A Taste of Family Tradition: Feature Article for the NSB Observer May 2014

posted Dec 1, 2015, 2:59 PM by Constance Payne   [ updated Sep 29, 2018, 1:05 PM ]

A Taste of Family Tradition: Feature Article for the NSB Observer May 2014


    Every family practices their own unique traditions; whether they are passed down from generation to generation or new behaviors are created with an array of different cultural backgrounds. No matter what or why, everybody has at least one practice.

    Some families believe that wealth should not be passed down, that every generation is in charge of creating their own fortune and niche in an industry. Critical thinking and self reliance are the traditions that Mable Rosman instilled in her children, which in turn were passed down to her grandchildren, creating a tasteful legacy of family values.

    The family secret of Mable’s Pizza began in the 1950’s, a time when all restaurants used fresh ingredients daily. She made her pizza with the finest blend of cheeses and toppings- even creating her own way of seasoning that can still be purchased today. Long ago Mable’s Pizzeria was known as the best place to eat pizza in Pensilvania. 

    After her retirement Gramma Mable gifted the coveted recipe to her grandchildren Eric Ross and Felicia Engles who started their own restaurant, Panhead’s Pizzeria in New Smyrna Beach. The brother and sister duo understood the value of their grandmother’s heirloom recipe, being the only members of the family that were trusted with the secret.

    Eric Ross has over 15 years of experience in the culinary arts and makes pizza the exact same way that his grandmother did all those years ago, including a specialty flour that is fabricated specifically for their signature flavored dough. He even uses the custom made rolling pin that she had, and the same exact bricks from Mable’s Pizzeria in the ovens they work out of today. As a motorcycle enthusiast, Eric considers Panhead motorcycles a work of art- just like the food they serve at their pizza place. 

    Felicia Engles, known as the “glue” of the restaurant, has a knack for organizing team members and creating a valued work environment. Joined by her sister in-law and manager Devan Engles they recognize the hard work of their employees, and often give initiatives and incentives to reward them for the role they play in the company. From helping in the kitchen to balancing the books Felicia is dedicated to every aspect of the business. 

    The family pizzeria doesn’t stop with strictly blood related relatives though, Brittany Gaither is a respected member of the team and Felicia’s husband Jesse Engles plays a very important role as well; having crafted the interior of the business from bar tops, to tables, and benches. Jessie also hand mixes the famous dough, a service that is rarely seen in the pizza industry today. He believes that passion is the core ingredient in proper kneading followed by the flour, yeast, then water. Their General Manager Albert Amalfitano is proud to be considered part of the family, and one of their trusted keys to success. Having worked in the food industry and management for years he takes pride in not just tossing food on a plate, but creating memories that taste as great as they smell.

    Mable’s tradition has carried on with amazing success, on the opening day of Panhead’s Pizzeria in 2010, their very first customer took one bite of his meal and exclaimed “Where did you get Mable’s pizza?” not knowing that the owners were her grandchildren- a comment that has now been frequently announced by travelers from up north who vacation here in our little beach town.

    Panhead’s Pizzeria is considered an upscale restaurant where customers can enjoy their dining experience in a relaxed setting. Aesthetically appealing food and quality control is something the staff takes pride in daily. If they don’t like the way something looks when it comes out of the oven, they pull it- considering that a service to their customers. Serving only the best of the best is an important tradition all in its own and the most crucial aspect of dining there. The family encourages guests to try the cheese pizza first in order to savor the signature, daily hand grated blend of unique cheeses. You can enjoy a fun family or group experience with their ‘flights’ of pizza- a way for you to try a variety of pizzas in one sitting without emaciating your wallet.

    They also have a collection of specialty pizzas with rock n’ roll themed names, the best seller being “Nothing but a Good Time” a supreme styled version of pizza. Recently, they’ve added gluten-free pizza to the menu for people with intolerances to that particular protein composite. Making an amazing pizza is their main focus but they do have much more to offer such as salads, smoked wings, and a variety of appetizers, all perfectly complimented with homemade dressings and sauces. For those of you on a bit of a time constraint when it comes to lunchtime, you can try a smoked meat or vegetarian dip-wich sandwich that comes with a choice of 2 out of their 13 delicious homemade dipping sauces.

    This family team is excited to announce that they have a special room at their Port Orange location for catering party functions and wedding rehearsals- complete with olive oil tastings from around the world and cooking classes. Mable’s seasoning is available at either location and can be used on pretty much anything!

    Creating their own legacy and turning it into a successful empire has left the family extremely humble. They attribute their success to an aggregate of family values and recipes, their dedicated staff members, and their community following. Everyday they strive to maintain the quality and consistency of their food as well as their excellent customer service.

    Panhead’s Pizzeria is located on 113 S. Orange St. in New Smyrna Beach and 4085 South Ridgewood Ave. in Port Orange where there is a collection of over 90 beers to pair with your meal. If you’re lucky enough to run into Gramma Mable on your next visit make sure you take a selfie with the legend who started it all!  #panheadspizzeria

Check out the rest of the menu at www.PanheadsPizzeria.com

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