Chef Ethan Stowell has enjoyed great success with more upscale restaurants (How to Cook a Wolf, Tavolata, Anchovies & Olives, Staple & Fancy) in Seattle. So why has he just opened a pizza place, and why is he spending some of his precious weekend time tangled in pizza dough?
“Ballard Pizza Company is the first place I’ve opened with a ‘What do we really want to do for the community?’ attitude,” he explains, adding, “I wanted a place where people in the Ballard neighborhood could enjoy good pizza made with good ingredients at a good price.”
Actually, Ballard Pizza Company is the first of Stowell’s planned Grubb Brothers restaurants, which he describes as “fast food redefined.” In the works are fried chicken, fish and chips, and burger joints. For now, though, Stowell says Ballard Pizza Company has been a challenging but fun foray. It’s approachable and affordable, introducing Stowell’s sense of quality (for example, he uses ham from Zoe’s Meats instead of product from Swift Pork) to a whole new audience. Families with kids stop by for slices, while adults can linger over a beer—especially after the media room is completed out back.
(Originally published at Serious Eats on May 8.)