Sunday, February 19, 2012

Last, but Not Least

Fifth Stop: Mio’s Pizzeria
Date:  February 9, 2012
Location: 8470 U.S. 42 Florence, KY 41042
Ranking: 50

We’d heard rumors of the heart-shaped pizza, one only offered around Valentine’s Day and at Mio’s Pizzeria.  Then, the weekend prior to our visit, Courtney received a Living Social alert regarding a half-price deal at none other than Mio’s Pizzeria.  Happenstance! 

Stationed in a strip mall with a Dairy Queen (say what?!) and your usual strip mall-type businesses, this location of Mio’s is cozy and clean, catering to both customers dining in and ordering out. We chose a booth along the side, and sat down in the dimly lit room to find a tiny little “I Love You” vase awaiting us, holding one single fake fabric rose.  How romantic.  Too bad, as our server later informed us, that this innocent flower was crushed by the booth’s previous inhabitant – a little girl bent on stacking items atop the vase.  Perhaps Valentine’s Day already gets her bitter.
An old school menu on display
We debated for far too long about which pizza we wanted; perhaps the indifference of Newtown Pizza still plagued us.  Luckily, we had plenty of time to think about it without feeling pressured, and our wait was peppered with witty banter from our charming server. In the end, after our server tried to take our order approximately 3-4 times, we made a firm decision.  It would be the heart-shaped pizza after all, specifically of the Fresh Spinach, Bacon & Tomato variety, which also offers garlic and onion on a sesame seed crust.  That last part is italicized because it is so very important.  Speaking of sesame seeds and witty banter, a favorite Mitch Hedberg sound bite comes to mind:

We’ll let this thought stew with you while we move onto the main act.

The heart-shaped pizza itself is only offered in a medium, which actually ends up being a bit smaller due to the pieces removed to allow the actual heart shape.  It’s still the same price as a medium, so for the specialty pizza that we chose, the price was $15.49 (pre-tax).  It seems that they keep a supply of this heart-y dough ready-to-go, as our server mentioned something like “I think he still has a few of those back there.”  Does this mean it is frozen?  We should have asked. 

Our server delivered the pizza to our table and, yep, it was in the shape of a heart.  Mio’s pizza is thin, with the toppings covering it neatly and nearly to the very edge of the pie.  The spinach was set on the pizza in little clumps.  This worried Courtney at first as it reminded her of LaRosa’s, where she’s pretty sure the spinach is dispensed from a frozen pack (ewwww).  But, once she took a bite of the Mio’s pizza, she knew that it was, in fact, the fresh spinach that the menu description promised.  Thank goodness.  The tomatoes were also cut fresh, and pieces of thick, chewy bacon sprinkled the whole thing.  It really was quite tasty. 
That's amore!

Perhaps the best part of this pizza, though, is the crust.  This deduction does not stem from the crust itself (meaning the dough of which it was built), but rather from the hearty amount of sesame seeds that decorated and flavored it.  Unlike Mitch Hedberg, we can definitely imagine ourselves being disappointed if they took sesame seeds off the market.  The flavor of the seeds adds a fringe of wholesome, toasted nuttiness that invades nearly every bite as you get deeper into the pizza and the seeds scatter themselves about.  However, for those who find the sesame seed to be an aversive or unnecessary detail, you are advised to stay away from this type of crust on the menu for sure, because those little things will be EVERYWHERE when you are finished eating.  We were seriously licking our fingertips and pressing them against the pan so as not to let any of those little sesame buggers go to waste.  Sounds kind of gross to do this at a public restaurant, but we bet that you would do it, too.
No sesame seed is safe from us at Mio's
We had also ordered some Basil Bread with Cheese from the “Great Starts” menu, but that never came to fruition.  Many people would be mad about this forgotten appetizer, but it was a good thing, really.  We ate the whole pizza – every single piece –leaving no room for anything else.  Plus, we are pretty easy-going gals, and as our server had won our approval with his genuine likeability and charm, he was quickly forgiven. There were moments that totally made up for not getting any basil bread--watching him play with a funny baby (who, as a bonus, made really odd semi-disturbing faces at the two of us), learning all about Norwood and its secret backwards name (doo wrong(G)?), and looking at his phone to see a picture of him donning a mullet (before he donated his hair to Locks of Love!).  Redeeming qualities, for sure.  Courtney said that he would probably remember his basil bread faux pas, out of the blue, a week later, and realize with honest disappointment that he had failed us.  For these reasons, and despite the bread neglect, he earned a nice tip.  This here is a prime example of how servers can affect your dining experience. 

