Delaware pizza places). The Pizza of the Month is called the White Goat, consisting of goat cheese, arugula, red onion, caramelized onions, cherry tomatoes, and black pepper on an olive oil base. Anyone who’s been a part of a pizza order with me can tell you that I’m partial to pies without red sauce, so I couldn’t resist ordering one. I had the option to get a slice, a personal, or a whole pizza of the month, so I went with a personal and settled in to wait.
It wasn’t a long wait, and I had beer to keep me company—the Avenue Brown, a nitro brown ale with prevalent nougat flavors (it was excellent). Thus, when it did come out fresh and hot, I was taken slightly aback by the sheer amount of topping this little pizza had on it. In no way was it too much, though, and as I dove in, I was impressed by how well the toppings stayed on, well, top. I did have a little problem with a couple unruly cherry tomatoes, but after making an example of them, no others acted up. All the toppings were hot, fresh out of the pizza oven, and the uniformity of temperature despite the variety of flavors and textures made it a cohesive, delicious dish. The goat cheese held together despite the heat, but wasn’t at all firm when I bit into it. What it became was bombs of warm, creamy goodness that complimented the acidity of the tomatoes and pungency of the onions and balanced by the crunch of the thin crust excellently.
With rotating beers on tap and a different specialty pizza every month, I’m excited to head back to Argilla to see what flavors they’re messing with next.