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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Best Wood-Fired Restaurants in the U.S. and Canadafotol

Our team has been out and about checking out wood-fired restaurants in the U.S. and Canada in order to share the best of the best with our readers.  Many restaurants cook more than pizza - some offer entire menus with food cooked in a wood-fired oven.  But true pizza connoisseurs will only eat pizza cooked the traditional way in a wood-fired brick oven because the taste can't be beat!  

When you're in the neighborhood, be sure to taste test and let us know what you think!

The Old Garage Wood Fired Pizza520 Durham St E
Walkerton, ON N0G 2V0 Canada
Handcrafted gourmet wood fired pizza an salad.

Royce Wood Fired Steakhouse at the Langham1401 South Oak Knoll Ave
Pasadena, CA 91106
Variety of steaks, oysters, yellowfin tuna tartare, marinated Hamachi seasonal land and see dishes.

The Rock Wood Fired Kitchen2420 Columbia House Blvd
Vancouver, WA 98661
Pizzas, Burgers, Sandwiches, Ribs, Pasta, Tacos, soups and salads

Wood Fired Pizza Terrace134 Madrona Dr.
British Columbia, V0N 1PO CA
Oceanfront inn & spa, wood fired pizza, with or without gluten free crust, salad, wild coho salmon, prawns and roasted chicken breast.

Wood Fired Eats AKA Girasole Restaurant & Bar8438 N Lombard
Portland, OR 97203
Pizza, pulled pork Sammy, wood fired cinnamon rolls and craft cocktails.

Wood Fired Oven 
75 Augusta Ave
Grottoes, VA 24441
Pizza, Chicken Francesco, pasta, sandwiches burgers  and  draft beer

Franny’s 348 Flatbush Ave
Brooklyn, NY. 11238
Pizza, wood roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes with hot peppers, crostini with roasted pancetta and leek butter an herbed olives.

iTrulli122 E 27th St
New York, NY 10016
Tagliere, Sapori Pugliesi, Antipasti, Primi Piatti, Contorni

Red Door Woodfired Grill6324 Brookside Plaza
Kansas City, MO 64113
Burgers, Chicken, Prime Rib all cooked with the “smoky trinity”, Pecan, Oak and Hickory wood.

Great Wood Fired Pizza54 Rue Couillard
Quebec City, Quebec G1R 3T3 Canada
Arancini with mushrooms, snails au gratin, veal calf, beef carpaccio, prosciutto and melon, smoked salmon, salads, soups, pizza, pasta and rice.

Rossopomador118 Greenwich Ave
New York, NY  10011
Broccoletta pizza with brussel sprouts, guanciale an crème fraiche, verdure al forns (roasted veggies)

La Strada Wood Fired Brick Oven Restaurant2100 Merrick Ave
Merrick, NY 11566
Pasta, Eggplant, chicken, veal, beef, fish, pizza, baked clams, shrimp, and raw clams.

Olio Wood Fired Pizzeria317 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Pizza, shishitopeppers, veggie caponata, focaccia with herbs and sea salt

Grotto Wood Fired Grill & Wine Cave10 Center St
Eureka Springs, AR 72632479-363-6431
Tapas, Pizza

Sam’s Cellar Bar & Oven101 N Wood St
Neosho, MO. 64850
Pizza, wood fired ravioli, wings, wood fired pretzels, signature seafood dip, salads, wraps and subs.
Note: We’ve eaten here and they’re great!

Sebella’s Fire Wood-Fired Pizza1196 NE Douglas Street
Lee’s Summit, Missouri
Anitpasta, pizza, paninis and desserts Note: We’ve been here, too, and the food is wonderful!

Providence Pizza
12925 US 71 Hwy
Grandview, Missouri
New York style pizza, Sicilian style pizza, Neapolitan style pizza, calzones, sandwiches, salads, tiramisu, cannoli, cheesecake, and gelato desserts, beer. Note: HearthMasters, Inc. installed the chimney here and we’ve tested their food—we rate it A+.

487 Amsterdan Ave
New York, NY
Lamb, terracotta, sausage, flat bread, Morrocan spiced halibut, steaks

Rock & Run Brewery and Pub 
114 E Kansas Street
Liberty, Missouri
Soups, salads, pizza, pasta, entrees, desserts, daily themed lunch specials, large selection of craft beer.
Note: HearthMasters, Inc. installed the oven at this location and we test their food at least twice a month to be sure it is up to standards- and it always is! We rate this restaurant A+!

