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Dominos Review

Dominos Review

Cedar Square West – Minneapolis

I first became acquainted with Dominos when I lived in my first apartment in Minneapolis.  Near the U of M, “Cedar Square West,” was a HUD experiment of a “city within a city” and the exteriors were represented to be the domicile of Mary Tyler Moore on the television program that bore her name.

Dominos was the only joint that delivered to the complex, where safety could be dicey at times.  I can still picture the long-haired, bespectacled delivery kid, who regularly bathed in patchouli.

That was about forty years ago.  When they started delivering to me, they were, in fact Dominos, but a lawsuit by the makers of Dominos Sugar forced them to change their name for a few years, and I recall it as “Pizza Park.”  Same colors, logo, but packaging and signs changed.  Ultimately, the court said the pizza guys could keep their name, and now they are the second largest pizza chain in the US, and the largest in the world, with about 10,000 stores, corporate and franchisee owned.  They bring in nearly $2 billion in revenue annually.  India is the largest Dominos market outside of the U.S.

They specialize in ‘value priced’ product, and in addition to pizza, have ‘pasta bowls,’ sub sandwiches, chicken thingies, and pizza bread.  Taking a cue from the Taco Bell philosophy, Dominos is able to take the same core ingredients, deliver them in different shapes, and with different names.

They frequently run pricing specials, and are generally acknowledged to be the technology leader as far as ordering apps, both online and with mobile. Their “pizza tracker” shows the progress of your order, from received, to prep, baking, and delivery.

One of their long time promotions was the pizza would be delivered in “30 minutes or it is free,” but ultimately, this proved to present some danger to drivers and pedestrians alike, so it was dropped.

At present, they have a deal where you can get two or more menu items at $5.99 each.  They add a delivery charge, cautioning buyers this does NOT go to the delivery man, implying you should tack on some more dough for the pizza schlepper.

Since they now offer sandwiches, pasta, and chicken, they have dropped the word “pizza” from their name, and they are now simply “Dominos.”

I haven’t had their product for years, so in the interest of keeping you, dear readers, informed, I ordered a pair of the $5.99’s, one with “hand-tossed” crust, and one with “crispy thin” crust.  Both were topped by two different processed pork products.

According to said “Pizza Tracker,” I placed my order at 11:01 AM and “Patrick” left the store with my pies at 11:17 AM.

He arrived at  11:45.

A few years ago, Dominos touted that they were completely re-inventing their pizzas, which did have a reputation for not being all that tasty.   There were a lot of jokes about not being able to tell the difference in taste and texture between the pie and the box, and so on.  So the company said a change was needed.

Today’s product is the result of those changes.

I have to tell you, both pies were pretty awful.  Similar in taste to low end frozen pies, like Totinos, or Tonys.  The hand-tossed one had two types of Italian sausage, chunk and sliced, and the thin crust was pepperoni and salami. Except they forgot the salami.  Sausage pie was cut in sliced, pepperoni in squares.

While I am usually a fiend for thin crust over any other kind, I actually preferred the hand-tossed today.

But neither have any distinctive flavor, in their toppings, sauce or cheese.  At the low end of the price point schedule, i actually preferred the bacon wrapped deep dish from Little Caesar’s recently.

If you’re drunk, don’t care, are cheap, have to feed somebody else’s kids,  or are hosting relatives or people you don’t like, it may well be Dominos is your best choice.

Morning after, cold pizza test:  Hand tossed, sausage pie is slightly better, thin crust, pepperoni, slightly worse.

Dominos Review






Dominos Review

Sobelmans Pub and Grill Review – Milwaukee, WI

Soblemans Milwaukee ReviewI was prepared for three things – to  wait awhile for a table, to have to pay more than I wanted to, and for lousy service due to the crowds.  None of the three happened.  We were seated immediately, despite nearly a full house, the prices were unbelievably reasonable, and the service was prompt, continuous, and affable.  So I over tipped.

“Over the top” bloody mary cocktails has become a “thing” latey, and Sobelman’s has it down to an art, offering a half dozen varieties.  My order was pretty near the low end of the scale, and didn’t take all that long to get served, despite the crowds.

