What The Hell Are You Eating?

No Anchovies September 1, 2008

Filed under: Pizza — whatthehellareyoueating @ 8:22 pm
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After a couple of navigational attempts to get to that truck stop whose pie everyone’s always talking about at Kolb and I-10, Valarie and I ended up eating at No Anchovies over the weekend.  V has long held it as her favorite pizza place in town but I had only been once, a long time ago and wasn’t really all that impressed.  It sounded just right the other night during the torrential down pour so we went for it.

No Anchovies is down on University which is usually as much deterrent for a restaurant that I need, especially now that the students are back.  I figured on a Sunday night in the middle of a rain storm it would be pretty empty, but I was wrong.  It was jam packed and a few people were even sitting outside in the rain under large umbrellas that normally block the sun instead of rain and in front of some rather large heaters.  We found a cramped table over in the corner but it was good enough.  The decor at No Anchovies is pretty much incendental, I don’t think I could have recalled it if I took pictures.  The bar area is crammed full of seating but I imagine it is less populated when the weather is nice.  The only real detraction was the overwhelming amount of dudes in the resaurant.  There was a pretty serious dick party going on.  The ratio of men to women was so high that V speculated that she might feel uncomfortable even stopping by for a slice to go.  Seriously, it was like Gold Rush Era San Francisco in there.

But enough about that, the pizza is the real reason to go to No Anchovies.  I had a slice with spicy buffalo chicken and a slice of tomato, spinach and garlic.  V had a mushroom and a supreme slice.  For the most part, you just pick slices that they have on display.  They have all the standards plus some specialty ones so while you may not get exactly what you came for, there should be something to suit your fancy.  The pizza is thin crust and crispy, but not dry and charred like so often is the problem with thin crust slice.  My slices both had perfect cheese to sauce ratios which is also a frequent problem when dealing with a thin crust pie.  A deep dish can withstand too much sauce but also overcompensate for too little.  Too much sauce on a thin crust basically murders the slice rendering it something you might eat, then poop, at Sbarro’s.  The spicy buffalo chicken had a good deal of chicken but not so much to overpower the overall slice.  The spinach and tomato was not as good, but still tasty.  The tomatoes didn’t spend enough time in the oven.  Everyone who eats with me knows how fast I eat but at No Anchovies I tried to tone it down and finish my slice the same time as V.  No dice.  I finished both slices pretty much as soon as she was done with her first one despite the fact that I waited almost five minutes in between slices.  I suppose she could have really been savoring her supreme slice since it is her favorite in town.  She took the mushroom slice home to eat later while she made sugar skulls.

I have to concede to Valarie on this point, No Anchovies has some of the best pizza in town.  All you have to do is wade through a sea of cargo shorts and backwards hats to get in.  I give No Anchovies a solid 7 and a half slices of sweet lovin’.

 

Bachelor Special May 28, 2008

Filed under: Pizza — whatthehellareyoueating @ 6:15 am

Tonight I had a “Bachelor Special” for dinner:  A Kashi frozen pizza and a 22 oz Sapporo.  A definite step up from my old Bachelor Special: A Totinos and a Coors tall boy.

 

Eclectic Pizza May 26, 2008

Filed under: Pizza — whatthehellareyoueating @ 4:45 pm
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Valarie, Cal and I checked out Eclectic Pizza last week.  At first, Cal was pushing for Mama Louisa’s which I had never heard of but Valarie nixed right away due to the food being, “disgusting.”  We drove over to the East side and pulled into a parking spot right in front.  There was no one there.  Usually when you’re eating somewhere at six o’clock and there isn’t anyone else in the restaurant, there’s a good reason.

The interior of Eclectic Pizza was hardly eclectic.  It appears to have been decorated from a sale bin at World Market.  They had a fair beer selection, Cal had a few Morettis but V and I opted for soda.  We also ordered an appetizer of wings which proved to be a mistake.  They were baked, slimy, and lacked any really flavor or punch of heat.  A lot of their pizzas looked really tasty on paper.  Valarie ordered the Yucatan which came with mixed greens, olives, black beans, chedder, jalapenos, and avocado.  The ingredients were fresh and well distributed across the pie but I found it lacking something.  Plus it seemed a little too peppery.  Cal ordered the Everything which came with a whole bunch of shit on it.  I didn’t even bother counting or identifying all the toppings.  I went with a chicken, tomato, and spinach pizza.

