Destination Dining: Pangea Kitchen

Head to Evansville for a little pizza, Thai, and gelato cake.

August 2016Add a comment

Margherita pizza from Pangea Kitchen
The Margherita, made with buffalo mozzarella

Photograph by Tony Valainis

Pangea Kitchen is meant to function as a (very, very) little Eataly, Mario Batali’s indoor culinary market. Customers line up for counter service, watch as their Pinot is poured, then claim a table and wait for servers to bring their orders. Owner Randy Hobson spent 25 years wining and dining clients around the globe for Evansville’s Berry Plastics—and became a world-class foodie along the way. He convinced a pizzaiolo he spotted on LinkedIn to relocate from Dallas to Evansville. Then he found a local pastry chef willing to study gelato-making. And when he met Wanphen McDonald, a Thai woman living nearby with two culinary degrees, he couldn’t resist giving her a section of the counter and a rotisserie. Now you understand how Pangea came about its curious model: a pair of pizza menus (Neapolitan and Sicilian); a tight list of “everyday items” with Thai dishes, salads, and meatballs; and a dessert case that includes gelato cake by the slice. “If money wasn’t an object, I’d do what Anthony Bourdain is doing in New York, on a small scale,” Hobson says, referring to the chef’s new market filled with international vendors. Bourdain would be lucky to serve a Pad Ke Mao like McDonald’s, with plump, chewy spiral noodles. Locals (they pack the industrial-cool room) order individual pies bearing the telltale char marks of an authentic Italian 900-degree oven. You’ll know fellow roadtrippers by the ceremonious delivery of the more substantial Sicilian on a butcher block that other diners track as it crosses the room. 111 S. Green River Rd., Evansville, 812-401-2404

Hours

Tues.–Sat. 11 a.m.–9 p.m.

Drive Time

2 hours 45 minutes

Know Before You Go

The pan pizza averages $30, but that’s because it could feed the entire famiglia.

What’s Your Hurry?

Evansville darling Sunshine Juice Co. stirs up a fruity blend called Pink Drink, and The Beauty Room spa owner loves it so much, she paid homage by creating a Pink Drink Facial that incorporates ginger, strawberry, pink grapefruit essential oil, and a beetroot masque. Open by appointment. 1119 Parrett St., Evansville, 812-484-2764

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