Love that saying! Fork in the Alley never ceases to catch me, whether it is their AMAZING pizza or clever T-Shirts. My family decided to venture on out to FITA this weekend since all other plans rained out. We realized we had not been in some time and made way to rectify that.
Surprisingly, we sat right away, no wait, unusual on a weekend. They have finally prohibited smoking on the patio area, so seating is a'plenty. Our usual server was not working, so we settled in with one we did not know. My husband and I ordered the usual Blue Moon on draft with requisite orange slice, but sadly they no longer have it. Which prompted the thought, how long has it really been? The server suggested Starr Hill's The Love as a fungible substitute. Now I love The Love with its crazy banana undertones, but it is not the coriander scented Blue Moon. We went with it anyway, but our server did not seem to know what we were talking about. She was under the impression that they were the same since they were unfiltered wheats. She left to procure our beverages and we began the conversation of what to order.
Our kids are very strange birds; they eat many unusual and interesting foods that most kids would not look at, but when it comes to pizza, cheese is the only topping. My husband and I, on the other hand, are always game for something new. So we always end up ordering two pizzas, one plain and one adventurous. Our server, in her curt and not-so-friendly manner, announced immediately that they were out of burgers and pork. This was before we even said anything or she brought us the waters and bar naps we had requested when she originally took our drink order. We were undeterred and determined to enjoy some FITA pizza. We decided to go for the Roma with italian sausage, sliced garlic, kalamatas, asiago and mozzarella. We also ordered a couple of house salads with the avocado vinaigrette (totally delicious, highly recommend) to get our greens in. We ordered the kids their regular cheese pizza and began the long wait.
About 30 minutes in, our food finally arrived. I thought our son was going to lunge at the pizza and swallow it whole, but he restrained himself, just barely. Despite the lack of service, the pizza was amazing. The crust is the best I have had in Roanoke. It is crispy and well-seasoned. It is cooked in a traditional brick oven that seems to make it less greasy and more airy. The sauce is delicious. It also has the perfect blend of herbs and has that homemade flavor. It was obvious the pizza had just come out of the oven because the steam was rolling off it and the cheese was all melty. So good! The Roma ended being a great choice. It had large chunks of fresh garlic, tangy kalamatas and the asiago gave it that nutty flavor that hard cheeses can impart. The cheese pizza was equally well-received. Even something as basic as plain cheese is elevated at FITA.
After some scarfing and discussion about the best pizza in Roanoke, we were ready for the perfect end, brick oven smores. I was a girl scout growing up and have lots of experience making these little delicacies over a roaring campfire, but until I came to FITA, I had never had one made in a pizza oven. They are addicting and I can never escape without partaking of one. The marshmallows have that crisp toast and are still all mushy inside. The chocolate is perfectly melted and the graham crackers are a crisp foil to the whole combination. It always brings me back to camping out in an open field, fire roaring, and giggling laughter piercing the air. I don't know if it is the taste of the smores that I love or the memory it evokes. Either way, get a smore!
Even with the less than decent service, this trip to FITA was worth it. The pizza was delicious, the beer was thirst-quenchingly tasty, and the smores were divine. FITA also has a sister restaurant, Fork in the City. It is equally tasty, but slightly louder in the live music department. I still like FITA best for its great location, ambience and wealth of outdoor seating. Give it try and May the Fork be with you!