Overall, the pizza was very good, though we can’t say it’s the best we’ve ever had.  We both have always thought of Mio’s as a place that offered yummy pizza, and we still do.  Though it may be at the very bottom of Cincinnati Magazine’s list, it is definitely worthy of praise and inclusion in that elusive top 50.  I love that sesame seed crust is a possibility there, and honestly, it’s probably our favorite part about Mio’s.  The sesame seeds and that moment when, as we exited the building, our server rushed over to show us that picture of himself sporting a mullet.

Mio's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 13, 2012

Indifference: It’s Contagious!

Third Stop: Newtown Village Tavern and Pizza
Date:  February 1, 2012
Location: 6778 Main Street Newtown, OH 45244
Ranking: 15

We thought it was time to move up a bit on the top 50 list and have a taste of something within the top 20.  Courtney was also feeling lazy and decided that Robyn could meet her on her side of town and then make the short trek together to Newtown Village Tavern & Pizza. We initially drove right by this little tavern (are you shocked?).  When we turned around and found ourselves in the parking lot, we were greeted with some quirky little glass bottle trees outside.  At first, we debated where to enter – there is a pizza parlor-like looking entrance in the back, but we knew that the entrance to the bar itself was positioned at the corner of the street.  We opted, apparently correctly, for the front.  We sat ourselves in the “tavern” area and the bartender was with us right away. 

After perusing the menu for a bit, we thought we’d ask our server some questions. However, our questions about which pizza(s) were the best at Newtown Tavern were repeatedly met with the same simplistic answer: “All of them.”  Even after some pressing, this server, AKA Captain Indifference, declined to pick a favorite, proclaiming that they were all really good.  Sure, this could be true considering the fact that he has probably tried all of them during his stint as a pizza and beer salesman.  It became clear, though, that this decision was going to be made all on our own.  Uh-oh.  

When we asked about the ranch pizza, our server taught us all about the layering process involved in its creation, including repetitious circular hand gestures:  “The sauce is made up of a thin layer of pizza sauce and a thin layer of ranch dressing, followed by a thin layer of onion, a thin layer of bacon, chicken, and cheese.” Alrighty, we get it.  Pizza is a layered art. 

Our server, nesting in a cloud of indifference.
Despite the oddity (and again, indifference) of his explanation, we were both intrigued by this pizza.  Never had either of us eaten any kind of ranch pizza; this one sounded ideal. We were both worried about missing out on tomato sauce altogether, but learned that this pizza involved the best of both worlds:  pizza sauce + ranch.    

To our chagrin, our server informed us that we could request a pie to be split half and half.  We were super excited to hear that this meant we could try out the ranch pizza on one half and cover the rest in some of our usual favorites.  For our toppings on the “normal” half of this 14-incher, we chose red onions, mushrooms, black olives, and pepperoni (AKA Ol’ Trusty; everything gets a nickname in this post ). 
Split down the middle, with Ranch on the left.
We started out with some fried dill pickle spears and some exceptionally delicious fountain Cokes.  Don’t concern yourself too much with the fried pickles – they were good, but not phenomenal; we’ve had better elsewhere.  Conversely, the ranch pizza was excellent!  There was a slightly cool, tangy flavor that the ranch added to the standard tomato sauce, which was plentiful on both sides.  Our mouths are actually watering just thinking about it right now. 

