If you buy the pizza here, you can't blame me
Osteria Cicchetti is Italian for Upside-down Omelette. Your guess is as good as mine as far as why they named their restaurant this. I went here with some family members for lunch to celebrate our grandmother's birthday. This place seems pretty ritzy in the same sort of way Housewives of Herpes County seems ritzy. Actually, fuck it, it was a pretty nice place overall, even if it's located in a terrible nouveau riche dickhole of a stripmall. Astonishingly, all the food (at least at lunch) is pretty cheap, most items under $9. The pizza was $8. I wasn't expecting much and what I got was not what I was expecting. Which is not to say that what I got was good; it was just much different from my expectations.
I was expecting your standard-ish looking American attempt at a classic Neapolitan Margherita pie: an attempt at a thin, round crust, allegedly cooked in a "wood burning" "artisan" oven, some crummy "fresh" mozzarella and some crummy "fresh" basil with a passable sauce. This would have probably been pretty shitty, like the pie I once got at Kornerstone (which I will try to review before they eventually close down). Instead what I got was this rather strange-looking, oblong bastard:
Maybe in some shitty part of Italy, this is what a Margherita pizza looks like. In Naples, it looks like this. I was expecting some Americanized/bastardized version of the pizza pictured in that link. The pizza pictured above - what I got - I don't know what the fuck this shit is. I don't even know where the hell to start. I guess bottoms up, in honor of the liquor I'll soon be chugging in order to forget about the gastric cheesebaby Osteria Cicchetti fucked into me.
The crust was probably the worst part about this shit. It was real thin and airy, which is normally probably a good thing, but it was overcooked to shit, brittle as hell and covered on the bottom in cornmeal or something, and on the top with some other bullshit. The craziest thing, the thing that made me question reality, is that it seemed like this pizza's crust was the same shit that they just served us before our meal, in a bread basket. They serve you this delicious bread and this tasty, unleavened sorta-flaky, crispy something-or-other stuff. I think the dough of this pizza is the same shit except maybe thicker and just overcooked to hell, like if Satan were making a pizza but forgot he was in hell, so it got really fucked up but he served it to you anyway, because you're in hell so fuck you. I think it had the same strange spice glaze-y sorta shit on it too. This crap was alright as a pre-meal snack but newsflash: nowhere does this qualify as a fucking pizza crust. Not even in a terrible stripmall.
The sauce. Was there sauce on here? I guess there was, but fuck me look at all that cheese. It tasted pretty good but there was so much of it, so goddamn clusterfuck much of it that it was just a solid, idiotic mass. Mozzarella is a pretty cool cheese because when it' s hot it gets all elastic-y. It stretches and shit. This didn't. It was like biting into a Silly Putty (don't do it, it's gross). But it tasted good so fuck it I ate that whole fucking slab of cheese and I'm not ashamed. The basil was fine and I think there was some nice olive oil on there, which is cool. I don't know what these tomatoes were doing on there but they were okay too.
This pizza is sort of beyond the scope of this blog, except that scopes can fuck off, and so can this pizza. This blog can fuck off too, because the other food items at the table looked pretty dank and I forced myself to order and eat this romper room bullshit instead.
Happy birthday Gram!
Yes I know that it doesn't mean 'upside down omelette.' What's an upside-down omelette anyway? It's still a fuckin omelette.
6 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Osteria Cicchetti - $8.64 1125-K Military Cutoff Rd. Wilmington, NC 28405
Note: This is a Google Cache copy of the original post. All hail Google.
Another example of a pizzeria with a shitty name
Reel Pizza? Fuck you and your name. Actually just fuck your name. There's a place downtown with 'Reel' in the name, too. Are they associated with eachother? On the one hand I doubt it because of their dissimilarity, on the other, it seems unlikely that two separate businesses would put such a stupid word in their name, hinting at a possible association. Regardless, we can all agree that this pizzeria has a shitty name. I've driven past this place many times on my golf adventures in Hampstead, but today was the first time I went here. I won two bucks off my golfing buddy/chauffeur and traded that money to him in return for a quick stop for a slice of pizza.
I think immediately after taking the slice out of the bag I commented on how shitty it looked. But I guess one shouldn't judge a shitbook by its shitcover. The slice was way better than I expected. It was hot, which is apparently a miracle in and around Wilmington. The cheese was pretty good, the sauce was pretty good and the crust was pretty good. Finding a fault with this pizza is tough. I've tried and I just can't seem to come up with anything besides that it looked sorta shitty. The crust was good; it was well salted, cooked, not overly dry, in all respects it was a good crust. The sauce wasn't very memorable but that's generally a good sign around here. If the sauce is there and noticeable but not overspiced and shitty, I won't complain. The cheese was probably above average.
