I’ve eaten hundreds of pizza slices around the Seattle area in the last year in search of pizza excellence. I’ve had tavern pies, Neapolitan, Detroit-style and pizzas that seem to defy definition. My verdict: The pizza that comes out of this oven in a small town nestled close to the base of Mount Rainier might be the best pizza I’ve had in the state of Washington.
This article about The Carlson Block came out last year, and I finally got a chance to try out the pizza this past weekend. I took an hour long detour on my way to climb at Tieton to try this pizza, and it was worth it. The owner, Ian Galbraith, makes very, very good pizza and it absolutely deserves the reputation it gets. (I had the fennel and sausage, it was amazing.)
After eating, I poked my head back into the kitchen to chat with Ian for a few minutes (it wasn't busy at the moment so I had no guilt in doing this). We talked mostly about flour and he happily told me what blends he uses from Cairnspring Mills. I've been using Cairnspring flour for years now when making bread or NY style pizza, but I haven't made any Neapolitan style pizza with it. That's going to change soon*.
I really don't know what else to say about this pizza, other than it was amazing and I'm completely jealous of what he has going on here. It's an awesome little restaurant, he seems completely stoked about what he does, and I can't wait to go back again. He's like the Pacific North West's version of Anthony Mangieri .
If you haven't already read the Seattle Times article, you should. It goes into the history of the town, as well as the building Ian and his wife own. There are also some great photos there.
* The flour I normally use for neo style is Shepherd's Grain High Gluten, which is also amazing. But their main mill just burnt down and it's super hard to get any now.