1000 Degrees Pizza opens in Knoxville, TN
Anyone who’s read this column long enough knows I’m all for some pizza. So I was eager to try 1000 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza in Turkey Creek (once the new-opening rush settled down), and the fact that they happened to offer a Groupon for $20 worth for $12 last week made me more than ready.
The Grub Spouse and I dropped in last week and could tell immediately it was going to be another variation on the fast-casual pizza model, a la Uncle Maddio’s and Blaze. The staff even shouted out, “Welcome to 1000 Degrees!” like they do at Moe’s Southwest Grill. We spent a few moments just off the queue to absorb the menu signage over the counter.
The core of the fare consists of 10 classic pizza recipes, including a chicken club, Hawaiian Fire, The White Out, Buffalo chicken and The Meatza. There are also four basic pies ranging from a sauce-and-cheese-only creation to a classic New Yorker and a classic Margherita pie.
All pizzas are available in a choice of four crusts – 10-inch Neapolitan ($7.95), 14-inch Neapolitan ($15.95), 10-inch gluten-free ($9.95) and the oval-shaped and slightly thicker Roman crust, which covers roughly the same area as the 10-inch for $7.95.
If you don’t want one of their house-made recipes, you can build your own pie, starting with your choice of crust, followed by choice of sauces. The latter include marinara, pesto, Smokey Bourbon BBQ, ranch and extra-virgin olive oil, to mention a few. From there, choose from seven kinds of cheese, seven types of meat and 14 vegetables to complete your masterpiece.
Other menu selections include six different salads; orders of six, 12 or 24 chicken wings with a choice of sauces; and cheesy breadsticks with optional bacon or pepperoni.
The Spouse and I ordered two pizzas (a Joey Special, for all you fans of Friends), which we would share with us – a 10-inch Tuscan chicken on Neapolitan crust, featuring mozzarella and Asiago cheeses, spinach and balsamic sauce; and The Philly on Roman crust, made with balsamic onions, mozzarella and thinly sliced rib eye. We tacked on an order of six wings in Buffalo sauce.
The whole gimmick at 1000 Degrees is that they put your assembled ingredients into an oven that cooks your pizza at – wait for it – 1,000 degrees. One revolution around the oven on the lazy-Susan-style grill, and it’s ready to go. So our pizzas were brought out to us before our wings were ready.
I had no problem with either pie. Recipe-wise, I have to admit I liked The Philly better than the Tuscan chicken, but the distance between them was negligible. In general, however, neither sample rose to a level that would prompt me to give it special kudos. They struck me as being no better or no worse than what you’ll find at other restaurants of that ilk. One advantage I can see for lunchtime guests would be speed of preparation and the fact that prices are fairly reasonable.
I actually liked the wings better than the pizza, pound for pound. The pieces were quite meaty, and the Buffalo sauce gave my palate a nice kick in the proverbial pants. We had plenty of leftovers, as expected, and grabbed a handy box to cart them home.
I definitely wouldn’t steer you away from 1000 Degrees. It’s one of those things where you would have to give it a go and see where it ranks against your local favorites. Although if you happen to catch their Groupon, that might certainly tip the scales a little more in their favor.
1000 Degrees Pizza
Bottom line: New in Turkey Creek, this fast-casual pizza joint specializes in Neapolitan-style crusts and fires up orders lickety-split.
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