Ranch auditioned for us first.
I want more of this RIGHT NOW. 
 The other side, sadly, was not so memorable.  It was good, but didn’t stand out.  We can give you more details, but they will just be pretty flat:  thin crust, decent layer of cheese on top with nice brown broiled spots, average toppings.  The cheese blanketed the toppings, allowing only a few sneak peaks at the goodies underneath.  Maybe this was part of the problem – we like those toppings out and in the open.  When underneath, sometimes they just don’t seem as fresh.  Also, when cooked this way, the pepperoni doesn’t get nice and crispy. 

Speaking to the crust, in Robyn’s opinion, it was reminiscent of that polarizing Cincinnati favorite: LaRosa’s.  However, the sauce was spread to the very edge of that crust, and was not boring and flavorless, like others can sometimes be.  For Courtney, though, this was not her favorite sauce.  It was a bit too tangy for her liking, and spicier than most.  But, the wonder of the Ranch pizza is that it cuts the bold flavor of the sauce with the dressing, which when teamed up together deliver a tasty treat to your mouth.  We would recommend that Ranch pizza any day, but that other half just didn’t live up to its pizza list placing. 

Yup, we liked the Ranch side better.
Final thoughts on this pizza:  it’s good, but we both found ourselves questioning whether it was truly worthy of that #15 spot on the list.  Judging from its positive cyber-reviews, the locals and regulars would probably argue that it definitely deserves to be high up there.  Yet, we were honestly kind of surprised by its ranking.  Maybe a few more visits to Newtown would solidify our feelings on this pizza’s status, but for now, it stays filed under the category of average.  Perhaps this is where our lack of trained food criticism shows; maybe we simply aren’t appreciating the right things about this pizza.  But for now, frankly, we’d rather take the drive up 75 to Roc-a-fella’s than that short trip down 32.

Newtown Village Tavern on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Roc-a-fella's Redemption

Date: Tuesday, January 24th, 2012
Location: 11055 Reading Road  Sharonville, OH 45241
Ranking: 40

This pizza quest for us is nothing short of scientific.  Alright, who are we kidding…we swirled our fingers around with our eyes closed to pick the first couple of places.  But, in all actuality, there is some science to why humans like what we like, and here’s a little biopsychology for you people.  When you first smell a scent that is new to you, it becomes linked to an event, a person, a thing, or even a moment. Your brain creates this link between the smell and a memory. When you come across the smell again, the link is already there, ready to bring back that memory or a mood (for example, the smell of fruit punch always reminds Courtney of kindergarten).  Seeing how food is so strongly tied to the scents they possess, it’s no wonder that certain foods or food smells so easily bring memories to the surface of our minds.

In Robyn’s case, the memory of her first visit to Roc-a-Fella’s ignited mixed feelings and unwanted memories.  The only time she’d ever been was on a first date with someone who, upon entrance to the pizzeria, she genuinely thought she would like a lot.  Turns out, the disgusting person that he turned out to be overshadowed the true love she might have experienced with the pizza back on that first date, a couple years ago.  Though it was difficult to extract her memories of the meal from her bad experience with this particular guy, Robyn managed to salvage some recollection of a good pizza.  She insisted that this pizza was delicious and felt obligated to let the pizza redeem the restaurant from her own associations and memories.  She didn’t want Roc-a-Fellas to fall short on her list because some eternal douche ruined it for her.  After all, he isn’t worth even half the mention he’s getting in this blog post, so there’s no way he’s going to create a void in someone else’s pizza enjoyment.  Yeah!  So, with this piece of Robyn’s autobiography in mind, let’s move on. 

When ordering at the counter, the boss appeared skeptical that we only wanted a large.  True, this is their smallest size.  However, it is also a LARGE.  It seemed that for once, someone was overestimating our pizza loving abilities!  He cut us the best possible deal for the combo we were ordering (large two-topping pizza, order of breadsticks, and two sodas).  For all this grub, our total was $22.00 with a small (about $2) tip.  Reasonable prices: always a check mark in the “Pros” column!  Robyn was in the mood for just a classic kind of pie, and being the agreeable and tolerant friend that Courtney is, she agreed to order a large pepperoni and mushroom pizza with an order of breadsticks to munch on as well.  The breadsticks were one of Robyn’s happy bad date memories – she insisted they be a part of our Roc-a-fella’s experience. 
When we seated ourselves in the adjoining room, we encountered two breathtaking decorations:  a Space Jam pinball machine and an array of pizza box art.  Here’s a prime example of what we meant about not being able to hold back on extraneous factors such as the environment and décor-how could you not love a good Space Jam artifact and creative pizza art? Emphasis on the Space Jam part, though.   They could have served shit on a stick and we would have at least walked away happy that we’d seen a Space Jam pinball machine. 
MUCH better than a poop stick

