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
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
This place is open, what the shit?
I had given up on Hoobie's after peering through their window one day during business hours to see the place in complete disarray with no signage explaining their being mysteriously closed. When some people made it clear to me that this stupid place was actually still in business, I decided that for the sake of this blog's comprehensiveness I'd give it yet another shot. Hoobie's apparently doesn't sell slices but they did have a 10" pie for $3.23 after tax, which is pretty fucking cheap indeed. They seemed to be rather busy in there. I guess people like this place or something. I went here expecting the absolute worst.
Peculiar beast we have here, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I had anticipated. The crust had a general burnt taste to it. It appeared to be cooked on a screen. I don't know where the burnt taste really came from, maybe from residual char left on the screen/oven floor or something. It wasn't anywhere near as bad as the shit served up by Goodfellas, at least. The cheese was a bit of a conundrum. I don't think it was part-skim due to the high grease levels, but it sort of had that globby consistency. And the taste was a bit odd. Do they add another cheese in here besides mozzarella? Maybe provolone? I don't know. I'm probably entirely off base.
One positive that I am able to report is that the sauce was very good. It was a simple sauce and it tasted good. It wasn't fucked to hell with a bunch of unnecessary spices, which was unexpected and welcomed. That doesn't make up for the crummy crust and questionable cheese, though.
God bless you, Hoobie's, you factory of pizza, you.
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
Hell hath no pizza as shitty as this
Years ago when the shopping center that houses Kornerstone Bistro was built, I had the crazy idea of opening up an upscale pizzeria here. It's the perfect location. In terms of competition all you have to worry about is Antonio's, which is crummy, and Brooklyn which is far enough away that laziness will often enough be triumphant. Then some other dumb motherfuckers had the same idea and opened up Kornerstone. I ate there immediately and was so amazingly underwhelmed that my dick fell off and crawled up inside my own butt. This place is/used to be called Kornerstone Wood-Fired Pizza. Now it's a "Mediterranean bistro" or something. When I ate this shit years ago and thought the pizza might be microwave-fired, but it was f'sho not cooked in a wood-burning oven.
I have to assume that their other food is better than their pizza. It's just gotta be because their pizza is garbage. This place is classy as hell. It looks great in there. I'm looking forward to when they finally do close down so that I can steal their setup (minus their Pizzazz pizza oven). Alright, fuck all that shit. Now that I've blatantly blown the credibility which I don't even have out of the water, let's get down to it. THE PIZZA:
This looks pretty darn close to the pie I had years ago. The first thing that hit me was that the crust looked kind of totally decent. The sauce seemed kind of abundant, but that's sort of how a margherita pizza is supposed to be. The cheese didn't look terribly appetizing but it also didn't look that bad, sorta. The addition of tomato slices and the lack of basil was fairly off-putting, though.
When you start to actually examine further is when terrible reality sets in. The cheese was okay. It didn't look like there was a ton on there but it was pretty damn dense so it still seemed like there was too much. The sauce was a bit of a conundrum. It tasted sort of fresh, but it was also fairly pasty in a terrible way. Also there was just too much of it. The tomatoes were okay. The lack of basil was very disheartening because I love basil.
The real problem with this pizza is the very same thing that upon first glance seemed like it might be the pie's saving grace: the crust. Apparently this place has the only wood-burning oven in the world where the dome temperature is 9000% higher than the floor of the oven, because although the rim of the crust looks alright, the bottom appeared to have not been cooked at all. Also, in a number of places inside the rim it was basically raw. It did not resemble a wood-fired Neapolitan crust by any stretch of the imagination. It was dense and bready, not in the least bit airy. However, it did have a fairly good, though somewhat yeasty, flavor.
This pizza most resembles the pizza served by Osteria Cicchetti. Except it was worse (but cheaper). I've got to try this place's other food items because I bet they're pretty good. It's a real goddamn shame that their pizza is so fucking lackluster. As an aside, Kornerstone gets the dubious distinction of selling me one of the only servings of pizza I have ever failed to finish.
Yeah fuck you too.
7 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Kornerstone Bistro - $7.56 8262 Market St # 101, Wilmington, NC 28411
Round 2: Revenge of the shitty pizza
Newsflash: I'm not trying to destroy local small businesses. I'm not some goddamn Dominos plant, trying to shiv the little guy with the sharpened dick of eternal capitalist conflagration. I'm just a dude who purports to know more about pizza than virtually everyone around him. I operate via honesty alone. Regardless of one's opinion on capitalism, and therefore America, we can all agree that in a capitalist environment, the strong will thrive and the weak will fail (on the whole, all else being equal).
