Food & Drink

Eats Beat: KC chef’s new Spin! has more than pizza

Michael Smith, local restaurateur and James Beard award-winning chef, at his Overland Park home.
Michael Smith, local restaurateur and James Beard award-winning chef, at his Overland Park home. The Kansas City Star

An award-winning Kansas City chef has brought yet more pizza to Southlake.

But chef Michael Smith’s Spin! Pizza has much more, and that gives it an advantage over nearby pizzerias.

Spin! is new in Southlake Town Square. It’s known for rustic, artisan pizza served in a family atmosphere, like if Fireside Pies took over a Pie Five.

But Spin! also has Smith’s impressive menu of soups, sandwiches and fresh salads.

In other words, you can still find plenty to try at Spin! even if you just went to Campania, Coal Vines, Fireside, Grimaldi’s, Mellow Mushroom, Modmarket, Wise Guys or one of the other dozen pizza shops within 3 miles across Southlake and Grapevine.

Smith, co-winner of the James Beard Foundation’s 1999 “Best Chef: Midwest” award at The American Restaurant in Kansas City and now chef at his own namesake restaurant, sees the competition.

“Yes, we noticed there’s a dozen, maybe 15 artisanal pizza shops,” he said on a recent vsiit.

“We’re not trying to make crazy pizzas. We’re trying to make really good regular pizzas. We use good pepperoni, tomatoes, fresh herbs. You can tell the difference.”

That freshness also shows up in the menu of seven salads, including an “8-color” salad with Gorgonzola and a classic arugula-crimini salad. A “Sonoma” combines lettuce and spinach with goat cheese, glazed pecans, grapes and apples with a blood-orange vinaigrette, and there’s also a spinach-goat cheese salad with a Chianti vinaigrette.

The salads cost $5.25 in half-size, $8.75 as full portions. The six sandwiches (including an Italian sub made with the same fresh pizza meats and cheeses) sell for less than $10 including a side salad.

The pizzas cost $9-$14, not the $15-$20 at other artisan pizzerias. A “Spin! Bin” offers inexpensive wines and craft beers.

“We’re trying to do good pizzas for families with kids and soccer and ballgames, and be part of the community,” Smith said.

Spin! is open for lunch and dinner daily at 1586 E. Southlake Blvd. (the former Blue Mesa); 817-416-7746,

Restaurant Week, plus

A reminder: DFW Restaurant Week will end Saturday at 10 Tarrant County restaurants, but will continue next week at 22 others.

Restaurateurs donate 20 percent of a $20 lunch deal or a $35 or $45 dinner to the local Lena Pope children’s agency.

For more information, see the Wednesday column at or see

Tillman’s shapes up

Tillman’s Fort Worth location will close next weekend for a makeover into a more health-conscious cafe and takeout shop, Market + Table.

Chef Kalen Morgenstern stays, but the last day is Aug. 22 for the s’mores and the most familiar Tillman’s dishes.

More about Market + Table in an upcoming Eats Beat.

Bud Kennedy's column appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in 817-390-7538

Twitter: @EatsBeat