When it comes to food during self-isolation, there are really just two options: the kitchen or takeout. For many a meal, the kitchen is ideal. Pantry staples provide a base for mouthwatering recipes, while simple ingredients like flour and water transform into some of the most magnificent breads you’ve ever sampled. Sometimes, however, the contents of the kitchen just don’t cut it. And so you order takeout.
More specifically, you order your old standby: pizza.
The need for pizza is how all started for Brian Manning, one of the owners of Pizza Mia in Highland and Newburgh. Already known for its crazy pies (spaghetti and meatballs pizza, anyone?), the Hudson Valley pizzeria recently debuted a new concoction that rippled across the internet in a heartbeat.
The pizza in question?
It’s a deep-dish, round, Sicilian-style pie made with a garlic knot crust and topped with pepperoni cups and mozzarella sticks. In short, it’s everything you’ve ever craved loaded onto one perfectly golden bed of dough.
“We have made several of these style pizzas in the past and usually people are shocked when they see them,” Manning says. Yet while those past pies – chicken and waffles, barbecue steak mac and cheese, and meat lover’s, to name a few – have met with success, nothing has delivered the “wow” factor quite like this latest version.
To create it, Manning started with inspiration research on social media. From there, he tweaked his ideas to Pizza Mia’s model and used his signature round Sicilian garlic knot crust as a base. After that, it was onto toppings, with the notion that comfort food is king.
“We are always developing our products based on trial and error and customer feedback,” he says, adding that shock value is certainly good for his business, which, like other restaurants in the Hudson Valley, has suffered during the pandemic. “Between our locations in Highland and Newburgh, we have made over 500 of these pies in a week!”
And that’s just locally. When Manning posted his crazy pizza to Facebook, it took off. According to him, the post has reached 5,400,000 people to date, been shared 37,500 times, and received 15,000 comments and more than 2,500 likes. To put this in perspective, Pizza Mia posts generally average 25-50 likes and 5-10 shares per week.
“We have been humbled by this situation, as comments come in from Germany, France, England, and Mexico,” he enthuses. “[We’re trying] everything uniquely imaginable on pizza while making sure we continue to keep our great customers satisfied with the delicious food.”
Visit Pizza Mia’s website for the full menu and to order online.