Restoration Pizza

Restoration Pizza in North Albuquerque isn't just serving up inventive pizzas; it's a place where an exhibition kitchen becomes a heartwarming nexus for community, inclusivity, and downright delicious innovation.


Mark Stensland

12/30/20224 min read

"Restoration Pizza: Crafting Connections and Pizzas with Purpose"

At Restoration Pizza, every pie tells a story—not just of flavors, but of community, inclusion, and the joy of shared experiences. Nathan Winham, the operations maestro, knows that transparency isn't just for their windows—it's the cornerstone of their ethos. As you step into Restoration, your eyes are immediately drawn to the exhibition-style prep area. Here, pizza-making isn't just a process; it's performance art, an open invitation to witness the culinary ballet.

Winham muses to Emma Treviño of Albuquerque the Magazine, likening their space to the heart of a home—the kitchen—where friends and family gather, not just to eat, but to connect. Restoration's kitchen becomes a stage where the staff, many of whom navigate life with disabilities, are the stars, showcasing their skill and breaking down barriers one pizza at a time.

The vibe here is laid-back, with an open floor plan that encourages casual meet-ups and lingering conversations over slices. High-top tables, comfy seating, and a welcoming bar create a space that's as inviting as a friend's dining room. And in a nod to modern-day sensibilities, Restoration marries the craft of pizza with the convenience of carry-out, offering patrons the chance to grab a local Bosque beer to go.

But let's dive into the menu, shall we? The Restoration dough—a secret blend that's as much about texture as taste—forms the base for creations that push the culinary envelope. Ever tried an apple crisp pizza? It's a revelation in a slice. And for those seeking a plant-based delight, the vegan cauliflower crust is a game-changer. Don't even get me started on the red chile chicken that sings with New Mexico soul or the beer queso that's a dip worth diving into.

Transform Your Pizza Box into a Food Dehydrator (AKA: Pizza Flakes Maker)

Stop throwing away produce!

Every year, Americans waste about 30-40% of their food supply, which then contributes to the 8% of global greenhouse gases that cause climate change. Let's save the planet one slice at a time and turn that old pizza box into a DIY food dehydrator! This hilariously easy project will transform your leftovers into delicious dried snacks.


- 1 large pizza box (clean, without grease – yes, that means ordering another pizza)

- Aluminum foil (to make it shiny like your future)

- Plastic wrap (because who doesn't love plastic?)

- Black construction paper (very goth, very functional)

- A utility knife or scissors (sharp objects: handle with care!)

- Tape (the universal fixer of all things)

- A small fan (optional, if you want to go high-tech)

- Wooden dowels or skewers (also optional, but let’s get fancy)

- Mesh or cheesecloth (to keep it all in place)


1. Prepare the Pizza Box:

Open that pizza box and line the inside with aluminum foil, shiny side up. This will reflect heat and make your box look like a science experiment. Cover the bottom of the box with black construction paper. This will absorb heat and add to the mystery.

2. Create a Window:

On the top of the pizza box lid, cut out a rectangular window, leaving about a 1-inch border around the edges. Make it artsy. Cover the window with plastic wrap and secure it with tape. This will allow sunlight in and create a greenhouse effect. Now your pizza box is officially smarter than your last smartphone.

3. Create Air Vents:

Cut small air vents on the sides of the pizza box to allow for airflow. You can make these by cutting small flaps and folding them back slightly. These vents are like your dehydrator’s nostrils.

4. Optional: Add a Fan:

If you have a small fan, place it near the air vents to enhance airflow. This will help to speed up the drying process and make you feel like an engineering genius.

5. Create Racks:

If you have wooden dowels or skewers, create racks to hold your food. Simply poke holes in the sides of the box and insert the dowels through the holes, creating a grid. Now it’s looking like a mini barbecue. Alternatively, use a piece of mesh or cheesecloth to lay your food on inside the box. It’s like a hammock for your snacks.

6. Place Your Food:

Arrange your food items on the racks or mesh, ensuring they are spread out evenly and not touching each other. Give them space to breathe – it’s yoga for your veggies.

7. Position Your Dehydrator:

Place the pizza box dehydrator in a sunny spot outside. The plastic wrap window should be facing the sun to maximize heat absorption. Your neighbors will be jealous of your eco-friendly contraption.

8. Monitor and Rotate:

Check on your food periodically and rotate the box if necessary to ensure even drying. You’re basically a helicopter parent for dehydrated snacks. Depending on the weather and the type of food, drying times can vary from several hours to a couple of days. Patience, grasshopper.

Dehydrating Specific Foods:

Red and Green Chiles:

Preparation: Wash and dry the chiles. Slice them into rings or halves, removing seeds if desired. Fun fact: Spicy foods can increase your metabolism by up to 8%! Drying Time: Chiles typically take 1-2 days to dry completely. They should be brittle and break easily when fully dehydrated.


Preparation: Wash and dry the tomatoes. Slice them into ¼ inch thick slices or cut cherry tomatoes in half. Did you know tomatoes are technically a fruit? Mind blown. Drying Time: Tomatoes can take 1-3 days to dry. They should be leathery and pliable when done.

Popular Herbs (e.g., Basil, Oregano, Thyme):

Preparation: Rinse herbs and pat dry. Remove leaves from stems if they are large. Herbs can improve memory by up to 75%. Okay, I made that up, but it sounds good! Drying Time: Herbs generally dry within 1 day. They should crumble easily when touched.

9. Enjoy Your Dehydrated Food:

Once your food is sufficiently dried, remove it from the dehydrator and store it in an airtight container. Congrats! You’ve just saved the planet one dehydrated snack at a time.

This DIY food dehydrator is an easy and cost-effective way to preserve your favorite foods using just a few household items. Happy drying, and remember, every little bit helps in the fight against climate change!