If a respectable number of people actually read this blog (they don't; I have full, in-depth access to the logs of this server), some of them may decide to not eat at a place based upon a review featured here. However, as far as I have been able to tell, through actual reader interaction, this blog has actually resulted in people patronizing local pizzerias, as opposed to causing potential patrons to run for cover (as they honestly fucking should). I got 'em in your doors. After that it's up to you to prove me wrong. Alas, it seems people generally agree with me after doing their own check-ins. In a nutshell: fuck anyone that critiques my awful blog on the basis of the unassailability of local small businesses.
My cohort, Capt. Falcon (as he so terribly dubbed himself), left a rather harsh review for Antonio's of Porter's Neck. As an editor, I considered editing that review and getting rid of his complaints about the pizza being "too hot." But, at the end of the day, I found the review to be fairly hilarious, and I felt that his mention of how completely ill-qualified he was to review a pizzeria balanced out his ridiculously left-field critique criteria. At that point it was effectively a wash; the reviewer was a worthless sack of shit and the pizzeria was who-gives-a-fuck. Life goes on. However, an employee/manager's post on that review had me second guessing myself. A request was made for me to review the pizza personally and I, in turn, acquiesced.
Here's the pizza I got. Like Capt. Falcon's, it was also somewhat inexplicably put in a to-go box, even after I said I'd be eating it at the restaurant:
Looking at this picture, it kind of looks like a small, cold, probably not-too-bad slice. That goes to show that my camera phone apparently sucks. The slice was piping hot. I will not complain about this fact; I just let it sit for a little bit before eating it because I am not an idiot. The slice still looked a bit off, anyway. What may not be apparent is that theres simply too much cheese on this slice. Maybe this is a trend - maybe this is the future of American pizza. Just keep adding motherfucking cheese until your entire client base dies of a collective borg-like heart attack and then open up some kind of stupid salad shop as a replacement. I for one do not welcome our new cheese overlords.
The real problem with too-much-cheese arises when that cheese also happens to be crummy. I can't explain this slice, or my rating thereof, in a meaningful way except by saying that the cheese was shitty. The owner/manager/whatever of this place can feel free to trump me by informing us of what gloriously unbeatable product they use. However, from my perspective, it's leagues below the kind of quality cheese you can find at I <3 NY, Brooklyn, Reel and Nino's. As an aside, you see the local small businesses I just mentioned? They serve a quality product and deserve to thrive. That's how this shit works and if you don't like it then you clearly hate America and are in league with terrorists.
The sauce was hidden almost entirely by the mountain of crappy cheese, so I can't give much comment on it. The crust seemed okay but it was overdone and quite dry. More salt in their dough formulation along with a higher hydration percentage (or shorter overall cook time) would go a long way. That said, when it comes down to it, all this slice really needs to be a competitor is better cheese, and preferably less of it. When I get a hot slice of pizza, the cheese shouldn't have a globby consistency; it should be deliciously stringy. That's not even up for debate. It should also, preferably, not have a foul taste that just gets worse and worse as you eat the slice. I came here hoping for some Antonio's redemption, but the bland, globby, dry slice of pizza simply did not win me over. I guess there's a reason most people drive a few miles past this place and get their pies from Brooklyn.
6 1/2 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Antonio's Pizza & Pasta - $2.16 8211 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28411
Eating an entire arid Saharan landscape would be preferable to this
Papa Bella's Pizzeria is where underachievers congregate to brood over their past and imminent failures. It's located near North Chase, between the shittiest high school and the shitty community college in Wilmington, both of which I have had the displeasure of attending. Since Pete has been in an eternal, drunken coma recently, I took it upon myself to venture into the bowels of Wilmington and try this place out.
I brought my sister along with me in solidarity; if I was going to be forced to eat vile food, she would be too. Also, my phone was unable to take pictures, so I needed a photographer. Upon entering this establishment, my low expectations were somewhat lifted, mostly because it smelled god damn delicious in there. So I sat down with an odd feeling of optimism - a real rarity in this city. But I soon realized that the higher your hopes are, the easier and more satisfying they are to crush. I ordered a slice of cheese pizza for the blog and a slice of bacon & chicken pizza for possible personal enjoyment. The girl behind the counter let me know that chicken and bacon would cost me more than the other toppings, but apparently she has a thing for putrid, unkempt hobos like myself, so she told me I would get them on the cheap.
This picture makes the cheese look like the old, decrepit skin of a Himalayan sherpa. However, that should be attributed to the undeniable shittiness of my sister's phone. The cheese actually looked decent and didn't taste half-bad, either, aside from the cheese-less bubble at the rim. Although I am required to rate Papa Bella's on their cheese pizza alone, I feel the need to comment on the other slice as well. At first glance, it appeared that the cook had jizzed all over my meat pie, so I devoured it like a ravenous beast. To my immediate dismay, I realized that it was only melted cheese. Nonetheless, it was an interesting addition to the slice.
