Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 16th
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Simply Fresh

dining woodfireLocal ingredients and real smoke make magic in the Wood Fire Woodie oven

Wood Fire Woodie came to be in 2007, selling pizzas out of the back of a truck. Last month, the husband-and-wife team of Pat and Mariah Flanagan settled down, opening a restaurant in Scotts Valley’s Camp Evers center.

Greeted by oregano-scented air, it was as if they were expecting us, as each table was neatly set with a small white plate, silverware, and a crisp cloth napkin.
The room had been entirely remodeled, with an emphasis on simplicity, clean lines and smooth planar surfaces. A central 12-person communal table creates a neighborhood vibe, as does the substantial amount of  counter seating. I liked the rustic feel of the open beam ceiling and reclaimed rough plaster lath strips.

The menu is streamlined as well, with a couple of appetizers and salads, and nine pizzas, although you can mix and match ingredients to customize one.

We started with the Antipasti Plate ($12) and draft pints of Lagunitas IPA ($6). We nibbled on gently flavored salami and shaved prosciutto from San Francisco, three slices of fresh mozzarella drizzled with basil-rich pesto, crisp slices of baguette, roasted red peppers with a flavor reminiscent of peperoncinis, and herb-marinated olives.

Embers turned orange and crimson from the depth of the wood-burning oven as our 14-inch hand-stretched pizzas were loaded inside. The crusts were unbelievably thin, resulting in the crispest pizza I have ever experienced.

The basic Duke ($14) with tomato sauce and a thin coating of fresh  mozzarella was strewn after cooking with fresh basil. The unique toppings add quite a bit to the experience. I especially liked the Kona gold ($17) dotted with fresh, sweet pineapple, a bit of red onion, and pieces of salty bacon on the crisp cheese-glazed crust.dining woodirepizza

I’m looking forward to trying the Rockin’ Roma ($14) with fire- roasted tomato sauce and pesto, as well as the Bell’s Beach with lamb sausage, and the Capitola ($16) with Gorgonzola, capers, caramelized onions and truffle oil.

I was impressed by the greener pizza box for our leftovers. It was just at rubber-stamped Wood Fired Woodie.

On the next visit, we’ll do two things differently. We saw a large plate of Chop Salad ($9), heaped tall with chicory, romaine, pears and gorgonzola. We’d also get a single pizza, and save room for dessert; a San Franciscan IT’S-IT ice cream sandwich.

Wood Fire Woodie, 3015 ScottsValley Drive, Camp Evers Center, Scotts Valley, Beer and wine. Open at 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, closing at 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Visit


Dishcrawl. It’s like a pubcrawl, but not, and it’s taking the country by storm. The start-up company’s founder Tracy Lee aims to share passion for good food and equally excellent company around the world.

The phenomenon, somewhat like the progressive dinners of yore, makes its Santa Cruz debut on Wednesday, Jan. 23. Attendees will visit four restaurants ($45 per person), meet chefs and taste popular dishes. The list of stops is secret, but hinted at through twitter @dishcrawlSC, and the starting location will be announced via e-mail 48 hours before the event. Attendance is limited. Visit to purchase your spot. 

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