What the fuck did I really just enjoy Brixx
I went to Brixx with my liquorlunch cohort the other day, mostly because I'm a fucking pizza weirdo who is trying to eat at every joint in town, but also because on Mondays all their draft pints are $2.50. And they have some pretty good beer! Of the four pints I had, the last three were Victory Hop Wallop. Now that's a fucking beer. This beer is so damn delicious that when I came back to Brixx because I forgot to take an exterior picture for this blog entry, the only thing I accomplished was drinking two more Hop Wallops. I guess I'll just have to go back next Monday and drink more beer and again forget to take an exterior picture.
So, obviously I love their beer selection and their Monday beer special. I already kind of knew I would before coming here, because I just love beer. Like a lot. I was not expecting to love or even like the pizza. Their menu does not seem to include a basic cheese pizza, which I think is weird. They offer some sort of excuse for a margherita pizza, but it looked really stupid. No place in town even seems to know what a fucking margherita pizza is (see Kornerstone, Osteria Cicchetti). Here's what the Brixx margherita looks like according to their website:
That's just stupid. Fuck it, that's not the point anyway. I figured I'd get around the lack of a real cheese pizza by ordering a Wood-roasted vegetable pizza with the toppings removed on one half of the pie. Half cheese, half veg. I did this because the vegetable pizza is cheap (comparatively, at $9). Apparently only putting toppings on half the pizza is quite a bit of extra work because I was charged $11 for a "half and half" pizza. That's pretty fucky in my book. Maybe the menu warns you of this but I was too beerblasted to notice or care. I wonder if I can just get a cheese pizza next time. It would probably cost me an arm and a leg.
The $11 pizza:
As soon as I came out I thought, "shit this looks good." Yeah, the toppings look alright I guess, but the cheese side was what caused my instantaneous salivation. I could tell the cheese was going to be phenomenal upon first glance, and the pie didn't look oversauced. The crust, which I had previously assumed would be horseshit, looked alright. I could tell that me and my compatriot were going to be fighting over the cheese half (we only ordered one pie; we came here for the beer, you morans).
The cheese slices were so damn good I busted out a fucking knife and cut one of the slices in half so we each ended up having 1.5 slices of that shit. The veg side was good, no complaints at all, but the cheese side was glorious. Mostly this had to do with the actual cheese used, which is apparently Grande mozzarella. All pizzerias should use this product. I want make a little hat out of it and wear it around and eat little bits off of it all day long. I want to have my girlfriend chew up a bunch of it and feed it to me like I'm a baby bird.
I'm sorry. I got carried away. Deep breath. Okay. The rest of this pizza was alright. The sauce was good. It was sort of mild, a bit tangy or some shit. It was definitely not pasty or overspiced, which makes it probably one of the best sauces in this shitty town, pizza-wise. The crust was okay. I have to take points off for their overuse of flour or something on the bottom of the pie, but it was not that big of a detraction, really. I think that damn ubercheese might still be clouding my already questionable judgement.
I wanted to loathe this place as much as you wanted me to write one of my typical hate-fueled blog entries. So again I must apologize. I must also apologize to my father who has spoken many-a-time of his love for Brixx pizza. I told him he was a doddering old fool because there was no way in hell that this place was anything but utter goddamn shit. As it turns out, I like Brixx. Is it some weird chain's version of an amalgam of Neapolitan and New York-style pizza? Yes. Is it flawed? Yes. Is it good? Yes it is, motherfucker, did you even read this review?
I got paid over 9000 beers for this review.
3 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)9-11 ducks 6801 Main Street, Wilmington, NC 28405
A first time for everything
It struck me that I haven't posted a real review since, like, fucking October. It's goddamn January. As it happens, it's 2012 and the fucking world is ending and I need to make haste. I need to do important things such as finishing this blog. And yet, there are new places springing up all the time offering their shitty versions of pizza. It's as if people have realized that flour, water, tomato paste and crummy cheese are not so costly and exhibit exorbitant potential profit margins. As it happens, I'm fairly sick of that shit and indeed don't know why I ever started down the path of such lackluster establishments, praise Tebow. Yet that is where we find ourselves.
And as such it is no wonder my ladyfriend assumed that I was acquiring for us a Papa Murphy's pizza for dinner when I informed her of her impending pizza decimation. After all, there is not much left in town to review, just some stragglers. When I arrived home with a legitimate pizza box, she exclaimed "Terrazo's!?" Such a presumptuous affront could not go unaccounted for and so I responded, "No, bitch, take yon seat." In truth I had a pizza from Siena, too expensive by far and too late to the party to matter. Scratch that, I don't even know what I just wrote (whiskey).
