Pizza is one of those ubiquitous foods that many restaurants make but very few seem to master. In the master category, we bring you Grant Sharp at Max’s Pizza (3723 N. Croatan Highway), Ocean Plaza in Kitty Hawk.
Grant and his wife, Natalya, bought Max’s last March and the change in quality was immediately apparent. Grant—as it turns out—is a classically trained chef. How classically trained? Well, he studied for two years at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.
He does not, however, let his training get in the way of what a good pizza is all about. “I believe in the KISS theory for pizza. Keep it simple,” he says. “Just find great ingredients and use them right.”
Good pizza starts with the crust and it’s surprising how many places struggle with this essential element. At Max’s the ingredient are just flour (unbleached and high quality), water, yeast and allowing time. “The dough needs to rest at least 12 hours and twenty-four hours is better,” he says. Beyond the KISS principal, it doesn’t hurt that Grant makes everything he can from scratch, including the pizza sauce and a marinara sauce for calzones and meatballs.
It’s not just the pizzas that are wonderful—the calzones are honestly on another level. Filled with gooey, wonderful mozzarella cheese and a mild fresh ricotta, this becomes the empty palette that is customized to your taste. Wrapped in a slightly yeasty crust that holds everything together, it’s as good a calzone as you’ll find anywhere.
They serve more than just pizza and calzones. Even though the name says Max’s Pizza, they also make killer Philly steaks and subs, great wings and some very fine pasta dishes. But, since their reputation is being built on pizza, I’m going to do my best to narrow down my favorites two!
The white pizza takes simple to a whole new taste level. The ingredients are delicious and straight forward – feta, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, garlic, olive oil, mushrooms and spinach. Let me just say there’s something about the way they all come together on that perfect crust that makes this choice a truly memorable experience.
There are some new things Grant and Natalya are planning for the upcoming year. The existing oven can’t keep up with the summer crowds, so a new brick oven is being installed that will allow him to at least double the number of pies he’s making. He’s also putting in a larger fryer to keep up with the chicken wing demand!
There’s also a second floor, but expanding into that area may need to wait another season. For now, Grant is slowly adding to his menu, but the overall underlying plan is his straightforward philosophy, “Serve good solid food, feed your customers well and give them good value for their money,” he says. Sounds like the perfect recipe for success!
[schema type=”organization” orgtype=”LocalBusiness” url=”http://www.maxspizzaobx.com/” name=”Max’s Pizza” street=”3723 N Croatan Hwy” city=”Kitty Hawk” state=”NC” postalcode=”27949″ country=”US” phone=”(252) 261-3113″ ]