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Oct 17, 2018

Review - Pizza Ponte at Disney Springs

'Pizza Ponte' walk up Pizzeria entrance.. 
at Maria & Enzo's in Disney Springs

Pizza Chap rating..

5 out of 5 slices

This week I had the pleasure of dining at Pizza Ponte at Disney Springs for the very first time.  In case you didn't know.. there's a walk up entrance where you can order sandwiches and Pizza in the same building Maria & Enzo's is located, with seating both inside and outside.  The lunch I had was SO good, I even brought my bride back in the evening for dinner!  Visiting twice in one day allowed me to sample a few types of pizza for this review.  

The first thing I saw (and smelled) upon entering the Pizzeria, were the HUGE Sicilian style pizzas.  I instantly knew the kind of pizza I was going to order.  Not because I was craving some nice thick slices, but rather.. the styles they were serving up had my mouth watering!

I settled on the Funghi, and pepperoni slices.  I was able to eat them both, but even with skipping breakfast, it was all I could do to put these giant slices away.  Here's what they looked like..

Beautiful Sicilian pie fresh from the oven.
Not sure this pan would even fit in my oven at home.

Have you ever wished your slice of pizza had more pepperoni on it?  I swear that this was the very first time ever.. that I didn't long for more pepperoni on a slice!  This piece of pie had between 30 to 40 slices of fresh, thick cut pepperoni that curled up as it cooked, making for some beautiful little pepperoni bowls atop my slice.  It truly was a thing of beauty, and I kept tossing pieces of pepperoni on my daughters plate, because I almost felt guilty that I was indulging too much.  The visual isn't the best in regards to impressing upon you how big this slice really was, but as you can see.. this rectangular slice was as big as the paper plate it was served on.  Absolutely incredible.  My pepperoni craving is now satisfied for the next three months!

The next slice I had for lunch was their 'Funghi' Slice.  A super simple slice with Forest Mushrooms, Fontina and Mozzarella Cheese.  This slice was so delectable, I was taken to heaven with every bite.  The cheese blend was buttery, rich and a wee bit nutty.  Just when I thought it was on the border of being too rich, the incredible forest mushrooms and perfect crust balanced it all out.  The crust smelled and tasted like fresh baked bread right out of the oven, just as thick crust should.  Absolute perfection!

The Cornicione was on point!

For dinner, I ordered up a 'Porchetta' Slice.  A very simple looking, but incredibly tasty slice that sported Mozzarella, peppers, onions, and Porchetta (Italian Pork Roast) sliced super thin, with a taste similar to bacon.  The Porchetta was not as bold or as salty as bacon, but was instead more savory.  The peppers added a pop of spiciness that filled your mouth with flavor, and the onions also helped the slice along as well. Every bite tasted a little or a lot different than the last, depending on where you sunk your teeth into on the slice.  It truly made for a great pizza eating experience.   Again, the great tasting crust was a real star, especially at the end. 

Big thin crust slices are also available

This Pizza is a great value as far as Disney Springs food prices go, and one slice will fill up the average person.  Heck.. I can eat like a horse, and could barely finish two slices at one sitting.  The Pizza is LEGIT my friends, with the Pizzaiolos tossing, stretching and baking them all day long.  Their commitment to quality is evident, and Pizza Ponte will definitely be one of my regular haunts at Disney Springs from now on.

Oct 15, 2018

Review - DiGiorno Garlic Bread Pizza

From the get go, I was hoping this pizza wouldn't be Chewy.

OK, now that my bad joke is out of the way, here's a quick review on DiGiorno's Garlic Bread Pizza.. 

I must admit I haven't eaten a DiGiono pizza in at least fifteen years.  I never much cared for them, as I didn't like the taste of the crust.  It always tasted overly artificial to me for reasons I couldn't quite put my finger on.  After eating a couple of them back in the day, I didn't have any desire to delve into the reason why they tasted off to me, and haven't eaten another one until now.

Since starting this blog, I have branched out to eating more varieties of frozen pizza to review for the masses, rather than simply covering regional pizza places in Colorado and now since relocating.. in the Central Florida area.  While looking for unique varieties of pie to sample, this pizza caught my eye.  The box clearly read that it was preservative free, and was of the garlic bread variety.  I decided to once again give DiGiorno a try, and am now happy I did so.

First off, you are instructed to cook the pizza directly on the oven rack and without a pan. That in itself made for a nice crispy bottom crust, and probably helps to cook it faster and more evenly.