According to their website, “Eclectic Pizza wants you to feel good about what you eat.”  I did feel good while I was eating it.  It was soft and doughy with a firm crust and had many of the hallmarks of a truly fine pizza.  I try and avoid including information like this on What the Hell Are You Eating? but this pizza gave me the fucking trots.  Cal and Valarie also noted intestinal discomfort but I won’t go so far as to say they suffered the same malady as myself that isn’t fair, but I’m sure if you ask them they’ll tell you all about it.

So I’m giving Eclectic a pretty mixed review.  There’s potential there but something about how there was no one else in the restaurant told me it might not be much.  Though just because a restaurant makes my stomach hurt doesn’t mean I don’t like it.  In this case, however, it certainly played a part.  I give Eclectic Pizza 5 random pizza toppings.

It looks worse in person.

 

1702 April 30, 2008

Filed under: Pizza — whatthehellareyoueating @ 3:22 pm
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1702 is a newish pizza joint on Speedway next to the Asian Sandwich Deli that I keep forgetting to go to.  Cal and I had been thwarted from dining at 1702 previously due to it being closed on a Tuesday afternoon at 5:30.  We both vowed never to eat there again which is why it took us a month to give it another shot.  This time we showed up around 6:30 in the hopes that we could catch part of the Suns vs. Spurs.

The place was crowded with a mixed bag of patrons.  They were mostly college students, including one idiot with three juggling clubs sticking out of his oversize military surplus bag.  The decor was simple yet comfortable.  There are two huge chalkboards in the corner displaying their vast beer selection.  They’ve got to have one of the best, if not the bes, selection in town.  I’d scarcely heard of most of their options which isn’t a surprise since my favorite beer is still Rolling Rock.  We took the table located directly underneath the chalkboards which proved to be a mistake as near sighted customers were constantly approaching our table and squinting up at the boards.

We started with a few beers.  Cal ordered an Arrogant Bastard, Eric had a Tetley’s Smooth Flow(which delivered just what its name suggested), and I had a curious tasting Agave.  We followed those up with a couple of pitchers of Purple Haze.  The Purple Haze had a slightly mellow, fruity taste which was a great compliment to the heavy, enormous slices we ordered.

Seriously the size of these slices outdoes Brooklyn and possibly Arizona Pizza Company, they approached the size of catcher’s mit used for knuckleballers.  Eric ordered his barometer slice, pepperoni.  He is a long time ranker and tabulator of pizza qualities and in order to maintain a fair and balanced approach he orders the same slice or pie everywhere, straight pepperoni.  He was happy with his slice, which reminded him of our belvoed Papa Keno’s back home in Lawrence, KS.  He wanted me to be sure to mention the individual pizza cutters available on every table.  It was a nice touch, the slices were definitely too big to pick up and eat and using the pizza cutters to slice them into manageable sections was necessary.  I ordered the Italia, which was topped with feta, tomatoes, spinach, garlic and basil.  I can’t say enough about how fresh the toppings were, especially the tomatoes.  Cal went a different route with his standby sausage and garlic.  He ordered a whole pie as an “investment.”

Cal and Eric also ordered wings.  They were baked and therefore terrible.  I’ve yet to eat a baked wing that could even approach a fried wing.  They should really just take these off he menu and add a bread stick or something that they could put through the oven.  Another downside was the service.  It was ridiculously busy and there were only two people serving.  One was a waitress and the other was presumably the owner.  Both of them were friendly but frazzled.  We suspected that they were either short staffed or caught by surprise by a rush.We waited nearly an hour for our food which all came out at the same time.  At one point I saw one of the cooks serving food in his dirty ass apron.  A fellow diner was so hungry she offered Cal five dollars for a slice of his “investment.”  Cal obliged, mostly because I think he was still pissed over how bad the wings were and wanted compensation.  I’m willing to give 1702 the benefit of the doubt in the service area because the waitress and owner were pleasant and working as hard as I’ve ever seen wait staff work.

