It’s not often that a fancy restaurant like Via Veneto invites you to check them out as a blogger. But alas, I found myself a few tables away from Zach Galifianakis ready to take down some of the fanciest Italian food in Santa Monica. It began with a couple of glasses of champagne and then we moved on to the real deal.
Ever since 800 Degrees hit the scene, it seems like quickie custom pizza shops have shown up everywhere. Pieology is one of these places and it follows in the same assembly line style of others before it. The ingredients are essentially the same as Blaze Pizza, but with a few tweaks here and there in the sauce department.
I will be the first to admit that I had a West Side bias when I made the move to Pasadena. I figured I would spend a whole lot of time on that side of town for meals out, but over and over again Pasadena has impressed me. Perhaps most impressive of all is the pizza scene, with The Luggage Room and Pizza of Venice already tackled by yours truly, I finally set my sights on Pie Life Pizza.
Once upon a time my wife had the best Caesar salad in Little Italy and wanted to relive that moment. Instead of going on a wild goose chase, I decided to help her out by searching the interwebs for the best Caesar in New York. This led us to Pietro’s, an institution that has been around forever and looked like a great place to conduct mob business. It was strangely completely empty at 3:00 in the afternoon on a Monday, but it seemed like more of a dinner spot anyway.
The chicken parmesan sandwich somehow escapes ridicule as one of the most carby delicious foods. If you threw fried mozzarella on a sandwich with some grilled chicken and marinara people would think you were insane, but here we are in a world that allows for breaded chicken on a sandwich and I heard a spot called Parm on the Upper West Side knew how to make a pretty good one.
After a long evening of drinking in New York City, the only reasonable thing to do is grab at least one slice of pizza. Such is what I did in the East Village when I essentially stumbled into Baker’s Pizza. As fate would have it, I ran into my drunk friend on his way out (he had left the bar five minutes before), which convinced me that I was in the right place. Just like all pizza by the slice places in New York, there was a display case showcasing the available pies and my eyes wandered to the one topped with meatballs and ricotta.
While the Twin Cities are certainly renowned for the Jucy (or Juicy) Lucy, they are not without other culinary creations. I stumbled upon one of these accidentally when ordering from Broadway Pizza. You see, this is a pizza and sandwich place, but one item on the menu was a combination of the two, calling itself the Pizza Sandwich. My curiosity got the best of me and I ordered it.
The Palm Springs area isn’t exactly known for its culinary prowess. You see, septuagenarians don’t really care how their food tastes as long as they can be done with dinner by 6:00. Nonetheless, there are a few places willing to take some risks and offer unique eats (even if they do sport an early bird special to boot). One of these is Catalan in Rancho Mirage, a Mediterranean restaurant in the sense of the European parts of the Mediterranean at least.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when it comes to Italian food (namely pasta), you’ve gotta be pretty damn special to convince me I can’t do better on my own at home with the dry stuff and some Classico sauce. Union Restaurant in Old Town Pasadena is the latest attempt to convince me to leave home for Italian food.
Pork and booze are easily two of the greatest things that can be consumed on the planet, if not just two of the greatest things in general. Celestino in Pasadena is fully aware of this and has combined them in a pasta dish worth writing about. It is called the Pennette Con Prosciutto e Vodka, but it may as well be called Paradiso.