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Dining review: Pizza Mind

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On West Asheville’s Beacham’s Curve is the new Pizza Mind, by the owners of WALK.(Photo: Angela Wilhelm/ Photo

On West Asheville’s Beacham’s Curve is the new Pizza Mind, by the owners of WALK. The restaurant’s former preschool digs have been transformed into a space with an industrial but warm feel and an expansive outdoor area. The service from beginning to end was friendly and attentive, and we received our drinks quickly.

Pizza calls for beer, and Pizza Mind obliges with 18 draft beers and a handful of bottles and cans. My wife selected one of the house cocktails, The Smooth and Smashed, a rum concoction reminiscent of a White Russian with a tropical twist. It provided enjoyable sipping for a reasonable £7.

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Pizza Mind’s Smooth and Smashed cocktail, a rum concoction reminiscent of a White Russian with a tropical twist. (Photo: Angela Wilhelm/

Pizza Mind offers several appetizers to nosh on beyond the standard wings and breadsticks, like fried green beans and buffalo cauliflower.

We picked arancini, served with a cup of marinara. The fried risotto balls came stuffed with mushroom, garlic, onion and a house cheese blend. Served piping hot, they were full of flavor and incredibly creamy.

Though the price worked out to £2.50 each, they were decidedly worth it. We licked our plates clean and moved on to the Farm, one of five salad options that can be customized with variety of proteins. The spinach-based salad is usually served with roasted beets and pickled vegetables.

Though the kitchen was out of the latter, but the salad was still plenty flavorful. The golden beets were roasted perfectly, sliced thinly and spread, along with a generous sprinkling of goat cheese, across the top of the salad. The finishing touch was a creamy smoked mustard vinaigrette, offering just a hint of smoke and plenty of whole grain mustard bite.

It didn’t overpower, and made this simple salad a success. The menu offered nine different sandwiches but even more pizza selections, including 10 signature pies and the option to build your own. They come in three sizes, including a personal size, with a gluten-free option.

We chose the white pie and the sausage and broccoli rabe.

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Pizza Mind’s sausage and broccoli rabe pizza, foreground, and their white pizza. (Photo: Angela Wilhelm/

The sausage and broccoli rabe pie came with local American Pig spicy Italian sausage, broccoli rabe, fresh mozzarella, bacon and marinara. Of medium thickness, that crust had some structure to it, held a fold and was crisp but with a tender chew. Somehow, it held its own under all of those toppings.

It didn’t have a lot flavor, but it wasn’t bland, and could have benefitted from more browning. It was, in short, a decent crust. Fresh mozzarella is always a great topping.

Pizza Mind’s was cut thick, which meant as the pizza cooled at our outside table on a chilly evening, we were stuck with a thick solidifying mass of cheese. As long as it stayed hot, it was great. The greens were nicely wilted and the sausage was in abundance, though the crumbles were too large for a bite.

My main complaint, however, was a strong and mysterious anise flavor. As a chef, it’s humbling when I can’t pinpoint the flavor or even the source — the sausage, the sauce, I don’t know. What I do know is that when it landed on the tongue, it was overpowering and I wasn’t a fan.

The white pie came with fresh mozzarella, olive oil, garlic and feta cheese. While the mozzarella was also a little thick, it was a good pie, enjoyable really, especially with a few shakes of chili flake. There was plenty of fresh garlic packed in, along with just the right amount of olive oil, ensuring the pizza wasn’t dry.

This was definitely the favorite of the evening.

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On West Asheville’s Beacham’s Curve is the new Pizza Mind, by the owners of WALK. (Photo: Angela Wilhelm/

At Pizza Mind, kids can create their own pizza, even putting the toppings on themselves. They can also choose from a couple of sandwiches and the kid fave, chicken nuggets, though my daughter turned that option down quick, favoring instead the cheesesteak. Go figure.

The sandwich starts with local Geraldine’s bread, which was warm and crispy but a little thick for her to get a good bite. So, she flipped the top off and focused on the guts. The steak was griddled with crispy edges and then smothered in melted cheddar cheese.

What’s not for a kid to like? Pizza Mind is a great addition to West Asheville, offering an abundance of drink options and a menu that stands out among typical pizzerias. With large pizzas as high as £28, the luxury of outside dining and plenty of draft lines comes at a premium.

But, if the quality stays consistent, I have no doubt West Asheville residents will support Pizza Mind. IF YOU GO The restaurant: Pizza Mind, 285 Haywood Road, 828-575-9181,

Hours: Daily, 11:30 a.m.-midnight. Atmosphere: An industrial interior that is warmed up through bright colors. A casual vibe pervades.

Dish to try: Start your meal off with an order of arancini and move on to the white pie. If you like garlic, the white pie won’t let you down. Beverage notes: Soda, beer and cocktails.

Prices: £5-£28. Service: Friendly. Health Department score: 98.

The bottom line: West Asheville has been pining for a Nona Mia replacement, and while it might be too early to tell if Pizza Mind will fill that void, it offers choices beyond typical pizzeria fare like Nona Mia did. While the pizza was good, it wasn’t groundbreaking. It’s also a little higher priced than some similar options in Asheville.

Is it better than your current favorite?

In Pizza Mind’s favor are copious beverage options, plenty of outside dining and plentiful Haywood road parking.

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