The Tomato Head; Knoxville, Tennessee

Original art pieces dot the walls at The Tomato Head locations in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Original art pieces dot the walls at The Tomato Head locations in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Image via thetomatohead.com.)

I first visited The Tomato Head 20 or so years ago. It was the first time I ever saw blue corn chips. Since then, I’ve been a frequent visitor to their Downtown Knoxville location on Market Square. And more recently, I’ve found myself at their newer West Knoxville location. The downtown location is kind of a hippie place. It helps anchor the eclectic Market Square vibe. The West location has more of a generic ambiance. In other words, the food is the same at both, but if it’s your first trip, go downtown.

The menu reads kind of like a fairy tale. Their sandwiches are as unusual as the unique pieces of art pieces dotting the walls. And, their pizzas rival any you’ll find anywhere. I’ve never had a bad meal there. The beer selection is out of this world. And, both locations feature a bakery. Both locations also have a great Sunday brunch menu.

So the next time you find yourself in Knoxville, check out either of The Tomato Head locations. A word to the wise, though: expect a wait at peak times, and all day long downtown during patio weather.

Visit them online at thetomatohead.com.

Giuseppi’s Pizza in Hilton Head, SC

giuseppi's pizza beaverdamtavern.comGiuseppi’s Pizza: No Secret to Hilton Head Vacationers

Everybody around here in Catfish County likes good pizza. But sometimes you’ve just got to road-trip it to get the best taste.

The next time you’re vacationing over in Hilton Head, SC, drop by Giuseppi’s Pizza & Pasta. They’re located in The Plaza at Shelter Cove. They also have a location in Bluffton.

Their pizza is remarkable and the beer is cold. In our experiences, the kids who work there are awesome. As expected, Giuseppi’s features lots of specialty pies in all configurations.

Besides the pizza, Giuseppi’s serves what’s called the Weggie. We love the Weggie. It’s a cross between a pizza and a calzone. The menu says, “We start with our homemade hand tossed pizza dough, add fresh ingredients, then we fold it and bake it to a golden brown.” The original Weggie has ham and pepperoni, Grande cheese blend, lettuce, tomato, red onions and Giuseppi’s homemade ranch. They also offer a Greek Weggie and a Roman Weggie among others. Of course, you can create your own.

Because Giuseppi’s Pizza is so popular, it does tend to get crowded in the summertime. And at peak times in the South Carolina heat, the poor ol’ air conditioner just can’t keep up. So if you’re there when it’s hot, just sit back and enjoy something cool until they call your name. You’ll be glad you did.

Follow Giuseppi’s on twitter.

Visit their Web site.

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Pero’s Pizza in Atlanta

pero's pizza beaverdamusa.com

www.perospizza.com

By Coach Billy Jack Hoover

As you all know, Mrs. Coach Billy Jack Hoover, Chely Sizemore and I took a little trip to Florida a few weeks ago. I decided to get away, loosen up a little bit. Chely tagged along because she wanted to sample some fresh clams.

On the way back home, Mrs. Coach Billy Jack Hoover took a notion to swing through Atlanta to see her fourth cousin who is a concierge down at one of those fancy hotels on Peachtree Street. In case you don’t know, a concierge is somebody who finds somebody to scratch your back if you tell him it’s itching.

I was itching for food instead (see what I did there?), so Chely and I dropped Mrs. Coach Billy Jack Hoover at the hotel, and we went looking for something to eat.

We ended up in Buckhead, which is one of the fanciest parts of town. After driving around for a while, Chely slammed the big 4-wheel-drive in Park at a little place called Pero’s Pizza. It was kind of dark in there. Mrs. Coach Billy Jack Hoover would call that “ambiance.” I never knew exactly what that meant, but any time somebody says “ambience” I always end up having to hold up the menu funny to see it.

I’m more about the food, anyway. We started with their famous bruschetta and some fried mozzarella sticks. The appetizers were good, but next time I’ll skip them and just get a bigger pizza. For the main event, we shared a Pero’s Special which is pepperoni, mushrooms, sausage, onions and green peppers. Of course Chely had them add bacon to her half. I won’t bore you with the details. Just go get you some right now wherever you are.

I did almost cry though when I found out that we were too late for their lunch buffet. It’s probably for the best, though. I would’ve probably just made a fool out of myself if I’d been there for that. (I can mess up some good ambience when I tie on the old food bag at a pizza buffet.) As it was, I was glad Chely was driving. Heck, I was thinking about the pizza so much I almost forgot that we had to go back downtown to pick up Mrs. Coach Billy Jack Hoover.

So if you can stand the traffic and all the peculiarities that make Atlanta Atlanta, go to Pero’s Pizza. Tell them Coach Billy Jack Hoover and Chely Sizemore sent you.

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