Troup’s Pizza has made a real name for itself.
By Jan Walsh
Troup’s Pizza is locally owned and operated by Chef Terrill Brazelton and wife, Ashley. The pizzeria is the namesake of previous generations of Brazeltons, his dad and two grandfathers, all named, "Troup."
Located in Vestavia’s Cahaba Heights, in its first two years of throwing dough, the pizzeria’s reputation has grown beyond its own neighborhood and nearby shoppers at The Summit. It has become a destination, drawing pizza lovers from all over the Birmingham metro area. Here Terrill makes "Chef Inspired Pizzas" with his own handcrafted dough recipe and Troup’s cheese blend. Pizzas may be the prize dish, but Troup’s serves so much more. And much of its fare includes local products and ingredients.
Prior to opening Troup’s, Terrill has not only thrown a lot of dough, he received national and local acclaim for his creations and was featured in many articles, cooking videos, and local television cooking segments. And he was chosen to be on the Food Network show, Guy’s Grocery Games.
Today I am delighted to see a white Cote du Rhone on draft. And we pair it and a local brew with fresh, in season Watermelon Salad and Crispy Mozzarella Bites. A large slice of deep red, juicy watermelon is the foundation for the salad. It is topped with a colorful variety of heirloom tomatoes, feta crumbles, and balsamic vinaigrette. The watermelon’s sweetness fuses with the acidity of the tomatoes and dressing. And the pungent feta cuts through it all, adding zing to the salad. Don’t let watermelon season pass without ordering this salad. I could not get enough of it, so I later order it to go, and it takes out very well.
Pieces of fried cheese, dusted in parmesan, are plump in size and generous in portion. Accompanied by marinara for dipping, the mozzarella has the perfect tooth feel as I bite into its deep golden plated, crisp outside into its warm, and creamy inside. The textures and flavors of the sauce, crust, and cheese meld together, I nickname them “Happy Bites” because that is what they make me.
Next Chef Terrill treats us to piping hot, Khachapuri, a Georgian Cheese Brea. In Georgian, Khacho translates to cheese curds, and puri to bread. Wow! Never had khachapuri before, but I will never forget my first taste of this quintessential cheese bread. It is boat shaped with the sides rising above the warm cheese filled center of fresh mozzarella, feta, and house cheese blend. Also, in the mix is house made pesto, which brightens the dish with color and its own layer of basil and garlic flavors. The khachapuri is crowned with a farm egg. Its orange yolk runs into the center of the bread, as it is cut. We tear off bites from the side and dip into the cheesy, eggy center. I will likely order this next time as my entréebut not share it. Highly recommended!
We also share the Chicken Pesto Stromboli. Similar to a calzone, yet made with mozzarella, not ricotta, stromboli was invented by Italian Americans in the Philly area. And it is the namesake of a 1950 film, Stromboli. Chef Terrill enfolds house pesto, spinach, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and grilled chicken in mozzarella cheese and Troup’s heart-warming house dough. This dish has it all: veggies, protein, cheese, and bread… Comforting and colossal, the stromboli makes a marvelous meal in itself.
The pizzas come in two sizes, 12 and 16 inches. With no room for pizza, we order two, realizing we can take some home for tomorrow’s lunch. Kev has The Bradshaw, and I opt for Basic Veggie, but request no mushrooms due to allergy. The Bradshaw is named for beloved, former Auburn restauranteur Greg Bradshaw. Kev loves pork, so this pizza also has his name on it. Topped with bacon, sausage, Canadian bacon, and pepperoni along with mushrooms, bell pepper trio, red onion, and kalamata olives, it is a savory synthesis of complex flavors. And even with all these toppings, Troup’s crust stands up firmly to piling it on. My colorful veggie pizza is a lovely array of spinach, artichoke hearts, shaved red onions, roasted red peppers, smoked Roma tomatoes, and marinara. The spinach adds lightness, tomatoes and artichokes add acidity, and peppers and onions bring just enough heat to balance this lovely pie, which the ladies just loveincluding me!
We must pass on dessert today, but we will be back for Terrill’s Daily Cheesecake. We have been huge fans of his cheesecakes for many years. Troup’s also offers Beignets and S-mores Foldie for dessert. So plan to save room!
As Birmingham Restaurants newest member, Troup's Pizza joined us just in time for Birmingham Restaurants App launch.
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