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Posts Tagged ‘Italian Sausage’

Portland, OR – Bellagios Pizza


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I’ve generally been unsatisfied with delivery pizzas in Portland. Well,for that matter, pizzas in general. I’ve found a few I like, like the one at the Silver Dollar Bar on Broadway in down town, and the slices at the take away outlet for Pazzo {Pazzoria), on Washington near Broadway.

Tonight I ordered delivery from a local chain, Bellagios. They started in 1969, and have grown to 14 locations in the metro area.

Their “mantra” is to provide “the very best”, and that starts with freshly made dough and sauce daily.

Why had I been reluctant to try them? A silly reason. I like to order online, not on the phone. I don’t want to hear “…, hold please….”, and have my call forgotten, or have some guy’s scribble turn my olives into onion because the pie maker can read the order. I think online ordering eliminates some portions of human error, and Bellagios started their online ordering recently. (Start your online order here).

I ordered a large “Butcher Block” pizza, a large spinach salad with raspberry vinaigrette, and an order of cheese sticks, with pizza dipping sauce. The Butcher Block toppings include Mozzarella, Salami, Pepperoni, Canadian Bacon, Italian Sausage. The cheese sticks, like most places, is pizza dough with cheese, sliced lengthwise.

The total was about $30. The arrival time, noted in a confirmation email, was about 45 minutes out. The driver arrived earlier than the appointed time, and was courtesy, and the order was complete.

The pizza crust was a little thicker than my preference, but very good, nonetheless. The edges were bubbled crispy, and the middle was chewy. The crust had a buttery flavor. The meat toppings were of higher than expected quality, with a special note about the Italian sausage, which actually WAS Italian sausage, and not something like “Sysco Meat Crumbles #3). The pepperoni and salamis were grand, and the Canadian bacon very thin sliced. The sauce on the pizza itself was fine, rather non-descript, but the pizza sauce that came with the cheese sticks was firm, tomato-y and flavorful. I couldn’t tell it it and the sauce on the pizza were the same.

The topping ingredients were atop the cheese, so with slices having a nominal amount of “hang”, an occasional meat slice ended up in my lap. Minimal, tho.  They were more than generous with the quantity of meat toppings.

The salad ingredients were crisp and fresh. I especially like the cherry tomatoes. (May have been grape tomatoes, they looked like tiny Romas). The kitchen had followed my orders exactly as to what salad ingredients to leave out, and the dressing was on the side in a plastic cup.

The cheese stick crust was considerably thinner than the pizza crust, and awash with a very strong garlic flavor, with was fine with Mrs. BDB and I. I might challenge them next time to make my pizza (yes, there will be a next time) with the cheese stick crust.

My personal ultimate pizza test is how good a slice is after sitting in the box on the counter overnight, and Bellagios passed that test with flying colors. Munching one now at 5AM, it is more than fine.

Bellagios offers a gluten-free crust option, made with rice flour, that might be interesting and should be very crisp, at least other fried rice flour products I have consumed locally have been. The gluten-free pies only come in 10″, must have something to do with the dough’s stretchability.

Bellagios menu is online here. In addition to pizza, cheese sticks, and salads, they offer calzones, and grinders (subs).

My only complaint folks is no green olives on the menu! Other than that, it’s a damned fine pie, folks. You’re my new standard for home delivery!

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Bellagios Pizza on Urbanspoon


Home Test – DiGiorno Crispy Flatbread Pizza


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I have been wanting to try one of these, see how crispy their “Crispy Flatbread” gets. I am skeptical about the results from the get-go, because at the store I purchased this product from, the entire selection of the product had obviously been subjected to freezing problems (like thawed and refrozen – indicated by warped boxes, ice crystals on the interior packaging. I am trying the Italian Sausage and Onion variety, which claims both slices of sausage as well as crumbles, and sliced  white onion.

Reading the ingredDigiorno Nuitrionalients, I am thankful that the sausage seems to be “normal” (i.e., no poultry products in it), as does the cheese. The nutritional ingredients are thus:

So eating an entire pie, contributes 1200 calories, 210 % of my daily fat requirements, 150% of my sodium, and 27% of my carbs (that’s surprising!). Yeah, like I pay attention to this.

Cooking instructions are preheat to 400, cookie sheet, 2nd rack, 23-27 minutes. Additional notes include “do not allow to thaw” and “let sit five minutes before eating.” I guess they should know, since they claim “If it looks like delivery, smells like delivery, and tastes like delivery, it must be DiGiorno!” (I hope they are discriminating in their comparisons…I mean they wouldn’t want it to taste like Domino’s would they?) (Although I haven’t tried the new Domino’s recipe).

I also wanted to try this before its ownership floats overseas….Kraft sold its profitable pizza division to Nestle’s this week in order to finance their attempt at acquiring Cadbury.   It’s curious that they didn’t sell to a strategic buyer, like Schwan’s.  You can always get more money from a strategic buyer.  But Schwan’s and Kraft have a little “history”, so that probably prevented them from wanting to make a deal like that.

Here’s the pie straight from the box.  It’s kind of a bad sign that there are ice crystals INSIDE the vacumn wrap.  Not sure how that could happen.  Think I am in for some freezer-burn tasting sausage!

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Pie out of wrap.   Appearance of substantial freezer burn.  Now I am really worried.

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In any case.   Pizza in the oven.  Requisite amount of time.   Pictured cooked as instructed. After 23 minutes, cheese not melted, crust not crispy.

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But after 27  minutes?   I am gonna surprise you.  This may very well be one of the best (to my taste) frozen pizzas I have had.  The crust crisped up nicely.  The sausage and cheese were flavorful.   The toppings and sauce weren’t like anything I have experienced with any Digiorno pizza before.  I especially liked the moderately heavy use of herbs, which is reminiscent of my heretofore personal frozen favorites – California Pizza Kitchen’s “Sicilian.”

The white onion slices were a nice touch.  I’ll buy this one again.   They could even pump up their advertising a little to say “It’s better than a lot of deliveries.”


More Cheeeeeese, Please!


Johnsonville has added two new cheese-stuffed sausages to its line up.  Four Cheese Italian Sausage and Wisconsin Cheddar Breakfast Sausage Links.

Four Cheese Italian Sausage links combine Johnsonville’s Italian sausage with a blend of mozzarella, romano, parmesan and cheddar cheeses. Wisconsin Cheddar Breakfast Sausage links featu

re the taste of Johnsonville breakfast sausage along with real Wisconsin cheddar cheese.

Four Cheese Italian Sausage links are now available in select supermarkets across.  MSRP   for  a 19.76-ounce tray is  $5.49.

Wisconsin Cheddar Breakfast Sausage links can also  be found at select  stores nationwide. They are sold in a 12-ounce tray for a suggested retail price of $3.99.


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