Author Topic: Pizza Travel  (Read 1869 times)

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Offline Meatballs

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Pizza Travel
« on: January 26, 2011, 01:54:46 PM »
I hope this is the right place to post this, I couldn't find any other threads like it. 

We will  be traveling to Tampa, Florida in March for a beer related event, I'm a senior beer judge and travel frequently to events and competitions.  Occasionally we will travel to a town to check out the beer culture and tour breweries.  I guess you can see where this is heading.  I'm going to be adding pizza to my list of bars, breweries and brewpubs for future travel and Tampa is to be the first pizza/beer destination.

Does anybody know of an excellent pizzeria where an authentic Neapolitan Pizza can be had.  If they follow the D.O.P. that would be real nice.  I trust the people here more than any other resource for pizza recommendations just as I trust the ratings on Beer Advocate for beer bar recommendations.  I would also be interested in a good recommendation for any other style of pizza also. 

We'll be passing Gainesville, Tallahassee, Ocala and Lake City on the way there and back so a lunch stop could be arranged.  Thanks for your input in advance.

Ron


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Pizza Travel
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2011, 02:01:53 PM »
Probably the best Neapolitan pizzerias in the world pay little attention to the D.O.P. What is codified on paper and what true artisans lovingly prepare in blast furnace WFO's can be very different. VPN certification can also have no correlation to quality.

Speaking of artisans, do not miss this place in Tampa run by a respected member of this board:

http://wood-firedpizza.com/default.aspx

 

Offline Meatballs

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Re: Pizza Travel
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2011, 05:07:33 PM »
Thanks, Bill, just the kind of place I'm looking for.  Will punch it into the GPS prior to the trip so I can find it at a moments notice.  I notice the beer selection is respectable enough too.  I'll be staying near Cigar City Brewery and it looks easy to find the pizzeria.  Are reservations really necessary between 5 and 7:00pm?  I notice the 4 stars on 109 reviews at Google, quite respectable.

Thanks,

Ron

Offline StrayBullet

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Re: Pizza Travel
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2011, 06:25:18 PM »
We have a few active members down this way and I happen to LOVE beer...and to top it all off, St Patrick's day will be just around the corner and while I consider it amateurs night, it's also my birthday :D  Maybe we swing throwing a few pies?

I've been to the place mentioned above and it was great, definitely have to check it out.  There's a place in downtown Tampa you should check out as well:

http://www.pizzaiolobavaro.org/index.php

Mark

Offline Ev

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Re: Pizza Travel
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2011, 07:49:41 AM »
"Speaking of artisans, do not miss this place in Tampa run by a respected member of this board:"

http://wood-firedpizza.com/default.aspx

I'll be near Tampa myself in less than two weeks. I'm definitely going to check out Mr. Taylors establishment! :D

Offline Meatballs

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Re: Pizza Travel
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2011, 10:32:01 AM »
Thanks StrayBullet,

I notice the place has some Italian beers also, I haven't had any from Menabrea yet.  A good chance to try those beers without buying a six pack.  I've had hundreds (thousands?) of different beers and its not too often I find one I haven't already sampled, pretty good for a small beer list.  Place is only about 9 minutes from where we'll be staying too.  Another one for the GPS.  Starting to look like Tampa is a target rich environment or pizza, gotta love a town with a long history of Italian immigration.

Thanks,

Ron

Offline StrayBullet

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Re: Pizza Travel
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2011, 12:41:42 PM »
Ybor City might be a good source of different/local beers...possibly something you haven't had yet.

I'm a real big fan of Fat Tire from Colorado Brewing Co, which I can't get here in Florida and my latest go-to is Tapestry Ale, red label...really like that stuff!

Offline Davydd

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Re: Pizza Travel
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2011, 05:52:44 PM »
Probably the best Neapolitan pizzerias in the world pay little attention to the D.O.P. What is codified on paper and what true artisans lovingly prepare in blast furnace WFO's can be very different. VPN certification can also have no correlation to quality.
If VPN certification is faithfully followed to the letter from ingredients to preparation to baking there should definitely be a correlation to quality. Otherwise the restaurant would be lying. You by default would thus have a narrow range of the kind of pizza you can expect, and of course, everyone has a preference and it may not necessarily be a VPN certified kind of pizza.

