Archive for the ‘Pizza’ Category
Mio Amore is a mall pizza joint that also delivers to the local area. As it happens, they are on GrubHub, so I had them bring a pie to my New Orleans hotel last week. It’s a pretty fair pizza, and “value priced,” meaning more than the heavily discounted big chain offers, but less than most mom and pop shops.
The crust is thin but doughy and chewy. (Think “hand-tossed” at other places). Toppings could be more plentiful. But all in all, not a bad pie.
Somebody lit a fire under the management of Milwaukee pizza manufacturer Parlermo; in addition to their classic Palermo label, over the past year, they’ve rolled out another four brands. P’Mos, Screamin’ Sicilian, Mission, and now, Sasquatch, a WalMart exclusive monster, weighing in a 3 pounds for under ten bucks. That’s a lot of pizza. That’s a lot of crust.
Of all of them, as of yesterday, my favorite was the Screamin.’ I like the big hand-pulled chunks of sausage.
Today I’m trying out the Sasquatch, which seemed to be designed to resemble “Detroit style” pizza, thick, rectangular, made popular nationally by Little Caesars and Jet’s.
My WalMart freezer was full of only the pepperoni variety, tho they make four different kinds. No matter to me, I love pepperoni, and this has different “types” and sized-pieces.
With this thickness, you’re gonna bake it longer than you’re used to – at least 20 minutes, but probably closer to 26. The box sez “ten servings,” but it’s more than that of course.
The finished product doesn’t wow. It’s like a thick version of the really low end pies – Tonys. Roma. Like that. The thick crust, neither crispy or doughy, has enough corn meal in it to spoil the texture. The sauce tastes generic, and there isn’t enough cheese or toppings. As low an opinion as I have of Little Caesars, their “deep dish” is better and cheaper.
Sasquatch Pizzas are made at the Palermo factory in Milwaukee, pictured below.
2nd pic is Little Caesar’s “Deep Dish.”
Sasquatch Pizza Review
I’ve been on a mission to have weekend breakfasts at rural locations in Illinois, and today we hit the Pub 72 Bar & Grill in Gilberts, IL. The “72” is after the number of the highway, and if memory serves me, is a rather new name. Not sure if the change also represented a change in ownership.
The place has a menu with “something for everything” whether you’re in the mood for plate dinners, sandwiches, appetizers, pizza, or adult beverage drink specials.
They serve a VERY economical breakfast (beginning at $2.99) on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 AM.
This is one of those joints were seemingly every employee took a course in what being in the hospitality business truly means. You’re almost always greeted by the owner when you walk in, a guy who doesn’t think so much of himself that it would be beneath him to walk around, refill coffees, inquire to customers satisfaction, and be observant enough to notice patrons that need attention. Superb. Rare qualities in most smaller places these days.
Serving help was equally affable, smiles all around, diligent order taking, great follow-up. By 9:30, the place was pretty busy with Sunday morning diners.
I had ham steak and eggs, great piece of ham with a nice grill char on it, just the way I like it. And a slice of Texas toast. As is the fashion at small diners in Illinois, a bowl of butter pats grazes each table. Eggs cooked precisely as ordered.
Hash browns are above average too.
I’ll be back. You should check them out if you live in the area, or are tooling down I-90 some day.
Pub 72 Review
Seems like lately I’ve been hitting “out of the way” pizza places like this one, on US Highway 12, 6.5 miles north of Elkhorn, WI and the junction of 12 and I-43. It’s about a 15 minute drive from the popular Lake Geneva recreation area in Southern Wisconsin.
I’ve driven by this place many times, when I’ve been out on my ‘touring America’ expeditions. My mistake for not stopping earlier.
US 12 is one of my favorite drives, running from the Pacific Ocean to Detroit. Starting in the West, you’ll leave the coast from Aberdeen, where I’ve had a great Salvadorean meal, and plenty of Washington oysters nearby.
You’ll wing your way through Idaho, Montana, the Dakotas, and Minnesota before rolling into Western Wisconsin. When you finally arrive at Elkhorn, you’d do well to time your drive to hit opening hours (from 5PM, Mon, Wed, and Thurs, and 4PM Fri, Sat, and Sun). Closed on Tuesdays.
