Sunday, December 16, 2012

Village Tavern Pizza (aka Village Pizza)

Last Tuesday, Tricia and I took the day off to do some Christmas shopping.  Since I was due to host pizza night, we decided to see wherever our Christmas shopping took us in the afternoon and pick up pizza from around there.  It ended up that we were out by Eastgate Mall around 5 in the evening and decided to fire up the Google Maps App (thank goodness we don't have to rely on the Apple Map app anymore!).  Unfortunately, it didn't seem like there were very many good choices beyond Domino's, Pizza Hut and the like (leave a comment if you have recommendations from out that way!).  So we decided to see if there was anything between Eastgate and our place in Mt. Lookout.  Tricia remembered seeing a place with a sign of Village Pizza on our way out to Eastgate.  So we googled and found Village Pizza (I'm also seeing it listed as Village Tavern Pizza) in Newtown.

Unfortunately we couldn't find a website, but we were able to find a menu that someone posted on Urban Spoon. So we looked it over and called in to place our order.  Unfortunately as soon as I started to place my order I ran into problems.  Most of the things listed on the menu weren't served any more (yes I realize I'm using 'unfortunate' a lot!).  They no longer had their largest size pizzas.  The guy on the phone (who sounded like he may have been in high school), wasn't particularly helpful when I asked if he could provide me with what they did have.  Eventually we did get an order placed though (One Pepperoni, one Hawaiian, one Meat Lover's, and one Sausage and Banana Peppers).

Fortunately, there were no snafus in picking up the pizza.  Village Pizza is a carry out (or delivery) only place.  There is no place to sit inside the pizza joint. However, it is in a building attached to the Newtown Village Tavern.  It looked like the pub food for the tavern was made by Village Pizza and then carried over. I didn't actually go into the Tavern, but it's there if you wanted to try a dine-in experience. After paying, we drove the rest of the way home and stuck the pizzas in the oven at 200F to keep them warm (we are a perpetually late group of people.  Folks arrived about 20 minutes after  I put the pizzas in the oven.  We pulled them out, Dan snapped some photos and we ate!


Meat Lovers
Pepperoni (with the pepperoni under the cheese)
Sausage and Banana Pepper

Overall, Village Pizza went down well.  Everyone talked about enjoying the pizza, and in particular the toppings.  I think for a place that serves as a kitchen for a bar, they did a great job on the toppings.  As you can see from the pictures, the pizzas were cooked very well - cheese is well melted with just a bit of caramelization.  In an interesting move, the Hawaiian was prepared as pineapple and bacon instead of pineapple and ham.  This struck me because the Meat Lovers has both bacon and ham.  I think it was a good move though as the bacon was my favorite topping.  It's bacon how I remember it growing up, cut small, cooked so that it is crispy and recognizes that it is bacon and doesn't try to be pretentious about it.  Guillaume pointed out that he was also a fan of the bacon being cooked to the point of being a little crunch.

Several folks pointed out that the pizza sauce was quite good.  It was in the 'sweet' variety of pizza sauces (as opposed to the spicy).  This really came through on the pepperoni pizza, which was good but really had a minimal amount of spice to it because the pepperoni itself was not overwhelming and nor was the sauce.  In some ways, the pepperoni probably didn't taste too differently from what a cheese pizza might have tasted like,

Since the crust was thin, it suffered from a common problem of most thin crust pizzas in that it's quality degraded as the pizza cooled.  Tricia noted that while she liked the crust it became a bit doughy in the center and Maud described it as "chewy" as it cooled.  Having taken some leftovers in with me for lunch, I can say that the crust would be the weak part of the pizza.  That being said, I really thought this was a solid pizza overall, especially coming from a bar setting.  That assessment is upheld when we look at the numbers.

