Category Archives: Pizza

Chicago Megapost!

I recently took a nice one day vacation up to Chicago to catch a glimpse of the Windy City. During that one whole day, I tried to stuff in as many eateries and food as possible, and this is the result of that journey.

The main reason I was actually in Chicago was to catch the Angels play at Wrigley against the Cubs for the first time ever. But before the game was scheduled to start, I decided to get my day started with some of Chicago’s well known Italian Beef Sandwiches. Even though it came up short against Al’s Beef in Travel Channel’s Food Wars (which is a terrible show and I don’t know why I’m using it as a reference), I just had to sample the originality of Mr. Beefs. We arrived at Mr. Beef’s super early. (Before they were open actually)As you can see, not an employee in sight. They were still prepping a lot of the food, and half the things I ordered weren’t even possible to plate up. So I decided to order a classic Italian Beef Sandwich with Fries.This baby was heaven. So greasy, so oily, so juicy, so beefy, so flavorful… It’s everything you could ever want in a sandwich stuffed with dipped beef. And yes, I was a little girl and ordered the Sweet Peppers instead of the Hot Peppers. Hey it was 10am and I had a whole day of eating ahead of me, sue me. These fries were remarkably similar to the fries at McDonalds. I actually think they bought some McDonald’s fries and gave them to me because they were too lazy to start frying. So after the Italian Beef Sandwiches, we jetted over to Wrigley Field to watch the game. Notice the score, the Angels actually won the game 12-0, but you’ll find that on a different blog. During the game, I couldn’t help but notice people were carrying around these giant hot dogs covered with an assortment of toppings. This is when I unleashed my inner fat ass, and went on a mission to discover and conquer the beast.

Stop 1: First Concession Stand – Ordered a hot dog. Turned out to be a regular hot dog. Oh well, I already spent my money, might as well eat it.Stop 2: After eating the hot dog, I thought to myself. Maybe what I saw was an Italian Sausage. Ordered an Italian Sausage. Turned out to be a regular Italian Sausage. Oh well, I already spent my money, might as well eat it. I was already feeling really full from the Italian Beef Sandwich earlier, and the 2 dogs I devoured. However, I was determined!!Stop 3: HALLELUJAH! I FOUND YOU!!! This foot long Ron Jeremy-esque bison tubed behemoth was absolutely worth the journey. You can place however many toppings you want on the dog, but I elected to keep it simple and top it with a meager 4. I chose the Bison option instead of the regular beef, because I’m adventurous ok? The bison meat is a bit gamier than the regular beef hot dogs, but I actually prefer it. Next, a slop of Chili, Cheese Whiz, Grilled Onions, and a Pickle Spear are thrown on for good measure. You heavenly bastard. I guess everything in Chicago is eaten with a fork and a knife. Go Angels!

After a couple of hours spent touring around Navy Pier, I just had to get my hands on some Chicago Pizza. And here we are. It wasn’t Chicago’s Deep Dish Pizza per se, but Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co. had a marvelous rendition of one. We had to wait for about 45 minutes to nab a table. The host at the restaurant is amazing! He can remember the exact order of all the waiting patrons and seat them accordingly.

Let me introduce you to the best mother effing salad in the world!Actually, let me rephrase that. Let me introduce you to the best mother effing salad dressing in the world!On the left, we had a Garlic Sour Cream, and on the right we had a Sweet and Sour Poppyseed. On the suggestion from the waiter, that the dressing is better when both are mixed together, I gave it a shot. Boy did it blow my mind!!! I wanted to buy a million bottles for people to sample, but I had no more cash left! How disappointing! The sauce hits your palate on every level. There’s sweet, sour and savory in the perfect satisfying amounts. I just want some more to put on all my salads for the rest of my life. The unveiling of Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co’s famous Pizza Pot Pies! The pot pies are flipped upside down and the ramekin is removed to reveal a perfect individual sized serving of Pizza Pot Pie.  Right off the bat, you notice the pool of fresh warm ooey gooey cheese right in the middle. However, I think the part that I enjoyed the most was the crust. The soft doughy crust was a perfect complement to the savory tomato meat sauce.My goodness, sorry New York, but Chicago has better pizza. The pizza was stuffed with mushrooms and meat sauce, every bite just brought a bigger smile to my face. Sprinkle on some fresh cracked black pepper and red pepper flakes to take it over the top.If only you could really take a bite..Finish the meal off with a couple of dark chocolate molasses bars. (I think they’re from See’s Candy)

Chicago is a cultural city where I think everyone should visit once in their lifetime and eat their way through. I’d also like to thank Karen for her hospitality during the trip.

