Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Pele's Wood Fire Grill in Riverside (Now Closed)

I have heard mixed reviews on Pele's Wood Fire grill, so I finally bit the bullet and decided to try it out for myself.

The decor is hip and modern, it's hard to believe this used to be an old pharmacy store! The menu offers a variety of interesting apps (like baked taralli pretzel rings whaaaat?) salads, sandwiches and of course, PIE of the pizza variety that is! They had some crazy choices like the "salty duck pizza" and they also give you the option (with most pizzas) of a half or full order. In addition, we were also informed by our waitress that they have a lunch deal where you can get a drink, side salad, and your choice of an 8" margarita or pepperoni pizza for $9 which is a good deal considering the pizza itself would normally be around $8!

After some deliberation, I had to try the "Endless summer" pie which was a compilation of tomato, squash, zucchini, roasted red peppers, basil, and goat cheese. I know what some of you are thinking ...ewww that blasted goat cheese!? I understand, some goat cheeses are rich, creamy, and delicious and others taste like...a petting zoo. I figured this was worth the risk, considering the rest of ingredients seemed too good to pass up.

I was a little leary about the crust at first, from what I've heard they keep their pizza ovens at 800 degrees and cook the pizza within seconds, which explains the slight charring around the edges (good thing I like some crispy bits). When I took my first bite I got hit with the fresh flavors of the tomato sauce, the chewy goodness of the crust, the freshness of the summer veggies, and the creamy (not animal farm) texture of the goat cheese. It was like a garden party in my mouth! While the crust did get a tad soggy midway through the meal, it was understandable with all the tomatoes piled on top (not even 800 degrees can stop a watery tomato) but all in all my pizza was pretty fantastic.

My mom ordered the Di bufala mozzarella which is a cool way of saying black olives, tomato, and basil pizza. She was equally happy with hers and we both found the half portion to be perfectly satisfying.

She added a little parmesan cheese on top, which can be provided by your waiter along with a selection of dried basil, shredded parm, and red pepper flakes.

Cool ceiling...

I have to say I walked away from Pele's a fan. The pizza is of the utmost quality (they even make their own cheese for goodness sake) the service is friendly, and the atmosphere is equally inviting. If you have went here previously and didn't like the "burnt" taste of the crust I highly recommend you make a return visit, I know I will be making one.

Pele's Wood Fire on Urbanspoon


  1. i like the lunch prices, ive been eying this place for a while now. The reviews are mixed!

  2. Yeah..I think it all depends on your pizza preference. Overall though, I think it's definitely worth checking out!


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