Jul 29 2007

We finally made it over to the new Tomato Head in Downtown Maryville yesterday afternoon. I'm glad we did and my only regret is that we waited so long to check it out.

This is Tomato Head's second location. The original is on the Market Square in Downtown Knoxville, and is a favorite on the local hipster scene.

Click read more for our review...

Tomato Head is ostensibly a pizza place, but there's more. Lots more. They have a great lineup of salads, sandwiches, and extras including gourmet burritos and quesadillas. The creative menu shows originality, with emphasis on fresh, unique, healthy ingredients, and there are plenty of vegetarian choices. There are also great wine and beer selections.

The main feature, though, is pizza. But this isn't your ordinary pizza. This is gourmet pizza, with an incredible array of toppings that includes everything from your basics to more exotic choices such as basil ricotta cheese, artichoke hearts, fresh basil, smoked salmon, and lots more.

You can try one of their standard combos (such as the #3 with lamb sausage, herbed tomato, black olive, capers & sundried tomato), or build your own. Their thin, NY style crust (my favorite style) is just about perfect. You can also create your own calzone from the same selection of ingredients.

Their sandwiches feature the same emphasis on unique, fresh ingredients. There's something for everyone, from the signature Tomato Head sandwich (with ham, pepperoni, monterey jack, pesto, tomato, mustard & mayo, and sprouts) to the Kepner Melt (with fresh spinach, organic baked tofu, monterey jack, herbed tomato, pineapple, roasted onion, walnut, pesto, and mustard), a veggie favorite of the Downtown Knoxville hipsters.

I had a pizza with lamb sausage, sundried tomatoes, and goat cheese. The Mrs. had the Oh Boy sandwich, with fresh spinach, free farmed chicken, bacon, sundried tomato, monterey jack, poppyseed dressing, and mayo. Both were delicious, the service was great, and the prices were reasonable.

They did a great job renovating the old Soup Kitchen location. The space is open, bright, and airy, with interesting, artsy decor. It's larger and more inviting than the Knoxville location, and attracts a diverse crowd ranging from Maryville College kids to families to older couples like us.

They also have patio dining. We asked, and they allow well-behaved pets outside on the patio. We were going to dine outside with pupster, but unfortunately city regulations do not allow alcohol to be served on the patio and we were really looking forward to trying some of their interesting beers. Folks in Maryville need to lobby the City to change this rule!

Ironically, we have never dined at the Knoxville location. Every time we went it was too crowded. We're glad they opened a Maryville location so we can finally get to experience what the Knoxville folks have been raving about all these years. Tomato Head is a great new addition to the growing, vibrant Downtown Maryville, and we wish them much success.

The Maryville Tomato Head is at 211 North Broadway. There's free parking right across the street, and a parking garage next door. There are even a couple of free parking spots on the street right in front of the restaurant. Hours are 11AM to 3PM, Monday through Wednesday, 11AM to 9:30PM Thursday through Saturday, and Sunday Brunch from 10AM to 3PM.

The pesto dip appetizer is

The pesto dip appetizer is great as well, you should try it.

Sounds great!

And don't forget to visit Capital Coffee afterward...

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