Monday, October 26, 2009

Pino Gelato Pizza Cone - Hilton Head Island, SC & Cranberry/Butler, PA

Pino Gelato
The Village at Wexford
Hilton Head Island, SC

We loved Pino Gelato's Pizza Cone!

We were intrigued when we read about the Pizza Cone on Hilton Head Island's Blog a la Carte blog - when we saw that it is going to be featured on an upcoming episode of the Food Network's Unwrapped, we knew we had to try it while we were there last week.

I thought it would be a gimmick - I never expected it to be as tasty as it was!

A Pizza Cone is basically pizza in a cone shaped crust, which makes it easy to hold - perfect for a lunch on the go. It is baked to order in a special pizza cone oven and served piping hot. The crust is exceptional - very flaky, almost like a pastry, and just downright delicious. The sauce, which is made on the premises, is also very good - slightly spicy with a rich flavor. There is cheese throughout, and a layer of cheese at the bottom of the cone, which helps seal in the sauce and tastes like a bite of cheese bread.

The pizza cone is $3.25 for a Margherita, $3.50 for Pepperoni or Sausage, or $3.50 for an Italian Hot Dog. They also have daily Pizza Cone specials, as well as two combos - a Pizza Cone and gelato for $5.95 or Pizza Cone and soda for $4.50.

We were happy to hear that Pino Gelato is opening a location in the Butler/Cranberry area - that's not very close to us, but it will be worth the trip.

P.S. The gelato at Pino Gelato is amazing also!

Pino Gelato on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 23, 2009

New York City Pizza - Hilton Head, SC

81 Pope Avenue
Heritage Plaza
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

I think we came back to Hilton Head this year just because we were craving New York City Pizza. And it was every bit as good as we remembered!

The crust is outstanding - it is thin, yet crunchy with a nice chewiness, and great flavor. New York Pizza makes the dough fresh daily, hand tossed to order, and stone baked. We ordered a New York style cheese pizza. It was spread with a thin layer of a tasty red sauce, fragrant with Italian herbs and spices, and artfully topped with Mozzarella. It was pretty close to perfect.

We also tried an order of New York City's mozzarella sticks. They were wonderful, with a nice coating, and bursting with flavor with each bite. The cheese sticks came with a very good garlicky marinara sauce. The sauce was different from the pizza sauce, but just as flavorful.

New York City Pizza offers three styles of pizza - New York, Pan Pizza or Sicilian - and sells pizza by the slice also. They make calzones and strombolis, which are available in either small or large. They have 14 specialty pizzas, including a Margherita, Greek, and White Pizzas. Some of the more unusual pizzas are a double crust Stuffed Cheesesteak Pizza, Chicken Parm Pizza, and Mario's Mexican Mayhem - with refried beans, steak and other Mexican style toppings. I wonder how many people order their Baked Ziti Pizza - ziti and tomato sauce, tossed with mozzarella and ricotta and spread over a pizza crust.

New York City Pizza's extensive menu includes six cold subs and nine hot subs, and nine reasonably priced salads, from a small side salad to a fresh Insalata Caprese and a heartier Chef or Grilled Chicken or Chef and my favorite - the Greek Salad. Available appetizers are soup of the day, mozzarella sticks, fried calamari with marinara sauce, garlic sticks with marinara sauce, and buffalo chicken wings with your choice of six sauces.

They have many pasta and dinner choices with 31 options available - from lasagna and eggplant parm to Penne Rivazza, Linguine Calamari Marinara, Veal Picatta, and Chicken Francese to name just a few, with extra meatballs, sausage, and chicken available as sides.

If you're still hungry, you can opt for dessert - Tiramisu, New York Style plain or raspberry cheesecake, or cannoli.

New York City Pizza is a full service restaurant with a fairly large restaurant area, and a bar where you can choose from eight beers on draft, nine domestic beers, eight imports, and fourteen specialty beers, with a wine list available.

New York City Pizza on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Super Easy Hot & Creamy Pizza Dip Recipe

8 ounces cream cheese, softened (we used low fat cream cheese)
1 cup prepared pizza sauce
red pepper flakes (optional)
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Fold pizza sauce into softened cream cheese. Pour mixture into a microwave safe bowl and heat for approximately 2 minutes, stopping and stirring every 30 seconds.

Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese if desired.

Serve with warm bread sticks, pita chips, crackers, or strips of fresh green pepper.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Di Salla's Pizza by the Slice - Homestead

948 E 8th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 462-5070

We have a new addition to our Top 5 List!

We had been wanting to try Di Salla's pizza for a long time - whenever we ask for pizza recommendations, Di Salla's in Homestead (or I guess it's Munhall) has been the name that is mentioned to us most frequently. Last Sunday after the Steeler game, we decided the time was right!