Sobelmans has their own version of an ‘amuse bouche,’ as the waitress handed us short glasses of beer (4 ounces?) the moment we sat at the table. She was back quickly to take the order, and for the table, we had the “Masterpiece,”  and one that I missed the name of that featured chunks of buffalo flavored chicken on a skewer, along with the other accompaniments.  My Masterpiece had a slider, sausage, jumbor shrimp, olive, cheese, pickle, mushroom, celery stalk, pickled green bean, and one lonely Brussel sprout.

The waitress had an absolutely perfect answer for my question on whether or not it was a single shot of vodka; she replied “they free pour.”

Bloody mary mix is very good, medium spice, medium tomato juice “thickness” and is supplied by a local company called Jimmy Luv’s. At the extreme end of the bloody mary menu is one with all the kind of stuff previously mentioned, and an ENTIRE WHOLE FRIED CHICKEN.  That one goes for $50.  They have special bacon-themed ones, as well.

We also had an order of fries, and “bacon cheese crack,”  deep fried cheese fritters laced with bits of bacon.  Oh my.

Now depending on whom you ask, these special bloodys are only served on Saturday and Sunday, or just Sunday.  I couldn’t resolve that.

What’s funniest of all?   Sobelman’s always gets voted “best burger in Milwaukee,” and I went there to have one, and didn’t!

Take a gander at the burger menu before heading over.  Lots of appys, sandwiches, and the proverbial Wisconsin Friday nite fish fry.

This is a great experience.  Top quality ingredients, creative flair, extremely fair pricing, and good service.Oh, and a good assortment of table top condiments at the reach. Do it.

Soblemans Milwaukee Review

Bloody Mary $10


Soblemans Milwaukee Review

Bacon Cheese “Crack”

Sobelmans Pub and Grill Review

Magazine Pizza Review – New Orleans

“Grease is the word, is the word….”    Sometimes, this is exactly the type of pie you crave.  Chewy thin crust that’s getting a good dosing of fat/oil from the toppings, easily foldable, value priced, and most of all, because they are the only ones that deliver to your neighborhood.

In what used to be a crappy pizza town, now there is a gaggle of excellent choices.  I ordered online and the pie was delivered in less than 45 minutes, all the way uptown from the CBD, and the box contained two shaker packets of cheese and a ramekin of ranch.  WTH?

The pie was satisfactory in every realm (for me, at the time) and would be a great conclusion to a New Orleans night resulting in an abundance of alcohol consumption.

Here’s a pic of the pie as delivered, and the resulting empty box. :-)

I’m pretty sure I used to go get pizza at this location years ago, but I think (don’t quote me) it was called Warehouse Pizza at the time. Or maybe not.

Magazine Pizza, I am betting, is a great choice for hotel delivery in the Quarter / CBD.

Magazine Pizza Review New Orleans


Magazine Pizza Review New Orleans


Magazine Pizza Review New Orleans

The Building

Magazine Pizza on Urbanspoon


Magazine Pizza Review

Sven & Ole’s Frozen Pizza Review

Sven & Oles Frozen Pizza Review

Condiments at Centerfolds

It’s one of those places that people would describe as “it’s not the end of the world, but you can see it from there.”   Grand Marais, Minnesota, on Lake Superior almost at the Canadian border, an early French fur trading post, the translation of the town’s name is “Great Marsh.”  The town is accessed via US Highway 61 (yes, the Bob Dylan one), and is approximately three hours north of Duluth and forty minutes south of the Canadian border.  It’s an ideal jumping off spot to explore the magnificent Boundary Waters Canoe Area, national park.

It was 1981 when two brothers opened what we’d now call a “pop up” – a snack shop for the local Grand Marais summer celebration.  It went so well, they reopened the next year and stayed open, expanding their menu to include pizza.

“Sven & Ole” are fictional characters in Scandinavian lore, and the frequent target of self-effacing jokes, much like “Boudreaux and Thibodeaux” are in the Louisiana area.  Ole & Lena gags are another variation of the northern-European humor.  (example: “Ole and Sven are at a funeral. Suddenly it occurs to Ole that he doesn’t remember the name of the dearly departed. Ole turns to Sven and asks: “Sven, could you remind me again who died?” Sven thinks for a moment and says, “I’m not sure,” Sven points at the casket, “…but I think it was de guy in de box.”)

