This might as well be a tattoo parlor
It has been nearly a month since my last review. This is largely due to the fact that there's simply not much to review. There's a place in the Landfall shopping center that's too expensive for me and there are two new pizzerias in Leland. Like I said, the one in Landfall is too expensive so I don't even want to eat there even though I know their pizza is alright. And one of the two new pizzerias (Pizzetta's) doesn't seem to be open yet. I want to knock Leland Pizzetta's and Falcone's out in one trip. I'm kind of ADHD about my driving strategery.
I happened upon this Harris Teeter the other day and noticed they had a weird pizza station. I guess this is in response to the Whole Foods across the street. Fuck if I know. I was too busy then to get a slice but I came back. Oh yes, I came back you motherfuckers. I don't even know who I'm talking to right now.
The pizza was straight up garbagetown. You see those lights in the above picture? I guess they are supposed to magically keep the pizza warm, even though they're over 9000 feet away. I assumed my slice would get tossed back in the oven (like at any pizzeria and like they do at Whole Foods) to get toasty, but no. Fuck me, right? I got a slice which was vaguely warm at best. The cheese was a solid mass of congealed idiocy and the rest of the slice followed suit into a sea of bland normality.
The crust was the best thing going on here but it was still unremarkable. It was kind of light and pillowy and stupid. It was alright though, fuck it. The cheese, as I mentioned, was a congealed mass. It also tasted fake and shitty. We are definitely not dealing with whole milk mozzarella. The sauce was bad. It made me angry enough to shake my fist at a small child, but she only seemed mildly entertained which made me even more angry.
The worst thing about Harris Teeter serving shit pizza is that they're a fucking food store. They could just blend a can of crushed tomatoes and shit out a better sauce than they serve on their pizza. The sauce they came up with (God knows how) is so overcooked and overspiced it's not even bordering on idiotic it's just plain offensive. And, in the Lord's name I pray, these people really ought to be able to buy a decent hunk of mozzarella. Even some of their shitty Sorrento cheese, which they always have in stock, would be worlds better than this obscene offering.
Somehow I was not shocked to be the only one patronizing the new pizza station during lunch rush on a weekday. The deli, sushi, bread and sandwich stations were all packed but I was the only one buying a slice of pizza.
Just don't buy this shit. Maybe they'll get a clue and hire me as a consultant.
7 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Harris Teeter - $1.99 + tax 501 Oleander Drive Wilmington, NC 28403
What the fuck am I supposed to write here?
Hungry Heroes opened up a few weeks ago in the desolate clusterfuck of traffic some degenerates call Ogden. Initially I was reminded of the defunct Hungry Howie's business over by Eastwood and Racine. I never went there. I only heard they had flavored crust and that was enough for me. I knew it was bogus.
Hungry Heroes seems, by a fair margin, more legitimate. Meaning they seem to sorta just be a sub joint that sells bread and pizza too since what-the-fuck-why-not-fuck-you-buddy.
This showed immediately when I went there for my slice review some weeks ago. Apparently their air conditioning was not up to the task of cooling a place running pizza ovens, so they said to come back in a week or two for pizza. This bothered me a bit because I had driven about solely for pizza and it was raining like a bastard but at the end of the day I didn't mind too much because I punched a baby so my day was alright overall.
Also they gave me a free loaf of bread. I didn't even buy shit the dude just gave me some bread. They claim to have the best italian bread in Wilmington. I can tell you straight away that's not true because you could get some italian bread from my Mom. She'll probably give you some fruit salad too. Honestly, Hungry Heroes bread is really good, though. Except that they forgot to put any salt in it. Bread without salt is like a tasteless void of pain and discomfort. I still ate it, mind you. However, it made me worry about their pizza.
I was right, sort of; the crust was lacking sodium. However, other than that I would say the crust was stellar. It was so good that I can damn near overlook the under-salting. I mean, I still have to mention it. I'm a reviewer, after all. The crust was the perfect height, well-browned and dry in that sort of way where fuck it you're eating greasy pizza, right? You don't need a greasy crust, too, do you? Oh you do? Fuck you then.
