O4W (Old Fourth Ward) Pizza has been open for just about a month in the Irwin Street Market. Owner, Anthony Spina, invited me to come out and try his pizza. As I walked in, Anthony caught my eye, making fresh dough.
He suggested I start with the Jersey Round (thin crust cheese pizza). I spent the first 8 years of my life in New Jersey and biting into this slice took me right back to being a kid and the fond memories of Jersey pie.
Next up, I had to try the Grandma – thin crust square pizza with garlic, marinara, basil, mozzarella and Pecorino. I thought the dough might overpower the other ingredients, but the balance was perfect. Out of the four different kinds of O4W pies I tried, this was my favorite. The sauce pairs fantastically with the crispy crust. It’s available by the slice for $3.75 or 12 squares for $23.50.
The pie of the day, was a Soppressata, Pepperoni, red onions and chili peppers, and Anthony made a small version of it. I wanted a freshly made slice with some of the house made meats (they make sausage and meatballs in house) but they were all out of meatballs and sausage. Luckily he had a couple pies sitting out with spinach, artichokes and sausage still available and I sampled a slice of that.
O4W doesn’t skimp on toppings. If anything, they are topping heavy and light on the breading, which is a nice departure from many of the other pizza offerings around. The result is that you are satisfied but not that stuffed and sluggish feeling that can result from other pizza varieties.
Anthony sat down and talked to me about his pizza and how he came to start O4W here in Atlanta.
Tell me about your background?
Well, I’ve been making pizza for quite some time, but in New Jersey, where I’m from, there’s so much competition. There are some restaurants that have been making this kind of pizza for 70 years. So I wanted to move somewhere where my style of pizza was unique.
There are a lot of cities you could have moved to? Why relocate to Atlanta?
I had a friend who already lived here. I came down to visit a couple of times and realized that there isn’t anything like the pizza I make, here in Atlanta. The response has been incredible since we opened. We were even really busy on Valentine’s Day.
Obviously the Irwin Street Market is a jumping off point. When you open your own spot, what neighborhood will you be located?
I’ll stay in the Old 4th Ward. I really love the Beltline and all the development around it. It is a great location for us.
What is your favorite slice?
The Jersey – can’t go wrong with plain ol cheese.
As I was taking some pictures, a lady asked if I was doing a write up. When I told her yes, she shared with me that she and her husband (originally from New Jersey) were doing a staycation in Midtown to celebrate her hubby’s birthday. They stumbled on the Irwin Street market and O4W Pizza the previous day. They had the pizza for lunch and liked it so much they came back to get a pie to go for dinner that evening.
Besides pizza, O4W Pizza has Garlic knots, salads, calzones and sandwiches. They also feature Vegan pies. Full pies are available in 12″ and 16″ sizes or order by the slice. Meats like sausage and meatballs are made in house, and when they run out, that’s it for the day. They’d already run out on a Sunday at 3 when I came in. So be sure to get there early or call ahead.
660 Irwin Street
Atlanta, GA 30312
Disclosure: My samples here were complimentary, but the opinions expressed are my own.