Sidenote:  The wall next to our booth featured another piece of art – a framed picture of a couple feeding each other pizza.  The guy in the picture looks JUST LIKE our friend Matt.  We are using capital letters here.  Sure, no one else might care, but this surely contributed to our positive review and pleasant experience. 
"I realized it wasn't really me in the picture when I noticed that my earlobes are different" (Matt Z, one week later)

Now, at least an entire paragraph needs to be dedicated to the breadsticks alone.  These breadsticks are quite the showstoppers.  They are freshly made – we saw ours when they were just baby dough logs, brushed with butter and sent to the oven - and are just $4 for 8 huge breadsticks .  Four dollars!!!  Thinking about all of the ridiculous ways she’d spent $4 in the past and NOT received a platter of breadsticks like these made Robyn want to punch herself in the face. Our pizza was neglected for a few minutes so that we could “let it cool,” when in reality, we just wanted to indulge in more breadstick heaven.  These breadsticks were accompanied by not one, but FIVE little cups of marinara sauce.  Usually you are lucky to get maybe two cups of dipping sauce, and usually only one of those is marinara.  And usually, Courtney doesn’t even want the marinara because it’s not that great.  But this sauce…this sauce was different.  These little cups were full of bright orange-red marinara wonder.  It was flavorful and had a semi-sweet taste to it – just right.  It was chunky with small pieces of tender tomatoes that seemed to melt in your mouth once married with the chewy, garlicky dough of the breadsticks.  Yum yum yum.  This sauce is homemade daily.  The secret ingredient?  A dash of sour cream.   


After prying ourselves away from the breadsticks, we cut into the pizza.  Roc-a-Fella’s pizza comes out piping hot and gleaming with oils from the cheese, pepperoni, and garlic-brushed crust.  Some might use the word “greasy” to describe the little pools of oil resting atop the cheese and pepperoni, but the word “glistening” seems more fitting to us.  Besides, as you learned from being a calorie-conscious teenage girl once upon a time, a little blotting with a napkin solves the grease situation both quickly and easily.  Speaking of the cheese – it was not as stringy as others, but in a good way.  It was quality cheese that you could really bite into.  Meaning, when you took those first few gooey bites, every single topping didn’t pull away with a sheet of cheese, losing their pizza real estate and leaving a sad mess of un-toppinged, barely cheesed triangular crust.  The crust, brushed with garlic butter and maybe some other Italian seasonings, added flavor to that part of the pizza that might otherwise be a boring afterthought.  The body of the crust throughout the pizza is thin and foldable in the New York Style tradition, of which Robyn took advantage.   In this respect, this “taste of New York” truly lives up to its name.  The pizza managed to offer large slices that were very thin, yet not “floppy” which we’ve experienced with other pizzas.  There was a pretty average amount of toppings, but they tasted fresh and were cooked just right.  Overall, this pie seemed to accomplish each element of the pizza very well so that, when combined, a Top 50 pizza emerges.  

You might be wondering if this visit helped to redeem Robyn’s previous not-so-wonderful Roc-a-Fellas encounter.  In short, the answer is YES.  The sights, sounds, and smells of this place can now be associated with an overall fun and delicious evening, and, more importantly, one spent with someone awesome.  It’s a shame that Roc-a-Fellas is so far from our homes and daily lives in general, because it is definitely worthy of repeat visits.  Maybe now that we have our very own “Frequent PIE-er Miles/Regular’s Card,” we can find a good reason to swing north and get our fix of tasty New York style pizza and mouth-watering breadsticks.  