We called and ordered a half tray, which was 8 square pieces of pie. You don't have to order in advance - Di Salla's sells pizza by the slice and is happy to add the topping you'd like and prepare it while you wait. Also - a word to the wise - we wished we had ordered the full 16 slice tray. It was so good, that we were fighting over the last slice.

The pizza shop was crowded, and we were the only newcomers. One woman waiting at the counter said she had been going to Di Salla's for 30 years - that once you taste it, it's the pizza you crave above all others. We parked next to a man who was eating in his pick up truck, and saw another man lift the lid and pull out a steaming slice as he was walking to his car - neither could wait, and once we caught a whiff, we understood why.

Di Salla's pizza sauce is one of the best we have ever tasted - it is a deep red; thick and rich, and loaded with garlic. I was expecting a traditional round pizza, so was surprised to see the square cuts. But that's not a bad thing - the crust was also excellent. Carol remarked that the crust was crisp and crunchy, yet it melts in your mouth, and that was very true.

Di Salla's is take out only and pizza only (no sides). That's enough, when your pizza is as near perfection as Di Salla's pizza.

Di Sallas' Pizza Parlor on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 16, 2009

Grand View Buffet @ the Rivers Casino - October Update

You know from our previous posts that we love the Grand View Buffet at the new Rivers Casino!

The Grand View Buffet special for October is a Thursday night Seafood Buffet for $26.95 per person - I wonder if they have a seafood pizza at the pizza station? That would be inspired! I'll have to go and find out.

Grand View Buffet (Rivers Casino) on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

McGinnis Sisters Take & Bake Pizza

We like McGinnis Sisters for their fresh local produce and antibiotic-free meat and poultry - not to mention their friendly staff and outstanding customer service. They also have a large selection of take & bake foods, and we have often relied on their pizza for a quick meal.

At the Brentwood McGinnis Sisters, pizzas come in a small (7") or large (12") and either pepperoni or cheese. We chose the family-friendly 12" cheese pizza.

The Pittsburgh-style crust was thick, but had crisp edges. It was spread with a thick red tomato sauce with a hint of spice, and was loaded with fresh grated cheese. If you don't like a lot of cheese, you can take some off before cooking and save it for topping subs or your own fresh pizza.

McGinnis Sisters has three locations in the Pittsburgh area: Monroeville, Brentwood, and Adams Township. The menu for the new Adams Township location lists three pizzas in their Adams Cafe menu - Margarita (which includes pesto and balsamic in the toppings), Five Cheese (one of the five cheeses is their delicious smoked Gouda) and BBQ Chicken.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Spartan Pizza - Brentwood

3600 Brownsville Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15227

Spartan Pizza makes an outstanding crust. It was thin and almost cracker like; it held its shape, yet could be easily folded and the flavor was near perfection. We decided that it was the best crust that we have tasted to date on our Pizza Tour de Pittsburgh. The crust was topped with a thin layer of a tasty red tomato sauce, and a bubbling mixture of freshly grated cheese - half Provolone and half Mozzarella.

It was a chilly day, so we also ordered a cup of Spartan's Italian Wedding Soup to help warm us up. The soups at Spartan Pizza are homemade by a retired chef. The Wedding Soup was very good and also unusual in that it was made with beef broth rather than chicken broth, which gave it a very rich flavor. It was loaded with thick chunks of fresh carrot and dotted with spinach and acini de pepi, as well as tiny and tasty meatballs. The Wedding Soup is available seasonally - and I'm glad it is Wedding Soup season, because I'd like to go back soon for a larger container!

Spartan's pizzas are available in four sizes ranging from Small (12" 6 cut $7) to Xtra Large (18" 16 cuts $11). They also offer small or large Pizza Boats and I was happy to see that their pizza is available by the slice, at $1.25 per slice. They also offer four specialty pizzas: White Pizza, Spinach & Feta (the Spartan's Special), Grilled Chicken Pizza (with a white pizza base) and BBQ Chicken, which uses BBQ sauce instead of a red pizza sauce.

They also serve Wedgies, which are fresh dough stuffed with meats, cheese and veggies and garnished with lettuce, tomato, onion and dressing. You can choose Italian, Deli, Philly Cheese, Turkey Bacon, or Vegetarian. Their Calzones also sound very good and are available in Italian, Philly Cheese Steak, Meatball, Spinach, Mushroom, Pepperoni or Chicken.