Sven & Ole’s  pizza has taken on a somewhat legendary status in Northern Minnesota, and has launched a campaign to be provided in regional bars and groceries.  Like so many national brands that started in Minnesota and Wisconsin, using bars as outlets is a great way to build name recognition.

One of the few outlets our reporters have found so bar is a Superior, Wisconsin, gentlemen’s club, Centerfolds Cabaret  (opens daily at 5 PM) on the main drag of Tower Avenue.  Centerfolds bakes up frozen versions of Sven & Ole’s, and Kawika and the Minnesota burger posse were quite impressed with the pie.  They liked the crispy crust, high quality pepperoni and sausage and ample cheese.  Centerfold’s offers a number of condiments table side if you want to amp up your pie. Hot sauces are not advisable for application to other pies found in the club, tho.

If you live in Northern Minnesota or Wisconsin, you might start seeing Sven & Ole’s frozen pizza in your grocery.  Ask for it by name(s).

Need another reason to visit Grand Marais besides pizza? (I don’t, but you might).  Head up for the annual Fisherman’s Picnic at the end of July when the town really goes “wild.”   You’ll also have the change to partake in the local favorite, deep fried herring on a bun!  Herring used to be a major cash crop from Lake Superior –  but not so much these days.  Or try some smoked Lake Trout from the Dockside Fish Market(summer and fall only).

Superior, Wisconsin, appears just far enough away from Madison that it remains out of the clutches of Wisconsin’s nuttier than a fruitcake governor Scott Walker.

Sven & Oles Frozen Pizza Review
Sven & Ole's on Urbanspoon
Sven & Ole’s Frozen Pizza Review

P’Mos Pizza Review


P'Mos Pizza Review


The pizza makin’ elves at Milwaukee’s Palermo Pizza are at it again.  Fresh on the success in recent years of their Screamin’ Sicilian brand, here comes their take on a “pub style” pizza, under the name of P’mos.  In addition to writing about “Screamin,” I’ve also written about Palermo’s history and their “classic” brand.

I will be the first to admit I’m not really sure what “pub style” pizza is supposed to be like, unless they are referring to pizzas found in bars –  many of the frozen pizza lines hatched out of Wisconsin and Minnesota got their start being sold only in bars.  The pizza manufacturer would supply the drinking establishment with a small counter top oven, and sell them frozen pies to bake on demand for their customers.  Luckily the interwebs knows all, the it appears that one might define “pub pizza” as “born on Chicago’s south side as an alternative to Chicago’s traditional deep dish, with a cracker thin crust, sweeter sauce, a little more salt, and cut into squares instead of triangular slices.”  Alrighty then.  Palermo’s marketing pitch for the line is “Palermo’s took Pub Style pizza to a new level starting with a crispy thin crust made to highlight the hand selected toppings. Each of the P’MOs varieties is over loaded with fresh ingredients and smothered in
rich Mozzarella cheese.”

This is certainly the era of new “styles” of pizza, what with Dominos, Pizza Hut, and Little Caesar’s leading the way with myriad new crust options.  Yesterday, Little Caesars announced a “bacon wrapped” crust.  Pizza Hut has come up with all sorts of disgusting flavor combinations for its crust, like “honey-siracha” or some such.   If the chains were making one for me, I think I’d have to go for “bacon wrapped cheese stuffed pretzel crust.”  That’d be over the top.

I picked up the sausage variety of P’Mos, my local grocery had stocked four varieties:  cheese, pepperoni, sausage and supreme.  Not present was the “Combination,” which is topped with both sausage and pepperoni.  My recollection is the price point was $7 or north of that, making it a competitor in the range of their own Screamin’ Sicilian, and other “premium” frozen pies.  This is in contrast to the classic Palermo pies, which I have purchased for as little as 6 for $10, incredibly cheap.

Removing the wrapper, I am impressed with the appearance of the ‘shaved’ cheese, instead of sprinkled, has the possibility of providing a nice melt.  I am hopeful that the sausage will be as good as the large chunks found on the “Screamin” line, although they are smaller.  Cheese is listed as the first ingredient on the label, which is encouraging.  A typo on the ingredient list (a missing ‘paren’ mark) makes it difficult to tell you all of the ingredients in the sausage, but they start out with an all pork and herb/spice mix.  There is none of the dreaded “mechanically separated poultry” in the meat.  Whew.

