Sunday, February 27, 2011
The Pizza Box, Portsmouth, VA
An adventure awaited as I drove through the Midtown Tunnel Friday evening. Extremely late, I was meeting my friends at The Pizza Box in Port Norfolk instead of riding with them and I was nervous. Sans map or smart phone, I asked my friend to text me directions to our rendezvous point, since I get lost all too easily. Luckily, the restaurant is a quick ten minute drive from the Ghent area, without Midtown Tunnel traffic, of course. It is fairly easy to find, even with a missing street sign along the way.
Once everyone was accounted for, we entered The Pizza Box, which looks like a little cottage. Very quaint with old fashioned wooden chairs and actual cloth tableclo, The Pizza Box is a small eatery. The ovens and kitchen are slightly exposed and we ended up being the only souls in the place at 8:30 on a Friday night. Immediately, we noticed the seventy or so pizza titles and descriptions neatly printed on numerous chalk boards along the walls. The pizzas are organized by category to make things slightly easier: Domestic and Abroad, Vegetali, Casual Classic, Stuffed, White, Pollo/Pesce, Sicilian/Focaccia and Contemporary Style. There are some super fun names and descriptions under these categories. The Pizza Box also has some entrees, such as homemade meatballs. the various forms of parmigiana, lasagna, gyros and falafel. So many choices and five people in a group translates into a slightly longer decision making process.
We finally settled on the bread sticks to start and the the fried eggplant and ‘salad’ pies for our entree pizzas. The bread sticks had an olive oil base with a few cheeses atop and were rich but not overwhelming, a great beginning to our meal. Next up, the fried eggplant pizza was of the white variety with ricotta and mozzarella. The eggplant was delicious. This was a very unique pizza and we were all thrilled that we chose it. The salad pizza had a mozzarella and olive oil base and was topped with fresh mixed greens, tomatoes, red onions and a lot of garlic. This was also a new type of pie for us and we were delighted. I believe this salad pizza was made on the fly and is not listed on the menu - a plus, special requests are taken!
The sizes are listed as big and biggest...we ordered the 16 inch pies, which I believe was the ‘big’ size. Even with our group, we had leftovers. A gentleman who may be an owner was very helpful when we were having difficulty deciding. He said The Pizza Box is definitely the neighborhood, family stop and said most of the business is done earlier (that explains our solitude). This is the place for New York style pizza if that is your craving. He also mentioned The Pizza Box’s sister restaurant, Segundo, which has ‘only thirty or so’ of the pies that The Pizza Box has and is more of the night spot...I think anyone can find something with thirty choices. Stay home if you can’t.
After our pizza adventure, we stopped over at Stove, which is next door, for a drink. The bar tender was helpful and fun and it was a great way to end the evening. I thoroughly enjoyed The Pizza Box and look forward to another visit. Our group will try Segundo in the near future as well. More to come!
The Pizza Box is located at 2616 Detroit Street, Portsmouth, VA 23707 and is open Monday - Friday starting at 4pm and Saturday starting at 11am. Closed Sundays.