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Motorino

The buzz that surrounds Motorino is undeniable. Touted to be one of the best pizzerias in New York on countless food blogs, it wasn’t until the recent release of a pizza bracket that made me desire Motorino. Forget Lombardi’s, Grimaldi’s, or any other pizzeria you thought was the best, according to Ed Levine (for Rachel Ray), Motorino is the best in the North East.Instead of traveling all the way into Williamsburg, I decided to go the short route and go to the location in East Village. Luckily for us, there was not a wait and we were seated immediately. Also, they have a free corkage, so bring a nice bottle of wine and enjoy your night. What’s great about Motorino is their limited menu (5 Apps and 8 Pizzas). Instead of sitting there bedazzled by all the decadent choices, you can care less and just order what you like. We started off with a Warm Spicy Octopus and Potato Salad. Absolutely amazing. Usually I stay away from octopus, but everything was perfectly cooked and seasoned. Each bite was light and ethereal, the way a salad should be. We also started with a Roasted Beet Salad with Gaeta Olives and Ricotta Salata. The beets were earthy and sweet. Just keep in mind that there are White Anchovies in the dish and offered an interesting surprise when I took a bite. First off I would like to say, that I should have ordered the Margherita. The Cremini and Sweet Sausage was a bit on the heavy side, but delicious and savory as well. Although the pizza was a bit salty, I can understand why it was presented as the best pizza in New York. The dough is light and airy with that fiery charred taste. The ingredients are absolutely the freshest, with Mozzarella, Garlic, Thyme, and Pecorino. However, was it undeniably the best pizza on this side of the country? That’s TBD.
Motorino Scores:
Food: 8.5/10 – Motorino utlizes the light and full-flavored character that embodies Neapolitan Italian cuisine. With top notch ingredients and fare, Motorino will continue to be a crowd pleaser and earn its stake as one of the best pizzas in the country.

Restaurant Environment: 8/10 – A very intimate setting, however you can’t help but notice your neighbors Margherita pizza.

Service: 9.5/10 – Our waitress was hands down amazing, free wine corkage, and impeccable service. Even with a long wait brewing outside, we did not felt rushed for a single moment.

Value: 7.5/10 – Compared to a lot of restaurants in New York, and especially Little Italy, Motorino is a slick deal.

Overall: 8.5/10

Taste of Connecticut: Bar

This weekend I had decided to make a very impromptu trip up to Connecticut to visit my friend and sample what he dubs the best pizza ever. I’ll be the judge of that.

After what seemed to be a very quick train ride (~1.5 hours), I arrived in New Haven. Instead of settling in, dropping my stuff, going to the bathroom, or whatever you would think of doing first – I wanted to get things done and experience this spectacular pizza for myself. Trotting through the quaint New England-esque streets of Yale, we quickly arrived at this bar like brick building which was called; well, Bar. This place already receives +10 brownie points for creativity (sarcasm).Brick brick brick everywhere! I feel like im in a BJs with the whole brewery ambience. The crowd is completely comprised of college students, maybe the proximity of Yale has something to do with it. When you glance over the menu it’s every college kid’s dream. Only beer, pizza, more beer, and a salad (for the days immediately after Thanksgiving and New Year where you vow to become a skinny bitch). The house microbrew Toasted Blonde was amazing. Smooth, crisp and clear with an intermediate texture of an Ale/Lager. Mashed potatoes on a pizza?! Damn right. Finally someone has the intellect to top something so awesome on a pizza. This might also be borderline thisiswhyyourefat material. My friend and I decided to go with a large half/half white pizza. Half bacon and mashed potatoes/half eggplant and sausage. When should I schedule my coronary?

Seeing all the other tables get their order was just torture. Hurryyyyy…..please…..

Now since I had to endure the agony, and because I’m evil – I’ll just let the next set of pictures do the talking. You better have ate your lunch already!

Half/Half

Crap. my stomach just growled. self-inflicted.

Mashed Potatoes and Bacon

Usually, when you get a novelty pizza so large, they cheat you on the toppings. Not at Bar. Every bite was covered with greasy flavorful bacon and garlicky smooth mashed potatoes. The other side was topped with tender breaded eggplant and a savory ground sausage. The New York style thin crust was crispy and light, but still had the strength to hold all the toppings. CPK you’ve met your match.

So this is the best pizza ever right?!? Not so fast. The pizza was great, don’t get me wrong. However, it was missing a key item that I couldn’t put my finger on that could tie the entire thing together and make it perfect. Maybe some sharp cheddar, green onions, sour cream.. I’m a fatty, but I just want to complete the whole mashed potatoes/baked potato characteristic of it. All said and done, the Bar pizza probably ranks in my Top 3 Pizzas of all time.

Bar Scores:

Food: 8/10
Restaurant Environment: 7/10
Service: 6.5/10
Value: 7.5/10
Overall: 7.5/10