Pizza the Way Nature Intended

The last time I wrote, I was busy recovering from my apartment farewell party. While doing dishes, scrubbing the grill pan, drying stemware, and generally putting my place back to its original position, I also had to drink the remaining Chardonnay and do something about all those leftover Banh Mi. I had so many of them! Over the past three years of cooking for big groups of people, I’ve learned that the hardest part isn’t cooking, cleaning, or hostessing. It’s knowing how much food to buy.

I bought 25 baguettes from Jasmine Deli. They were relatively short, so cut in half, I had 50 small sandwiches for 20 people. I thought that everyone would have two with a few people having a few more — but somehow this math didn’t work. Even after eating them myself all weekend, there were so many leftover I had to bring a bunch to work. Most people put bagels, donuts, and cookies in the spare cube. I put roasted beet and tomato salad, minted watermelon with pineapple, and lemongrass pork and tofu Banh Mi. I suppose every office has someone like me, right? (Don’t answer that.)

Thankfully, I had an opportunity the following week to share the leftover beer and baked chickpeas with my friends at the Pizza Farm in Stockholm, Wisconsin. Yes, it’s true. If you don’t know it already, there is a fantastic gem of a farm an hour and a half out of the Cities that serves hands-down the best pizza around.

The couple Ted Fisher and Robbi Bannen along with their kids open up their own farm to pizza lovers every Tuesday night throughout the year. They grow all the ingredients to put on the whole wheat crust, which is made from their own home-grown, hand-ground wheat. The crust is thin, the ingredients fresh, and the pizza kissed by the flames of their wood-burning oven.

There are no signs leading to the farm. In fact, there is only a series of dirt roads that make you wonder why you are driving a hour and a half to what feels like the middle of nowhere just to order a pizza.

DSC01840

Once you get there, it becomes exceedingly clear. The farm is beautiful and so are the people. Everyone brings what they need to create a night of fine-dining under the stars. It’s not uncommon to see a full setting with a tablecloth, chairs, wine, and a candleabra.

I had a bit of a geek out moment when I was standing in line to order. Brenda Langton, the chef behind Cafe Brenda and Spoonriver, walked by, which of course I had to declare to anyone within earshot of where I was standing. The girl taking our order said she heard the rumor earlier and asked me to point out Brenda. For better or worse, she disappeared into the crowd as Aaron and I made up things we could have said to start a conversation.

DSC01852

The chalkboard menu has quite a few pizzas and unique ingredients.

DSC01844

Orders are taken and you’re given a number. My car arrived at 5:30 and we had to wait an hour for our order. The last car in our party arrived around 6:30 or so and had to wait an hour and a half. You’re given a number as they are ticked off one by one.

DSC01882

In the meantime, you can drink wine and order a loaf of the farm’s own bread. You can wander around and pet the goats, cats, and cows, strum a guitar, lay around in the grass with someone you fancy, and catch up with your friends.

Angela and Courtney

DSC01862

Stefanie and Sarah’s daughter Elizabeth

DSC01860

Lisa

DSC01857

Aaron and his paddle. If you bring your own pizza conveyance device, I think you save a buck. Aaron brings his paddle and asks people who are done eating if he can re-use their box.

DSC01867

I wonder how many pizzas can fit in the infero at a time.

DSC01878

When your number is up, the beautiful lady in the flowered apron cuts it up and takes your cash.

3677697381_1068e671d3_b

And you’re left to sit in the grass and enjoy the food.

3677692931_1c98088a05_b

I’d love to hear more people’s opinions about the Pizza Farm. If you haven’t gone, check out this article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for more details, or send me an email if you want tips on the best way to enjoy the farm.

12 thoughts on “Pizza the Way Nature Intended

  1. stefanie

    Not only is the route not marked, but I remain convinced that the roads pick up and shuffle themselves around when no one’s looking (like the walls in the movie The Labyrinth), to make it extra hard to find your way back there again. That pizza is worth the effort, though. When are we going again??

    Also, why do I look like I’m about to use Elizabeth as a weapon? I swear she was enjoying herself as I flipped her around.🙂

  2. Carrie Post author

    I agree Stef. Every time we go, it seems like we’re finding it for the first time. But therein lies the charm. Let’s go each month until it gets cold.

  3. Angelique

    I swear the pizza has gotten better each year! Or at least the crust has – it’s thicker and has more of a hand-tossed nature. But still on the thin side. Perfect.

  4. Carrie Post author

    Ang – You swear because you are right. The Journal Sentinel article says they recently added their own homegrown, hand-ground flour “and people notice it in the crust.”

  5. Tricia

    Seriously awesome. It sounds like the directions may be a bit foggy, but if you have directions or know of the best way to get directions, please let me know. I’d love to check this place out.

  6. Jamie

    Carrie – I think we need to plan an outing when I am in town. I have never been! Round up the crew first week of August.

  7. Carrie Post author

    That sounds perfect Jamie. Let’s count on it. Stef will be happy to hear that, too.

  8. Carrie Post author

    Tricia – I’ll post the directions ASAP. I want to check with my friends because we’ve gone a few times a few different ways. I do know that my iPhone led me right there.

  9. Carmela

    Sounds like terrific pizza and not too far from my lake home. Thanks for writing this up. I will try it as soon as I have a free Tuesday night. Wish they did this on the weekend. And if Brenda was there, then you know it must be good.

    Buon appetito!

  10. Angharad

    I’ve been wanting to go to this place for ages! Hello, by the way, I just found your blog and am so excited to see someone local reviewing restaurants in the twin cities! I’ll be checking back…

  11. Carrie Post author

    Carmela – How perfect that the farm is close to your lake home.

    Angharad – I love your Barbette post. For the Best Fries award though it’s a toss up between Barbette and 112 Eatery. Have you tried them at 112?

  12. Mary

    Have only been here once – it is hard to get to, but once you are there you are in pizza heaven! The night that we went it was very busy, I think we waited 2 hours, but we brought some chairs with us and a cooler full of beer and some good friends, it was a hoot! Looking forward to getting back there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s