As for the taste, I really couldn't complain.  The crust didn't taste like frozen pizza crust, the 100% real cheese tasted great and browned up nicely around the edges, and the garlic marinara was pretty flavorful and not too sweet.  It wasn't what I've come to expect in regards to garlic bread flavor however.  I am happy that the crust was not chewy and heavy, but it was far from light.  It was nice and crisp, definitely had some garlic flavor to it, but did not remind me of garlic bread at all. 

Our rating..
3 out of 5 slices

As far as frozen pizza goes, this style of DiGiorno pie rates pretty high on my list of better frozen pizzas on the market.  I wouldn't call it a Garlic Bread pizza per say, but rather a Garlic Crust, or Garlic Seasoned pizza.

I honestly didn't expect this pie to taste like a garlic bread pizza I would craft at home, and really wouldn't ever expect anyone to successfully pull off a frozen version.  That being said, it is still a great tasting pizza, and a bargain at under $7.00.  One thing is for sure, this pie somewhat repaired my view on the the DiGiono line of pies.  Who knows, I maaaaay do more DiGiorno reviews to come in the near future.

Visit DiGiorno online

Oct 9, 2018

Review - Michael's Ali Coal Fired Pizza, Clermont Florida

790 West Minneola, Clermont Florida (near Old Town)

Pizza Chap rating..
4.5 out of 5 slices 

I visited a new pizzeria that's been open in Clermont for a few weeks now called Michael's ALI Coal Fired Pizza.  Michael's ALI has a sister store in Winter Garden with a similar footprint to the one in Clermont.  Both have an open, airy, industrial layout.  Plus.. they both share their spaces with microbreweries!  Suncreek Brewing is located at the Clermont location.  This new store is win-win for Beer and Pizza lovers west of Winter Garden.

 Main entrance leading to Michael's Ali

Suncreek Brewery to the right.. 

The pizzeria serves up 12" Coal Fired Pizzas that will easily feed two people, or one of me.. (if I skipped Breakfast).  The pizza I settled on trying was their 'Brooklyn' Specialty Pizza.  The cashier takes your cell phone number, so they can text you when your pizza is ready.  This is a great idea, because this place can get absolutely overrun in the evenings and on weekends.  Your pizza is served up in a box that you can carry to a table on the patio, over to the microbrewery side, or to-go if you so choose.

Here it is, in all of its glory.  The BROOKLYN!

The 'BROOKLYN' sported fresh Mozzarella, Italian Sausage, roasted red onions, and as a first for me on a pizza.. Rapini.  I must say.. that this was an incredibly hearty and bold pie, and I loved every bite of it.  Let me break it down for you..

The crust was great tasting, with a nice charred underside.  I personally prefer a bit more char on my cornicione (the edge crust) but that's on me.  I will say this, the pizzaiolos were very attentive to these pies while they were being cooked, rotating them and checking them regularly for even heat distribution.

Pizza is a very hands on process, and I personally fidget with and adjust pies that I make throughout the entire cooking process.  It very much has to do with the love of your craft and taking pride in what you do.  

There are Wood-Fired chains out there.. those whose names will not be mentioned, that boast of a 180 second cook time.  Every pie I've ever had from one of these places while delicious.. always has one side well done, and another that is considerably less than crisp.  I can't say every pizza cook at these places doesn't care, but when they are serving up hundreds upon hundreds of pizzas a day, it boils down to a mind set of, 'Get them cooked & served as fast as possible'.  But I digress.  Back to my review.. 

So the pizza was definitely a thing of beauty.  The fresh Mozzarella was of great quality, but I would have liked to see a wee bit more of it on my slices.  Again, that's on me and is a personal preference.  A saltier high butter fat Mozzarella would not do this pie any favors, so I'm glad they went with the fresh Mozzarella.

As I bit into the pizza I was first hit with the great char on the bottom crust.  Next, I got a bit of pungent and slightly bitter flavor from the nicely cooked Rapini.  Just when I thought that this topping might be a bit too overwhelming for this pie, the wonderful roasted red onions with sweet caramelization kicked in on the assist.  The acidity from the mild sauce balanced everything out, and then my friends.. the star of the show showed up.  I'm talking about the Italian Sausage!  I have not had a sausage as good as this one, served up on a pizza in a very long time.  I don't know if they buy it or if it's made in house, but time and care went into making it, and reminds me of a nice homemade Italian sausage.

