Category Archives: Pizza

REVIEW: Trophy Brewing Company – Raleigh, NC

Looking for a trophy wife or a mail-order bride? You can find both at Trophy Brewing, a small, cozy brewery and pizzeria in downtown Raleigh. According to the website, the trophy wife  is “light and approachable; this beauty shows off a bright and a clean finish.” Okay, now get your mind out of the gutter. Those are beers I am talking about! I chose the Best in Show, which is an easy drinking beer with citrus undertones.

This small brewery was started by the owners of Busy Bee Cafe, who teamed up with brewer Les Stewart, to create small-batch craft beers. Trophy also offers a selection of artisan pizzas made with local ingredients. I ordered the Farmer’s Market pizza, which was full of root vegetables and goat cheese. The pizza does not normally come with goat cheese, but I highly recommend adding it. Ben ordered the Most Loyal, a pizza with roasted chicken and pesto. His also had the slightest hint of honey, which tasted surprisingly good with the pizza.

Farmer’s Market: basil pesto, roma tomato, swiss chard, vegetable medley, red onions

Farmer’s Market:
basil pesto, roma tomato, swiss chard, vegetable medley, red onions

Most Loyal: basil pesto, herb roasted chicken breast, mozzarella blend, roma tomato, and honey

Most Loyal:
basil pesto, herb roasted chicken breast, mozzarella blend, roma tomato, and honey

 

 

Trophy Brewing Co. on Urbanspoon

REVIEW: Pizzeria Toro

The first thing you will notice as you walk into Pizzeria Toro – aside from the smell of freshly made gourmet pizza – is the long wooden table in the middle of the restaurant. The second thing you will notice is the wood fire grill producing that sensational smell. While some may not be fond of the intrusion of a communal dining table, they will soon forget their worries when they take their first bite. As I look at the menu, I am excited that they have multiple options for “red” and “white” pizzas.

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Check out their menu: http://pizzeriatoro.com/img/pizzeriatoro_menu.pdf

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As a non-tomato eater, I go for a white pizza. “Soft egg, Old N. Durham oyster Mushrooms, Arugula.” Pizza with a lightly poached egg? You had me at hello. My friend and dining accomplice also ordered a white pizza. “Sweet potato greens, house pancetta and Rustico R.P.”

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“Sweet potato greens, house pancetta and Rustico R.P”

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“Soft egg, Old N. Durham oyster Mushrooms, Arugula”

Although a bit too heavy on the arugula for my taste, the juicy egg hiding underneath was scrumptious. It was my first time trying an egg on my pizza but it definitely won’t be my last. The pizzas have a thin, crispy crust that is also deliciously chewy at the same time. I will also be going back to Toro because there are a few more pizzas I’d like to try – “Burnsville delicatta squash, garlic, gorgonzola” and “Summer squash, garlic, ricotta, grana padano.”

 

(Please excuse the quality of the photos. I am using my phone camera until I get a new camera.)

LINK: My review of Alleia in Chattanooga, TN for Eat It, Tennessee

I did a little guest writing for our sister site, Eat It, Tennessee, and it was just posted recently. The photo above is of the wood-fired pork shoulder with a grilled peach and balsamic whose taste rivaled that of many of the delicious pork shoulders that I have had here in North Carolina.

Head over and check out my review of Alleia in Chattanooga from a few weeks ago on Eat It, Tennessee. It was a delicious experience and I had a great time writing the post for my buddies in Tennessee. Thanks again for the opportunity!

REVIEW: Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria – Asheville

Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria in Asheville is a renovated 1920’s two floor appliance store in downtown Asheville on Biltmore Ave. It has been open for about 18 years serving Ashevillians (not sure if that is the correct term but, if not, it should be) homemade pizza, calzones, lasagna and sandwiches plus a lot of good beer. The first floor is the main dining room with a bar with 24 taps and a stage for live music where they have Americana bands play about three to four times per week. The second floor has another bar with 19 taps and four regulation billiards tables and five regulation dart lanes.

I went up to Asheville a few weeks ago for a job interview and to attend an event at Highland Brewing Co. with Charlie Papazian, the founder/president of the American Homebrewer’s Association and author of The Complete Joy of Home Brewing. He is also the same guy who ran the poll on Examiner.com for BeerCity USA where Asheville was named BeerCity USA 2010. Everyone in the beer industry was buzzing around Asheville because it was Papazian’s first trip to Asheville.

I decided to go to Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria for lunch because I had read on Twitter (from @BruisinAles which is an awesome craft beer store in downtown Asheville) that Barley’s had held an event called Caskaggeddon featuring special casks of beer from North Carolina breweries which Charlie Papazian attended and I specifically wanted to get a pint of Fullsteam’s Red Beans and Rice beer because it just sounded crazy good & I had parked right across the street in paid public parking and didn’t feel like losing the $1.50 that I had put on my parking spot.

