Tony Palombino, BoomBozz Pizza & Taphouse founder, first encountered fried pizza while in Naples in 2007.
“My parents are from Naples, and they’ve always talked about fried pizza and the way they made it in Naples,” says Palombino. “When I went for the World Pizza Cup, I noticed this pizza called Montanara ... they deep fried it and put the cheese on it and baked it. I was there a week and a half, and I probably ate one every day.”
The fried pizza has been in the back of his mind ever since, says Palombino. “I was talking to my dad about it at the dinner table a few weeks ago because the World Pizza Cup was going, and it started bringing back memories. I decided, ‘I gotta do this.’ ”
So a few weeks ago, “I was dropping off paperwork at the Frankfort Avenue store,” he says. “I just got a piece of dough and started testing it. The reaction (from the customers who tasted it) was similar to when I ate it. It’s airy and crisp. It’s amazing. It’s amazing. I think it’s gonna be a big hit, I really do. The reaction of people when they first eat is is: Wow.”
The BoomBozz version of a fried pizza, also dubbed the Montanara (“a mountain topped by marinara”) is a flash-fried dough that’s sauced, topped with fresh mozzarella and a single topping and baked. “The first thing people think of is state fair deep-fried pizza, so I like to emphasize this is Neapolitan style and is a traditional pizza,” Palombino says.
On Oct. 22, all area BoomBozz locations (except Jefferstontown) will launch the Montanara. The first 50 customers at each location at 11 a.m. will receive a free pizza. Each Montanara is a single-serving 8-inch pizza and will be sold for $8.99.
This is the first fried pizza to be offered locally, though Palombino says it’s been available in New York City for a few months now.