Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mac's Pizza Pub

Next up on the pizza quest? It's Mac's Pizza Pub, a good sports bar conveniently located in Clifton for those UC sports fans (and conveniently for us had been featured on Groupon). The Reds were on while we were there, and since we had our Groupon, we decided to go big and order 3 pizzas: Pepperoni, Pesto Primavera, and the Flying Pig.

Here's what we thought:

(1-5 scale, 1=worst, 5=best)

Appearance (overall): 3.92
Aroma (overall): 3.75
Taste (overall): 3.83
Crust - 4.00
Cheese - 3.67
Toppings - 3.67
Sauce - 4.00
Pepperoni Pizza (overall): 3.92
Specialty Pizza & Menu Options: 4.17
X-factor: 4.25

Kevin and I both really liked the pesto sauce as well as the spiciness of the red sauce on the other 2 pizzas. We both also really liked the garlic buttery edge of the crust - so delicious! They also had lots of cheese on them, which was fantastic, but it would slide off really easily. Nik and I both agreed that they had a good draft beer selection too. And to top it all off, the service was great! Not the highest ranking pizza joint, but solid pizza for a sports bar (and did I mention they have a good selection of toppings?! artichoke hearts, goat cheese, and pesto just to name a few). So, good pizza + great beer selection + awesome service = a fantastic sports bar, check it out!

Mac's Pizza Pub on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Snappy Tomato Pizza

We're slowly but surely getting caught up on our summer and fall pizza ventures here. The next pizza place up for judging is Snappy Tomato Pizza, which we enjoyed at home before watching some Freaks & Geeks episodes on Netflix (the title had me worried it would be too geeky for me [Nik likes some weird shows], but this was yet another show that got cut way too early). But I digress, back to Snappy Tomato Pizza. We ordered a Pepperoni and a Loaded Potato pizza.

One of the things that's great about Snappy Tomato is that you can order online AND they deliver. Not only that, they deliver Ben & Jerry's ice cream too! But how is their pizza, you ask? Well, here's how they scored:

(1-5 scale, 1=worst, 5=best)

Appearance (overall): 3.92
Aroma (overall): 4.00
Taste (overall): 4.25
Crust - 4.17
Cheese - 4.00
Toppings - 4.42
Sauce - 3.83
Pepperoni Pizza (overall): 4.25
Specialty Pizza & Menu Options: 3.83
X-factor: 4.00

We all really liked the Loaded Potato pizza and all agreed that it tasted like a potato skin (yum!), and it even had good bacon too. Nik thought that it could have used more sauce though. Kevin liked the dual layer of pepperoni on the Pepperoni pizza and thought that the tomato sauce on it was pretty sweet. At times, I thought the sauce had too much oregano. We all also really liked that the pizzas came with a garlic dipping sauce that taste like Papa John's (delicious!). I thought that the pizzas were salty (in a good way) and greasy. I really liked the crust and thought that it was nicely cooked.

Overall, Snappy Tomato Pizza makes good pizza, but doesn't take the place of favorite. I'd be happy to order it any day though and have it delivered on a lazy weekend day, watching football or college basketball (or the Grey's Anatomy episode I missed...).

Snappy Tomato Pizza on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Rookwood

You don't normally think of The Rookwood as a place to go for pizza, right? Well, this summer they had a special on Thursday nights of all night happy hour, which included pizzas. So we decided to check it out, and of course the week before was their last week of running that special. But, they checked with the kitchen and were able to offer us 2 choices: a regular margherita pizza and one with house made sausage. So, we chose both. Of course this makes it a little more difficult to compare since we didn't have our standard pepperoni pizza, but we scored The Rookwood none-the-less. So how did they fare? See below...

(Again, sorry for the lack of pictures, but it was too dark to take a decent picture. But here's a picture of one of their wonderful views - this one is from the parking lot.)

(1-5 scale, 1=worst, 5=best)

Appearance (overall): 4.67
Aroma (overall): 4.50
Taste (overall): 4.08
Crust - 4.33
Cheese - 3.33
Toppings - 4.33
Sauce - 3.50

Pepperoni Pizza (overall): N/A (Nik scored the sausage pizza with a 4.00 though)
Specialty Pizza & Menu Options: 3.00
X-factor: 3.83

The Rookwood has a great menu (we love their food), but it just doesn't include other pizza options, as it's not a "pizza restaurant," so that's not too fair of a comparison. Even so, they have the most attractive pizza thus far and some of the best smelling pizza. On top of that, the decor and ambiance of the restaurant is very nice, and they now have a new deck that I can't wait to check out!

