Sunday's Washington Post has an amazing article about an obscure small town destination restaurant known county wide/statewide/worldwide for its pizza. This previously unheralded outpost is also renowned for being extremely difficult to get into without a reservation.
The pizza joint? Crozet Pizza located twelve miles west of Charlottesville, formerly operated by a self described 63 year old ex pizza obsessed hippy who has recently sold to his daughter and son in law.
This UVA long standing tradition has a history of press clippings that remarkably does lend testimony to not only county class but actual world class tomato pie, worthy of being mentioned in the same sentence with Pepe's, Modern, Sally's, DeLorenzo's, Grimaldi's and a host of the coal and wood burning ovens east AND west of the Atlantic ocean.
It may also be more difficult to get into than any of them since the previous owner, even with every one of the handful of tables empty, would not sell a pie unless the customer had a reservation. No matter that the tables would remain empty for hours. He was legendary for this. Also legendary was the several week wait for a table at peak periods for a Crozet pie.
Such is the stuff of legend; such is the stuff of attraction for food crazed fools such as myself! Crozet is closed on Monday. Tuesday morning I will be calling for a reservation-sometime in the month of June, whenever there is space at a table and in the oven. Having flown to Naples and driven to New Haven in past obsessions, the foothills of the Blueridge Mountains are but an ounce of the gas and a tick in time that a similar trip for truly great pizza might cost me.
Trusting the Post, Fodor's and twenty five links on the Internet my expectations for "Blueridge" pie are no less than my first visit to Wooster street in New Haven twenty years ago.
I don't even know if Crozet has a coal oven...or even a gas oven. But years ago I knew several hippies who made fabulous pizza, fabulous crust and sauce especially when considered after they shared their secret herbs with me which were primary ingredients of their transcendant pies. If Crozet has the same unique herbs, the same distinctive effluvia, then the 110 miles I'll drive will be well worth it to revisit a spiritual taste of my youth.