I had avoided Siena for a time because for one it's not terribly convenient for me to get to, location- or time-wise. It's also kind of expensive unless you buy an eat-in pizza on a Tuesday. As it turns out the aforementioned lady tends to think of a deal on food to mean an excuse to order high-priced cocktails. So I opted for a $15 takeout pizza (~17" I'd guess) as opposed to a $10 dinein pizza accompanied by top shelf mixed drinks costing me an arm, leg, a couple wazoos and a few fuck yous too. Call me a fucking genius if you will, that's fine.
Fucking hell I need to talk about the pizza. It was both better than I thought it would be and vaguely lackluster at the same time, but mostly it was unexpected. Living and dying within a prototypical cardboard pizza box I found something rather akin to a NY-style pizza.
The cheese was acceptable, maybe even good, though not as grease-laden as my fat self prefers. It was reminiscent of some pies I've had in New York, in a way, and at the very least better than inoffensive. The sauce was kind of bitter, but it was pretty good in its own right. It was spiced but not overly-so; it might have done better with some sugar. The crust was more of a challenge. On the one hand it was a bit too soft and chewy, particularly along the rim of the pie. On the other hand, it was well-browned on the bottom and structurally sound. It's difficult for me to take points off here because I know that a ten minute ride in a box (heh heh) will soften if not destroy the integrity of any pizza crust. In fact, as time went by afterwards, the crust redefined itself and wasn't half-bad. It was still lacking for salt, though.
Bottom line: this is better than most pizza you will find in Wilmington. Is it worth $15 after tax? Nope. On Tuesdays is it worth $10 to split with a friend at the bar plus a couple $3 beers? I'm not being generous when I say Fuck Yes It Is.
I'm on a boat, bitch.
3 1/2 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Siena - $15 3315 Masonboro Loop Road, Wilmington NC
Coulda been much worse
I went to this goddamn establishment expecting not much at all. If you recall, I reviewed the original Mellow Mushroom location and didn't have too many good things to say. Recently I had to go to Lighthouse to get a Beer Fest ticket (since a $5 'convenience fee' infuriates me), and figured I'd subject myself to the horrors of Mellow Mushroom pizza again.
Tangent: What was with this year's Beer Fest location? $35 to drink beer in some shitty abandoned lot? Fuck you guys. Especially after last year's awesome Greenfield location. And yes, I do realize that certain regulations may have changed in relation to alcohol and public parks. Fuck you, too.
As it turns out, these slices were slightly more than marginally better than the shitdick bullshit you might be unlucky enough to find at the Oleander location. I found the cheese to be pretty good, and the sauce to be sort of decent. The crust was also okay. The rim was butter- and parmesan-encrusted as always, but in a far less offensive way that at the Oleander location.
Another interesting thing worth noting is that their prices are all fucky. Maybe I shouldn't even mention this but I was charged $2 for slices when they were listed for $3, and $2.50 for PBRs when they were listed for $3. My waitress also said 'have a good night' or something along those lines at least twice and it was fucking 11AM. But that's the sort of shit I can appreciate. Keep rocking those sunglasses indoors, stoner hippy chick, but remember: just cuz shit looks, like, you know, all dark and stuff, it like doesn't mean it's night time. She actually did a good waitressing job besides, though.
Also of note is that these slices are pretty fucking big. I couldn't even finish both and a beer. But then again, I am a shit-filled hosebag of less than questionable merit.
Shitty mall pizza at its most horrendous
I was in the mall the other day, AKA the worst place in the world. I generally abhor malls but the one in Wilmington really takes the shitcake. It's shaped like some derpy octopus. It kind of makes you think you're in a big mall because you have to walk six times more than you ought to in order to traverse the entire blasted thing. With most malls, you just walk in a somewhat linear fashion, and when you get to the end, you've, in the words of Captain Picard, seen it all.
I'd decided to eschew reviewing big chain pizza, but since there is only one Sbarro in town I figured I'd waste some money and review this slice. As a kid I ate Sbarro in Danbury, CT sometimes and I have vaguely fond memories of it. Not because I liked it a lot, though. I think it was because when my parents took me to the mall, I always wanted Sbarro but they would virtually never grant this wish. They would instead throw a stale bagel at my head and tell me to scuba for quarters in the fountain if I wanted fucking mall pizza. They'd also regularly sneak off, leaving me alone, frightened and confused. Allegedly this was to help develop my sense of direction, self-determination, and world view. But I digress.
