PIZZA: who doesn’t love pizza? There are so many different variations of crusts, cheeses, and toppings. Mister Spice and I are pizza lovers, and even though I’ve had pizza from a lot of places (including Italy!) Scratch Brick Oven Pizza in Johnson City makes the most unique, mouth-watering pies I’ve ever had.
It’s just a little house on the corner of East Unaka and North Road Street in Johnson City.
Parking is helter skelter and very limited, but I would park miles away and walk to Scratch because it is just that good!
On the back side of the house is the large brick oven where they are firing up pizzas right and left.
Upon entrance, there is nobody there to greet you or seat you; you simply pick a table and plop yourself right on down. There is a cooler there with bottled Cheerwine, waters, and sometimes Cokes, but Scratch is BYOB so it is most convenient to bring your own drinks. My friends and I usually bring a bottle of wine and some waters. You can bring your own cups but Scratch does have some mugs/glasses to use. **They also have a bottle opener and corkscrew**. You just make yourself at home!
When you’re ready to order, simple go up to the bar and grab one of the many clipboards with menus. Take it back to your seat and peruse the many choices. Scratch is known for their “trust” pizza, meaning you just trust them to put whatever they so desire on your pizza. I’m a little picky, so I go with the “limited trust”, merely marking out the toppings that I DO NOT want on my pizza.
On this particular visit, I selected a French crust with red sauce, then marked through black olives, onions, green peppers, artichoke hearts, and mushrooms. Everything else on the menu looked great to me! Most of their toppings are locally grown and purchased, and they even make some of their own meats (their cranberry smoked turkey sausage is heavenly!) Also, just because you didn’t mark through an ingredient doesn’t mean it’ll still be on your pizza; they just kind of go with the flow and see what they’re inspired to throw on top of the sauce and cheese.
Once you’ve make your choices, you simply put your name on the bottom of the order and go back to the pizza bar to hand your order to a worker. Then, you wait! Feel free to select a vinyl record to play for everyone in the meantime.
Then, there will be that glorious moment when you hear that your pizza is ready. It comes in a large pizza box, and you think to yourself, “This is so much pizza! I’ll have to take the leftovers home!”
Oh, if only it worked out that way.
You have paper plates and paper towels at your table. You open your box to reveal…PIZZA!
It is YOUR pizza, made from “scratch”, fired in the brick oven…just for you. Smell it. Touch it. Taste it. Eat it.
The French crust isn’t too thin or too thick; it’s nice and crusty and perfect. I love the red sauce and the cheese, but my favorite thing about this particular pizza on this particular night was the combination of the sweet, juicy mandarin oranges, the crisp, spicy banana peppers, and the salty slices of homemade pepperoni and chunks of ground turkey sausage.
Between Mister Spice and me, this pizza lasted less than 10 minutes. And the beauty of Scratch is that the next time I go back, even though I will still mark through the same ingredients on my menu, my pizza will still be a surprise. It’s a little bit different everytime, but always just as scrumptious. I enthusiastically encourage you to check out Scratch Pizza as soon as possible!
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