While I usually tell you where the pizza was made, according to the USDA legend on the package,  this inspection sticker bears no plant number, and the reverse label says “distributed by Palermo,” which could well mean manufacturing is contracted out to a plant not owned by the company.

Baking instructions are middle shelf, 400, 14-18 minutes.

I popped mine out at 17.  The pizza lives up to the internet definition stated above, with a thin ‘cracker like’ crust, sweeter sauce.  Lots of cheese for a frozen pie, real cheese with nice “pull.”  The sausage is extremely mild.  I personally like my Italian sausage heavy with fennel flavor.   In the end, this is a good frozen pie.  Top 5, in any case.  This one goes into my regular rotation when I am buying frozen pies.

But Palermo, suggestion?   Your ‘cracker crust’ is more like matzo than saltines, IMHO.  So how about a line of kosher certified pizzas?  There’s a segment for you.  You can call it “Lotza Mozza Matzo!!”

If you’ve a hankering for Chicago pizza, pub or deep dish, you can have it delivered right to your home, shop here.


P'Mos Pizza Review


PMo's frozen pizza review

400 for 17 Minutes












P’Mos Pizza Review

Cincinnati, OH – Senate Pub Review

Senate Cincinnati Review

Bar Tables

(Dateline: Cincinnati, Byline: Mike Clark, Texas Bureau Chief)

This is a story about Cincinnati, Ohio, but there are hot dogs in it. Good ones.

Way back in the 19th Century, downtown Cincinnati was bisected east-to-west by the Miami and Erie Canal. Thousands of immigrant Germans took up residence north of the canal, prompting everyone else in the city to nickname the canal after that majestic German river, the Rhine. And the neighborhood where all the Germans lived was called “Over the Rhine.” Today, the locals shorten that to “OTR.”

The canal is long gone, filled in and paved over with eight lanes of concrete known as the Central Expressway. OTR itself, full of Italianate architecture, a classic example of a 19th Century urban neighborhood, gradually fell into decay. Actually, “decay” is being polite.

Fast forward to the late 20th Century, when OTR is declared a national historic landmark, and forward again to the 21st Century, when significant resources are marshaled to renovate the blight and recover the neighborhood. As little as five years ago, OTR was a place where genteel folk would not dare set foot; but today, it is Cincinnati’s vibrant new district for the arts, entertainment, recreation, and food.

One of the gentrification pioneers in the food category is Senate Pub, self-described as “lo-fi pushers of beer, wine & gourmet street food.” Senate took up residence on Vine Street just a block and a half north of the Rhine. Roughly one-third of the menu at Senate is taken up with hot dogs – or to be more clear, quarter-pound all-beef dogs with eclectic gourmet dressings. Witness:

The Trailer Park — bacon wrapped, american cheese, coleslaw, crushed grippos (local, flavored tater chips);

The Chicago — tomato, mustard, onion, neon relish, sport peppers, pickle & celery salt; and,

The Lindsay Lohan — goat cheese, caramelized onions, bacon, arugula, balsamic & tons of drama…

to name a few. If for some reason you’re dogged out, the other two thirds of the menu at Senate are just as eclectic, including their version of the Canadian staple Poutine, and some to-die-for Pretzel Dough Beignets served warm in a brown paper bag (the better to shake the sugar coating), accompanied by a caramel mascarpone (Italian cream cheese) spread so rich it should be illegal. All this combines to make Senate one very popular place.

You’ll see from Senate’s web site that their success has generated a little ego baggage – Guy Fieri (Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives) showed up with his camera crew last year, and if you’re willing to shell out $39.99 plus tax, you can have your very own Senate Cookbook – but a little hard-earned ego does not diminish the quality of the eats even one bit.

Senate occupies a single storefront, so seating is limited to the bar, a single row of tables opposite, and a few more in the back. The wait for a table can sometimes exceed an hour. Go early or go late, or if the place is full, get your name on the list and then go browse some of the boutique shops that continue to spring up in the ancient storefronts Over the Rhine. Senate will call your cell when your table is ready.