The guys at this placed seemed pretty cool, unlike you. Looking at the picture of the slice, it apparently took up the whole plate, which is another positive thing to take note of. It is, however, possible that they have very small plates here. Mental note: small plates make food look big. Right now I'm experiencing some difficulty in rating this slice. Based on its location, it should suck. Based on the appearance of the slice, it should suck. Yet I am duty-bound to rate the slice as I tasted it. It was a pretty goddamn good slice.
It was kind of shitty paying $2.43 for a plain slice when a 1-topping+drink is listed for $1.50. Shit can that be right? Fuck it.
2 1/2 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Reel Pizza - $2.43 15010 US Highway 17 N, Hampstead, NC 28443
This shit is just fucking terrible
Okay, I'm changing up the motherfucking dynamic. I am live blogging the creation of this blog. I don't think this has ever been done in the history of the internet so get ready for history creation. I will call it liveblogblogging.
Right now I'm a bit drunk. The blog is going pretty well. Who knows where it could go. There's a fair amount of excitement in the air. Right now we are aware that the blog is about Antonio's. Actually I think this will soon devolve into infinite recursion, which is the only thing I know of worse than infinite recircumcision. End of liveblogblogging.
Antonio's is a local chain sort of place. I think they had about three locations; now they have about two locations. As of tonight, I've been to three of the locations, including the one that's now closed. I've never been really impressed with the slice. You'd think that if a place is successful enough to open more locations, that they must be good (example: Brooklyn). This is proven incredibly wrong by the following: Antonio's, Krazy, Gumby's, Slice of Life, and probably others. Like Dominos, Papa Johns and Pizza Hut. And basically every other place that has multiple locations.
I was planning on going to 3 pizzerias tonight, to get this shit over with as quickly as possible. So, first I went to Slice of Life's new location on South College. It was packed as shit in there (no space at the bar), so I left there and I went to Michaelangelo's on South College. I asked for a slice of plain pizza, and, wonder of wonders, they were plum out. How does that happen? Maybe they ran out of cheese. Fuck these guys because that doesn't even make sense. Every pizza has cheese on it, and they had other pies out there. Out of double-deep fried herpdong pizza? Okay, I understand. You can't run out of cheese pizza, though. It's inexcusable. Fuck you guys.
So then I went to Antonio's on South College and it was as bad as I expected. Actually it was worse. The crust was terrible. Look at the rim on this crust, fuck it. Also, it was a total fakeout: It looked pretty good right off the bat, but look a bit closer and you can tell it's made from all-purpose flour or some garbage. Maybe it is made from actual garbage, I don't know. Basically, you can pretty quickly tell that the dough is going to be fucky. However, it had a nice crunch to it and it seemed cooked alright at first glance. But fuck that shit: the crust was dry as hell, and it was flavorless. And some of the god damned dough seemed raw and some of it seemed overcooked to shit.
The sauce was passable and the cheese was worthless, like the slice as a whole. The cheese was completely flavorless garbagetown nothingness. Fuck this slice, fuck this restaurant, fuck all these people straight to hell. When I was eating my slice outside, multiple people called me brave. Alright. I know this is the south but 40+ degree weather does not require bravery, it requires clothing. Fuck you guys, too.
Also the slice was expensive all get out. Don't charge me $2.43 for a shitty plain slice, you fucking bastards. Give it to me free and apologize. If anyone from Antonio's is reading this, here are some fucking free tips you fucking fuckface fuckers: 1. buy better cheese; 2. some spice, somewhere, wouldn't hurt; look up 'salt' in a dictionary and consider adding it to your dough; 3. fuck you; 4. buy some decent flour. I buy my high gluten pizza flour from a bagel place in town (Ken's) and my dough destroys you. I'm not even a pizzeria, I'm just fatass idiot. Fuck you guys.
I take it back, infinite recircumcision is way worse that infinite recursion. I don't know what I was thinking.
7 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Antonio's Pizza & Pasta - $2.43 5120 S College Rd # 122, Wilmington, NC 28412
On my way to the bank I saw this place and figured I might as well fucking get it over with. I've been to Krazy once before, maybe twice. I don't think I ever had the pizza, though. I knew it would be bad. There's no such thing as a good pizzeria with such a stupid name. It's so stupid I think Pizza Tycoon used it as one of their stock pizzeria names, but I'm not sure. There are multiple locations around town, at least there were. I think the one on College Road closed down. I think it was owned by different people anyway. Did you notice that I'm doing everything in my power to not begin actually discussing the slice? Ah, fuck it.