Appearance 3.200
Aroma 3.302
Taste (Overall) 3.30
Crust 3.002
Cheese 3.093
Toppings 3.362
Sauce 3.250
Pepperoni Pizza (Overall) 3.210
Specialty Pizza 3.357
X-factor 2.917
Menu 3.250

Overall, you're looking a good but not great pizza.  Would I get it again though?  Certainly if I were in the area.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New York Style Pizza (Reading road)

I (Maud) wanted to eat a New York style pizza since I just came back from New York (hahaha!). So I picked the “New York Style Pizza” in Reading road.
The place does only carry out, most people in, ordered the gyros, I will try them next time. The place was packed. So we picked up the pizzas and enjoyed them at home.
We found the pizzas were average, actually, more than average for most of us.
I must say that I didn’t expect much, I don't know why, but I was very surprised. I found the pizzas very tasty, well a little bit too salty sometimes. I also enjoyed the crust, very crunchy.
Most of us had a preference for the white pizza.

(Hey, thanks Dan, for your great pictures)

The average ratings were as follows:
Appearance 3.520
Aroma 3.667
Taste (Overall) 3.560
Crust 3.380
Cheese 3.160
Toppings 3.340
Sauce 2.800
Pepperoni Pizza (Overall) 3.390
Specialty Pizza 3.580
X-factor 3.400
Menu 2.913

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Jets is in Town (not the NY kind)

So, we're new comers to the Cincinnati Pizza Club. As such, I tried to pick a place that CPC hasn't picked before. Tonight, we selected Jets Pizza, which is a chain that started in Michigan and has made its way to the states below including Ohio and Kentucky. I've enjoyed it many times in my treks up to Big Blue, so I was curious how it'd fare with the crowd here.

My Opinion: Pretty solid pizza. The kind you'd munch on while watching a movie or a sporting event. Not top shelf pizza, but like a good friend, it's comforting and has enough grease to know that you're eating pizza. You can make the crust zesty with cajun flavor, which is a plus for me.

We had three pies: 

Pepperoni (the control), sausage+onion+banana pepper (a favorite last time), and veggie deep dish (my favorite).



Sausage and Banana Peppers
The pizza was well received, and most folks pointed out how Jets seemed pretty generous with the cheese (+1). Jets wins me over because you can flavorize your crust with different flavors like cajun spices, garlic, butter, romano, etc. It adds a nice variable that lets you tweak your pizza experience more. I love customization (are you listening Dominos?).

The ratings tonight were as follows:

Taste (Overall)
Toppings 3.710
Sauce 3.380
Pepperoni Pizza (Overall) 3.830
Specialty Pizza 3.700
X-factor 3.750
Menu 2.975

Jets Pizza fared well in the categories of "taste," "crust," and "cheese" while being low in the menu offerings (nothing really exotic or original on the menu) and in the sauce (honestly don't remember what the sauce tasted like). I'm thinking the sauce could be a little bit punchier, but that's a small complaint.

It's a good, satisfying pie. Did it win over the hearts of CPC? Only time will tell.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Angilo's Pizza, Norwood

We picked up pizzas at Angilo's in Norwood near to our place (where we ate). So, the transportation time was short, one day or another we will probably discuss how the transportation time affects pizza tasting. I think none of us really liked the crust, which was "foamy" as Jay described it. Overall the BBQ topping was the most appreciated, although I did not personally like it. I should explain that at this time, back in October, I was not a big fan of BBQ sauce in general, I used to find it too sweet, but my tastes are evolving as I spend more time in the USA...     

Here are our average ratings:

Appearance 3,1
Aroma 2,8
Taste (Overall) 2,9
Crust 2,1
Cheese 3,1
Toppings 3,0
Sauce 2,5

Monday, May 14, 2012

Aponte's Pizza 9/27/11

Way back in September, we had pizza from Aponte's in Mason.  I (Tricia) work in Mason, so it's an easy way to branch out and try some of the pizza places a little further away. Aponte's specializes in New Jersey style pizza, which Jay called wannabe New York style.  The restaurant area looked nice inside and the story of the restaurant on the menu was very interesting. 

