Improved from Impoverishment
I don't even know how to write these reviews, it's been too long since my last one. Be that as it may, today I'm taking a look at Bessie and Giuseppe, which took over from Incredible Pizza. B&G is so badass that they don't even need a sign with their name on it, apparently. Just 'PIZZA' will cut it, a sign carried over from Incredible. This didn't bother me. However, their other main focus is burgers so it seems like they might wanna say something like 'PIZZA AND BURGERS." Maybe that's just me.
I liked the interior of the place. I spent as little time as I could inside of the old Incredible location, but it seems very different to me now. In other words, improved. More of a bar vibe as opposed to some shitty fake pizzeria in a stripmall near the beach. Which is definitely not to say that Bessie and Giuseppe is much more than a shitty fake pizzeria in a stripmall near the beach. Moving forward we shall observe a slice of their pizza:
A rinky-dink little thing, that. You might say, "hey, it's only two dollars!" Yes sir, but that's what you pay at I<3NY and they include tax - and the slices are bigger and fucking mind blowing. The best thing going for this slice is the dough. It seems well-made and well-seasoned. Sadly, it was under-cooked and screen-cooked. It was paler than my ass. The sauce seemed good, I'll be honest. But I could barely taste any of it because it was so overwhelmingly under-applied. The cheese was mediocre, maybe a little above. If the sauce had been applied correctly and the pizza was cooked long enough and not on a screen, the cheese may have synergized this bitch to the moon.
The world may never know. Also, get draft beer guys, please lord.
4.5 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)
Bessie and Giuseppe - $2.00 + tax
1978 Eastwood Rd, NC 28403
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.
'Original' and 'Gourmet' never said so little
I'm guessing The Original Incredible Gourmet Pizza (whew) has no real current connection with the fairly upstanding Incredible location off of New Centre except in name. I'm guessing some sort of time-space fissure developed causing a rift between these two places, with this place continuing to make crummy pizza and the New Centre location beginning to make something of some merit.
The slice was about as much of a letdown as you would expect based on it's dumb appearance:
Well, maybe it doesn't look that bad. But it is small and goofy. Whole thing was floppy and stupid, possibly cooked on a screen (for shame). No crunch at all, anywhere. The rim of the crust was really doughy and undercooked and gross. The cheese was good and I have no opinion on the sauce. The dough/crust was the killer of this slice. If this were a game of Clue, you would have an easy game ahead of you.
Of note is that this place allegedly doesn't serve slices except during lunch hours. Fuck that shit. Even the copout idea of keeping a pie or two out and topping them as needed before the reheat would be a vast improvement over offering nothing. Offering tiny personal pizzas is no excuse for not offering slices if you purport to be a pizzeria. And what size pie was this slice cut out of, anyway? like 14-16"? Weaksauce.
If this is the original, give me the new shit any day. Gourmet? Get lost.
6 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)The Original Incredible Gourmet Pizza - $2.16
1978 Eastwood Road, Wilmington, NC 28403
This was my first time patronizing Vito's Pizza, even though I've lived here for more than ten years. This place is at Wrightsville Beach. I'm down with going to the beach, but I've never associated pizza with beach excursions, so I guess I never even considered going to this place. Growing up going to Jones Beach in New York had me associating the beach more with hotdogs and felonious seagulls than anything else (besides having to walk a literal mile to get from the parking lot to the water). But I can see how a place like Vito's makes sense here, especially with the ever-expanding local beach bar scene. Every year this shithole looks and sounds more like the Jersey Shore. Terrible shit. I guess that explains why they're open until 2:30am Thursday-Saturday.
Not knowing at all what to expect was pretty cool. Going in here, the place had a good layout and a nice vibe and the employees were pretty awesome. The outside has a bunch of stupidly-painted picnic tables too, and that shit was just dandy in my book. This review is already shaping up to be too nice, what the hell? Mental note: curse more.