After Naples, Italy I do have a singular pursuit of finding a faithful Margherita pizza in my travels. I have already found those variations from D.O.P. and can say a few I liked. But it is kind of challenging and fun to seek them out at least on the first visit. On return anything is game.
Davydd

Offline Meatballs

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Re: Pizza Travel
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2011, 07:30:44 PM »
I consider myself an affection ado of the Neapolitan-American style of pizza having consumed them since I was a baby.  Being Catholic we used to have meatless Fridays.  My father, being a pizzalero in his younger days, saw the Cheese Pizza as the answer to the dilemma of no meat.  Being a child, I agreed wholeheartedly.  So every Friday I accompanied him down to the local pizzeria in Philadelphia to obtain the pies.  The place was a front for the Mob, don't ask me how I know, Dad said it was and told me to shut up, and I haven't spoken about it since.  Being a front, of course, the pies were spectacular and the prices were rock bottom.  But, I digress.  Real Italian pizza was something I was totally unaware of until as an adult I discovered it as a way to impress the ladies.

I am now seeking to find a real Neapolitan pizza without the expense of delivery from Italy.  Thus my interest in adding pizza to my travels as a beer judge.  I don't want to start any arguments or debates as to whether certification is useful or not, in my original post, remember, I said it would "be nice" if the DOP was followed.  I agree with both posters, DOP is nice but innovation is nice too.  As an accomplished homebrewer and beer judge, I know that there are times for tradition and times to innovate.  I applaud both.  I would like to be able to learn enough to contrast the two, the way I can beer.

I would be glad to find a good Neapolitan-American in my travels too.  Trying to order a Pizza in a strange town can be a real crap shoot, last time I ordered a pie in Florida, Orlando it think, it was Russians running the place.  Nothing against Russians, great people, but, Pizza is not part of their tradition and the pie showed it.  I appreciate all recommendations.

Ron

Offline scott r

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Re: Pizza Travel
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2011, 10:39:54 AM »
Woodfired is definitely going to knock your socks off!  ALso, if you ever get to pittsburgh make sure you check out il pizzaiolo.   So far its my favorite neapolitan pizza in the US along with UPN in san fran.    good luck!


Offline StrayBullet

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Re: Pizza Travel
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2011, 08:53:32 PM »
I agree about stopping at Wood Fired....Peter has been extremely helpful to me and has led to me making the pies I'm currently turning out :)

Having read your last post though, I have to reiterate my last post :D

I've been to the place mentioned above and it was great, definitely have to check it out. 

There's a place in downtown Tampa you should check out as well:

http://www.pizzaiolobavaro.org/index.php

Mark

Offline Meatballs

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Re: Pizza Travel
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2011, 04:26:35 PM »
Thanks to everybody who posted here, I now have a mission.  We'll definitely try to get to both of the places mentioned. 

Mangiare,

Ron

Offline acbova

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Re: Pizza Travel
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2011, 02:28:16 AM »
The tough part about Wood Fired is all the different choices.  Oh and over the last few months he has added a number of good beers on tap.  The trouble will be figuring out what pizza to try.  Try the Rachel, or the Mona to taste the crust then maybe one of the fancy ones.  I like the Pistachio Pie or the Michaelangelo with Sausage.

Offline BTB

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Re: Pizza Travel
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2011, 11:28:57 AM »
For Neapolitan in the Tampa area, take a peek at my report at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10060.msg87690.html#msg87690 .  These are the main Neapolitan pizzerias in all of the Tampa Bay area.

                                                                                    --BTB

Offline StrayBullet

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Re: Pizza Travel
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2011, 11:33:57 AM »
I've been to 2 out of 3, so that can't be too bad :D

Mark

Offline Meatballs

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Re: Pizza Travel
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2011, 12:35:26 PM »
Back from Tampa and had a great time.  The beer festival was put on by friends and was very successful.  Went to Wood Fired Pizza on Friday night and had a great time.  We had the charcuterie plate for the appetizer, Pizza Sophia for dinner and the cheese cake for desert.  They had Golden Monkey (9.5% abv) on draft and everything was excellent.  The pizza was totally awesome with just the most beautiful char on the bottom and a very interesting sauce/cheese combination on top. 

The chef was most entertaining and hospitable, even giving us complimentary samples of an interesting wood aged beer he had received.  He also personally checked on our satisfaction with the pie.  We get to Tampa at least once a year and this will be an obligatory stop.  Thanks everybody for your recommendations.

Ron


 

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