September in Wisconsin is something to behold. As Summer reunites with Fall, the two grasp each other like old friends, reliving their glory days, hocking it up over the time they made it 70º and sunny in the Midwest.
We luck out with gorgeous weather from both seasons; a vibrant sun and bright green grass—a crisp cool breeze circulating through open windows and of course, football on TV. When the temperature drops to “just right” time moves a little slower; the magnificence of this world becomes clear and undeniable and our pizza tastes a little sweeter.
As rare as these moments may be, I recently explored Wisconsin’s primary tourist temptation—Door County—I got the weather and the pizza and despite my habit of overthinking everything I managed to savor every moment.
The Luther’s take Door County.
On the annual Luther family vacation pizza is a must—as you can probably imagine we take our pizza excursions quite seriously—so, we head to Door County’s primary pizzeria Wild Tomato Wood-Fired Pizza.
Picking up pizza’s at Wild Tomato has become a Luther family tradition; a legacy I’m proud to pass down to 5-month old Ellis. Ellis even showed his support by wearing his “Born to be Wild” Wild Tomato onesie (I can’t believe it’s been a year since Tess and I bought it in anticipation of his arrival).
As we approached a swarming Sister Bay—one of the main attractions of the Door County Penisula—we became enamored by the realization of soon scoring some wood-fired slices. In true Luther fashion and overexcitement, I begin to overanalyze: How many pizzas? What toppings? and What time should we call the order in? With this amount of traffic, how can we assure proper logistics to get this pizza hot and fresh back to the rental?
I often have to remind myself to chill the F’ out.
The busyness of a restaurant is a tell-tale sign of its greatness and Wild Tomato can handle some high-volume. They have indoor and outdoor seating, an outdoor bar, and a designated pick up entrance complete with two operational registers that have a constant flow of customers. They churn out very high-quality pizzas in a high traffic area and do it with the utmost finesse.
The sauce at Wild Tomato reigns supreme; it’s fresh, earthy and has the perfect balance of herbs. Actually, all of their ingredients are premium; from the crumbled sausage to the pesto to the dollops of goat cheese. They don’t skimp on the mozzarella either as everything is covered under a nice snug cream-colored blanket.
A perfect opportunity to savor the moment.
In Richard Branson’s Losing My Virginity he shares advice passed down from his parents that led him through unnerving odds “Live for the present and the future will look after itself”. This motto is one I need a constant reminder of.
When I stop fretting about when I’m going to get my pizza, how long it’s going to take and where I’m going to get it, I can enjoy the details that actually make pizza fun.
I can savor the subtle notes of basil in the sauce, the salty, buttery depth of the mozzarella and the crispy crunch of a well-done pepperoni. These nuances can invoke the same hyper-aware elation that the brief period of perfect Wisconsin weather can.
What pizza taught me:
I can romanticize summer, fall, and pizza all day long, but the truth is life’s magic is everywhere if we slow down and appreciate it. Those beautiful days that hang in limbo between summer and fall will always be my favorite, just as Wild Tomato pizza is, but there no point in ruminating over when and where I’m going to get them.
What I’m eating: Wild Tomato Wood-fired Pizza
What I’m reading: Losing My Virginity Richard Branson (it’s a long-ass book!)