In terms of the actual pizzas, Kevin thought that the sauce was bland and I agreed, noting that it needed more salt. Kevin liked the flat bread crust, but thought it could have used a touch more flour. I really liked the grilled aspect of the pizzas and thought that they had a good level of spice. I also really enjoyed the fresh basil (I love basil!) and the house made sausage.

We skipped dessert as I had already baked something of my own, but I really do love The Rookwood's Gooey Cake - definitely save room for it, it's amazing!

The Rookwood Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 25, 2010


Next up, Kevin took us North a little bit, up to Milford to try Padrino. Milford is a cute little town and Padrino is located on "the main drag" and even has a nice sidewalk patio. We were able to snag a table under the awning, protecting us from the short bout of rain while we were dining. We started the night off with some garlic knots, then moved on to a Pepperoni pizza and their weekly special, the Fajita pizza. Here's how they scored:

(1-5 scale, 1=worst, 5=best)

Appearance (overall): 4.42
Aroma (overall): 4.13
Taste (overall): 4.00
Crust - 3.83
Cheese - 3.67
Toppings - 4.42

Sauce - 3.92
Pepperoni Pizza (overall): 4.00
Specialty Pizza & Menu Options: 4.00
X-factor: 3.33

I lied, we did take pictures! Here they are:

Let me begin by recommending NOT ordering the garlic knots. Kevin said that they weren't so exciting and that he wouldn't get them again. That's because they're not actually knots. They were dinner rolls, brushed with butter (or oil of some sort) and sprinkled with garlic, parmesan, and parsley, but still didn't have much flavor. The marinara, however, that comes with the "garlic knots" was good.

In terms of the actual pizza, the Fajita pizza was the surprise of the night. All of us thought that the Fajita pizza was really good, in fact, it was better than I expected. It had chicken, vegetables (including spinach! unlike last weeks pizza stop...), salsa, and sour cream was served on the side. I know, sour cream on pizza?!? I went for it and actually thought it balanced everything out quite nicely.

The crust at Padrino is a thin crust and tasted like a cracker (not in a bad way) to me. It wasn't quite as crispy as Kevin was expecting though. The pepperoni pizza was greasy and Kevin thought that the ingredients seemed out of balance, the sumer was not greater than the parts.

The reason for the somewhat low X-factor score is because (1) I had a hair in my cocktail (but it was a good cocktail) and (2) the (young) waitress (although nice) didn't know anything and nearly knocked one of our pizzas off the table (good save Kevin!). We skipped dessert because we (I) was hoping to try Sugar Cupcakery, but it was closed by the time we finished up dinner :(

Padrino on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 22, 2010

Buona Vita Pizzeria

We went on a lot of "field trips" this summer since it was summer and the Thursday night line up was on its break. Nik decided to try out Buona Vita Pizzeria in Dayton, KY. Dayton is a cute little town on the river, and Buona Vita fit right in. Buona Vita is a family owned restaurant housed in an old bank, and we got to eat in a vault! Here's a hazy picture of Nik and myself in the vault :)

We ordered the Pepperoni pizza and Sara's Supreme and really enjoyed them both, as you'll see in the scoring below. Everyone was super friendly and you could tell it was a well loved family run business.

(1-5 scale, 1=worst, 5=best)

Appearance (overall): 4.42
Aroma (overall): 4.25
Taste (overall): 4.33
Crust - 4.42
Cheese - 4.17
Toppings - 3.83
Sauce - 4.00
Pepperoni Pizza (overall): 4.33
Specialty Pizza & Menu Options: 4.08
X-factor: 4.58

We all agreed that the pepperoni was really greasy, but all liked that they had pickles as a topping option! We all also were disappointed that they forgot to put the spinach on Sara's Supreme pizza. Nik noted POPEYE WOULD BE PISSED!!! I also thought that the sauce and the top of the pepperoni pizza had too much dried oregano (as you've probably come to realize that I'm not a fan of, at all). But, they more than made up for these shortcomings with their awesome, homemade (by their mom!) cookies. We ordered a few of the cookies from our server, and not knowing we had done so, one of the owners also brought us some for free! Not to mention the fact that they're already very reasonably priced.