I took my first bite, looked quizzically around and said, "This tastes of nothing." And although that's really all there is to it, I'll go on in order to fill space. The best thing about the slice was its crust. While not good by any stretch of the imagination, it was fairly inoffensive and almost well seasoned. It's screen-cooked, though. The sauce was pasty and terrible but there wasn't much of it. The cheese really tasted of absolutely nothing. It was the most offensively unremarkable shit in the universe. I gave my girlfriend a bite and she said, "This is even worse than the pizza from Hibachi," which was so true I was forced to edit that review and change their 8 recirc rating to a 7.5, to balance things out in the world.
I can make no comment on anything else Sbarro offers, but their pizza is atrocious. Just go to Chik-fil-A or something.
Childhood memories can get lost.
8 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Sbarro - $3.52
3500 Oleander Dr # Fc5, Wilmington, NC 28403
Carolina Beach triumphs again
Uncle Vinny's is a rather new restaurant. I was going to come here sooner but I had to battle various bottles of booze and then unexpectedly fly to New York. At long last I decided to drive down here today after a dumb old round of golf. Whenever I go to Carolina Beach, which is almost never, I'm always struck by how much I enjoy the drive. It's nice, and Carolina Beach is both quaint and redneck in the most perversely endearing sort of way.
The drive back was another story entirely. It was a fucking nightmare. I was almost late getting to the liquor store before it closed. And I had to get pineapple vodka. Yeah, that's right. Pineapple vodka.
I'd heard a lot of hype about this place and as it turns out the hype was fairly well deserved.
I don't think this place serves slices, which is kind of a bummer. However, I doubt they really give two shits what I think is a bummer, because they appear to be extraordinarily busy and probably don't want to deal with hobos wanting mere slices. And rightly so, perhaps. I haven't had any of their other food, but their pizza is pretty good and the interior is pretty cool. And the bartender is about 8 feet tall.
All around it was pretty fucking good. The cheese was good. Though some might say there's not enough, I don't really give a shit; I'm not a fan of a ton of cheese on pizza. The sauce was also quite good, I think it was basically just crushed tomatoes which is all you fucking need. Baffles me why people complicate this part of pizza making. The crust was also good, but it is also the source of my main complaint. A really good NY style pizza crust should have a decent crunch to it. It's sort of a minor quibble, maybe. I think if you request the pizza well-done, this issue might be mostly corrected.
I also liked that they put oregano on the pie before baking it, but their, uh, oregano density map was not ideal. It's no wonder though because they were busy as fuck when I ordered this pizza.
Overall Vinny's has some pretty damn good pizza. It's starting to piss me off that Carolina Beach's pizza is on average far better than Wilmington's. I really need to finish this blog before any more motherfucking pizza shops open up.
They do have a stupid slogan tho.
2 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Uncle Vinny's Pizzeria Ristorante - $13 approx.
1012 S. Lake Park Blvd., Carolina Beach, NC 28428
Disappointment never left such a terrible taste in my mouth
As all of you who read this blog with some regularity know, I'm fairly incompetent. One example of said incompetence is that I thought this Incredible location was no longer in existence. I got it in my pea-sized brain that the newish Slice of Life shithole took over their spot. I don't remember why I decided upon this nonsense, but as usual I was entirely wrong; as you can see, this place totally exists.
Which is kind of a shame because the pizza was bad, in the must bummer sorta way possible. It's a real big bastard that doesn't look too bad at first, really:
The only positive thing I can say about this slice is that it's very large. It's not quite as large as those found at the Incredible location off New Centre, but that thing was simply gargantuan. The crust was misshapen and extraordinarily dry. It also had a general burnt taste to it, which struck me as kind of inexplicable since it didn't appear burnt.
There wasn't enough cheese on here, nor was there enough sauce. I think the sauce may have been okay but the cheese was crummy, I think. It was either really bland, or low- fat, or maybe it's just that there was so little of it on the slice. Based on the lack of grease, I'd say they're using some shitty low-fat mozzarella and not much of it.
All I could taste was burnt crap in my mouth, and it was dry as all get out. Real bummer because I went here expecting something good like you can get at their sister pizzeria off New Centre. This right here is definitely some of the shittier NY-style pizza in town, so if that's what you are looking for, stop looking and drive on over.
I hope they were just having an off day.