After the crust is a downhill, as might be expected. These guys are all about dough. And Boars Head meat. Are they about good pizza cheese? No. Are they about good red sauce? No.
And there you have it. This place serves up small (16") pizzas as an afterthought. The slices are an afterthought of an afterthought. The cheese is mediocre. It's not offensive or anything. Same thing with the sauce. It's kind of too sweet and it's annoying because damn it's close. And either one of these things could carry the slice into the record books. For Wilmington, anyway.
Rundown: Great crust; bland cheese; bland, overly-sweet sauce. Also cheap as fuck at $1.44 after tax.
Another weird thing about this place is their layout. They have this giant section in the front that is entirely empty and begging for tables to be put in. My only guess is that since they don't have a customer bathroom they're not allowed to have such seating. If so, I don't know where I stand. If a place is too small for a bathroom, wassup? However, let a nigga shit, right? Y'all know you like poopin'.
4 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Hungry Heroes - $1.44 8024 Market St., Wilmington, NC 28411
When in Atlanta, kill yourself.
I flew out to Canada recently, and I had a long-ass layover in Atlanta. I passed the time by finally continuing the fourth book in the series I'm reading and also by consuming the shittiest, stupidest, most god-awful pizza I have ever set my tastebuds on. It was Sbarro. Airport Sbarro. Now you may be thinking Captain, isn't eating ATL pizza instead of ILM pizza considered food heresy? Yes, god damn it, and I don't give a shit. Pete stole the last review from me, and I demand recompense. In all fairness, though, this pizza did manage to keep me shitting acid for a full 2 weeks, so some of it did end up in the Wilmington sewers (where it belongs).
Atlanta's airport is full of shitty people, oddly clean bathrooms, and expensive garbage at which to throw money. All of the food falls under the 'expensive garbage' category, but Sbarro's pizza is in a league of its own. There were a total of 4 menu items, collectively worth an arm and a dick. Prepared to lose one or the other, I walked up to the counter with my order ready. It was a coin-flip decision because their only two options were 'bland styrofoam cheese' and 'gourmet barbecue'. The woman (read: Pacman Scissorhands) was apparently too lazy or too daft to put together their other two menu items: meat lover's and mushroom-something-or-other. Considering that the cheese pizza probably tasted like the cold, empty void of space, I went with the barbecue monstrosity. The Swedish kid behind me ordered pepperoni three whole times before the cashier screamed at him, "WE AIN'T GOT NO PEPPERONI, CHILD." Meanwhile, I was staring down at this hunk of pre-fab bullshit.
I don't know what goes into the pizza-making process here. I assume they get shipments of pre-cooked dough, soggy cheese slabs, and discarded animal bits, throw them all together in a microwave or toaster over, and voila - masterpiece. I could be wrong, but either way this shit was terrible. It was the furthest thing from "gourmet" that you could imagine, and selling it should be illegal in all 50 states. By the time I was done with my first slice, the kid who was behind me in line was chowing down on his personal cheese pie. In his words,
"This pizza is totally gummy worms, except bad tasting."
I couldn't put it better myself, you blonde-haired IKEA bastard. The cheese fell off all at once, and the crust was chewier than a wookiee. All I could taste was barbecue sauce and sadness. As you can see in the picture, there was some red sauce atop the chicken. I am convinced that this was not pizza sauce, but rather the reheated blood of Sensei Sbarro after he seppuku'd himself with a pair of dirty chopsticks. You bring shame on your family, but your congealed lifeblood tastes oh so sweet.
In all seriousness, I knew what I was getting myself into before I ordered this circle of self-loathing. A chain pizza restaurant in an airport? That's a recipe for shitty recipes. I paid good money for a pre-packaged blob of barbecue-flavored nothingness and a permanent stomach ache. And I did it for you jerkoffs, so you could revel in my misery.