Overall, Buona Vita Pizzeria is one of our favorites because of its ambiance, incredibly friendly owners/staff, "x-factor", solid pizza, and awesome cookies!

Buona Vita Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Works

This summer we ventured up to Loveland to try The Works Brick Oven Restaurant. The Works is located in a very cute part of downtown Loveland, right near the bike trail, in a nice, old building with a large patio and a bell tower (but it's hard to find!!). Not only did we get to enjoy sitting outside, we also enjoyed $3 Mt. Carmel draft beer specials and fried pickles! After our delicious fried pickle appetizer, we enjoyed the Pepperoni and the California Rose pizzas.

I'm finally finding all of our pizza pictures! For some reason, they were dated as 2004...anyway, here you go:

Here's how they scored:

(1-5 scale, 1=worst, 5=best)

Appearance (overall): 4.00
Aroma (overall): 4.25
Taste (overall): 4.33
Crust - 4.17
Cheese - 4.50
Toppings - 3.83
Sauce - 4.00
Pepperoni Pizza (overall): 3.83
Specialty Pizza & Menu Options: 4.33
X-factor: 4.00

I'm not the only fried pickle lover, Kevin and Nik both enjoyed them as well. Kevin also thought that the cheese on the pizzas looked great. In Kevin's opinion, The Works had a good pizza menu, but the rest of the menu just looked good, not great. Kevin thought that the edge crust was really good, but the crust under the cheese was just good, not great. I thought the crust and cheese were both good. The pepperoni were under the cheese, but it was still an attractive pizza. But, the pepperoni pizza was really greasy and didn't have much flavor - the sauce was very tomato-y and needed more herbs/spices. I really liked the pineapple and banana pepper combo on the California Rose pizza though.

We skipped dessert in order to get some ice cream from Loveland Sweets, but The Works' Creme Brulee Pizza sounds very intriguing (I do love creme brulee!).

The Works on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Oakley Pub an Grill

Let me first begin by apologizing for the incredibly long delay in posts. Life got a bit crazy this summer between going to weddings, trying to plan a wedding, and spending almost the whole month of August in Michigan for work. Alas, we're back at it. Actually, we've managed to squeeze in 8 pizza nights since the last post, I've just slacked majorly on my posting duties. So now it's time for me to play catchup, and I'll begin with Oakley Pub & Grill, which we went to way back in July, right before July 4th weekend. Thursday night is $6 pizza night at Oakley Pub & Grill, which also happens to be walking distance from our place. So we headed on down and order a Pepperoni pizza, a Margherita pizza, and a Grilled Chicken Caesar pizza.

Here's how Oakley Pub & Grill scored:

(1-5 scale, 1=worst, 5=best)

Appearance (overall): 3.17
Aroma (overall): 4.00
Taste (overall): 3.58
Crust - 3.83
Cheese - 3.00
Toppings - 3.67
Sauce - 3.50
Pepperoni Pizza (overall): 3.33
Specialty Pizza & Menu Options: 3.67
X-factor: 3.58

Kevin thought that the $6 pizza tasted like $6 frozen pizza - good, but not spectacular. But, he thought that it was a good deal based on the fact that it's his favorite local pub. I think I must have given Nik grief for not writing many comments, if any at all, so here goes his longest, nerdiest comment yet. Nik commented that the maillard reaction adds so much to a pizza. It makes it taste not like frozen pizza. Nik thought that all of the components were there, but it could've been so much better.

I pretty much agreed with Kevin and Nik's comments, noting that the crust tasted like a cracker and was really crispy like a cracker (the crispiness not necessarily being a bad thing). As you probably know by now, I think a pizza is more attractive when the pepperoni are on top, which was not the case here. On top of the pepperoni being under the cheese, the cheese on the pepperoni pizza wasn't even melted all the way! It definitely needed to cook for a few more minutes. The Margherita and Grilled Chicken Caesar pizzas are what helped Oakley Pub & Grill score better than they would have if I had judged them solely on the Pepperoni pizza. Both of these were cooked all the way through and the Margherita pizza had a nice garlicky flavor.

So although the pizza wasn't a huge hit, the Oakley Pub & Grill remains my favorite local neighborhood bar.

Oakley Pub and Grill on Urbanspoon