6 1/2 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Incredible Gourmet Pizza - $2.70
1414 S College Rd # 105 Wilmington, NC 28403
Thanks for shitting on my childhood, jerkbags
I had no plans to review this place. I've been here once before almost a decade ago and even though I was probably stoned to oblivion I still knew I was eating garbage. But it seems a certain, small, deviant minority of Wilmington gets a kick out of these reviews and since I can still afford the gut rot whiskey it takes to write them, I figured I owed it to my readers to shit down Gumby's throat. Hell, they're more of a pizzeria than some of the places I've reviewed. I think.
Well I got there at almost 6 p.m. expecting to pick up a pie and wonder of wonders, the fucking oven has been fucking off and my pizza has just been sitting in a cold oven. I mean if you open at 6 p.m. maybe that's almost excusable but they allegedly open at 4 p.m. Luckily I didn't care that much since it afforded me the opportunity to walk over and buy some Big Flats 1901, which I had been meaning to try. But it was still a telling sign, you know?
This is the smallest amount of pizza from Gumby's that I could get (as far as I could tell) and if you've read my terrible reviews you know that I'm always in favor of slices - the cheaper the better. Well shit I'm about to go off-topic again out of nowhere:
I don't understand the interior of this place. They've got a door for an employee's restroom (red/brown one on the left in the uppermost picture) and a mystery door in the back, and a sign on the front door that says "no public restrooms." I usually take that to mean no hobos are allowed to shit here, but I'm not convinced in this case. Are customers even allowed to eat in here? What are all those chairs for, people waiting? I don't know man this place is weird but if they allow people to sit down and eat they should sell slices. I think it would be in their best interest. They should also allow people to shit.
Fuck that misplaced and terrible aside I'm now going to talk about the pizza. Shit tasted like Domino's. Or maybe an amalgam of Pizza Hut and Domino's. Regardless, just skip this fucking place and eat at one of the national chains if you're craving crummy, crappy, generic pizza. Go to Gumby's and get a small 1-topping special for $5 or go to Domino's and get a large 2-topping special for $6. Same shit, different size and price. Totally your call.
As crummy as I found this pizza, I seem to find it difficult to rate. Part of me wants to shit on it for being a replica of chain garbage. Then again well-made chain garbage is better than poorly-made faux-NY style pizza. And for chain garbage it was done fairly well despite the oven kinks, which I felt compelled to mention but can't take much off for. It's in fact going to rank a tad worse than the nearby and new Wilmington's House of Pizza, only because they were both going for the same style pizza and Gumby's came up a bit short by comparison. As an aside, the style of pizza I just referred to is called "American." Said nomenclature makes me want to rig up a tube and vomit into my own ass.
I'd like to go on record as saying that I love Gumby. The character. That fly green mofo with the horse. Baddest dude made out of clay ever, as far as I know.
I think I ate most of it anyway, in a period of overwhelming self-loathing.
6 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Gumby's Pizza - $5.39
1414 S College Rd # 105 Wilmington, NC 28403
A hell of a place
I'm a huge fan of Mellow Mushroom. Mainly because they've got a lot of beer. Also because their mascot is a mushroom, and that's basically my favorite drug ever. But I also like their sandwiches and consider them a decent bargain. Alright, you caught me; I haven't mentioned their pizza. I'm not a huge fan of their pizza.
Let's start with the good. The jalapeno slice had a lot of fuckin jalapenos on it. That's cool. Moving onto the cheese slice, it just looks dumb. It's got a weird secondary ghost cut line along the side of it. I'm not taking points off for that, I'm just commenting on it. It looks dumb. What's up with all that parmesan cheese along the rim? Newsflash, fuckfaces: you put parmesan on every table so don't unilaterally put this shit on the rim of my slices like you are the U.S. military napalming unsuspecting civilians. I don't even really like parmesan! I never put it on my pizza, thats for damn sure. I'm guessing they do this to entice you to eat the rim of the crust. How about just making your crust less shitty? Try that on for size.
Onto more of the good: I thought the sauce was good. I also thought the cheese was okay. But the crust was terrible, I'm sorry to say. There was no crunchiness anywhere in this crust. It looked like it was cooked to fucking hell, but it was floppy as all get out. It was so fucking soft and stupid and weird, it pissed me right the fuck off. Much worse than that, it was covered in corn meal on the bottom, and as a result of that, plus the under-seasoned, low-hydration, overcooked dough, the slice was just dry and stupid in my mouth. It was very disconcerting, but since I had beer it wasn't exactly the end of the world. Which is to say I didn't die.