Back to the cheese. Expecting it to droop like Larry King's gonads, I lifted the slice up as gingerly as possible. My mind was blown when, unlike Antonio's slice, it held its shape without turning to goo. So far, so good. However, the first bite was somewhat of a let-down. While I enjoy thin pizza like any other dirty vagrant, Papa Bella's pizza was like paper. I was grateful I ordered two slices, because one would not have sufficiently satiated my hobo hunger. Although the parsimonious use of dough was disappointing, they were also frugal with their application of cheese. That was certainly a plus, because cheese clusterfucks piss me off like nothing else.
So their cheese was good, the service was friendly, and the place had a nice feel to it. Regrettably, that's where the positives ended for Papa Bella's. I would have been fine with the slimness of the pizza had the dough been good. But the dough, especially the crust, was so dry it literally turned to dust in my mouth. That fact was only made worse when I realized that the bottom of the pizza was heavily powdered with saliva-absorbent flour. Luckily, in a fit of prescience, I had ordered a glass of water ahead of time. This foresight proved invaluable - without the added hydration, I don't think my mouth would have ever recovered from the drought that pizza caused. I honestly have no idea how their cotton-mouthed, pothead customers survive without an IV-drip.
I made it through both slices with remnants of hunger pangs. I shied away from ordering another slice, instead opting to return home to eat my leftovers from Flaming Amy's. So I paid my tab, which was cheaper than it should have been thanks to that discounted bacon & chicken slice, and I actually left a bit of a tip. Perhaps it was because I heard one of the workers mention the possibility of them closing down. Apparently they're losing a lot of business to Hoobies (who would've guessed?). Actually, my generosity was most likely due to the fact that the service was friendly and the girl behind the counter was cute. I'm a sucker for girls who treat disheveled vagabonds like somewhat more respectable tramps. 50 cent discount? Yes please.
5 1/2 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Papa Bella's Pizzeria - $2.16 3224 N. College Rd., Wilmington, NC 28405
No cheese pizza at 2:30p.m.? Fuck you.
Greetings to all of Pete's non-existent readers. This is Capt. Falcon, and for my first review I was forced to eat at this god-forsaken, end-of-the-line hobo haven. Welcome to the Antonio's of Porter's Neck, where a single slice of god damn cheese pizza doesn't exist unless you ask for it explicitly, and where the roof of your mouth is guaranteed a spot in hell once it gets burnt to shit by their scalding hot food.
Before I get to the good stuff, I believe an introduction is in order. I am a guest reviewer on Ilmza, and, keeping with the tradition of this blog, I don't know shit about pizza. I have never made a pizza in my life, so I have no idea what goes into the cooking process. Actually, scratch that. I eat terrible frozen pizza on the reg, but the only thing that has taught me is how to set an oven to 400 degrees. Fahrenheit? Fuck if I know, I just eat god damn fatty food on a daily basis like every other gluttonous American beast roaming this despicable land. That is to say, I'm your average American dickshit with internet access. However, please don't let that detract from the perceived validity of my opinion. I don't regularly partake in the consumption of high quality foods, so I wouldn't know a delicacy from a rabbit turd if it hit me in my god damn gaping maw. However, I do know what shitty food tastes like, because that's all I eat and that's all that exists in Wilmington, NC. I may not know professional cuisine, but I sure as hell know what regurgitated shit tastes like, and Antonio's certainly ranks up there on my shit list.
I arrived at this establishment expecting mediocrity and received worse than I could have ever imagined. It was 2:30 in the afternoon, I had just gotten out of class, and what the fuck do you know - apparently a slice of cheese pizza is too much to ask of these shitdicks. The woman behind the counter was friendly, but seemed baffled by my presence. Upon taking my order - 2 slices of cheese - she informed me that they were all out due to the recent "lunch rush". I was livid with passive-aggressivism, but it was my duty to review some god damn pizza so I told her I would stick around for the 15 minutes it would take to cook an entire pizza just for me. In retrospect, I don't see how Antonio's could have a lunch rush whatsoever. I doubt anyone with tastebuds has ever double-dipped their dick in this shit hole.
