Tag Archives: pepperoni pizza

New Belgium Ranger Station

Snowmass Pizza: New Belgium Ranger Station

Okay, this one isn’t your normal pizza review because it’s not your standard pizza. On our Colorado vacation back in June, we headed into Snowmass Village the fist night to grab a low-key bite at New Belgium Ranger Station. The restaurant has tons of New Belgium beers on tap (the Colorado brewery that makes Fat Tire) and a good selection of appetizers, salads and apres-ski fare.

I had a delicious and huge kale salad that I couldn’t even finish, paired with a 1554 black ale, and Mark had a freshly grilled chicken breast accompanied by a green salad. Everything was quite tasty, and it didn’t hurt that we were sitting outside by a massive fire pit, watching the sun set over the mountains, turning the clouds all shades of yellow and pink.

New Belgium Ranger Station
New Belgium Ranger Station – I like these stools that have cubbies for your things built in!

Although I was also tempted to order the make-your-own s’mores kit, I refrained and we split the pepperoni pretzel rolls instead. Yum.

pepperoni pretzel pizza sandwiches
pepperoni pretzel pizza sandwiches

Maybe just slightly too cheesy, but otherwise it hit the eating-pizza-without-actually-eating-pizza spot. The pretzel bun had that lovely chunky rock salt, and inside was melted mozzarella and pepperoni, accompanied by a marinara dipping sauce.

This would definitely make a good apres-ski snack with a beer or two!

half pepperoni half mushroom pizza with large slabs of fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese

NYC Pizza Review: Bella Vita Again

Bella Vita has become our go-to New York style thin crust pizza spot. It’s got that chewy-soft foldable crust and enough grease but not to the point of dripping out the back of the fold onto the plate.

And yes, I reviewed it here once before. But something disappointing happened this week that makes me need to review it again.

We ordered delivery per the usual: one cheese pizza and one half pep/half mush.

But when it came, they weren’t regular cheese pizzas. Instead of standard shredded mozzarella, it was melted fresh buffalo mozzarella. Hmmmmm.

half pepperoni half mushroom pizza with large slabs of fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese
half pepperoni half mushroom pizza with large slabs of fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese

Looking back, we didn’t order anything differently than we had in the past.

But look at this pizza from last time!! Totally different cheese:

Bella Vita cheese pizza
Bella Vita cheese pizza

It still tasted great. And if I had EXPECTED this, then it would’ve been fine. But since I was NOT expecting the difference in cheese, I was a little sad and mad.

Overreaction? Maybe. Okay, fine. Definitely. But I’m still scratching my head on this.

I guess next time, I’ll know to expect the unexpected.

Oh, and I mean, it’s not like there were any leftovers. ūüėČ

Ann Arbor Pizza Review: Domino’s

Am I really writing a pizza review about Domino’s? ¬†Well yes, yes I am. ¬†Did you know that Domino’s is headquartered in Ann Arbor and the first store was down the road in Ypsilanti? ¬†Now it makes more sense.

I hadn’t had Domino’s in a few years but always enjoyed their thin and crispy crust while in college, so when fellow Ann Arbor food blogger The Food and Wine Hedonist told me that it was probably his family’s favorite pizza, I figured I should give it another try.

image_2

Last week I ordered a thin and crispy with banana peppers and a “Brooklyn-style” with pepperoni. ¬†Both were pretty good, but I definitely enjoyed the Brooklyn-style crust more. ¬†This more “traditional” NY crust was introduced by Domino’s in 2006, and they tout it as “large and foldable.” ¬†Obviously this speaks to me.

image

The thin and crispy was good too, but I did find the super smooth crust bottom a bit disconcerting….a slick bread product doesn’t seem like the correct texture for pizza. ¬†Maybe if they had roughed up the bottom somehow.

image_1

As I had been told, one of the best parts of the Domino’s experience is their online ordering feature. ¬†It was a super simple process of customization and couponing, and once you’ve hit submit, a cartoon pizza maker rings the cash register and starts prepping your pizza. ¬†A real-time index shows you where in the pizza-making process your pie is, and it tells you the name of the person doing the work. ¬†For instance: “Jim is now putting your pizza in the oven.” ¬†“Your pizza is now cooking.” ¬†“Tom is now in the car delivering your pizza.” ¬†And then the doorbell rings. ¬†It’s Tom with our pizza! ¬†Fantastic! ¬†It’s all a bit cheesy (no pun intended) but fun and makes the time fly by as you check in to see pizza-status updates.

image_5

image_4

All in all, I quite enjoyed my hometown Domino’s experience and would definitely get the Brooklyn-style crust again.

DC Pizza Review: Avocado Cafe

DC Pizza Review: Avocado Cafe

People familiar with DC have probably had one or more experiences with Jumbo Slice: the bigger-than-yo’-face, never-eaten-it-before-2am pizza sold by the slice. It is delicious. Or at least in the moment it is the best thing you’ve ever tasted. I don’t know how it tastes during daylight hours, nor how they make the slices so large – they must cook each slice individually because otherwise that would amount to a 3 to 4 foot pizza pie! Maybe they have crazy big ovens.

Well, anyway, aside from Jumbo Slice, I really don’t have a feel for the DC pizza scene.