The slice was very thin. That's usually an alright sign. I was worried it would be too thin and flop right the fuck over but it didn't - which is fairly remarkable given how much sauce was on this bastard. So, yes, the sauce. It was pretty gross (pasty, over-seasoned) and there was a lot of it. The oversaucing wasn't as bad as at Avanti, but not for a lack of trying, I'm sure. The cheese was bland and globby. The rim of the crust was very dense and very dry.
It had some weird shit on the bottom of it. I guess it was flour, but the granules seemed too big to be flour. It wasn't cornmeal because the granules were too small to be cornmeal. It was like some fucked up Goldilocks and The Three Bears shit goin on, except it was not 'just right.' I think it was sand. Also my slice had some canned spinach or something on it. The fuck?
I don't really have much more to say about this slice of pizza. It was pretty bad! Afterwards I went to Taco Bell, in honor of this lawsuit bitching about their meat. I mention this to reinforce how fat I am and because I don't give a shit. So I ordered my terrible chicken burrito 'fresco style' because everything at Taco Bell is gross besides their fresco salsa and their sauce packets. As I'm waiting for my order, the woman behind me orders some bullshit for herself and requests 'no meat.' The cashier goes on and on listing every ingredient, asking whether she wants it or not. Finally she's like "Okay. Just make it like you normally do but with no meat." But this guy was really thorough, so he had to make sure of one more thing: "Do you want jalapeno sauce?" "Does it normally come with that?" "Yes" "Okay then yes, I want it. Just no meat. That's it."
Then he stops the whole process, telling her to hold on, and yells to the back, "Hey! Listen up. The way I'm putting this order in, that's how you should make it ... because it's pretty confusing!"
This is when I got nervous and decided to check my receipt:
Instead of writing "fresco style" he decided to write "rawberry." I don't know what a fucking rawberry is but my burrito didn't have any goddamn rawberries in it, and it sure as hell wasn't fresco style either. I can only dream of what that woman's receipt looked like and how many pounds of disgusting near-beef she got. Now I want to shit, vomit, cry and recirc. Thanks for listening.
Oh yeah you know what else pissed me off? I could've went to Mellow Mushroom and drank Bell's Hopslam pints for $2.50 and gotten tanked, and eaten much better pizza to boot.
6 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better); Taco bell gets over 9000 recircs and also 8 projectile vomits and 144 cases of the runsKrazy Pizza & Subs - $2.16 1616 Shipyard Blvd # 20, Wilmington, NC 28412
Blast from the past
This is another one of the curious establishments where I was expecting to give a worse review than I am about to. When I moved here something like eleven years ago, Brooklyn Pizza was probably the best thing about this town. Was the pizza as good as what I was used to? No, not quite. It couldn't match the Broadways of Westchester, NY or Venice of Ridgefield, CT (deceased and improperly resurrected), let alone many street pizzerias in NYC. But it was pretty close. And that's saying a hell of a lot.
The reason I wasn't expecting to rate Brooklyn as high as I am about to, despite my previous positive experiences, is that I haven't had a slice from here in years. In the past few years all I've had from here have been pies. Their pies are universally problematic.They have this strange affliction where they are basically perfectly cooked, perfectly made and perfect in every regard except the crust is stupidly soft and rubbery. In my limited pizza making experience I can only imagine that this relates to the over-use of dough conditioner. I may be very wrong.
This review is all about the slice, though. And the extra recharge in the oven really did the trick. Fucking excellent slice of pizza. This slice single-handedly convinced me to request all future Brooklyn pies cooked extra extra long. Check this slice out:
If you ask me, this slice looks at best okay. Firstly, it's kind of small. Is this a 1/8th slice off an 18" or a 1/10th? I don't know but it seemed a bit small, and it still does. I think in some way my concept of slice size legitimacy is obscenely influenced by Portofino, whose slices are gargantuan. Here's a random picture I found on the internet to demonstrate my point. Back to Brooklyn. The slice looks okay. You look at it and think, "this might be okay."
There's oregano flaked pre-cook on the slice, it seems. You won't find that anywhere else around here. Putting oregano in your slow-cooked, terrible sauce is different, sorry. Putting spices on a pie directly before cooking and blasting it for a few minutes with a fire is much better than cooking the shit out of your sauce for 8 years and eternaladeling it on your pie. This is a newsflash for Avanti. All a sauce needs is decent tomatoes and a good balance of sweetness. Spices can, almost entirely, fuck off.