The ratings for the pizza came out ok.  No one seemed too impressed.  Kevin thought the sauce was a little bland while Jay liked the crust and everyone loved the bacon (who doesn't love bacon, right?).  At this point, I would share pictures, but unfortunately I can't find any.  Since it was early on, it's very likely we didn't take pictures.  =)

Here's the actual ratings for the week:

Appearance 3.27
Aroma 2.70
Taste (Overall) 2.92
Crust 2.63
Cheese 3.50
Toppings 3.27
Sauce 2.30
Pepperoni Pizza (Overall) 2.77
Specialty Pizza 3.27
X-factor 2.97
Menu 3.50

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pomodori's Pizzeria

Since I enjoyed Pomodori's the first time around, I thought it would be a good place to start off.  Guillaume and Maud had not yet moved to Cincinnati so it was just Tricia, Ken, Jay and myself.  Pomodori's specializes in wood-fired ovens.

We ate at Pomodori's, which is a casual dining experience.  It's a nice restaurant that features their wood-fired oven prominently.  As Ken noted, they have really nice copper topped tables (though he didn't like the chairs).

Their pizza's come with a spicy sauce (so not the traditional Cincinnati sweet pizza sauce).  They apply the sauce very lightly, which Tricia also noted had a nice garlic touch.  Both Jay, Tricia, and I really liked the artichoke toppings and I noted that the figs were also very good as a topping.  Tricia liked the look and taste of the crust.  You can have a look at them yourself:

The standard pepperoni 

Artichoke topped pizza

Fig & Prosciutto Specialty Pizza

Since the Cincinnati Pizza Quest has already been here once, I've included both the numbers from this trip and our last visit.

Category Old Score (March 2010) New Score (13 September 2011)
Appearance 4.17 4.00
Aroma 4.00 2.50
Overall Taste 4.33 3.55
Crust 4.25 3.85
Cheese 3.83 3.475
Toppings 4.33 3.70
Sauce 4.50 3.10
Pepperoni Overall 4.17 3.75
Specialty Pizza 4.25 3.675
X-Factor 3.67 3.00

You can see that this time around, the scores were a lower in general.  I'll reserve commenting on that until we get a chance to compare more places to just see if the new team tends to rate lower. However, we can look at how I rated it this time versus last.

Category Kevin's Old Score (March 2010) Kevin's New Score (13 September 2011)
Appearance 4.0 4.0
Overall Taste Didn't rate... 4.0
Crust 4.5 4.0
Cheese 3.5 4.0
Toppings 4.0 4.5
Sauce 4.0 3.5
Pepperoni Overall 4.0 4.0
Specialty Pizza 3.5 4.5
X-Factor 4.0 4.0

So while some of the numbers changed, there weren't any big swings, except for the Specialty Pizza.  However, the first time around we had a bunch of mushrooms on the pizzas, which I don't like.  So that may explain it.

Overall, I'm going to say what we said last time.  Pomodori's makes a good pizza and is definitely worth a visit!

Pomodori's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

We're back, sort of...

It's been a long long time, but the posts should finally start rolling again. A quick explanatory post since it's been so long and we've also had some changes. First the reason for the delay, two-thirds of your pizza tasting team had the fortunate opportunity to move onto green pastures in Seattle last spring.  So I was left all alone for a bit of time.

However, reinforcements arrived last fall.  Starting last September, a new team joined up with Kevin to restart the Cincinnati Pizza Quest.  Introducing your new questers:

Tricia - Kevin's lovely wife
Guillaume and Maud - our French connoisseurs!
Ken - our beer expert and brewmaster
Jay - the resident golfing expert and master brewer with Ken

We'll be changing up the posting a bit so you can get a flavor of each of us.  Whoever hosts for the week will also be writing the blog post.  Since it's now April and we started back up last September I'm hopeful that we'll be able to get some posts up quickly.

Now back to the pizza!