7 1/2 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Sbarro - $Too Much 6000 North Terminal Parkway, Atlanta, Georgia 30320
I wrote this review but it's completely unintelligible. My grandma gave me a fifth of gin for some reason and normally (for the record gram giving me liquor is not normal) I fucking hate gin. But this was sorta classy gin and it tasted really good so I drank it all and wrote a pizza review. I think I might have to dump the review in the fetus chute though because it's super bad. It's mainly just me talking about my grandma and how much I love Tanqueray. It's like this post except longer so I'm going to try to rework that review. OK? Jeez.
In the meantime here is the funniest review ever featured on this site, written by my glorious cohort guest reviewer with the glorious nom de plume "Captain Falcon." Personal favorite lines: "collectively worth an arm and a dick," "totally gummy worms except bad tasting," and "chewier than a wookiee."
I guess don't even bother reading it now because I just ruined it.
I'd heard Papa Bella's had became Uncle Louie's, but I'd been a bit lazy in regards to trying the new joint out. Actually - full disclosure - I told the other dolt who has written a couple reviews on this site to check it out for me. After all, he was the dude who reviewed Papa Bella's. (When I went there to review it they had "run out of pizza dough". Nimrods.) Then a friend of mine texted me the picture shown above and demanded I get off my ass and review it.
I hope this place does well, and it probably will. The area needs a pizzeria. There used to be a Dominos in this same shopping center. I used to work there, in fact. For about a week. I was a delivery driver because they were short-staffed and my friend was an assistant manager. This could speak to any number of things but it probably has more to do with my work ethic than anything else: holy shit, that job sucked. After I was hired they were like, okay, get this, you won't be delivering pizzas all the time so if there's nothing going on just wash dishes and fold pizza boxes.
I think that's pretty standard as far as pizzerias go, but do you know what I did? Here's a clue, I didn't wash a single damn thing and I still don't know how the fuck those box wizards fold those infernal boxes into glorified pizza wombs. I just delivered pizzas. And it was still a nightmare. Well, in any case, that Dominos is now a bar (upgrade) and the only other pizzeria nearby is fucking Hoobies.
If you've been to Papa Bella's in the past (either its former incarnation or its former former incarnation), walking into the new Uncle Louie's might give you a bit of a shock. The interior is 100% different. The old setup was really going for the grungy bar feel. It had a certain charm which I would have respected except they were in a strip mall and they were just gross. Uncle Louie's is going for a more upscale approach. Upon entry I immediately wondered if this gameplan even had a chance at success, given the location. They seemed to be doing fine - at least at the bar - because it was sorta crowded. Papa Bella's never seemed so busy, from my limited experience (I used to live a short walk from this location but I preferred walking an extra second and getting a frozen pizza and a six-pack from Food Lion).
I have to say that I really liked the layout and vibe of the bar. Reasonable bar specials were an added, lovely bonus.
Sweet baby Jesus I guess I'll mention the pizza.
At first glance it's not a terribly impressive sight. Especially without the crushed red pepper applied as pictured above. The rim of the crust seems underdone (or raw, maybe) and overall it sort of looked boring-bordering-on-stupid.
It wasn't quite so bad, though.
I usually start with the bad but the first thing that hit me was that the cheese was pretty good. They're clearly using a good product here, which might have to do with the fact that they also have a vaguely upscale menu featuring dishes which also contain mozzarella. So the cheese was good and greasy and I have no real complaints there. The saucing of the pizza was reasonable. It was bordering on being undersauced but this only caused me to have a difficult time tasting it individually and therefore being able to critique it individually (good job, you sneaky fuckers). As near as I could tell, the sauce was okay and reasonably applied.
The dough was basically shit. It's not the worst in town but it's also not far off, either. The top rim looked nearly raw; the bottom of the slice looked much the same, except where it was overly charred. The char can most likely be chalked up to an oven that is not cleaned often enough; a sloppy kitchen staff. The rest of the dough being really dense and underdone (at some points close-to-raw) is more difficult to explain.