A few weeks ago, however, I was in our Nation’s Capital for a friend’s baby shower, which was really just an excuse for an excellent cocktail party. As the evening was winding down, pizza was ordered. Obviously I was ecstatic.

The delivery came from Avocado Cafe in Georgetown. The New York style pizza was a welcome change from the cardboardish crusts I’ve been experiencing in the Midwest. This had a wonderfully foldable chewy crust – yay! Gooey cheese (but not too overwhelming) and pepperoni that were cooked to crisp edges but still flexible (and allowed for those little oil pools to form in the middle).

Was it the best pizza I’ve ever had? No. Was it SUPER greasy? Yes….but it’s the grease that makes it good! I really don’t mind when oil drips out onto your hand from the back of the fold…that’s what a preemptive napkin blot is for. Get over it. Did it hit the spot? Absolutely: a little bit salty, a little bit tomato-y, a lot yummy.

Verdict: I would try it again in the daylight hours. The Yelp reviews of the restaurant were a mixed bag, but a lot of them were down on the service and eat-in atmosphere, so I can look past those. Looking at this picture again, I’m wanting to hunt down a good by-the-slice for lunch!

How Volunteering Led Me To Some Good Pizza

In order to start meeting new people in my new town of Ann Arbor and schedule some activities for myself, I decided to volunteer as an advisor at the University of Michigan chapter of the sorority I joined at University of Maryland in undergrad. ¬†I emailed the chapter advisor out of the blue after finding her contact information on the chapter’s website, and we met one evening at Panera for coffee and to discuss opportunities. ¬†She has been leading this chapter for about 14 years, has a great depth chart of other advisors, and was super enthusiastic about getting me involved right away, which was very welcoming of her.

After getting current on my alumnae dues (oops), I attended my first Monday evening chapter meeting the following week, where I met the president and some of the other advisors. ¬†I’m going to be helping the vice president of campus activities, which is a newish position that we didn’t have when I was in school or when I was the chapter advisor at Towson University back in Maryland, so it will be a learning experience in duties and responsibilities, as well as getting to know a whole new (very large) group of collegians.

Right away I was energized to start sharing ideas and asking questions about how this chapter operates differently than the others with which I have been involved. ¬†There are over 200 members, and the new member classes are almost as big as the entire sorority at Towson. ¬†Clearly, things operate differently here. ¬†For instance, whereas initiation ceremony was mandatory for all sisters at Towson, it logistically cannot be mandatory at UMich because the whole sisterhood can’t even fit in the chapter room together at one time!

I learned some interesting tidbits that first evening, both about the sorority and Ann Arbor, not least of which was that I should definitely try Pizza House. ¬†The sisters and the advisors all agreed that Pizza House was delicious, and I was told that professors often place orders here when they are having lunch meetings for large groups. ¬†Interesting. ¬†Especially because their website lists their specialty as Chicago deep dish (not my fav). ¬†Reading the menu further, I saw that they also make thin and super thin crust pizza; they also have an enormous selection of pretty much all other food you could ever want: salads, sandwiches, burgers, Italian favorites, Chipatis (which I’ve heard are just an Ann Arbor thing…a pita pocket filled with salad), wings, desserts, and on and on.

Willing to take a chance, I placed a dinner delivery order of a thin crust pepperoni pizza and a super thin crust chicken pesto pizza. ¬†They said it would take 30 minutes, so I was shocked when 15 minutes later the doorbell rang, catching me completely off guard (also because they came to the garage door and not the front door…I’ve never known a garage door to have a doorbell before).

The pizza was delicious!! Yay!! ¬†“Delicious” is so overused, but it really was. ¬†The thin crust was good thin crust; like your standard pizza: not too bready on the bottom and a regular thickness to the outside crust. ¬†Could have been a little chewier crust, like that good yeasty NYC crust, but okay, that’s just hard to find in general.

The super thin crust was excellent. ¬†I loved the chicken pesto flavors: chunks of chicken, basil pesto sauce, red onion, diced tomato and gooey mozzarella. ¬†Of course, you always love what you know and what you grew up with, and you’re not likely to love something new more than something old that’s held on a pedestal and to which you are comparing the new thing, but I gotta say that this measured up pretty close to my beloved Bagby chicken pesto pizza back home. ¬†The crust was perfectly salty, not overdone or buttery, just like a nicely salted cracker. ¬†Which isn’t to say that the crust was cracker-like, because it wasn’t that hard and crunchy. ¬†It was soft underneath the toppings (maybe I would ask for a little less cheese next time to avoid a bit of sog….I know, I know, less cheese = blasphemy, but sog is unappealing) and crispy at the edges. ¬†I also liked how the toppings came pretty close to the edges.

I apologize for not having a picture. ¬†Worst blogger ever. ¬†I get too excited about eating and then forget to take a picture until it’s all gone! Not to worry though; we will definitely order from Pizza House again, and I will be sure (to try to) remember to take a pic next time around ūüôā

Next up: Pizza Bob’s. ¬†I got a recommendation from a friend who went to grad school in AA. ¬†Although she said she’s never had the pizza, she said the milk-free shakes and chipatis were yummy, so I’m hoping that carries over to the pizza too.

As for getting back into sorority volunteerism, I’m enthusiastic about dedicating some time to an organization that promotes women leadership, teamwork and friendship.