And while you’re in OTR, listen for the ghosts of 19th Century Germans. They wail mournfully for Senate to start serving Bratwurst & Kraut.

Senate Cincinnati

Clockwise from left: The Lindsay Lohan, Truffle Fries, Duck Fat Fries, The Mexico City, The Trailer Park:


Senate Cincinnati

Pretzel Beignets w/Caramel Marscapone:

Senate on Urbanspoon


Senate Pub Review

Texan BBQ Algonquin Reviews

Texan BBQ Algonquin ReviewI was in this place once 25 years or so ago;  they’ve been around for about 30+ years in this distant Chicago suburb.   It’s fairly standard barbecue fare (for the midwest) offering a full menu, including pork and beef ribs, turkey, sausage, chicken, brisket and additional, non-smoked fare like burgers, chicken fried steak and the like.  Standard sides are beans, slaw, and a choice of potato.  Food is available on plates, with one, two, or three meats, or as sandwiches.

Meats are cooked in house on a hickory fire.

Order and pay for your food at the counter when you walk in, have a seat and your meals will be brought to you.

The have a ‘sauce bar’, where you can fill ramekins of “mild,” “hot,” or “spicy” sauce, but they all tasted exactly the same to me.   We had the ribs/chicken combo, the chicken fried steak, and an order of rings.

The chicken fried steak was  a large serving, two pieces, with gravy and biscuits and the aforementioned sides.   The menu had stated each entree came with Texas toast and pickles, but no such luck today. Biscuits were the order of the day, instead.   If you’re a regular reader, you know how much I go for Texas toast!

Was it great?  Not really?  Worth a drive?  Not really.  A good value?  Not really.   It’s one of those times where as cliched as it sounds, “it was what it was.”  But to last over 30 years, he must be doing something right.  The Texan BBQ also caters.

Texan BBQ Algonquin Review

Chicken Fried Steak


Texan BBQ Algonquin Review

Ribs & Chicken Plate


Texan BBQ Algonquin Review

O Rings


Two entrees, plus tip, $35.

Texan Barbeque on Urbanspoon


Texan BBQ Algonquin Reviews

Johnsonville Polish Kielbasa Review

Johnsonville Polish Kielbasa ReviewI should read my own past reviews before I buy groceries.  I had a previous review of Johnson’s kielbasa, and gave it a fairly innocuous rating.  When I cooked heated some this week, I really didn’t like them, and if I remember that, won’t be likely to buy it again.  Any Eastern European version of kielbasa is a savory link, generally smoked, and highly  seasoned with garlic and/or pepper.

The predominant flavor in Johnsonville’s is not the smoke or spices, but a sweetness that probably comes from corn syrup as an ingredient, which doesn’t appeal to me and certainly doesn’t seem necessary.

(Day 2)  I tried these a second day, loading them up with condiments, one with yellow mustard, onion, dill  relish, another with sauerkraut and strong mustard.  Didn’t help, still the predominant taste to me is “sweet,” and that’s not what a polish should be.

If you’re buying groceries for young ‘uns, note that the fat content of each link is 30% of the RDA.  I’ll pass on these in the future.

Pictured below, Johnsonville’s Sheboygan Falls, WI plant, USDA est. # M34224-P34224.

Johnsonville Polish Kielbasa Review










Johnsonville Polish Kielbasa Review

Johnsonville Polish Kielbasa Review

Los Angeles, CA – Melody Pizza

Melody Pizza Review

(Editor’s Note): I was contacted by the owners of a new place, Melody’s Pizza,  near LAX in Los Angeles, a new venture for a couple that owns a hot night spot down the street, the Melody Bar and Grill. I was invited to come by, couldn’t make it, so Los Angeles Burger Bureau Chief Larry gathered up his crew and hit up the Melody recently.

Does the Water really make NY Pizza taste better than it’s west coast cousin The LA Slice?

Hell yeah!  And Melody’s Pizza near LAX Airport tries hard to replicate that taste and texture.  Especially in its traditional round (as they refer to it), just saucy enough and not too cheesy, a wonder baked in a Marsal & Sons deck oven imported from New York.  But that alone couldn’t do it.  It takes a Pizza-monger, a man (or woman as the case may be) to master the years it takes of dough making and dough throwing and sauce making and tasting, to get it right.