I'm going to put my crazy pizza wizard hat on and guess that their poor, sad dough balls never get proofed. Possibly under-yeasted as well. This abortiony kind of pizza smacks you right in the face because on the one hand the pies are incredibly thin but on the other hand there is no bounce to them. No crumb is developed, there is no spring to the crust and it merely becomes a sloppy vessel to deliver some toppings to your face. Is there anything wrong with that? Yes there is, because: It should be so easy:
High gluten flour. Salt it. Water it. Proof it. All of a sudden, baby, you got a stew goin'.
I like the bar.
4 1/2 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Uncle Louie's Pizza Lounge - $2.50 + tax 3224 Suite F North College Road, Wilmington, NC 28405
[insert picture of exterior here. it was so hot out my phone was malfunctioning]
I've been patiently waiting for this place to open up since the closing of the infamous Gumby's. So when I saw the sign out front saying that it had opened, I was stoked. But it's been 100 degrees every fucking day and who wants to eat a hot slice of pizza when you've already sweated your balls down into ass-sweat covered raisins? I'm sorry about that awful mental imagery. Heat stroke and whiskey, blame them as well.
Through my various spies in town I learned that "Sal" is allegedly the brother of the dude that runs Uncle Vinny's in Carolina Beach. This gave me high hopes, since before learning this bit of intel I sort of assumed Brooklyn Sal's would be another shitty shop like Gumby's, just trying to steal the real Brooklyn Pizza's name along the way. Uncle Vinny's actually serves up a really good pie. It's not prototypical NY-street style stuff but you can tell they give many shits about the product they're selling in terms of ingredients and craftsmanship, and that goes a hell of a long way.
Brooklyn Sal's is not midtown Wilmington's answer to the opening of Uncle Vinny's in CB. Neither is Nino's, as I recently informed you. Midtown pizza is still dominated by Incredible, Nicola's and Pizzettas, with the potential nod to Luciano's which can be hit-or-miss.
The good news is that Brooklyn Sal's is a lot better than Gumby's was. Granted, that's not saying much, but their pizza is definitely not super bad. Plus, they just opened, so maybe they're still working on things. I'd wait a while and give them another try, but I learned my lesson from Nino's. Get it right or don't open up, motherfuckers.
It was kind of tough for me to distinguish the cheese from the sauce - probably because the sauce had a very strong flavor and the slice was a bit under-cheesed. I thought the cheese was okay but nothing to write home about (Hi mom). The sauce had a strange - though not offensive - taste. If I were a vegetarian, I would ask the cooks if the sauce was meat-based, because it definitely had a meaty flavor.
The crust kind of reminded me of a Papa Johns crust except thinner, drier and less greasy. It wasn't really that bad but it could have been a lot better. There are a few culprits one might blame but I'd pin the majority of the blame on what I suspect to be a too-low deck temperature on their pizza oven.
Overall, I would classify it as a strange cross between national American-style pizza chains and - interestingly - a Wilmington favorite, Brooklyn Pizza. It seems to falter in an attempt to satisfy both crowds, which is a shame. It may be the same trap Gumby's fell into: trying to please everyone and failing to please anyone. Well, except that strange fat man who sat next to me and tried to talk to me. He loved this shit.
It just seems to me that a good NY-style pizza is a cheap and easy thing to make and would be wildly popular in their location, yet they aren't quite hitting the mark. Just go minutes away in either direction to Pizzetta's, Nicolas or even motherfucking Scotto in the mall and skip this place entirely. Fuck it.
Also, who do you think you guys are, trying to throw the word Famous into your name?
There has never been a more substantial man in the history of mankind than Salamander Sal - Abe Lincoln
5 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Brooklyn Sal's Famous Pizza - $2.50 + tax 1414 S. College Rd., Wilmington, NC 28403
My sister just texted me a picture of some pizza she ate and demanded I guess where it was from. Boom, fuck you, I got it. So send me some pictures. I'll try to guess the source.