Spartan says that their best seller is their Steak Sub - the Steak Sub is available in either half or whole, with the lowest priced Steak Sub the regular ($4.75 half/$8.75 whole) and the most expensive the Philly Cheese Steak ($5.75 half/$10.25 whole). Other varieties include Cheese Steak, Mushroom Cheese Steak, Steak & Egg, Steak & Peppers, Italian Steak, and Bacon Cheese Steak. The Steak Subs are served on a fresh Italian roll from Mancini's Bakery.

They also serve six types of burgers, the most unusual of which are a Cajun Burger and an Italian burger, which includes Pepperoni. Their sandwiches are also served on a fresh Mancini's Italian Roll, or Kaiser Roll. You have 17 sandwich choices, a comforting BLT or Grilled Cheese, or a hearty Hot Sauce or Chicken Parmesan sandwich. Spartan also makes wraps, croissant sandwiches and pita sandwiches, including gyros.

Some of the 13 sides on the menu are fried provolone, mushrooms or zucchini, Cheddar Cheese poppers, and Hot Buffalo Chicken Fingers. They also make buckets and baskets of Buffalo Party Wings, and four pasta dinners (sauce with meatball, meat sauce, hot sausage casserole, chicken parmigiana), served with a salad and garlic toast - available for a dinner special from 4-8 pm for $6 plus tax. If you're in the mood for something lighter, there are seven salads on the menu.

Spartan Pizza is located near Brentwood High School, on the opposite side of the street. It is, in fact, named after the Brentwood High School mascot, the Spartan! We were there on a weekend, but I am willing to bet that Spartan Pizza is very popular with the students after school - and they are lucky to have such a wonderful pizza parlor so close to their school.

Spartan Pizza on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 9, 2009

Penzey's Italian Pizza Seasoning

We like to make our own salt free Italian pizza seasoning mix, but also love the flavor and convenience of prepared spice and seasonings mixes, such as Penzey's Pizza Seasoning.

Penzey's Pizza Seasoning is a mixture of fennel seed, oregano, sugar, salt, garlic, black pepper, basil, onion and red pepper. It is a ground mixture, so it adds lots of flavor, but not the flakes of herb that look so attractive in pizza sauce.
Penzey's recommends mixing 1 tablespoon of their pizza seasoning to 1-2 cups of tomato sauce, then brushing on pita bread or a pizza crust. Because of the fennel in the mixture, it gives a nice Italian sausage flavor to foods - they suggest mixing it with ground turkey for sausage flavor without the fat.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Heinz Field - Pittsburgh

It was a beautiful fall night at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh - and the Steelers were winning by ... a lot. What could make the night even better?

Food, of course! We were happy to find a kiosk close to our section selling personal pan pizzas.

Heinz Field offers a choice of a pepperoni or cheese pizza for $5.75. The cheese pizzas were sold out, so by default, we chose pepperoni. We were surprised to find out that the pizzas are Freschetta brand frozen pizzas with self rising crust. The pizza comes in a Freschetta branded box and is cut into 4 slices. The kiosk vendor said that the pizzas are a fan favorite and one of their biggest sellers.

It had been a long time since we tried Freschetta and liked the mild spiciness and the chewy, flavorful crust.

But even more than that, we liked the Steeler victory!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sunseri's Pizza Calzones - Baldwin

2805 Custer Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15227
(412) 885-8833

The old Girl Scout song "make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold ..." doesn't only apply to people - it can apply to pizzas as well!

We enjoy trying pizzas and restaurants that are new to us, but sometimes we just want a long time favorite - Sunseri's Pizza on the Baldwin/Carrick border. Tonight we decided to try Sunseri's pizza calzones and they were as good as we remembered. The dough for the calzones is flavorful and nicely chewy, and the calzones are nearly bursting with fillings. Sunseri's calzones come in two sizes, each with your choice of two toppings. The small is $5.35 and the large is $10.20. Sizewise, the small would be equivalent to a small pizza - shareable if you'd like, but suited as an individual serving if you are hungry.

I chose mushrooms and hot banana peppers as the two fillings for my calzone - it was juicy and absolutely delicious!

Sunseri Pizza on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Chicken and Hot Banana Pepper Pizza Recipe

This is a quick and easy recipe that utilizes leftovers and items you might already have in your pantry.

1 prepared pizza shell (we used a thin crust Boboli)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup cooked chicken cubes or chunks
12 banana pepper rings or more if desired (we used Vlasic)
1 slice cooked bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup shredded pizza cheese (mixture of Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place pizza crust on oven proof nonstick cookie sheet or pizza pan. Spread olive oil over top of crust and sprinkle with pizza seasoning. Arrange chicken cubes, bacon crumbles and hot pepper rings evenly over crust and top with pizza cheese.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes. Cool slightly, then slice and serve.