Melody’s seems to have found that guy. The chef (and expert pizza maker) is a Brooklyn transplant who goes by the name of “Ronnie”. And it’s a “Ronnie” with all the real stuff going for him.  Years of working at premiere pizza joints in and out of the city.  No, not LA City. The Big Apple one.  The accent, the tattoos and the hands and mouth to taste (and throw out NY stories to boot) makes our memories and the melody of Melody’s sing New York, New York, loud and clear.  A near authentic NY style pie in our midst.

Ronnie uses their own Brooklyn Water system including reverse osmosis water treatment along with other secret things the owners just refused to cough up at our meeting at their restaurant one evening recently –  to make the water more like NY water for NY dough for NY pizza.  I was very, very skeptical.

Melody Pizza Review

Marsal & Sons Pizza Decks

It seems to work.

Excellent texture to the dough.  Yet a nice crispiness to the bottom of the pizza.  And traditional taste.

We had a taste of at least 10 pies. But please understand: if you’re ever going to work your way up to being even a beginning pizza critic, clearly, the first thing you must do when tasting a pie that restaurateurs proclaim is NY style… you’ve gotta start with a slice a PLAIN cheese pizza with their tomato sauce. End of story.  Or if that restaurateur is proclaiming that they’ve got the next best thing to a true Italian pie… from the homeland… you’ve gotta start with a small Pizza Margarita. Nothing else on them. Nothing else to screw them up. And clearly NO California Pizza B.S. with adding the kitchen sink to your pie.

Just start slowly. And plain.  And work your way in.  It’s like a Ballet.

So, needless to say, I was very nervous at the thought of discovering a NY slice from my homeland in LA-LA land.

So, I brought my family to taste.  The wife and kids.  Wanted to make sure I wasn’t being fooled.  And my kids have grown up on NY Pizza so they should know it from a mile away.  My wife on the other hand is a different cookie.  She grew up in Great Neck, Long Island so you never know what she’s gonna think real NY Pizza is supposed to taste like (Just Kidding. I have a thing about the Island. Can’t get over it).

The Setting: Small place, a few tables and chairs (for a real coziness) but with a long bar area for Pizza prep viewing and sitting to dine (with at least a dozen such comfortable bar chairs with a granite tabletop).

Melody Pizza ReviewPIZZAs we sampled:

The traditional Round as they call it.  We all had slices and they were really fabulous.  Made me miss home.

Then, we had the Chicken Parmigiana Pizza.  Excellent Sauce. Chicken was very moist. Too often that topping will dry out when recooked in the pizza oven. Not here. Ronnie cooks the Parmigiana on the stove top – right next to his gi-normous pot of his nonna’s recipe marinara – just enough so that the next baking in their Marsal & Son ovens  gives the pizza just what it needs. Beautiful. A particular winner for my kids.

Then came a Gorgonzola and Poached Pear Pie. Pizza Pie, that is. A winner.  With Mama’s original crust. Kind of a cross between a Sicilian crust and a homemade Mama Mia pan pizza crust from the old lady’s oven in her Roma pensione.  Really a highlight at this place.

That same crust is used in the premiere Mama’s pizza, an excellent Pizza Caprese on their Mama’s crust, with an elegant balsamic vinegar glace (a little sweet and not too vinegary) under beautiful hunky slices of mozzarella and fresh cut vine ripened local farmers market tomatoes… with, of course, basil leaves atop each Caprese tower… makes for a wonderful pie.  Not anything I remember out of NYC however.  Much more like something out of the old country of Italia.

Bugogi Pizza (yes, Bugogi. You heard me right) with homemade Kimchi was fab. We only thought that the Kimchi could have been a bit spicier.  Not a NYC dish at all. In fact, would go great if this Pizza Joint were transplanted into Koreatown LA instead of near the airport terminals. This is the Pizza they should have served at Sony’s opening night Hollywood premiere party for The Interview. Oh well, I’d recommend ordering it for home delivery and watching the flick ONLINE instead. Definitely makes the top of list for North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un.