Here are the different beers from the Caskaggeddon they had the night before that I found on Brewgasm.com:

Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria has one of the better beer selections that I have seen in a while just adding to the reason why Asheville deserves the BeerCity USA title as well as being big supporters of the North Carolina craft brew industry. Sadly, they only had the Fullsteam Red Beans & Rice leftover from the night before so I couldn’t try any of other delicious sounding beers from the other North Carolina breweries. RateBeer.com has ranked Barley’s as the fortieth best beer restaurant in the nation.

REVIEW: The Silos Restaurant – Oriental

As you drive the 30 miles of Highway 55 between New Bern and Oriental, a small harbor town on the Neuse River in Pamlico County, you don’t pass by a whole hell of a lot other than a few small towns and acres of farmland. There are a few restaurants along the way but the majority of them are fast food so there isn’t much to choose from.

However, there are a few hidden gems along the way and I have found one and it is pretty hidden even though it is right out in the open. The Silos Restaurant (Silos…as the locals call it) resides in the skeleton of two renovated farm silos on the outskirts of Oriental so you might accidentally drive right by it if you didn’t notice the sign in front or all of the cars filling up the parking lot. It is definitely a local favorite.

Silos has one of the best craft beer selections in all of Oriental in their renovated bar in the upstairs dining room. They have a variety of different bottled beers plus 12 beers on draft. Even though Silos isn’t located on the water, this is the place where a lot of people go to tip back some cocktails and have a good time. They aren’t open very late because the Oriental community wakes up early and goes to bed early so make sure you are up there by 7pm or 8pm at the latest.

Doug and Keri Delisle, the owners of Silos, classify their restaurant as a unique restaurant with Italian flair offering a casual family dining experience and I definitely agree with them. They serve burgers, pizza, steaks, seafood, Italian dishes and a variety of sandwiches and salads. It is a pretty large menu. I spent about 10 minutes trying to figure out what I wanted.

I ordered a side Caesar salad as an appetizer. The salad came with homemade salad dressing, freshly baked croutons and some high quality Parmesan. It was pretty inexpensive for the amount that I got and the lettuce was extremely fresh.

I ordered the day’s special which was a two-topping medium pizza for nine dollars. Silos makes their own pizza dough and Doug, the owner, puts his homemade sauce on the pizza which is sweet and tangy. The crust was cooked perfectly. It was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Their toppings are topnotch and the cheese is very high quality. They offer pepperoni, ham, sausage, beef, bacon, salami, onions, green peppers, garlic, mushrooms, black olives, tomato, olive oil (not sure if this is a topping or not but its on their list), banana peppers and pineapple.

I want to give something else a try the next time I go down there to check out the rest of the menu but I think I would be hard pressed to try something else because the pizza was so good. I am sure their Italian dishes are equally as good. If you are driving down towards Oriental, you should definitely stop in Silos and get a bite to eat.

The Silos Restaurant on Urbanspoon

REVIEW: Marabella Old World Pizza – Greenville

I was distraught to hear that my favorite pizza restaurant from college, Big Apple Pizzeria, had closed down. It was always there for me on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I was craving some $0.99 New York-style cheese slices. They closed the doors about a year after I graduated so it wasn’t as painful as it could have been because I only had to deal with the pain during football seasons and occasional random weekends when I would make the trip to Greenville to feel young again.

It sucks that it is closed but I was happy to see a new pizza joint open up in its spot. It is the second location for Marabella Old World Pizza based out of Little Washington (about 35 minutes from Greenville) and I was told before going there that their pizza wouldn’t disappoint. I got into Greenville late and hadn’t eaten dinner so I headed up to Marabella to grab a slice or two while I waited on my friend, Hot Sauce, to get back to his house.

Marabella didn’t really change the set up of the restaurant at all. They pretty much just moved into the Big Apple space and painted the walls, tossed up some Italian decor and installed some flat screens which were much needed. Since it was a Thursday, I was hoping that they were running the same cheese slice special as Big Apple but they weren’t. However, they do have a student special on Mondays and Tuesdays which is two slices and a drink for $5.00 which I think I would be hitting up if I was still in school there. Sadly, this might be reason enough for me to think about going back to graduate school.

I got two slices: cheese and pepperoni. The crust was a bit thick but had a great consistency throughout it including a great crunch in every bite. The sauce and cheese were what stood out the most. Marabella is using top of the line ingredients and you can tell from the first bite until the last. The pepperoni slice was a little greasy but that is what you expect when ordering it.

We ended up ordering some more Marabella on Sunday before NFL kick-off as we all laid crippled on the couch from imbibing a little too much at the bar the previous night. Thank God they delivered because I don’t think any of us could have made it off the couch. I split a steak & cheese with my friend, Bumgeez, and it was decent but I don’t think I would order it again.

If you like pizza, Marabella is a great stop. It is definitely one of the best by-the-slice places I have been to in Greenville and the fact that they deliver should be on top of any college student’s mind.

Marabella Old World Pizza on Urbanspoon

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