It wasn't long ago when I was sitting at my home, watching Lord of the Rings with my wife Diana, while sipping on a fruit smoothie, when I received a tweet from Jonathan Cowan: the 25 year old budding pizza maven, and owner of Wooden Paddle Pizza in Orland Park, IL.

He had seen a review that I had written for a now out-of-business (booooo!) local burger joint, and asked me if I'd review his establishment.

After I got done lamenting from the fetal position in the corner of my bedroom over the bad news, I tweeted him back

"My thoughts, EXACTLY!"

So We Drove To Wooden Paddle Pizza...

Last Saturday afternoon, to see if the pies were as good as I saw them on their website.

Immediately, a Jonathan, a tall, sprire young man (sorry ladies...the dude's married) introduced himself to me.  We chatted a little bit, talked about life, why the restaurant is closed on Sundays (hint: Chick-fil-A), and other odds and end...

...until the subject came to pizza and the history of Wooden Paddle Pizza.

He shifted gears, as you could see the passion for the craft in his eyes...something that I've only seen from one other person, whom I just happen to wake up to every God-blessed day of my life.

And then we ordered our pizzas.  

I had the Margherita, made with their wheat crust (you can choose from white, wheat, or gluten-free) with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella, with a red tomato sauce...

Wife had "Pretty Fly for a White Pie" (Offspring fans????) on a wheat crust.  This consists of fresh Ricotta, mozzarella, gorgonzola, parmesan, and fresh (not jarred) garlic, topped with EVOO and cracked black pepper...

Watch The Operations of Wodden Paddle Pizza Below

(can you hear us over the party in the background??)

So Jonathan took Diana and I to the back of Wooden Paddle Pizza, and showed us how everything worked.

He mentioned that all of the ingredients they have are fresh: from the basil, to the mushrooms, right down to the mozzarella  with a vision and a gameplan to take the business to ANOTHER LEVEL by making it one of the only pizza places that uses 100% Organic ingredients

Then he showed us the pizza oven, that runs at a super high temperature (around 700 degrees) to cook the pizza in about 110 seconds...whether it's on a white crust, their wheat crust, or their gluten-free recipe...

All this was pretty new to me, as both the wife and I were raised on Chicago-style pizzas that loaded on the ingredients, took a while to cook, and one bite filled up a grown man...

We also got to meet Abbey, a young pretty lass, who is the store's "key holder," uses pizza pick-up lines, and won't date a due who isn't thrilled about pizza!

This is all according to the newsletter that they produce every month, with their happenings, "Customer Spotlight", and the numerous charities they give to...though I did confirm this to be true.

So, Anyway, Down To The Brass Tax

If you haven't seen the video yet, scroll back up and watch it right now.

If you're too lazy to scroll back up (I feel your pain,) then I'll tell you what we thought about the pizzas.

In the words of Diana: "Oh my GAWD!!!!!"

When biting into a Wooden Paddle pizza, it doesn't take long to understand that the ingredients are the real deal!  The garlic smacks you right in the face, the cheeses are creamy, and the basil tastes like it was picked straight from the plant.

The dough is nice, lite, and floppy, with the portion size just perfect.  There's definitely no loss of taste from it going through the stone-surfaced blast furnace.

I can say that this ISN'T your typical Chicago-style pizza, though, as I did see some complaints about that on Yelp!...

WHATEVER!  I thought it was great, my wife got excited in more ways then one.  I'd say, that this place is a total WINNER!

Oh, And I Forgot About...

The gelato...  

I never understood what the difference between gelato and ice cream was, until I had it at Wooden Paddle Pizza (the sea-salt and caramel to be exact).

The creaminess (is that a word?) of the gelato was a great ending to an AMAZING experience....

And just like all the rest of their ingredients, they're fresh, with the dairy from up in Michigan (you'll have to ask Jonathan where exactly thought).

So, If You're In The Orland Park Area...

Or....SHOOT....if you're not, and just want a really good pizza, without feeling like you need to repent and get your stomach pumped.

Then click on this link and head over to Wooden Paddle Pizza's website and see what they have for you.

And talk to Jonathan and his wife while you're there...really good (and passionate) pizza people...