Melody’s is just across the street from In ‘N Out Burger, a Pie’s throw away. Ample street parking and even some parking in back. They also have their sister restaurant three doors down called Melody’s Bar & Grill, and there’s ample parking beyond it as well if you’re bring in your 767.  In fact, Melody’s Pizza menu can be ordered down the street at their Bar & Grill.  The waitress’ will run over and get your pizza and run back into the Bar & Grill with enough time to serve you up your drink and a karaoke tune as well.

The owners, Christian and Jen, a wonderful husband and wife restauranteur team manage their businesses with love and good taste. They’ve clearly chosen a winner in Ronnie the Pizza Guy who in his off time is a professional online gamer extraordinaire. Yep, NYC pizza and online gaming seem to go well together. You know you’ve got a winner when you pick up your slice and can hold it like a real New Yorker… the famous fold. And boy, it works here at Melody’s.

My favorite: The traditional Round.

Negatives: I miss the noise of the taxis of the NYC streets outside.  It just isn’t the same thing hearing or seeing Uber-mobiles transporting Angelenos to their respective airline terminals outside on Sepulveda. That makes me wanna get on a plane and go to the Big Apple for a slice at one of a dozen joints. But until then, I’ll sing the song of Melody’s.

Melody’s does a brisk biz in delivery too. A great neighborhood to do so in.  The local homeowners and renters and well as local businesses bring their need for pie to this establishment.  But just as important is the fact that this place delivers to all the Hotels in the area near LAX and along Century Blvd. as well as to the hard working LAX staff, flight attendants and TSA workers waiting around for a near perfect pie. It’s even close enough to the airport you could run over and grab a slice if you were hanging out between a plane change!

Melody Pizza has a fairly wide delivery area, if you’re in your jammies and don’t feel like going out. Check out their menu and order online or by calling (424) 227-7686. Open daily from lunch til late at 9146 Sepulveda and they cater, too!

(Editor’s note:  food samples were comped during this visit).


Melody Pizza Review

Christian and Ronnie

Melody Pizza Review

Caprese Salad Pizza



Dishing Up Some Meaty Goodness


Melody Pizza on Urbanspoon


New Orleans, LA – R & O Restaurant

Back in the day, a part of the Lake (Ponchartrain) front in New Orleans was called “Bucktown.” I’ll leave it to you to find out why. Bucktown had bars, restaurants, businesses that catered to the fishing fleet parked on the shore. Today, Bucktown is mostly made up of the Corps of Engineers Levee (now, new and improved!), and a few restaurants have survived.

About the only one with a sense of longevity and continuity, is the R&O, which says on the front of the building “Restaurant and Catering” and says on the menu “Pizza Restaurant.”

Identity crisis? In fact “no,” and most people go to R&O for boiled and fried seafood platters, piled high with local goodness – oysters, crawfish, shrimp, crabs, fish.

Used to be the restaurants here would take the seafood right out of the Lake, but these days, product comes from around the local region.

In addition to the seafood, R&O has a complete Italian dinner menu, sandwiches and pizzas, so it’s pretty high on the family dining list, with something to please most every one. And since it’s an oyster outlet (down here we say “er-ster”, tho), there is always an ample supply of saltines on the table to shut up those rugrats ankle biters.

But I go for the pizza. To my tastes, it’s one of the best in New Orleans, which is not exactly pizza heaven, despite the large influence of Italians in the region, and a great many excellent Italian restaurants.

In fact “pizza” and “dearth” go together here, in my mind.

R&O’s has a great thin crust, bubbly/chewy on the rim, crispy inside, cooked on a standard gas two-decker, like Blodgett or Baker’s Pride (I didn’t peek).

New Orleans is a great town to get Italian sausage, and the hand-pulled chunks on R&O’s pizza are no exception. Excellent texture, seasonings, and cooked to perfection. Real cheese and a mild red sauce (here we call it “red gravy”) bind it all together. The cheese melds together so well, that if you attempt to remove a slice immediately after the pizza has been served, that cheese is going to pull away. Wait a minute! The whole experience will go better.

During the seven years I lived here, I searched uptown, downtown, all around for a good pizza, and R&O became my consistent choice.

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New Orleans Pizza

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I Needa McRib!