And we had all this left for the next day's lunch.
On a funny end note, the next day’s Cincinnati Savers deal was for none other than Roc-a-fella’s Pizza.  But, after saving this establishment from the forever-gloom initially imposed by one eternal douche, we will not let this irony flavor our enchanting evening in this little pizzeria, flanked by delicious food and one Space Jam pinball machine.  
One more glance at Michael, for old times' sake.

Roc-a-Fellas on Urbanspoon

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Celebrating National Cheese Lover's Day at Salvadore's

Date: Friday, January 20th, 2012
Location: 3623 Dixie Highway Elsmere, KY
Ranking in Cincinnati magazine 2011: 49

We apparently didn’t learn our lesson the first time, and again ran into GPS hell trying to reach our second destination, Salvadore’s Pizzeria in Elsmere, KY.  Dixie Highway is long and easy to find, but we weren’t sure which direction we needed to head on that road to find Salvadore’s. This time, at least, Robyn was smart enough to jot down the address on a post-it note.  The fact that she left this on her kitchen counter was a bit problematic, but the actual act of handwriting the note did allow her to remember the address.  Yes – already off to a better start than our trip to Mt. Adams! 

Though my GPS refused to pick up any signal, in the end, this one wasn’t hard to spot, sitting right on Dixie Highway and only a few minutes off of the exit.  Salvadore’s offers a parking lot for its patrons, though we found it full when we arrived around 7:15 on a Friday evening.  We (probably illegally) parked in a hardware store lot right across a side street, and quickly crossed into the warmth of the restaurant.

Be warned: here, too, you order your pizza right at the counter, as soon as you walk in.  We stepped to the side and took our time, not wanting to be brash and rushed in this very important decision.  After opting against a specialty pizza, we took advantage of a coupon offered in the menu that the hostess/cashier handed us for reference:  $11.99 for a large, 3 topping pizza.  Sold.

*Note: These menus/coupons seem to be readily available to customers, and you don’t even have to tear it out – just tell your cashier you’d like to use one!

We decided on three solid topping choices:  pepperoni, mushrooms, and green peppers.  We are both a fan of the classic pepperoni and mushroom pizza, and thought we’d add the green peppers to make us feel healthier.  Also, we needed to make up for the serious lack of green peppers spotting our King of the Hill at Mt. Adams Pizza & Deli last weekend.  We placed our order, filled our cups at a self-serve fountain soda stand, and seated ourselves at a round table decked in a cute tablecloth adorned with old-fashioned advertisements.  Salvadore's is very family-friendly, and many families had gathered there for dinner that evening, despite the impending doom of an ice storm moving into the tri-state area.  As a bonus, you can watch them in the background of the open kitchen area, crafting your pies right before your eyes.

It didn’t take long for our pizza to arrive.  A nice server delivered our pizza, steaming hot on the standard thin metal pan.  She confirmed the number in our party (yes, only two of us for this large pizza), and handed over two paper plates.  The pizza was warm, obviously just out of the oven, so we let it sit a few moments so as not to burn the tops of our mouths and scar our pizza-hunting ambitions.  After taking some of the pictures inserted into this blog post, we each grabbed a piece and had at it.  Yum.  Salvadore’s pizza is melty and greasy – mind you, this is not in a bad way.  It was a sea of cheesy goodness, with some quality items floating on top. The pepperoni was very flavorful, with a robust and almost smoky taste.  The mushrooms were fresh and chopped into large, quality pieces.  The green peppers were plentiful and cooked just right – not rubbery, and not raw.  We were both happy with our selection. 

Salvadore’s definitely doesn’t skimp on the cheese or the sauce.  As aforementioned, the toppings sit atop a bed of melted cheese; when you lift out an individual slice, this makes it semi-difficult to detach it from the rest of the pie. Robyn thought the cheese was chewy, but not rubbery, and in good quantity. The sauce was abundant, as well.  I found that, together, the cheesiness and sauciness worked well together, and perhaps dictated a strong flavor that was only accented by the meat and vegetables.  According to their website, Salvadore’s has been catering to the area since 1972 (though formerly by a different name).  Perhaps an old family recipe, tried, adjusted, and improved throughout the years, is behind this tasty sauce. 

