Located in a more upscale shopping plaza off the main drag of Kingston Pike, Hard Knox is just a postage stamp of a pizzeria. A wall of double split oak flanks the entrance, with the Earthstone Oven centrally situated just behind the counter. Would it add up to the right stuff to put some of my good-pizza-in-Knoxville skepticism to rest?
'Knoxville' on Serious Eats
When Pizza Palace opened in 1961, it was probably the first time many Tennesseans had eaten pizza from a drive-in, and in some cases, pizza in general. While there are pizzerias all over the South, a pizza drive-in is still pretty unique. Pizza Palace was started by brothers Arthur, Al and Gus Peroulas, who immigrated from Greece and purchased a drive-in that used to sell burgers. They changed the menu but kept the drive-in and the ordering system.
The news hit me like a ton of grits. Smuckers, the company that bought the White Lily flour company, is closing the White Lily plant in Knoxville, Tennessee, at the end of the month. After that, White Lily will only be made at two plants in the midwest. According to the company, the While Lily flour produced at the two new plants is indistinguishable from the old. A.) I'm sure that's not true. B.) The product itself is not what's at stake here. To every Southern baker I know, White Lily is synonymous with the South. It represents the soul of Southern baking tradition. Move White Lily out of the South? That's insane. That would be like moving Kossar's Bialys...