Taste Test: Forge Wood-Fired Pizza

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Have you ever been to a restaurant and you felt instantly cool just for being there? That was the case with Biltmore Fashion Park’s new Forge Wood-Fired Pizza. However, this fresh Phoenix pizza joint is not so cool that you feel uncomfortable; just cool enough that you feel like you want to hang out all day, sample the entire menu and sip cold drinks with friends. Forge can be found in Biltmore Fashion Park’s UNION space, with its modern, colorful patio space being the perfect place to enjoy some salads and wood-fired ‘za.

In addition to great pizzas (which are perfect for sharing for two or three diners), the Forge menu dishes up great salads, inventive appetizers, and a small group of soups, burgers and sandwiches. Kick off the meal with cheese curds. Sure, you’re consuming mass amounts of calories this season, but at Forge is not a spot to skimp. The curds are crispy and airy and are sure to make you an addict after just a few. Don’t expect gooey gobs of cheese; each curd has just enough to make them substantial. Though the Brussels sprouts are a healthier option, they seem just as indulgent. They are served crispy, topped with Parmesan and pepper flakes.

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Made up of chicories, spinach, mint, jalapeno, feta and honey vin, the Autumn Apple salad piles on the flavor. The mint is a great addition, giving it a fresh bite. But let’s face it; you don’t go a pizza joint for the salad. The three cheese pizza comprises ricotta, garlic, red onion, lemon and arugula; the lemon and arugula add a yummy brightness to the creamy pizza. To ramp up your veggie intake, the cauliflower pizza is towering with its namesake ingredients (which is warm, yet still firm) and rounded out with pistachio pesto, leeks, gruyere and arugula. A unique and utterly delicious selection. The potato ‘za is on the pricier side ($17) but worth the extra coin; it packs on potato, onion purée, Brussels sprouts, guanciale and fontina for a super-flavorful, savory slice. And did I mention that the salted crust alone will make you crave another round of the, well, round, again and again? theforgepizza.com.

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