Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pizza Party, Pizza Party

Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s the fact that I’ve spent the last couple days bored outta my gourd, daydreaming like a fiend.  I’m not sure of the reason but all I do know... is that I can’t stop thinking about pizza. 

Since I was feeling this way, I decided to put my thoughts to paper. 

So without further ado, here is my list of ALL things PIZZA…
Frozen Pizza De Jour:

Here's the thing, I'm all about taking something from a jar/can/the freezer section and adding a fresh ingredient or two to make it more snazzy.  Then I pretend like I made it from scratch and am really “not that lazy.” 

My choices… 
Aldi Brand Personal Pizza: Why?! Because it costs a flipping dollar and then everyone can add their own toppings and not have to compromise.  You want to put anchovies on it, be my guest.  How awesome is that?  My favorite toppings: fresh tomato, mushrooms, black olives...or really anything in my fridge that is about to go bad... YIKES.  Just sprinkle on top and pop in the oven, voila! Oh and there is no extra charge for sausage or supreme.  I love you Aldi!! 

I am also a huge fan of the Dominick’s/Jewel Pizzas because they are huge.  Technically they aren’t frozen, just unbaked.  But here is the thing, on Fridays these pizzas are on sale for either $5 or $6 (can’t remember exact prices here)… the catch is that it is only for cheese and only the unbaked.  If you want sausage, it costs $2 more and don’t even think about the supreme.  Hence my theory on “using things already in the fridge at home” to make it more than a sad ol’ cheese pizza.  $$ in my pocket thank you very much.

Here is my list of places and pizzas you have to try, especially when you are looking to try something a little different… 

Bruschetta Pizza from Phil's.  It's a cold pizza, be forewarned.  But if you want something fresh and different, particularly when it's 90 degrees outside and the thought of hot cheese and grease makes you want to keel over, then this a great pizza to try. 

Another good option is the Salad Pizza from Coutryside Saloon.  I'm completely aware that a "salad pizza" is an absolute oxymoron and goes against all that pizza is about but man-up and try it anyway, you won't regret it. 

BLT pizza from Dino's.  Why?  Why wouldn't you want a delicious sandwich in pizza form?  Duh.  Oh, and if you order it on Wednesday (carryout or delivery) you’ll get a free cheese pizza.  Winning!!

Anything from Coalfire Pizza.  This place has the super thin crust and serves your classic Italian pizza options.  Sadly, it used to be BYOB but as we learned the hard way (just ask my dad about his trip to the CVS wine isle and the devastating conversation that had to take place when we were informed, "oh yeah, we haven't been BYOB for over a year now.") it is no longer... making carry out a delightful option.  However, during their ‘busy times’ they won’t even answer the phone for carry out, so make sure you plan ahead for that. 

For some deep dish, I will ALWAYS be a Lou's girl but if I'm going to mix it up, Pequod's is the next best option.  Less tourists, some deliciously burnt crust and caramelized cheese.  Oh my God, I'm hungry...    

Best Bar Pizza Ever.  You would never guess when you looked at the outside of this place but the Edison Park Inn has a wood burning pizza oven.  I love the Grilled Portabella Pizza with Sun Dried Tomato…I mean who would get that from a dingy bar? Are we kidding?  It’s amazing.  You have to try it.   

Now, everyone has their own favorite, go-to delivery places and I’m no exception.  I won’t push my beliefs on you because that’s just wrong.  However, even though I just ordered or made a pizza with all of the fixings, the fat girl in me says I can always add one more thing to make it even more delicious. 

If you want to add some at home additions try:
1. Ranch Dressing - Also known to some as "fat girl's ketchup" - whatever...
2. Giardiniera/Muffaletta – My suggestions, you need to have the relish.  Apparently some places (Countryside Saloon being one) make their own Giardiniera pizza, I’ve just never tried it.     
3. Balsamic Vinegar – There are some kinds that are way too watery.. However if you get a bottle that is labeled “syrup” or “traditional” then you’re in business.

If you are trying to save a little dough (hehe... come on its funny) then the next best option is to make your pizza at home. 

If you want to roll your own crust try:

Lou Malnati's: If you go into any Lou's restaurant, you can purchase raw dough by the pound.  It comes out to about $3.25 and one pound is more than enough for a large deep dish or extra large thin crust pizza.

Trader Joes: The cheapest dough ever and I like that it comes in different flavors; wheat, white and herb.  It is $0.99 a package and makes a decent size pie.  

I was told that my crust wasn't "that great" and that "my Italian heritage would be disappointed" by a certain somebody who will remain nameless.  I found this link and it changed my life and relationship around.  Apparently, instead of rolling out the dough in flour and cornmeal (which was my mistake) it’s best to coat everything around you in PAM/olive oil and roll it out that way.  Then, instead of drying out and being tough, your dough is crispy and light.  Verdict:  I was told "I guess you do love me."  So there you have it. 

I’ve only started looking at this site but they seem to have some awesome and unique pizza recipes.  I will definitely be trying some of these out in the near future.  

If you have any other pizza suggestions (places, recipes, etc) please let me know!  I’ll definitely add more to my list!!  Happy pizza eating!!  

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