Truth be T, the crust was probably the least notable aspect of this pizza.  It should be noted that, though we appreciate an abundance of cheese, sauce, and flavor, this surely affects the framework of the pizza.  This one was sort of floppy and hard to hold by the slice, at least until you were a few bites in.  It’s fine to eat your pizza with a fork, but sometimes you just want to grab it and lead it to your mouth by hand.  The thinness of the crust doesn’t really allow this, unless you want an avalanche of hot toppings in your lap.  (I really like thin pizza, but for those that don't, this observation may be an important one to note).  In its defense, we were somewhat impressed when we examined and found little sign of the greasiness and moistness of its above layers shining through to the bottom of the pizza.  At least the crust is built well to contain this.  However, the crust rimming the circumference was unremarkable; it was just kind of there.  A few of these ending pieces were sacrificed in order to indulge in another slice. 

Though we did knock out a fair amount, this time we were left with two pieces apiece to bring home in little takeout boxes.  Thank goodness we each got two – I mean, who has a use for just one slice of pizza?  I think the rule in general is that you always need at least two.  We packed up our leftovers, refilled our drinks, and headed out into the cold with our bellies much fuller than they were upon their introduction to Salvadore’s Pizzeria. 

This is only our second pizza-reviewing adventure.  In just these two trips, we have seen how very different pizza can be from place to place.  We liked both, but for different reasons and in different ways.  Is it true – is pizza just pizza?  Is it all good??  I guess we will find out as we truck along.  Next stop: Roc-a-fellas.

Salvadore's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Two Queens and a King of the Hill

Date: Sunday, January 15th, 2012
Location: 1045 Saint Gregory St. Cincinnati OH, 45202
Ranking in Cincinnati Magazine 2011: 26

There are a few basic pointers that we’d like to share with anyone bent on visiting this locale.  First of all: Unless you spent a lot of time at the Pavillion in your early twenties, frequent Playhouse in the Park, or are otherwise very familiar with Mt. Adams’ maze of San Francisco-like streets, I strongly recommend charting your path beforehand.  We put our faith in a smart phone GPS, and an ETA of 11 minutes turned into a 25-minute trip.  Not dreadfully long, no, but it did more than double our travel time.

Two: Parking kind of sucks in Mt. Adams, even on an early Sunday afternoon.  There are street spots everywhere, but they seem to be always taken, or have a 10 minute time limit. We almost parked in one of the latter, but had concerns about earning a parking ticket (I mean, if we’re going to eat our way through this pizza list, we need to watch our dough). We ended up parking in a lot on St. Gregory, only about a block and a half down from the pizzeria, with its entrance opposite a UDF.  I think the fee was just $2, but, as the mature 29 year olds that we are, we never ever have any cash in our wallets. So, make sure you have some cash on you.   

And lastly, our third warning is to keep in mind that this place has two names. In Cincy Magazine, the 26th top place for pizza in the Queen City is Mt. Adams Pizza & Deli.  Yet, the window of this establishment advertises Mount Adams Pizzeria.  Further, our pizza box featured a Mt. Adams Pizza & Deli logo. I’m still confused. I suppose we could have asked one of the two workers behind the counter, but we didn’t really care anymore by the time we each stuffed half of a medium pizza into our faces.

Minutes before heading up the street to the pizzeria, we had a discussion about how, unless they were extremely remarkable, we would hold back on too much judgment about the atmosphere, employees, the service, and décor of these pizza establishments.  After all, we were reviewing the top pizzas, not the top restaurants.  However, that pretty much went out the door for me when we finally stumbled upon Mount Adams Pizzeria.  As it turns out, after writing this post and discussing our experience afterwards, it seems that it might actually be a little difficult to extract those other factors from our final summation. 

