Dining Day Trips

These restaurants and eight others are the hidden gems of 417-land’s dining scene, and they’re located all over our corner of the state.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

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The Pizza Joint: Woody's Wood-Fire Pizza Bar & Oven

1831 West 7th St., Joplin, MO; 417-782-9663
782wood.com
Woodys Wood Fire Pizza Bar & Oven in Springfield, MO

Pete and Heidi Williams opened Woody’s Wood-Fire Pizza Bar & Oven in 1999. “Basically, we started it out as a bar that kind of happened to serve pizza,” Pete says. “But the minute we opened up, we realized that we were a pizza place that happened to serve beer.” This is mainly because they were doing something unique: cooking pizzas in an Italian wood-fired oven. Items cooked in the oven are placed directly on baking stones. The stones are heated by a neighboring fire burning red or white oak. “The oven helps pull the flavor out of the wood,” Pete says. “And with the pizza, the stones actually pull the moisture out of the crust.” This makes for an extra-crispy crust, and a slightly smoky flavor. With a black ceiling and oversized Christmas lights hanging overhead, the restaurant itself makes for a fun dining experience.

What I Ordered
I tasted The Mutha pizza ($16.95). This pie is extreme. It’s crazy loaded. Topped with Canadian bacon, beef, pork sausage, Italian sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, green pepper, red pepper, black olives, green olives and cheese, the crust is literally buried. But unlike most pizzas, whose crust would buckle and fold with all these toppers, this extra-crispy wood-fired crust stayed strong.

Photo by Kevin O'Riley

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