Right now my sister and I are both, somewhat figuratively, homeless.
We’re both in the process of renovating old houses, yet with nowhere to call home while the renovations take place. My husband and I have been couch surfing and hotel hopping, while my sister’s family hit the jackpot with the opportunity to housesit for a family that lives on the lake. Being the generous fellow vagabonds that they are, they invited my husband and me for a day on the water last weekend.
After a few hours of sun and jet-ski racing, my sister and her family asked if we wanted to join them for pizza. I didn’t expect anything special – we were in Mooresville after all – but when we walked in to Alino Pizzeria, I was blown away.
- Authentic, Italian-style, wood fired pizza. It’s without a doubt the closest thing I’ve ever found to the pizza I had while visiting Italy.
- Casual vibe with no frills. Think paper plates, plastic utensils, and paper towels.
- Seating is family style on large picnic tables, which means you don’t have to wait to be seated. Plus, you can make some new friends while you’re at it.
- Tons of drink options, including craft brews, to choose from.
- Family-sized salads, which are great for sharing with a group. The type of salad varies from day-to-day, but bear in mind that no additions or substitutions are permitted.
- The service is lightning fast. The pizzas take only 90 seconds to bake (at 800 degrees), so our order was delivered to the table by the time we had picked out our drinks.
- Huge pizzas delivered to you on large baking sheets. Our group of four adults and two kids polished off two pies.
- There’s a make-your-own condiment station in the back with a variety of oils, herbs, and spices. Ideal for crust-dipping.
- Homemade gelato in a variety of flavors.
- Menu items are set – no changes, additions, or substitutions allowed.
- Pizzas only come in one size (large), so if you go by yourself, you better bring a big appetite. To-go boxes are stacked up along the back wall if you need to take leftovers home, however.
- No half and half toppings allowed. For example, you can’t order half pepperoni and half sausage.
- Drinks only come by the bottle, which means no refills.
- No ranch dressing. Don’t act like dipping pizza crust in ranch isn’t delicious.
- Gelato only comes in one size cup (large) and you are only allowed one flavor per cup. I asked nicely for two flavors in my cup, to which owner Michael Bay replied, “Just this once.”
All of the pizzas are priced at $16, with the exception of the Margherita, which is $14.
We had one Margherita and one Sorrento (pepperoni) pizza, both of which were extremely flavorful and fabulous. The table next to us was chowing down on the Toscanco (sausage) pizza, which looked absolutely drool-worthy, so I know what I’ll be ordering next time I stop in.
Agenda Pro Tip: There’s a giant antique furniture mall in the mill building next door to Alino, even bigger than Sleepy Poet. It was closed during my visit (on a Sunday night) but antique shopping + pizza = my version of heaven. I’ll be back.