Lastly, I had a beer with my pizza that I walked across the room to get at Suncreek Brewery, and it paired with my pie perfectly.   A nice mild Blonde Ale, with a low bitterness level from the Hops it was brewed with.

More Specialty Pies from the menu

I guess I would describe the 'BROOKLYN' as a hearty, rustic and bold pizza, with a totally artisanal feel and taste.  I will definitely be back at some point to try more of their Specialty pies, and to maybe build one of my own.  The beer lover in me is ecstatic that just across the room is a microbrewery with a great selection of beers, even more of a reason for me to get back soon!

If you like Coal Fired Pizza and you're in the Clermont area, give Michael's ALI a try.
Visit Michael's ALI Online 

Oct 7, 2018

500,000 views on my 'Google Reviews' Pizzeria photo

Wow.. not too long ago, I snapped a picture at my favorite Pizzeria in Clermont Florida called 'G's NY Pizza'.  Today I just saw that this picture has been viewed well over 500,000 times on Google, and is still climbing.  Here it is below..

I took this picture the first time I visited G's last year after moving to the area from Colorado.  It's as authentic of a New York style Pizzeria as you can get in these parts.  A tiny little joint that's unassuming, non pretentious, with a focus on the food that shows through and through.  I truly love this little Pizzeria, and I'm an ever faithful patron.

Do yourself a favor and visit G's NY Pizza if you're ever in the neighborhood.

Oct 5, 2018

Review - Main Street Pizza in Kissimmee Florida

Main Street Pizza
16 Broadway, Kissimmee, FL 34741

Pizza Chap rating..
5 out of 5 slices

It was quite a drive from where I live, but I finally decided to buy out some time to visit Main Street Pizza in Kissimmee.  I took my son with me on this 'Pizza Daytrip' to get a second opinion of my findings, and I'm happy to say we liked what we saw/ate.

The pizzeria is a quaint, laid back establishment located in the historic Main Street area of old Kissimmee.  They have a great staff of friendly folks, and their attitude carries through to the food and chill atmosphere.  Right off the bat I could see that they utilize some nice deck ovens. The perfect size for cooking up their 18" and 24" pies.

We went to Main Street Pizza for lunch and learned they have an incredible special, which is two cheese slices and a fountain drink with refills for $4.65.  This is by far the best pizzeria lunch special I've found to date in central Florida.

So while the lunch special was for two cheese slices, as per custom whenever dining in a pizzeria for the first time, I always have a slice of cheese and a slice of  'pep'.  Honestly.. I can tell all I need to know about a pizza joint just by eating one of their cheese slices, but I do love my pepperoni! 

I wasn't disappointed by either slice, and enjoyed them immensely.  It was a  pretty dang good New York Style pizza, made with good quality cheese and pepperoni.  Big and floppy, but with a good consistency to the crust which made them easier to handle than many other huge slices out there.

All in all.. a great lunch.  It saddens me that this pizzeria is so far from home, but I will occasionally get down to Historic Main Street, and when I do.. I will without a doubt be stopping in at Main Street Pizza again. With pizzas on the menu like 'The Frankenstein', The Kitchen Sink' and 'The Colorado'.. This Pizzeria calls to me!

Oct 3, 2018

Review - Lazy Moon Pizza in Orlando Florida

Even before I moved over 1800 miles cross country to Orlando a year ago, I heard local Pizza enthusiasts rant and rave about Lazy Moon Pizza on blogs and social media.  I'm happy to say I finally got a chance to visit them last week, and was not disappointed.

 Located in the Mills/50 district, right off of Colonial Drive.  If you blink.. you'll miss it.

 First time I've seena Bocce Ball Court in a Pizzeria.  Well.. in any restaurant for that matter.

 Cool art adorns the walls throughout the establishment.

 Behold.. The 'Boxcar Willie' special..
a Slice of Pizza as bigger than your face, and a pint of PBR

 So far, these are the biggest slices of pizza I've seen in the Orlando area.

They taste great as well! Not a New York style slice per say.. but rather, king sized hand tossed pizzas with a bolder, zestier sauce.

 If domestic beer isn't your thing.. they also have a great craft beer selection.

I reeaaaaaally enjoyed my lunch at Lazy Moon.  The place was chill, and the staff also embodied that attitude.  It's quite a drive from where I live which really bums me out, because if I lived closer, it would definitely be a regular haunt for me.  I guess I'll just have to find more reasons to make the trek out to the Mills/50 District more often.