Everyone loves this place, including me. Their pizza is a fraud, though. They view pizza crust as merely a means of carrying toppings to someone's face. That's why I review plain slices - to weed out the shysters. The crust is the backbone of all slices and if you depend on masking your bummer crust with a ton of toppings, you're not getting past me. And Mellow Mushroom does indeed have a lot of awesome, fresh toppings, applied liberally. But their crust is shitty. Most people don't give a shit about the crust, so take this review with a grain of salt. And put it in the fucking dough recipe. Probably wouldn't even help, actually.
Another pint to go with this shitty pizza, please.
5 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Mellow Mushroom - $2.70
4311 Oleander Drive, Wilmington NC 28403
Brooklyn II: The Return of Brooklyn
In light of how glowing my review of the original Brooklyn Pizza Co. was, this review is bound to be shitty as hell, and more boring than the 'Health Nut' store located next to Brooklyn's Hampstead location. So I'll make this one short.
Looks pretty similar to the slice I reviewed at the other Brooklyn. Similarly small, which continues to baffle me because when I buy whole pies the slices are bigger than this, I swear. In any case, this slice wasn't as good as that other I reviewed, but it was still pretty damn good. If I had to guess, I'd say there wasn't as much sauce and cheese, so it wasn't quite as dank. The crust was good, as always.
I'll also mention that I tried a 'pepperoni pizza pinwheel' (as reviewed by PCF) or whatever they call em. It was a weird big old undercooked greeseball and not very appetizing, though it filled my fat face pretty well for $2.50+tax. God damn gut grenade. Also, I was charged $2.50+tax for a plain slice. Either Hampstead's price is higher than the other location or the dude fucked up (the dude probably fucked up).
Oh yeah this place has no seating, which is weird. I think Reel might've been the same way but I'm not sure because I was completely hammered when I went there. All of Hampstead weirds me the fuck out.
2 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Wilmington's House of Pizza - $2.70
16865 Us Highway 17 N, Hampstead NC 28443
Strange little place
This is a curious establishment. I first caught wind of this place by way of Port City Foodies. I guess they were supposed to be called Pharaoh's Pizza, but changed their name at the last minute. King Tut still graces their menu, curiously. Late last week I inferred that they were open for business, after spotting over 9000 watts of neon blasting forth from their windows.
When some place calls themselves "House of [insert food item here]," you sort of expect that food item to be the flagship of the restaurant. I don't think I've ever had pancakes at IHOP, but that's only because pancakes are stupid. They're just lazy waffles, after all. However, as a pizza addict, WHOP piqued my interest, by virtue of its name alone.
Well fuck me running, pizza only makes up about 10% of the WHOP menu. This place has the most extensive menu of any place I can ever remember patronizing. They should have named this place Wilmington's House of Every-God-Damned-Thing. The menu is mostly various sandwiches and salads, plus some pizza, pasta, breakfast, bar food, wraps, burgers, calzones, seafood and desserts. Got that? All the prices look pretty good, though. Incomprehensibly, they don't offer slices on their menu. Wilmington's House of Pizza will gladly sell you souvlaki (wtf is that?) or flounder, but there's no mention of goddamn slices on their menu. Kind of off-putting.
They do offer a small cheese pizza for $4.50+tax, which is an okay deal (I guess):
This is the most spot-on replica of a Pizza Hut pan pizza I've ever had the misfortune of ingesting. If I were to rate this thing based on how much it tasted like Pizza Hut, it would do quite well. However, Pizza Hut doesn't make good pizza. So there you go.
As with Pizza Hut, WHOP's slice had unremarkable sauce and cheese. The crust was big and bready with a well-browned - yet very soft and sadly crunchless - bottom. If you love Pizza Hut but hate supporting huge multinational corporations (chances are no such people exist), I wholeheartedly recommend giving Wilmington's House of Pizza a whirl. They're probably cheaper than Pizza Hut, too.
On a positive note, it struck me that this pizza was created with care. That's more than I can say for a lot of the shit I've reviewed here. WHOP's pizza is what it is, and for what it is I guess it's alright. I'm just not a fan of what it is. I wish their Blodgett oven was put to far better use.
They should have called this place Hut of Pizza to make what they're offering more apparent right off the bat. In any case, I'll likely be going back there to try something else, probably a sub or maybe some souvlaki and motherfucking baklava.
And they seem to have a decent pizza oven too, what a shame.
5 1/2 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Wilmington's House of Pizza - $4.86
1016 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403