Did you know that Joe Carlucci, (owner of Joe’s World Famous Pizzeria near Starbuck’s in Athens), once made a pizza for NFL superstar, Tim Tebow? Did you know that it was all the rage in the sports world, or that the Tebow Pizza was on ESPN? And more importantly, did you know that with opening kickoff just around the corner, “Pizza Joe” has some wonderful plans for our local high school football season?
With my notepad in hand, and as I was following Joe around the kitchen of Joe’s World Famous Pizzeria while he speedily prepped for the lunch rush, I learned he is an avid football fan. The NY Jets are his favorite team, and when Tebow was playing for the Jets, Joe custom made a pizza for Tim’s birthday. I don’t know how he did it, but he actually formed a picture of Tim that was made out of cheese, and when it was browned to perfection, it looked exactly like him! He also put “3:16” at the bottom, an obvious reference to the fact that Tim has never been afraid to be open about his faith. Joe loves the guy, and says he “loves what he stands for.”
As far as our local high school football scene is concerned, Joe has a commitment to use his award winning pizza making “gift” that he knows “is from God” to be a blessing to our youth. Joe’s will be a safe and fun place to come and celebrate after a game, and when there is a home game for Athens, East Limestone, West Limestone, or Tanner, Joe’s hours will be extended. Youth groups are also finding out he makes the best pizza, bar none, and are starting to come regularly. In a word, “the word” is getting out.
Joe can create scrumptious as well as nutritious pre-practice or pre-game “fuel” for the gridiron guys in the form of individually prepared meals, and the contract to do so with the local teams is just about finalized. He will make anything the coaches think their players need, from steamed veggies to turkey to other items, and all are exactingly pre-portioned. However, after the game, the chances are it is going to be “pizza as usual,” whether the team won or lost. “We will also feature post game specials,” he said. After school gets back in, Joe’s is going to sell pizza by the slice at a price just about any student can afford, so look for special offers later this summer and early fall. That is a crazy good deal for pizza any day of the week, and more so for a slice that is made by a multi-award winning pizza “maestro.”
Brainstorming with Carlucci is a blast, and the guy has no end of ideas of things that can make life in Athens more fun for kids. He wouldn’t tell me all of them, but this I know: during football season he is planning on having a pizza eating contest, but with a special twist. He will have the local high school teams square off and see who can eat the most slices within a short and specific amount of time, and he will personally donate $200 to the sports program of the winning team.
In addition, Joe can do pizza making parties for birthdays and other events, even for younger school age kids. The kids get to try their hand at pizza making, and with a careful bit of watchful help, they even get to put their pies in the custom made brick pizza oven, bake them, and take them back out again before they dive in and devour them. Joe has also done the face of Bear Bryant and Nick Saban on pizzas, and could do so for your fall football parties.
Joe’s World Famous Pizzeria is not only about pizza. He offers a full line of custom catering for all kinds of events, or for busy people on their lunch hour. If the tasty ancient grain, quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is part of your dietary regimen, Joe will see to it that it is especially yummy while being good for you. He’ll do fresh salads, foods that will help with dropping unwanted pounds, and there really is no limit to his creativity. One of his customers, Gloria Cooper from the Jamie Cooper Show, had this to say of his custom catering: “We love Joe’s healthy meals. Affordable, delicious, and most of all he does the meal prep for us. Perfect for grabbing when hungry so you don’t grab something unhealthy when in a hurry.”
All you have to do is call or come into Joe’s World Famous Pizzeria and place your order ahead of time. How many places these days offer what is on the menu, and are equally willing to do special orders? Not many, and you owe it to yourself to get a taste of this. I can tell you from experience that you will be glad you did, and I have a strong feeling that from football season and beyond, the place is going to be packed.
Joe’s World Famous Pizzeria
1260 Hwy 72 Athens, AL 35611
Hours: Mon-Wed, 10:30-8, Thur-Sat, 10:30-9:30, Sun 11-3
Facebook: Joe’s World Famous Pizzeria
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner