Garlic, garlic, and more garlic!!

On the menu tonight.. pizza! I don’t know what it is about Sundays, but I always seem to want to make pizza on Sunday nights. So we got out the good ole bread maker and started on the dough. The crust on this one was exceptionally good this time. Here’s what was we put in the crust so you can see why.

12 oz. can of Bud Light
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. sugar
4 cups flour
2 tbsp. yeast
2 tbsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy  seasoning

The whole time the bread maker was doing it’s thing, it smelled sooooo good. You could really smell the garlic. I was really looking forward to this one. So once the dough was ready it was time for the toppings. We included: pepperoni, ham, bacon, olives, mushrooms and minced garlic. The cheese we used was mozzarella and a mix of cheddar and monterey jack. The oven was preheated and the pizza was ready to go in. Eric said, “Pick a number between 1 and 60.” I picked 40. So the timer was set for 18:40. Haha. Must have been a perfect number because the pizza came out just right. With the cheese slightly browned just the way I like it.

Garlic crust

The pizza turned out just as I suspected. Delicious! You could really taste the garlic in the crust. And let me tell you, I am a huge fan of garlic. If I had cloves of garlic on hand I would have roasted them and threw those right on there too. Next time! I could also taste that it had a bit of a kick to it from the Mrs. Dash extra spicy seasoning and the pepper we added to the crust. I always add crushed red pepper on top of my pizza as well. What can I say, I’m a big fan of spiciness.

The crust was great this time. It had just the right amount of crunch on the bottom and yet it was soft on the inside. I have to say, this pizza had some girth to it too. And we even halved the dough to save for another time. Just look at that the loads of melted cheese on there! I’d say this pizza was a success. I can’t wait to have leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

garlic crust slice

Advertisements

Pangea’s Pizza Pub in Traverse City, MI

Since I have been doing this blog, I feel like whenever I’m out of town I have to try and find a pizza place to blog about. Soooo, that’s exactly what I did. This past weekend I went to Traverse City, MI for a wedding. I have never been to Traverse City before and I have to say it was a really pretty area. Our hotel was right on the beach and the downtown area was only minutes away. On our way out of town on Sunday, we stopped for lunch at Pangea’s Pizza Pub located at 135 East Front Street Traverse City, MI 49684. It was right in the middle of the downtown area next to several really cute little shops, cafes, etc.

We decided to order a medium pepperoni and bacon pizza with a garlic butter crust. I don’t know if you can tell by now what toppings are my favorite. :) I tend to always get very similar toppings. I know, I know. I should probably starting changing that up a bit huh? Of course when you know what you like.. why not stick with it right? I have to say, when the waitress suggested the garlic crust it didn’t even take me 0.5 seconds to decide if I wanted this or not. I was sold and very much looking forward to it. When the pizza arrived, well…just look at it!

Pangea's PizzaPangea's Pizza up close

You can see from the picture that the crust was covered with lots of yummy, delicious garlic butter. It almost reminded me of eating Crazy Bread from Little Caesars, but so much better. The cheese was perfectly melted with just the right amount of light brown coloring around the edges. The bacon pieces that were covering the pizza were actually nice size slices and not just tiny crumbles of bacon. So I really got a nice sense of the bacon flavor when I got a bite with bacon on it. It was a good amount of pizza for lunch. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I do love my Chicago style deep dish pizzas. But sometimes, I just want a regular sized slice of pizza. Not something that was going to make me go in to a food coma. This pizza wasn’t too filling but definitely did the trick. I was full when it was time to leave and had leftovers as usual.

Now for the sad and disappointing part of the story. Yesterday, I reheated this pizza for lunch thinking “Oh my god, I can’t wait to taste that awesome buttery, garlic crust!” Well, when I pulled the pizza out of the microwave at lunch, it had turned in to a mushy, soggy looking mess. I was so confused at first because I had never really had something like this happen to my pizza before when reheating it. I took my fork and lifted up the bottom of the crust and it just flopped around, very flimsy-like. I was so sad. At first I thought.. do I tough it out and just eat it? I had been looking forward to it so much. I tried to pick it up  by the end of the crust at first but no such luck. It kept folding and toppings were sliding off on to my plate. Next, I tried cutting it with a knife and fork. I actually had a few bites. The flavor was still very good. I will admit. You could still taste all the garlic on the crust. But the texture was just too slimy and soggy for me. So I pushed my pizza aside and didn’t finish the rest. So sad. I’ve never really had any pizza mishaps like this before so I was very thrown off my game. So I guess I would have to rate this pizza as a 3. When eaten fresh, this pizza was very very delicious. Good sauce, cheese, toppings and I don’t think I have to mention again how much I loved the garlic crust. I think it would be a pizza I would definitely have every now and then. Of course I don’t live in Traverse City, but the next time I’m there, I would definitely stop in for another slice for sure!

Pangea's Pizza Slice

Panino’s Pizza in Lakeview

I have been ordering Panino’s pizza for about a year and a half now. But I had yet to actually sit down and eat inside the restaurant. Thursday night I didn’t feel like cooking and of course.. had the urge for pizza, so I said “What the hell, let’s go to Panino’s!” It’s located at 3702 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60613.

The restaurant itself had a nice atmosphere. For some reason I was very entertained by the little mini salt and pepper shakers on our table because they were just too cute. It kind of made me feel like a giant. First things first, we ordered drinks. I was excited to see a wine menu on the table where every bottle of wine listed on there was only $15. And lucky for me, I happen to love wine. We ordered a bottle of 2008 Santa Ana Cabernet Sauvignon and I have to say, it was REALLY good. The waiter brought over bread for the table and to my surprise, it came with a little bottle of olive oil for dipping and a small bowl of parmesan cheese. Just the way I like to eat my bread. Makes sense to me, but not all Italian or pizza places do that so I often have to ask for them to bring it. They had some really good foccacia bread included in the bread basket that tasted like it had just came out of the oven.

Bread and Wine

On to the pizza.. We ordered a medium sized pan pizza with sausage, bacon, and pepperoni on it. Now granted I have had Panino’s pizza delivered several times before, but I was very excited to try their pizza fresh out of the oven in their restaurant for the first time. And when the pizza came, I enjoyed every bite! For some reason, the size of this pan pizza seemed so much larger than when we usually get it. I even looked over at the table next to our’s and our pizza looked gigantic compared to their’s. Oh well, we had lots of leftovers for dinner the next night, which is always nice.  There was lots and lots of cheese covering the pizza and it oooozed in a good ‘ole ooey, gooey fashion like a pizza should when you pull a slice away from the pan. Love that! I love the sauce they use too. It wasn’t too sweet and had a distinct tomato taste to it. They also put a good amount of sauce on the pizza. I like when there’s lots of sauce on a thicker pizza to compensate for the extra dough. Otherwise I feel like all you taste is the dough. The crust had a great flakey, crispiness to it that seemed very light and airy too. Seems like they had the cooking tempurature just right on this pizza.

Panino's Pizza photo

So I have to say, I reheated this pizza the next day for dinner and was pretty happy with it. I know a lot of people love their leftover pizza cold, but I always like to reheat mine. I really wanted to reheat the pizza in the oven, but I was looking forward to it so much that I just quickly reheated it in the microwave. The cheese melted evenly and all the flavors melded together wonderfully. All in all, I would give this pizza a solid 4 rating! This is one of my favorite pizza places to order from in Chicago and I can now say it is even better getting it fresh in the restaurant if you get the chance!

Panino's Pizza Slice

D’Agostino’s equals D’Licious!

D'Agostino's PizzaThis weekend I went to D’Agostino’s Pizza & Pub on Southport in Wrigleyville. I just tried this place for the first time in June 2009. But I have been back several times ever since because I really enjoy this pizza a lot. It has a good atmosphere with a casual dining area and a bar. They even have darts which is always a bonus! They also have outdoor seating in the summer. It’s a great place to go if you just want to hang out, have a pizza and enjoy a few beers. Which is exactly what I was in the mood for this weekend.

We ordered a thin crust, pepperoni and bacon pizza and a bucket of Coors Lights. You can’t go wrong there. I was impressed at how quickly the pizza came out. One thing I really enjoy about D’Agostino’s pizza is their sweet tasting sauce. It’s got a great flavor that stands apart from other sauces I’ve tried. The sauce to cheese ration was just the right amount in my opinion. And the crust had a great crispiness to it. Another bonus about this pizza was the amount of bacon they put on it. There was lots and lots of yummy bacon. To be honest, I never used to get bacon on my pizzas until recently. But it is quickly becoming one of my favorite toppings. And they definitely put a decent amount on the pizza. So I was happy.

Lindsay at D'Agostino's Pizza

D’Agostino’s always seems to have some great specials whenever I go too . And I often get coupons for discounts off their pizza in the mail as well. So it makes eating there fairly inexpensive. Which is always a good thing.

D’Agostino’s Weekly Specials:

Monday – LARGE 16″ 1 TOPPING THIN CRUST PIZZA $14.00.

Tuesday – With any size, thin crust pizza order  FIRST 2-TOPPINGS ARE ON US.

Wednesday – Come Dine in on Wednesday and save half off a large 16″ 1 topping thin crust pizza.

Thursday – With any size, pan or stuffed pizza order FIRST 2-TOPPINGS ARE ON US.

Saturday – Extra Large, 1-topping thin crust pizza with garlic bread and a 2L soda FOR ONLY: $19.95 plus tax

My rating for this pizza would have to be 3 slices! Obviously I enjoy this pizza whether I am dining in or getting it delivered since I keep going back for more. So if you’re in the neighborhood or catching a Cubs game, definitely stop in for a slice or two. This pizza will definitely hit the spot!

D'Agostino's Pizza