Also, I owe some of my loyal readers some stuff (after all, you are basically paying for this website). I will make this right. If I don't, or if you get tired of my shitdickery, I will refund your donations. Just contact me. I'm a shitbird. For real. Could be genetic?
I will also be posting a new review in the next day or two! So there's that!
I guess they sell pizza by the slice
I was driving home the other day and I got buttfucked by some traffic so I ended up driving past this cultish hellhole. I stopped by because I am an aimless masochist. The place was so full of yuppies and guppies I was pretty sure California was visiting. Few other places can you see a fucking shitbird white woman paying 32 dollars for a cart of food that consists of little more than two plates of vegetables. Like actual plates you might use at a cookout, no tops. She couldn't even fit them both in the midget baby-cart so she was holding one of them while her two fuckhead kids roshambo'd eachothers nuts off right beside her.
As is my way, I actually was fairly okay with this place, despite everything I just said. The prices were okay, there was a big selection, etc. 'Etc,' ah I love it. A shitty dickhead of a woman where I work put up a sign: "This recycling bin is for glass and plastic, ECT." Okay, first of all, you got the letters wrong, I forgive you. More importantly, if you are trying to inform people what the fuck to put in a bin, how about you don't skimp on the descriptors you turbocharged cuntwaffle? (Yes, the poorly-marked recycle bin is where I leave used condoms.)
But I digress. The main thing I hated about Whole Foods was all the people shopping there. They were this terrible, ravenous horde of faux-eco-friendly consumerist scum. I'd almost rather shop at Walmart. Almost.
The pizza behind the counter looked pretty good actually. I mean, yeah this slice looks like shit for a few reasons, but the other pies looked good. In typical pizzeria fashion, the pies were sitting around, slices waiting to be thrown in the oven for a reheat. That's pretty cool. I wasn't expecting this place to have an operation like this. And $5 for 2 slices is a good deal.
This place is new and maybe this was a problematic day, I don't know. But this slice's flaws go beyond that. Starting with the good, I will say that the crust was reasonably well made, besides a lack of salt (my typical complaint). The browning was good, the texture and structure were very good. It was much better than I expected.
The sauce and the cheese were fairly mediocre, all around. Tasted like school pizza. It wasn't appetizing, really.
The biggest problem was the burnt taste, which I tend to think was from the oven not getting cleaned regularly enough, along with the use of corn meal as a dough peel 'lubricant.' Any decent place is gonna use straight flour for that, and as little as possible. You know you are patronizing an idiot operation if they're using fucking cornmeal. Who wants that damn fucking shit in their mouth? Idiots. Idiots want that.
Cornmeal is bad enough but when you don't clean your fucking oven it becomes an even bigger issue when you get burnt fucking cornmeal everywhere, making your pizza taste likes Jesus' burnt-up, femented zombie cock.
My pizza leftovers are pictured above. That's what I was eating. That's what my food tasted like. Even so it wasn't all that bad. It's fucking romper room pizza made by corporate hippies. WTF are you expecting?
I'll try it again.
6 1/2 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)$3 + taxicles 3804 Oleander Dr, Wilmington, NC, 28403
Below is a review I wrote a while back. I was hoping things would improve and I could burn this review but all the critiques hold true so fuck it here goes.
Third time's not the charm
It be nights like this when I hate captaining this pizza cruise. Actually, this tangled mess of drunken prose is less like a cruise ship or a pirate ship and more like a Navy destroyer. I don't want it to be a fucking destroyer. I really do have the best of intentions, like Lennie Small. Then my overwhelming power of critical cynicism just starts fucking shit up. I can't help it.
I was looking forward to Nino's new location. A lot. I loved the old Nino's location; the only problem being that it was in bumfuck Wrightsboro on the way to Castle Hayne (which is basically the moon as far as I'm concerned). This new location is quite close to where I live.
