To get into the state of Pizza Mind, it might take some wait time on a Friday night to snag a table at the hip, tomato-red building that houses the newish pizzeria in West Asheville. The place on a weekend night buzzes with the idiosyncratic firmament that seems to define the neighborhood: beleaguered moms tending to their cranky toddlers outside on the patio; pie-loving hippies in Chacos cavorting with one another; off-duty tattooed service industry staff saddling up to the bar for a pre-party Foothills beer; a Zoltar fortune-telling machine looming in the background.
Our Marc Maron doppelganger waiter shepherds us to the front of the restaurant, to a table next to an open-air window and we revel in the cooling breezes rolling off Haywood Road, one of the main drags in the area as we mull over the menu. Soon, we munch on an appetizer of fried green beans ($6), haricot verts rolled in batter and deep-fried, and cooled when dipped into a mollifying metal ramekin of ranch sauce.
The small house salad (romaine, salami, banana peppers, red onion, roasted red pepper and cucumber) at $7 doesn’t move the meter and frankly becomes an afterthought after our signature pizzas arrive to the table.
The Sausage and Broccoli Rabe ($18) slides in front of us—a round medium pie with a crisp, blistered crust shellacked with a ladle of acidic marinara sauce, showered liberally with spicy Italian sausage, bacon bits, wilted slivers of broccoli rabe and thick globs of melted fresh mozzarella. It certainly appeals to those that like to indulge in the hedonistic pleasures of swine. The slice is hefty, medium in thickness, pliable enough to fold the edges slightly inward, but still manages to remain crispy at the crust.
If the sausage and broccoli is the hog-loving and ravenous relative, the Roasted Beets and Cauliflower pizza ($18) is more of its peacenik cousin. The golden beets and roasted cauliflower are paired with tangy crumbles of goat cheese and drizzled in a sweet and savory balsamic reduction set atop the freckled crust.
The prices for the specialty pies err on the more expensive side, though the quality of ingredients may justify the elevated costs. Pizza Mind also offers a gluten-free crust that’s been well-praised for its taste. Non-pizza lovers also have a veritable selection of sandwiches to choose from like the Ashephilly Cheesesteak and the Roasted Pork and Broccoli Rabe, all served on bread sourced from local bakery Geraldine’s. Clearly Pizza Mind knows what it’s doing when it comes to catering to the surrounding neighborhood: good pie, good beer and good sandwiches. It looks like this pizza newbie is set to cement itself as a mainstay in West Asheville.
PIZZA MIND | 285 Haywood Road, Ste. 10 Asheville, NC 28806 | 828.575.9181