Over our heads on the immense chalkboard Eric noted a slice and pint lunch special for seven fifty which means he’ll definitely be back for one of his patented “early starts.”  I give 1702 seven and a half slices of pizza bigger than your freaking face.  I’d bump it up to an eight if their wings didn’t taste like poop.

What goes better with pizza, beer or freckles?

Here’s what the retards on the internet think:

“The atmosphere needs some work but the beer makes it worth it.” – Surranna V.

“there’s apparently been some issues with the regularity of hours, but this has apparently been corrected.” – Michael C.

“Ted, being the enthusiastic carnivore that he is, ordered the “Meata” slice” – Tucson Weelky

 

Grimaldi’s March 31, 2008

Filed under: Pizza — whatthehellareyoueating @ 8:53 pm
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As everyone knows there are two schools of pizza. There is New York, long and floppy, normally ordered by the slice and Chicago which is thick crusted and deep dished. I am a New York man. New York style pizza is dependent on the right cheese to sauce ratio. The ingredients need to be fresh because you’re going to taste them. The Chicago pizza just needs the right crust because so much bullshit is going to be piled on that the crust must be able to support the weight.

Grimaldi’s serves New York style pizza. It is situated in the squat ugly building at the Southeast corner of 6th and Campbell. I’m not sure what style the architect was emulating but let’s just assume it is pseudo something. The interior looks exactly like you’d imagine a faux New York pizzeria would. Everything from the requisite red and white checked table cloths to the cheap framed photos of the Empire State building is there.

 pizza1.jpg

 Who are these people fooling?

Our hostess, looking like a low rent M.I.A. (joke courtesy of Erin), asked us if we wanted to sit in the cramped bar area or the cramped dining area. We went with the cramped dining area hoping to be able to eavesdrop on the table next to us. During my previous visit with Cal I overheard a kid at the next table ask his waiter for literally every Italian dish he could think of that was not included on the menu until his father told him to read the god damn menu and pick something out. There are really only three different things on the menu, pizza, calzones or salad. The salads all seemed large and uninspired, though that’s not why one would normally visit Grimaldi’s. You come for the pizza. While dining with Cal we both got salads and personal size pizzas (12 inch) along with a Peroni and then a Sunshine Wheat both on tap. Cal’s pizza, sausage and garlic, arrived about a fifteen minutes before mine and he was almost finished by the time it arrived. The pie I ordered was a white with fresh tomatoes. There was no explanation for the tardiness of my order but it tasted so nice I didn’t really give a shit, unless it was a (totally successful) ploy to get me to drink more beer. Despite the heaviness that the toppings suggested Cal’s pizza had a light feel and a very fine balance of flavors, not one stood out. My white pizza was a little heavy on garlic but I’m no vampire so no worries.

On my next visit, Erin and I split a tomato and garlic small (16 inch). Again it took over half an hour for the pizza to arrive. While we were waiting a couple of kids at a nearby table were given a couple of globs of pizza dough to play with. We were offered no such accommodation, not that we wanted to play with dough, it’s just nice to be asked. Our server was a nice kid who paid enough attention to us despite not delivering our food. After it finally arrived the manager came by our table and told us our bill would be half off. It was a nice touch and it made our bill only eleven dollars. I just wish he had been there during my previous visit because that one cost me eighty fucking dollars.

Despite the wait the pizza was crafted to perfection, the red sauce was just hinted at so not to overpower the delicate crust. The fresh mozzarella, from free range cows the menu says, held the pie together and really made it a taste experience. Get used to the phrase “taste experience.” I’m going to start using it liberally.

I give Grimaldi’s six shakers of parmesan cheese and two shakers of red pepper flakes. The only minuses are the long waits that may only apply to my orders and the lack luster décor.

 Here’s what people on the internet say:

“Other people say they dont like it becuase they’re not used to FRESH TOPPINGS prepared EVERYDAY!” – Anonymous Hoboken Patron

“What the heck is yuppie pizza anyway?” – Anonymous Hoboken Patron

” If you need spaghetti or something else, there’s other places in town for that”  Anonymous Tucson Patron

“A reach-in refrigerator was not cool enough and several potentially hazardous foods were stored above the required temperature….and Grimaldi’s gets a G-for Good.” – KVOA New Article.