Fuck all that other shit, here's the slice I was given:
Looks alright at first glance. And it was. The crust was completely decent; the sauce didn't blow me away by any means but it was decent and generally not over- or under-applied. The cheese was pretty good and on the whole, the slice was pretty tasty. On the downside it was a bit small. For $2.50 it's not the best deal, but I give them props for eschewing the common taxation sneak attack and instead building the tax into the advertised price like all real pizzerias should. "I survived [insert shitty pizzeria here] and all I have to show for it are a few pennies, a nickel and a case of mouth herpes" is a t-shirt I'm seriously considering making.
I've heard that Mellow Mushroom is going to open up a new location at Wrightsville, and I don't know if Vito's will survive that. But I hope they do because even though Mellow Mushroom is a pretty awesome beergasm of a place (and will be reviewed shortly), their shit ain't New York. Vito's is. At least to a degree. As a means of legitimizing the rating I'm about to give (not that I need to since I don't give a shit what you think) I felt that, for example, Incredible's slice was bigger and tastier. However, Incredible's slice was also made by a careless, fault-prone hobo while Vito's was made by someone who doesn't hate their life. So that equates to a wash in my book, fuck it.
3 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Vito's Pizza - $2.50
8 N Lumina Ave, Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480
The shitwinds are blowing, here comes Round 3
This is the third Slice of Life location I have reviewed, and hopefully the last. Hopefully I will conclude this terrible blog before they spread their cancer further. I think in previous reviews I decided not to link to their site because it spammed a bunch of aural nonsense which pissed me off, so I'll stick with that. This, as far as I know, is the second location that this terrible local chain has created. As I discussed before, this place thrives off the marrow found in the backbone of drunks - Slice's lifeblood is spinewhiskey; which, incidentally, I would love to try, should it ever really come to exist. Jacking up your late night prices and charging drunks $18+tax for a large pepperoni pizza? You've no shame. Luckily your customers have no brains, so congrats. I wish Congress would pass an Alcoholic Preservation Act to protect wild hobos from the onslaught of abuses coming from rampant capitalism. However, that's the archetypal example of a pipe dream.
Hold on a second, I've got to fill out these bankruptcy forms because I just bought a fucking taco from Slice last night. Never mind, they take plastic. More tequila, por favor.
Since apparently this terrible blog is about reviewing pizza and not critiquing a thriving capitalist business model, I'll talk about the slice after showing you this photo. It looked better in person, I have to say. I'm not a fucking photographer; I'm a fatass.
In any case, this slice is bigger than that of the location on S. College and about the same size, or larger, than that of the location downtown. This discussion of size is sort of relevant when you're paying goddamn $2.70 after tax for a slice. Likewise, as a reasonable person at a bar, I threw my server a tip. It's just basic etiquette, really. I don't even fucking understand it (in this case, when I'm the only person in fucking sight, take up no valuable bar space and she did virtually no work), but having worked in the industry I am forced to live by it. So this slice cost me $3.70. This is not a pizzeria in the NY sense, it is a bar in the college-town sense, which just happens to serve half-hearted, floppy artery-jangers as a side note.
When it comes down to it, the best thing I can say about this slice is that it is the best slice of Slice of Life pizza I have ever reviewed. It's better than what I got from either the downtown or the South College locations. The bad news is that saying such is not saying much.
The cheese was alright and the sauce, for the most part, wasn't terribly noticeable. The crust was your typical Slice crust and it was the main source of the slice's problems. It was cooked on a screen, apparently. It wasn't bad for the most part but I guess they felt the need to perforate it all over to make it as dense and terrible as physics allows. Fucking great, guys. No one else does this, and there's a damn reason they don't. Like the downtown location (and unlike the slice I got from the South College location), the rim of the crust was coated in a bunch of garlic butter. Fucking terrible. I assume that's on there to entice people to eat the crust, or something? Well, it's disgusting. The slice overall wasn't particularly awful but after eating the rim of the crust, basically all I could taste was shitty garlic butter. Fuck that.
Their menu says that their dough is made with purified water. I would have guessed clarified butter, but what do I know.
5 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Slice of Life Pizzeria & Pub - $2.70 1437 Military Cutoff Rd # 101, Wilmington, NC 28403