There is a certain light in Andrey German’s eyes when he describes leaving his 30-year career in construction to follow his dream: opening a restaurant. German worked seven days a week for months in order to raise enough money to rent the space for his restaurant, and then remodeled it by hand with the help of his oldest son.

In April, German and his family opened Margherita Pizza on the Eagle Road between Interstate 84 and Franklin Road, next to Smashburger and Buffalo Wild Wings. The restaurant serves authentic Italian, thin-crust pizza that German said tastes good and is good for you.

“If you eat good food, you will lead a happy life,” German said.

The business is family run with German’s sons, David and Simon German, who work as servers, and his youngest daughter, Roza German, who helps wherever needed. The pizzas are made by hand by German’s wife, Alena German, and cooked in the wood stove at 500 to 600 degrees. German said this gives the pizza a smokey taste.

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German wanted to create authentic Italian-tasting pizza, so he had a wood stove shipped from Italy and assembled it by hand in the heart of the restaurant. German isn’t Italian himself — he moved to the U.S. from Kazakhstan when he was 19 years old — but grew up cooking things in fire. He said he wanted to serve pizza because it was something that everyone liked and brought families together.

The pizza’s thin crust is important to the family’s recipe. They leave out rising agents like yeast and baking soda; Alena German said the result was a healthier pizza with softer crust. Patrons can also get thicker crusts on the restaurant’s personal-size pizzas.

“Come eat quality food and enjoy this beautiful place,” Andrey German said of the Treasure Valley.

Margherita Pizza’s full menu can be found at margheritapizzaidaho.com.

Patty Bowen is the Meridian Press reporter. You can reach her at pbowen@idahopress.com or follow her on Twitter @pattybowenMP.

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