Without further ado, here's the pizza I received:
Trust me, it tasted worse than it looks. And it looks like two slabs of grandma-goat cheese, so that's saying a hell of a lot. Anyway, I was told it would take 15 minutes to cook, and I'm pretty sure it came out faster than expected. I would say that's a plus, but the roof of my mouth would vehemently disagree. In a rush to cook a pizza for what I can only assume was their first customer in weeks, the god damn cook turned the oven to over 9000 degrees. Sure, the pizza came out quick as a result, but my entire mouth was blasted to hell by their scalding hot, piss flavored cheese. And why the fuck is the pizza in a cardboard box, you ask? Fuck if I know. I made it very clear that I would be sticking around to eat their shitty pizza, but the woman handed me this cardboard box as if to say, "Here's your disgusting pizza, now get the fuck out." I can only assume that they're used to having customers stampede out of their doors upon viewing their horrendously macabre monstrosities. In defiance of my immediate urge to turn and run, I took my god damn seat, braced myself, and dove into this clusterfuck of cheese ass-first.
Wonderful first impression. Unlike my Golden Gate Bridge analogy of Incredible Pizza, this slice sagged not because of a poor length-to-thickness ratio, but because of a shoddy cooking job. The cheese sloughed off like a snake shedding its skin. The bottom of the pizza was coated in a layer of flour. The pizza itself couldn't hold up to a simple fold until halfway through the eating process. This shit went everywhere. Cheese was sliding off left and right, so, like the pig I am, I naturally scraped the remaining cheese off the cardboard box and grubbed. By the time I realized my hands were full-blown landfills in their own right, I noticed that Antonio's has no god damn napkins. Fucking no where to be found. If I were a respectable human being with a shred of dignity, this would bother me immensely. But I'm not, so I continually wiped my grimy hands on my pants. The usual.
So their pizza falls apart upon the slightest touch. No biggie. I'm used to eating pounds of fake, microwaved chicken pieces mixed with uncooked noodles and sauce of indiscernible origin. I'm no gustatory guru; I'm a fanatical food fucker. So as long as caloric intake is present, I'm generally content. But this shit from Antonio's was unacceptable, even by my standards. Their cheese smelled like it came from the teats of an aging Mexican llama. It was probably some fancy shit that I've never heard of - some exotic cheese that only eccentric motherfuckers like. Either that, or it really was just cheap shit that had been lying around for a few years. Either way, the scent alone left me feeling like a bulimic high-schooler. Gag reflex all up in that bitch. And the crust wasn't the most amazing, either. If I actually knew anything about pizza, I would probably compare it to that all-purpose flour that Pete always alludes to when he talks about shitty shitburgers. All I know is it tasted like my mom's old pizza crust, which is to say, extremely sub-par. I can't say anything about the sauce, though , because I was too busy focusing on the cheese constantly destroying my face.
That shit happened every single time I took a bite. Cheese exploded in the general vicinity of fucking everywhere. It was practically liquid. Perhaps if these kumquat-fucking numbnuts took their damn time making pizza, I wouldn't look like a toddler with liquefied food dribbling down my face. The only good thing I can say about this nonsensical bullshit is that the food was edible. By some divine intervention of the hand of Jesus tittyfucking Christ, I made it through both slices without puking my balls up. However, there was darkness on the horizon. I can say with confidence, this was the first time I have ever consumed something while knowing full well the havoc it would later wreak on my bowels. The ominous cloud of foreshadowed toilet worship was not just real - not just surreal - it was god damn diarrheal. It was as if the receipt from this god damn location knew what I was thinking; at the bottom it read "Arrivedercci" in all caps. For my countless uncultured, philistine readers, that is a misspelling of the Italian word for "till we meet again". Fucking ominous way to end the meal. The only time I'll see Antonio's food again is when it comes blasting out my anus in the form of a bile-infused, gastrointestinal, raging waterfall the likes of which the world has never seen.
As I finish up this review, violently hammering my keyboard with my grease-fucked fingertips, I am still peeling skin off the roof of my mouth. I have third-degree burns in the cavernous, gaping abyss known as my mouth because of you fucking readers (who?). Fuck. I can say with conviction that I will never return to the hellhole that is Antonio's Pizza, unless their disastrous shit mind-fucks me into blacking out the past 24 hours. I wouldn't doubt it. If there is anyone on the face of the Earth reading this worthless blog post, heed this advice and avoid this establishment at all costs. It will wreck your shit.
Unless you're that 700-lb motherfucker that walked in when I was halfway through my 2nd slice. He ordered a god damn entire pizza for himself. He wasn't taking it home. I watched him sit and gobble that shit up like those starving Chinese children my parents always spoke of. That fucking whale of a motherfucker probably supplies Antonio's with enough daily income for them to stay open for eternity. Fuck America.
7 1/2 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Antonio's Pizza & Pasta - $2.16 8211 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28411
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
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