Omnivore - Concentrics enters the pizza wars

New restaurant features Georgia's first coal oven

Another week, another pizzeria. My latest foray took me to Max's Coal Oven Pizzeria (300 Marietta St., 404-974-2941). This is another Concentrics restaurant, located next door to the chain's sports bar, Stats.

Our server, John H., explained to us that the restaurant's coal oven is the first in Georgia and that its 1000-degree heat produces a blistery, charred crust like that on the margherita pie I ordered (above).

I actually preferred this combo of rictotta, parmesan and gorgonzola cheeses with arugula.

This caprese salad — featuring homemade mozzarella, basil and flawless tomatoes — was much better than the average around town (despite its controversial inclusion of balsamic vinegar).

Wayne worried whether these were women wearing burkas or Catholic monks on Max's patio.

The restaurant, which will be featured in "Grazing" later this week, has great service by a staff of young rock stars. Seriously, they create a great vibe, even though the pizza is a far cry from those you'll find at Fritti and Varasano's.

(Photos by Cliff Bostock)