Slideshow SLIDESHOW: First Look: Ballard Pizza Company Brings East Coast Casual to Seattle

[Photographs: Jay Friedman]

Chef Ethan Stowell has enjoyed great success with more upscale restaurants (How to Cook a Wolf, Tavolata, Anchovies & Olives, Staple & Fancy) in Seattle. So why has he just opened a pizza place, and why is he spending some of his precious weekend time tangled in pizza dough?

"Ballard Pizza Company is the first place I've opened with a 'What do we really want to do for the community?' attitude," he explains, adding, "I wanted a place where people in the Ballard neighborhood could enjoy good pizza made with good ingredients at a good price."

Actually, Ballard Pizza Company is the first of Stowell's planned Grubb Brothers restaurants, which he describes as "fast food redefined." In the works are fried chicken, fish and chips, and burger joints. For now, though, Stowell says Ballard Pizza Company has been a challenging but fun foray. It's approachable and affordable, introducing Stowell's sense of quality (for example, he uses ham from Zoe's Meats instead of product from Swift Pork) to a whole new audience. Families with kids stop by for slices, while adults can linger over a beer—especially after the media room is completed out back.

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Per Ballard Pizza Company's slogan, slices are indeed fat, and always ready for a quick return to the oven for warm-up and eating. It's perfect grub for the late-night crowd pouring out of Ballard's pubs. And starting next month, Ballard Pizza Company will be offering free delivery to the local area. In the spirit of fun, I wouldn't be surprised to see Stowell making the very first delivery via scooter.

Ballard Pizza Company

5107 Ballard Avenue NW Seattle, WA 98107 (map)
206-659-6033; ballardpizzacompany.com

About the author: Jay Friedman is a Seattle-based freelance food writer who happens to travel extensively as a sex educator. An avid fan of noodles (some call him "The Mein Man"), he sees sensuality in all foods, and blogs about it at his Gastrolust website. You can follow him on Twitter @jayfriedman.

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