I'd heard mixed tales of how this store relates to the other; calling the Wrightsboro store as recently as a week or two ago got responses ranging from "Uh, you should probably call them," to, "Uh. They are different owners." I also heard that the old store was closing and this one was just the new location being opened by the former owners. Fuck if I know. Most likely scenario is the owners of this new place sold the old place some time ago, and then decided to try to buttfuck all the butts by opening a new shop with the same fucking name; basically, I just don't fucking know (or care).What I do know is that I logically assumed the pizza would be really good - so I ordered a whole fucking pie (plus another slice for an extra two bits during their grand opening promotional period).
I was fairly goddamn suspicious right off the bat. Immediately the crust stood out as a fraud, and so it was. More on that later. Biting into this thing elicited a most puzzled look on my face. Something was amiss, but what was it? My first guess was the usual suspect: the cheese. After eating the components individually (you should see this process, it's absurd), I became fairly confident that there is indeed trouble in Cheeseville. Additionally, the sauce was probably overcooked and a bit too pasty but overall it was okay. Almost good, maybe.
The cheese, however, tasted mostly of stupidity. I don't know what it was - either it's crummy quality - a weird cheese blend - or part-skim. It just doesn't fucking taste right. The cheese-sauce-crust ratio was pretty good, though. If the cheese were better, the slice would have been saved, in spite of the lackluster crust.
This looks much more fucked than it really was. It probably wasn't as burnt as the picture would seem to indicate. For example, my thumbail looks dirty as hell and it surely is not, though I should clip my nails. I took the picture because it shows that this pie was cooked on a screen (or at least that's what it fucking looks like to me). As a result of that, in combination with dough formula issues (I'd wager), the dough is overcooked on the bottom while remaining flimsy, lifeless, chewy and crunchless overall. And the while the bottom was overcooked, the top was undercooked.
Why the fuck are these guys using screens on large NY-style pies? Did they do this shit at the old location and I was too stupid to notice? This pizza seems completely different from the old place.
I also thought the dough probably had too much oil in it and tasted a bit yeasty and doughy which I guess is a weird critique to give something made of a yeast dough.
Don't call me a banana farmer.
5 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)$1.95 + taxicles 5500 N. Market St, Wilmington, NC 28405
It's been over a month since I wrote the above review. Despite assurances to the contrary from one of the owners, this place is still serving up weird-tasting pizza. You gotta go here and try it I guess, because I really don't know what's going on, nor how to accurately describe this shit. On my most recent visit the dough was marginally better (still screen-cooked), the sauce might have been a little better, but the cheese and the overall flavor was just fucking wonky. WHAT KIND OF FUCKED UP MOON CHEESE ARE YOU NERDS USING?
Another one bites the dust. That's right, another shitty pizzeria has closed its shitty doors. This time we mourn the passing of a long-time blight on the Wilmington pizza scene: Gumby's. Fans of this place were always hard to find, but they did exist, and they were without exception complete dummies. Gumby's should have been called Garbagetown USA. I don't know what I was thinking when I gave it a 6-recirc rating - I guess I was extra drunk when I wrote that review.
Anyway, good riddance to them.
In their place there is signage for a place called Brooklyn Sal's Pizza (or some shit), along with the nebulous words, 'coming soon.' I can only imagine that Gumby's owner was tired of his shitty pizza's shitty reputation and decided to basically steal the name of Wilmington's best pizzeria (Brooklyn Pizza) in hope of getting more than one customer a fucking year. If this is the case, I wish 'Sal' the best of luck. Oh wait, no I don't - he can eat a bag of fuck.
But maybe it will be a legitimate new pizzeria. Seems unlikely, though.
Soon I will be posting a review of the new Nino's spot, which is in a weird location across from the College/Market booze emporium. I've been going to Nino's now and then since their opening, three times in total. I've probably spent more than $20 in total. The first visit was a real let down. I bought a whole pie, since I figured it would be on par with the old Nino's location. It wasn't. The second time around was no better. Having recently finished my third try, I guess a review is in order. You'll have to wait and see if they have redeemed themselves. I know, the suspense, it kills