Upon discovering the restaurant, the initial feelings I had were akin to those experienced as a 5 year old girl, when after a long and arduous journey to Florida’s Disney World, I discovered that the Snow White Castle was just something that you were supposed to walk under, not actually explore.  I had expected to have exclusive access to the quaint, luxurious, and private dwellings of a princess, when the truth was, I just got to stand there and look at a shell of an artificial castle.  Inside, there were probably just hollow stairwells and electrical circuits running past a bunch of broom closets or something. 

Ok, maybe it wasn’t disappointment that I felt at the pizzeria.  After all, I still ended up being really happy at Disney World.  It just wasn’t what I was expecting aesthetically, so I had to take a step back and remind myself what I was really there for.  In Disney World, my purpose certainly was not to ogle pretty things; it was to ride the rides until I got a headache, get a sunburn, take pictures with Mickey Mouse, and let my Grandparents spoil me with snow cones and souvenirs.  Today, the purpose was to discover if the hype was warranted at Mt. Adams Pizza and Deli. 

The place is no-frills, and caters mostly to carryout and delivery orders from around the neighborhood.  There are 3 small tables in the front part of the restaurant, and you order as soon as you walk in right at the register.  If you don’t know the menu, or haven’t checked it out online (, you might feel awkward and rushed as you attempt to read through the menu taped to the counter while the cashier watches you. They do offer vegan, gluten-free, and healthy pizza options, if that’s what you’re into.

We each ordered a soft drink, and found that, here, they are served by the can.  The can was $0.75, so it is not an issue of extreme over-pricing.  The issue – though admittedly not a major issue, especially to you health-conscious readers – is the inconvenience factor. We are both spoiled by the availability of caffeine and free refills, and I suppose have come to expect them whenever dining out. When I’m eating pizza, I don’t want water, sheesh!  We paid for everything up front at the counter, and with a credit card.  Of Again, neither of us had any cash on hand.  Perhaps we should have had the foresight to just order 2 apiece at the onset, but we didn’t, and honestly, probably hoped that one soft drink per person would suffice.  So, of course, an hour in and 6 slices down, we were in a dilemma.  Happy ending, though: we managed to pillage enough change from the inside of our purses to accumulate the necessary $1.50 to indulge in some more sugary deliciousness.    

The “no frills” atmosphere is supported by the delivery of the pizza to our table in a closed takeout box that carries plastic plates and plastic forks atop for our use.  Thankfully, the server provided an effective metal spatula in order to better cut and serve our slices. 

After that long-winded intro, I’m going to keep it pretty brief here in my description of the pizza.  As noted, we ordered the King of the Hill medium pizza.  This thing was LOADED with toppings: pepperoni, sausage, ham, black olives, green peppers, and onion.  At first, we questioned whether or not the red onions were cooked.  I’m sure they were just super fresh, and probably lightly cooked, but either way, we found that it didn’t matter because they tasted just fine and added a nice juxtaposing crunch and a fresh, biting flavor to the other toppings.  The only thing that was lacking was the green peppers.  At first, I wasn’t even sure if they were supposed to be on there or not, because there were so few of them.  A later investigation of the website revealed that they are indeed a part of this pie.  I mean, look at the pictures and compare them to the amount of the other accoutrements…the green peppers are mere specks! 

The part of this pizza that most stood out for us both was definitely the crust-it was light, chewy, and crispy, and offered a great flavor-something that only New York Style pizzas ever seem to accomplish.  It was thin and doughy in the middle because of all the toppings, and the edges were supremely delightful. The crust is not so incredibly dense that it completely fills you up.  We often find that we forego pizza crust in order to save room for another slice.  Here, we were able to eat four pieces each, crust and all.    The sauce did its job, but I can’t remember exactly what it tasted like because of the overwhelming amount of toppings. 

If I lived in the neighborhood, I could definitely see myself going back for carryout after a long workday and trying the other kinds of pizzas that they offer.  We hear that the Diablo is delectable, if you’re a fan of spicy food (we are not).  It’s not a pie I would go out of my way for, but I would definitely recommend it to someone looking for quality pizza with lots of variety. Pick up a 2 liter at UDF, order a pie at the counter, and head on home to enjoy the pile of fresh toppings and a very tasty crust.

Mt. Adams Pizza & Deli on Urbanspoon