This slice came out to me extremely hot and delicious. This is a newsflash for Princess Pizza. I fucking love cold pizza - in the morning, after I've already paid for my hot pizza the night or three beforehand. As much as I love cold pizza, nothing beats a hot slice. This slice burned my face off in the best way possible. The cheese and sauce came together in the most rapehappy facefuck of a way, it was so friggin great. It's the sort of thing that's nearly impossible to describe but when you experience it, you know. It was the perfect amalgamation of toppings; it was absolutely stellar.
I came here thinking I was in for some shitty rubbery pizza. As it turns out, Brooklyn has some life left in it. Mea culpa.
My favorite Brooklyn story (of many) involves drunkenly punching my friend in the face one night at which is allegedly America's oldest billiards hall, and then buying him a Brooklyn pepperoni pie the next day as an apology.
1 recirc out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Brooklyn Pizza Co. - $2.16 6932 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28411
I'm finishing off a liter and a half of Shiraz to forget
Well, let's get down to some motherfucking business. This place is new. Like for real new. It exists in a terrible shit biscuit of a stripmall space that has been forever-populated with failed pizzerias since this stripmall was born from some unholy mother who wanted to make a dime on some Market Street real estate. It's never been good, it never will be good, and we are okay with that. Apparently out-of-towners buy space here and think they can outdo the space's former pizzeria. Well, sorry, it's not a problem with the space nor with the pizza. The problem is that Brooklyn Pizza is right next door and they outclass you in every regard. Avanti won't be here in a year and it pains me. They probably won't be around in six months.
I took the above picture from my car because I was feeling lazy. I have to say straight off that I wanted to like this place. This place has been a number of pizza places. I lived nearby for years and I may have been here once during its various incarnations. There was never a need with a high quality pizza spot a football field or four away. This is clearly a family or near-family operation, unlike the "Fantastic" or "Incredible" or such-like that has perhaps existed here before. It's got a very homey atmosphere; it's really an ideal location for a pizzeria, except for it being far too close to Brooklyn Pizza. The entire layout is completely ideal.
Well, fucking newsflash: I don't know what's going on here. Look at the southern portion of the rim of this slice. It looks like a fucking shitbird rat gnawed on the end of it. Important: NEVER SERVE A SLICE THAT LOOKS LIKE THIS TO A CUSTOMER -- ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE A NEW BUSINESS. Continuing, this slice looks shitty regardless. Just looking towards the rim you can see that there is far too much sauce. The worst part about this slice is that the cheese was good, the sauce was good and the crust was good. The problem being that the crust was malformed and regrettably flour-laden and the sauce was inexcusably heavy-handed. This heavy-handedness revealed that the sauce was far too spiced - a problem which would have otherwise likely not been noticed.
I wanted to like this slice. The fellow serving me was exceptionally nice, I suppose a testament to the terrible economy, in some sick way. After delivering my slice to my table on a ceramic plate with silverware and a napkin he preceded to check in 3 times before I was done with the slice and further gave me a free dessert. A free dessert with a $1.95 + tax slice. Imagine that shit.
This was a turbo-okay dessert. Since this is not a dessert review I will only briefly mention that it was good yet hella-wicked-dry, which was a problem since I didn't buy a drink here. My mouth felt like the Sahara expected me to swallow. Furthermore, I realize I am a celebrity around town but I will not be swayed by paltry dessert-gifts. A free PBR tallboy is a different story. Future notice. I'm sorry the pizza was pretty crummy. The sauce was actually fine. Except it was ladelled on by an eternal ladel, which, being eternal, never stopped. So much sauce, it was just god damn shooting out everywhere. The cheese was good. The crust, besides being grotesquely malformed near the rim, was good. The quality of the components are important, and they will be featured in my rating. Sadly, the general overall fuckitude and the wicked oversaucing will also be featured in my rating.
I also force myself to mention some oddities in Avanti's pricing: they charge 12.99 for a 16" Plain Pizza. Brooklyn charges 12.00 for an 18" Plain Pizza. The difference between a 16" and an 18" pizza is huge. Also, as a curiosity I need to mention that Avanti charges $1.95 for a plain slice and only charges $.05 more for a Hawaiian slice, which I think comes with pineapple and ham, as is custom. Like I said, this place is new.
By the way: if you make your way near this shit-cluster of businesses, go to Firebowl. It is the best or second-best Asian takeout that I know of in town. It's a few doors down from Avanti.
I hate giving this place a lesser rating than Fat Tony's but I sorta have to.
5 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Avanti N.Y. Pizza Restaurant - $2.11 7134 Market St. Wilmington, NC 28411