You won’t be surprised if I tell you that pizza is America’s favorite food, would you? It seems there is a chain pizza joint on almost every corner, but, unless I am in a serious hurry, I avoid the national chains and do my best to find pizza restaurants that have local connections.
The Lost Pizza Company just opened in Ocean Springs, and I was excited to give this Mississippi-based restaurant a try. The LPC opened its first location in Indianola and has more than a dozen locations now. That sort of growth can mean only one thing, and that is good pizza.
So what goes into making a good pizza? A conventional oven just won’t get it, the temperatures a good pizza require are far too hot for the home oven. Seven hundred to 800 degrees F is just about right, and most home ovens top out at 500 degrees.
Next is quality ingredients. If you use fake cheese, the results will be poor; the same thing goes for sauce. There are a few imported Italian sauces that are pretty good, but a long-simmered sauce that you tend to for several hours is the best. Perhaps one of the most important factors is dough. The mixes you can buy at the grocery store, or the premade doughs, are better than they used to be, but the best is the one a good baker spends an hour or so putting together, then letting it rest overnight. If you just can’t face the task, go to a local bakery that sells good French bread and buy uncooked dough there.
The Lost Pizza Company scores an A on all the factors in all categories. I tried three pizzas, the Otis, their meat lovers; the Happy Hippie, a vegetarian pie; and the El Diablo, a spicy pie with chicken, bacon, peppers, and a splash of BBQ sauce. All were very good! I usually go for the meat-heavy version, but I have to tell you, the vegetarian and the hot pepper pies were darn good.
If you are not in the mood for a pizza (a state of mind I find hard to believe), there are some good starters, including Mississippi Delta made tamales, fried ravioli, and wings. Salads, pasta, and sandwiches make up the balance of the menu.
The Lost Pizza Company makes no bones about making Mississippi-inspired pies, and don’t need to try to convince you that a pizza from NYC or Chicago is the way to go. Same thing for the ambiance. Walk in the door, listen to the music, and you know you are in a place that is comfortable with its Southern identity. If you can’t tell by now, I like this lace a lot. Good pizza, friendly people and a very comfortable vide.
Visit the Lost Pizza Company at 4006 Bienville Blvd in Ocean Springs. They are open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.