Carmine’s Wood Fired Pizza
524 S Joplin Ave
Joplin, MO. 64801
Pizza, meatball an sausage sandwiches, desserts, espresso,
beer and wine.

Marge Padgitt is the CEO of HearthMasters, Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri. Marge is a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep and NFI Woodburning Specialist. HearthMasters builds wood-fired ovens for restaurants and homeowners. Website:

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Stress-Relieving Benefits of a Fireplace

What is it about a fire in the fireplace that immediately elicits feelings of comfort and ease?  Is it the warmth, the sound of gentle crackle and pop, the rhythmic pattern of undulating flames…?

Perhaps all three; along with the added benefit that a fire invites us to slow down, sit down, and enjoy it.

Our modern lifestyle can keep us in a constant state of high alert status, or the “fight, freeze or flight response.”   (FFF) This is a normal, healthy response to stimulus or threat that has kept us humans on the planet for millennia.  A tiny, 2-part gland called the Amygdala that rests in the center of our brains is programed to keep us safe by remembering a threat and triggering a response to it.  IE: Stimulus = Saber-toothed Tiger, Response = Fight, Freeze or Flight.

However, that ancient protective response can be triggered by not-so-life-threatening stimulus in our world today.  In its effort to make sense of the stimuli that it is constantly bombarded with, the Amydala can generalize and lump vaguely similar threats together.  Think about your most recent trip on a highway.  Did someone cut you off?, not let you in traffic?, run a stop sign? (and you had your kids in the car- whew!)  Your Amygdala reads those stimuli in exactly the same way it has been programmed to read “Saber-toothed tiger” – Yikes!  In addition, the sub-conscious does not know the difference between “real” and “virtual,” so even violent or disconcerting images on TV and through other media can prompt the FFF response.

Fire in fireplace  Photo: HearthMasters, Inc. 
That protective response floods the body with adrenaline, increases heart rate, slows digestion, tenses muscles and pumps blood to the extremities for fight or flight, leaving the brain sorely lacking in the nourishment it needs for optimal function and us feeling like we just ran a marathon.  No wonder we are tired after a long day!

A surprisingly simple, comforting and elegant way to de-stress and soothe the FFF response is to enjoy the benefits a fire in the hearth.   

Raising body temperature just a few degrees allows more efficient circulation; relaxing the muscles and bringing essential nutrients and oxygen to all parts of the body; creating a feeling of safety, security and ease.

The sound of the gentle sizzle and crackle of the burning wood serve as pleasant “white noise” which gives the brain just enough to occupy it, allowing other over-stimulated parts (ie: the Amygdula) to relax and rejuvenate

The almost hypnotic visual pattern created by dancing flames also serves as a pleasant pre-occupation for an over-stimulated brain and may even induce an Alpha brainwave response similar to that experienced in meditation or hypnosis.

Maybe our ancestors were on to something.  After a hard day in Saber-tooth-ville- Fire Good Medicine.

Alice Brink is a Self-Empowerment Coach, Trainer and Mind/Body Healthcare Practitioner. She may be reached at

Prevent House Fires by Cleaning the Dryer Vent

By Marge Padgitt, HearthMasters, Inc.

A dryer vent clogged with flammable lint

Although this is not Wood-fired related, it is something we deal with every day and is important information to know in order to avoid a house fire. 

Dryer vent fires are caused by flammable lint inside the dryer vent that catches fire due to heat trapped inside the vent. Since only 25% of lint is trapped by lint screens, it is important to clean out dryer vents every six months on average. This requires cleaning the connector to the vent, the vent, and inside the dryer, which is accessible through the back panel of the dryer. Note: Some vents are very short and easy to access, others are long and difficult to access, especially those on second or third floors or apartment or condo dryers.  

Dryer vent fires can occur whether the dryer is gas or electric, but clogged gas dryer vents are more dangerous and can cause backup of toxic Carbon Monoxide into the home in addition to being a fire risk. 

Lint builds up inside the vent, eventually closing it off so much that the dryer does not function properly, or trapping heat inside so a fire starts. A fire can start without flames, only heat is required to ignite lint. 

The Lint Alert Alarm warns homeowners when it is time to clean a dryer vent. This takes the guesswork out of it. HearthMasters services dryer vents and installs the Lint Alert Alarm.  

Lint Alert Dryer Vent Alarm
Our technicians often run across vents that have not been cleaned for years. This is very risky and a fire hazard. Some homeowners have even replaced their dryers, believing that the dryer stopped working, but it was actually the clogged vent that prevented the dryers from functioning properly. Be sure to clean vents out on a regular basis.

See more information on our website at or at the Chimney Safety Institute at