[BlackBird Woodfire Pizza]
Story by Jon Bennett
Photography provided by Micah J. Zimmerman, Amdak Productions
The Beginning Of BlackBird
What started out as a backyard idea in South Fargo has quickly grown into a popular downtown Fargo gathering place. Years ago, the Absey family starting making pizzas in their backyard for fun, and sharing with neighbors and friends. Ben Absey, the son of Peter and Patricia, said he remembered when he started making pizzas with a laugh, saying they didn’t taste the best at first. Absey’s father, Peter was a respiratory therapist who enjoyed making food for family and friends and having people around to share it. After years of perfecting pizza, the family built a wood fired pizza oven in their South Fargo backyard using bricks from an old building in downtown Fargo.
Taking The Love Of Pizza To The Next Level
After many attempts of perfecting pizza in their backyard, the Absey family took their new found passion to the next level. They perfected a mobile pizza oven they could bring to events around town including Art In The Park, Streets Alive and multiple local events in the community. The mobile pizza stand is still popular in the FM Area, even after opening a downtown Fargo restaurant. A sign you’ve perfected your recipes, was having Guy Fieri from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives do a show on your family restaurant.
Making Downtown Home
What was formally a Pita Pit on Broadway is now home to BlackBird Woodfire Pizza. With a wall of windows overlooking Broadway, the interior is welcoming with exposed brick, hardwood floors and accented with local artists work through out. Local artist Shawna Davidson was more than happy to showcase her work for the restaurant for reasons more then her love of art. Davidson and her family are former neighbors of the Abseys, and the family would often bring their backyard pizza creations next door to share. Davidson has fond memories of watching the Abseys perfect the pizza while having conversations and dinners while watching their business grow.
The Pizza Process
Like many local downtown business, Sundays are not always a day of rest. For Black Bird, its a day of prepping for the upcoming week, making crusts using only North Dakota products, getting stacks of wood ready for the wood fired oven that is a masterpiece in itself, and preparing for the week ahead. With the pandemic of the last year, Black Bird has made the best of the current times and has mastered the art of take out as well and dine in. They have simplified online and call in orders, making each pizza fresh and ready to go. The Absey family is truly blessed and appreciates our community for helping to make their dreams come alive and creating lasting relationships.
What's For Dinner?
“The foundation of Blackbird Woodfire is our artisan woodfired pizza which is handmade using North Dakota wheat and milled flour. Years of testing has gone into refining and creating Blackbird’s pizza dough, establishing the perfect base to showcase seasonal, locally grown produce and herbs. Our tapas, salads and craft beer will further satisfy your taste buds.”
(Lunch served 11am-3pm)
This is just a sample of what they have to offer. Along with pizza, they have an assortment of craft beer, wine, salads, meat and cheese trays and many other goodies to enjoy!
Midwest Nest Magazine is a monthly print and digital publication that focuses on culture around the upper midwest.