Jan 08, 2016 11:48AM
Matt Klabacka and his son fell in love with Townies Pizzeria when they first visited it in 2011. In fact, they loved it so much that Matt invested in the restaurant, and eventually took full ownership of Townies in 2014. His nephew, Robby Ward, became general manager, and their new team was on their way to making Townies Pizzeria a Fernandina Beach favorite. On a recent Tuesday evening, I invited my friend Dave Scott to join me for dinner at Townies. Dave is a blogger who writes about Amelia Island happenings and local eateries, making him a perfect dinner companion! I’ve always loved Townies’ pizza, but Dave and I were eager to try some of their other offerings. The restaurant carries a nice selection of craft beer, so we began our dinner with two brews: Mama’s Little Yella Pils for Dave, and for me, Schofferhofer Grapefruit Beer. Little Yella Pils is a unique pilsner created with 100% pale malt, German specialty malts, and Saaz hops. Schofferhofer is light, fresh, and citrusy. We perused the menu and sipped our beer, while Townies’ staff prepared some of their most popular items. We began with a Fresh Spinach Salad comprised of spinach, walnuts, dried cranberries, onions, bacon, black olives, bleu cheese crumbles, and topped with warm balsamic vinaigrette. The salad, which is loaded with bacon, and has the perfect balance of sweetness, saltiness, and crunch, was delicious. We were also treated to a plate of Diablo Pizza Rolls that were stuffed with cream cheese and chopped jalapenos. These had a nice jalapeno flavor, but not too spicy, and they were served with a selection of dipping sauces: marinara, garlic butter, and ranch. I really like about Townies’ attention to detail. They make all their sauces from scratch using their own recipes. I especially enjoyed the garlic butter with these rolls. While I was gobbling them up, Dave was digging into a plate of Dry Rub Chicken Wings. He particularly liked these, which boast a crispy exterior. Townies bakes their wings instead of frying, and they’re cooked to perfection. Naturally, we had to share a pizza, and Townies’ staff prepared half a Flaco’s Original Veggie, and half a BLT. The BLT pizza was baked with marinara, cheese, and bacon, and then topped with mayonnaise, chopped romaine, and fresh tomatoes. Dave said the BLT reminded him of a “sink sandwich,” which is white bread with tomato and mayonnaise, and “eaten over a sink while it dribbles down your chin.” I was very fond of the veggie pizza, which was topped with spinach, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, black olives, and extra cheese. And to satisfy our sweet tooth, Dave and I shared an order of Cinnamon Monkey Bread, hot out of the oven and dripping with Monkey Icing. Delish! Townies has an excellent staff, and we especially enjoyed the company of Jordyn and Tori, who are very friendly and professional. The restaurant is community-oriented and invests at least $1,000.00 per month in community services, local sports, schools, and the arts. They also offer incentives to staff members to complete their college educations and stay on track for their long-term goals. Between their great food and welcoming staff, Townies Pizzeria is a winner! For more information, call (904) 277-4755 or visit www.towniespizzeria.com. They are located at 819 TJ Courson Road.