This past weekend my travels took me to my hometown of Traverse City, MI. During my visitations and conversations with my family and friends I started to realize what a foodie destination my hometown was turning into. So I set about finding a few places to explore and blog about.
On suggestion of my good friend Kelly, we (4 adults and 2 kids) went to dinner at a place called Pangeas Pizza Pub. With such a large number and variety of mom & pop pizza places out there today I wasn’t sure what to expect. Boy was I in for a pleasant surprise.
Pangea is a Greek word that means “all lands” (The entire land before it broke into continents). Using that term as its inspiration this pub wants you to be able to experience the unique flavors from all over the globe in their food.
Located in the heart of downtown Traverse City, Pangeas is Primarily a pizza pub, but they also serve soups, salads, pastas, wraps, Panini’s, Burgers, Beer, wine and locally made sodas
Upon entering, we were immediately greeted by the friendly staff and welcomed into a warm and inviting atmosphere. The space is a narrow venue that stretches from the store front to the back of the building where there is a deck with café tables for those wishing to dine outside (when the weather is permitting). Even though it is a narrow venue we never felt over crowded or closed in.
The place was filled with people and despite being told a 15-20 minutes wait, we were seated within 10 minutes. We started off with a couple of appetizers; The Caprice Salad and the Hummus with fried pita points.
The Caprice salad was light and tasty with its smooth, creamy mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, and Shreds of basil topped with a dressing made with an olive oil and balsamic reduction. The hummus was hinted with roasted garlic and paired extremely well with the crispy, fried, pita bread points. You can get the pita bread plain; however, in my opinion the crispiness of the fried pita was a perfect contrast to the smooth creaminess of the hummus.
For our main course we opted to go the route of ordering three 14” pizzas that were “Half & Half” (2 different halves per pizza) to be able to get a good sampling of the different flavor combinations that they offer. (6 out of the near 20)
The African Blue: was a mix of Chicken, red onions, and roasted yams in a tangy BBQ sauce sprinkled/topped with blue cheese crumbles. The sweetness of the BBQ sauce with the tang of the blue cheese and the earthiness of the yams, red onion and chicken made for a tasty combination.
The Garlic Lovers: This was a delight for me as I am a lover of almost all things garlic. This had oven roasted shallot and garlic cloves, artichoke hearts, chicken and mozzarella with a red sauce. It only took a couple bites to understand (and agree with Kelly) as to why it was one of her top favorites. The smooth roasted flavors of the toppings melded together very well and gave me an almost comfort food feeling.
BLT Pizza: This is a mozzarella and bacon pizza topped with fresh lettuce, tomatoes and a mayo spread. (The crisp, flavorful bacon put this over the top). This, in my opinion, would be the perfect lunch pizza. Fresh, Light, Enjoyable and not overfilling.
China Cherry Chicken Pizza: topped with chicken, green peppers, pineapple, carrot slivers and mozzarella drizzled with a sweet and sour cherry sauce. This had good flavors and the cherry sauce gave a little brightness to each bite. However for me, I am a much more of a “Savory” over “Sweet” person so it was not my top choice out of the 6 we tried, But I would recommend it to others who like the Hawaiian style pizzas.
Magarita Pizza: Always a test of a good pizza place, this was a nod to the simplicity of basic flavors coming together for a rustic pizza. (with a twist) Made with a Basil Pesto sauce, fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, it is then topped off with toasted pine nuts which gave it an unexpected albeit tasty crunch.
Local Market Pizza: This one intrigued me because as the name suggests it is made up of items found at the local farm market… which lends to an ever changing style/flavor of pizza. Tonight’s local market pizza had zucchini, yellow squash and carrots that were marinated, roasted and served with a red sauce and topped with a mild, creamy goat cheese. This pizza easily tied the Garlic Lovers for the top spot of “favorite of the night”.
Of course you have to have a beverage to accompany your pizza.
Pangeas offers a selection of locally made sodas from the Northwoods Soda Company, as well as wine and a selection of beers from around the world. I opted for beer and had the Avalanche Ale from Breckenridge Brewery out of Colorado and a Moose Drool Brown Ale from Big Sky Brewing out of Missoula Montana. (Both to my liking).
The evening came to an end; our bellies were filled and we had leftovers to take home to enjoy at a later time. A great big thank you to Kelly for her great suggestion; I will definitely go back, and if you are ever in the Traverse City area I would recommend a visit!
To good food, good friends and a good life! Cheers!