Archive for July, 2013

photoJuly 27, 2013

I’m upset.

Very upset.

And I have been for awhile. My quest to discover the best pizza in Orlando is an ongoing journey filled with tasty crusts, spicy pepperoni, smoked bacon and flavorful chicken. It also has given me the opposite, such as bland crusts and mediocre sauce. But with so many pizza options in the city, there has to be one local business that sets itself apart. Right?

Although my pizza experiences are limited to a select number of establishments, I have not found one non-chain restaurant that delivers the best pie – one that gives me a craving similar to the one I have when I want to start a snowball fight. I do love Lazy Moon for the huge slices and dollar PBRs, and Mellow Mushroom offers a great pie as well, even though it does fall into the chain category.

So I wanted to do a little market research. Simple question: what is the best pizza in Orlando? That’s it. It could be a chain, one you make in your kitchen or a food truck. I received 18 responses. The end result?

I’m still upset.

Mellow Mushroom stole the show with Lazy Moon in second. I really hoped for one pure Italian restaurant to step up with a bunch of votes, but alas my dream will remain a dream. No offense to those two establishments because their pizza is scrumptious, though.

There’s only one thing left to do now. Visit the respectable locations which received first-place votes and decide for myself who really has the best pies in this town.

Survey Results
Mellow Mushroom – 5 First-Place Votes, 2 Second-Place Votes
Comment – Coarse crust that is practically whole grain through the upscale topping, its more gourmet than what pizza was intended to be

Lazy Moon – 3 First-Place Votes, 1 Second-Place Vote
Comment – I’m going to have to go with Lazy Moon. It’s hip, trendy, unique and most importantly, the slices are as big as your head. I’ve been coming back for more since 2005. I have graduated from being just a one-topping guy to the “Six Guns” combo which is a slice with two toppings and drink included. My go-to toppings are buffalo chicken and Italian sausage. The combo is fantastic. I’ve done many others, however, including Mojo pulled pork and red peppers or bacon and BBQ chicken. Despite the move, LM kept the uniqueness and has a place to feed many more people. Now all they need are more TVs! And don’t forget the honey for your crust!

Broadway – 2 First-Place Votes, 1 Second-Place Vote
Comment – All about the sauce and right amount of crust. Sauce is sweet, saucy enough.
Comment – Great toppings, quantities. Old place has better seasoned oven with black-flecked crust for good NY style pie. New place not yet.

Anthonys – 2 First-Place Votes (received a late vote after originally posted)
Comment – Closest you will come to real NY style pizza down here

Ravalias – 1 First-Place Vote, 1 Second-Place Vote
Comment – Real Italian person from Italy making pizza, everything from scratch.

Backstreet – 1 First-Place Vote
Comment – Slices are big, good lunch specials

Carluccis – 1 First-Place Vote
Comment – Real authentic NY style

Whatever’s Cheap – 1 First-Place Vote

BJs – 1 First-Place Vote

Goodfellas – 1 First-Place Vote

Papa Johns – 2 Second-Place Votes

Hungry Howies – 1 Second-Place Vote

Ferraras – 1 Second-Place Vote
Comment – Cheese and pepperoni is pretty classic, not a fan of their sausage since it’s thin sliced.

Pacinos – 1 Second-Place Vote

Emanuela’s Mom’s Pizza – 1 Miscellaneous Vote

(After posted, I received this comment that I think is worth sharing: Gino’s was pretty good for a NY style slice, plus the garlic knots were an added bonus. There is a place down by the I-Drive area called Pizza Xtreme, that has some pretty good pizza.)

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Nacho2(I still call it The Jake)

June 2013

Easily my favorite food at a ballgame comes in the form of nachos. Crisp, hearty, flavorful, cheesy nachos. I stay away from jalapenos and salsa. I just like buckets of cheese on my nachos.

And my favorite ballpark in the world is Jacobs Field. So combining the two results in a state of pure bliss for my body, soul and stomach

The nachos at The Jake are pretty standard, as is the cheese. And 25% of the time the nachos end up being a tad stale. They taste good no matter what though due to the environment in which they are devoured.

Upon my visit back to the park in June, I noticed my eyes light up when I discovered that this year’s nachos received a different twist: you can get them served in a replica Indians helmet. My heart fluttered. And within moments, my brother Russ acquired this adventure for me. Good thing because the Tribe put on a rather lackluster performance against the Rays in an 11-3 loss, so these nachos really stole the show.

And I wasn’t the only one with this behemoth. It looked like half of the left-field bleachers cheerfully dipped into a nacho helmet. From the outside, it appeared as though it was a standard amount of nachos, but it seemed like it kept regenerating itself the more I inhaled it. And I am pretty sure I drank a full gallon of cheese during my quest to finish, which I did not even though I had plenty of help.

For any ballpark meal, I usually go with either nachos, a hot dog if it’s dollar dog night or chicken fingers with fries. Out of all of the burgers I have gulped down inside stadiums, I do not recall any being that yummy. So I stick with what works.

If I get a replica helmet to boot, that will most definitely work for a long time.