Then menu (pictured below) features Italian appetizers and entrees, pizza, pasta, salads and more. The paper thin crust pizzas are fired in a wood/coal oven, and emerge quickly with a nice char on the crust.
Specialty pies lean towards ‘gourmet’, with ultra fresh ingredients and combinations; we went for one with arugula, prosciutto, and shaved parmesan. We also shared the “Holi Cannoli” which features a rich topping for four cheeses.
Started the meal with the very generous antipasto plate, featuring Italian meats, cheese, olives, peppers, and salad. Complimentary flat bread, foccacia and warm marinara grace every table.
You know I like thin crust, and this one is the epitome of thin. Almost like matzoh. It provides for a very nice crispness, and the ultra fresh toppings make each pie seem light and refreshing, instead of feeling like an anvil in your tummy. Lettuce isn’t something I would usually consider on a pie, but I’m sure glad I tried this one. I’ll be back.
The restaurant was nearly empty when we filed in at 5 PM on a Friday, but within 30 minutes, it was SRO. Despite the crowd, service was fast and professional, and the proprietors stopped by each table once or twice during the meal. Nice touch. They seemed willing and happy to accommodate most any request. Pizzas are one size only and will feed several comfortably. I wish they had a personal sized pie, and I’d be inclined to ‘over-order’ and try the pastas, salads, and such.
If you’re motoring across Wisconsin, or are out for a drive from Madison, Milwaukee, or Chicago, hit Holi Cannoli, at least once! Beer, wine and full bar available.
Holi Cannoli Review
Twin Cities Bureau Chief Lauren popped in to Fresh Picked, in the far northern ‘burbs. Had the sausage pie as an eat-in, but observed the take out, including take and bake business was brisker than the inside diners.
“Thinish” but with a thicker crust, she reports it was good, but not great. Exterior of the crust was unevenly cooked, as well.
If you’re ever looking for Shoreview, look for the two 1000+ foot TV towers. Menu.
Fresh Picked Pizza Review
Bagel Bites were invented by Stanley Garczynski and Bob Mosher of Florida, and sold out to a larger food company early on. Today they are in the hands of Ore-Ida (Heinz), not sure why, the company doesn’t have any similar products.
They aren’t even mentioned on Ore-Ida’s main website, but have their own home, where you can read all about the different varieties that are offered.
I haven’t tried these for a couple of decades, my recollection is that they used to be a slightly better pizza snack choice than Jenos/Totinos pizza rolls, which to me, never tasted like anything, let alone pizza.
Verdict? Well, I’m not going to try pizza rolls to compare, but these are OK, really not much flavor, can bake in the oven or microwave. Would I buy these regularly? Nah. And way too many ingredients listed for a product this simple.
Bagel Bites Review
I like things, places that came into existence the same year I did. I had a Seeburg Jukebox of that vintage, and Broadway Pizza and I were born the same year. Back in the day I used to visit the establishment, they had one location, in Northeast Minneapolis (which isn’t northeast, any more than mid city in New Orleans is in the middle of the city!), and it included an assemblage of old railroad cars.
Today they have over a dozen locations around the Twin Cities, and I visited the one in Richfield, which is a ‘southern’ suburb out near the airport and the Mall of America.
I ordered my usual, sausage and olive, thin crust, of course, and the very pleasant server delivered the goods (and numerous soda refills) promptly. The crust was crispy and chewy at the same time, if that’s possible. Toppings and cheese were very generous, and the sausage had some (to me) unidentifiable spice that made it unique (different from traditional Italian “hot” sausage (which isn’t hot) or Italian “sweet” sausage (which isn’t sweet)). This makes Broadway’s sausage in a class by itself.
I liked Broadway decades ago, I like them today. They have become my Twin Cities old-timey go to place, since the demise of the venerable Cafe di Napoli in downtown Minneapolis. Sniff.
In addition to pizza, Broadway has subs, salads, appetizers and pasta dishes available; eat in, take out, or use them for catering.
Menu is online. (Pizza photo is mine, exterior photo above is from Broadway’s website).