For years, once the weather gets warm, I’ve wanted to visit the Orange Peel Bakery in Aquinnah for their pizza night. So last Wednesday, I packed up the family in the wagon, stocked a cooler, stopped to get my toppings at Cronigs, and up-island we went.
I’ve only read about the magic of pizza night at Orange Peel Bakery, and I was excited to finally experience it first hand. Orange Peel holds pizza night on Wednesdays from 5 pm – 8 pm once the weather gets nice. There is a pizza sign outside the bakery, so you can’t miss it. Parking was a bit tricky, but we got a spot on the side of State Road. Walking up the driveway, you see a beautiful stone fireplace, and you just know you’re in for some good pizza.
Once there, you’ll find one table to sit at, a couple of bar height tables, some stumps, and an expanse of lawn for enjoying your pizza pie as a picnic. Oh, there’s also a hammock there for the ultimate lounging experience while eating your pizza.
Luckily, we got the one table since I was seemingly unprepared. Now that I’m in the know, I’ll be packing a blanket and enjoying the spot by the pond. I was a little jealous of those experts who were sitting there in the grass, eating pizza, and enjoying a beer by the pond on the warm Summer night. Now you’ll know what to expect when you go – an advantage over me.
As a first-timer, I was a little unsure of myself. I grabbed my turkey pepperoni, topping chosen by my daughter, and ventured over to the tables next to the fireplace. There was a table with rolled out un-cooked pizza dough, sauce, and cheese. I asked Gary, who I am calling pizza baker extraordinaire, what I should do? He said just throw your toppings on a pie, give me your name, and we bake the pizza which only takes a couple of minutes.
There were not a lot of people there at this time. We had gotten there early – close to 5 pm. Since there was no one else in line, I let my daughter put the pepperoni on the pizza — as much as she wanted — and made a cheese pizza too. It was fun watching her have such a good time making her own pizza for us all to eat.
Then Gary put it in the beautiful stone oven and voilà – a delicious, perfectly baked pizza customized by Charly Cramer, age 2, to be enjoyed by all of us. The pizza was so good. I don’t know if it’s the homemade dough, the cornmeal on the bottom of the crust, or the fresh Aquinnah air, or making pizza outside, but seriously that pizza is delicious!
While we were eating, it got busier. People came with more creative toppings like marinated olives, fresh basil leaves, chopped ham, anchovies, and more. One little girl even brought marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers for a s’more pizza – yum! There was what seemed to be a now communal topping table, and the selection was a plenty. There were colorful pizzas coming out of the oven that were a delight to the eyes and I am sure tasted just as good.
It was such a different experience, a real community event. There were people of all ages there and from all over the Island. Everyone was talking, hanging out, all while enjoying their pizza. I met a woman who has lived on the Island for 30 years, and that was her first time too. She had just found out about it two days ago. Sadly, I’ve know for a long time and I have no reason to have waited so long. I’m glad that I finally did it.
I have to mention cost. It’s suggested that you pay $10 per person, worth every dollar and more. I’d definitely bring cash and a little extra since you can also grab a couple of their scrumptious baked goods, like the whoopie pie I got.
Since writing On Point, I have started a mini Martha’s Vineyard “bucket list”, and this was on it. Cross this off, and now onto the next adventure.
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