Author Topic: Pizzamaking Fanatics 2012 NJ Tour Amano, Lodi, Pizza Town, Vesta, Brunos  (Read 11033 times)

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scott123

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I just got in the door a few minutes ago.  What a blast.  I'll wake up and probably have pizza for breakfast, but, right this second, this is one of those extremely rare times when I don't want to see another pizza. Don't get me wrong, it was all SO good, but, right now, I'm at pizza overload.

More to come.


Offline JConk007

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Re: Pizzamaking Fanatics 2012 NJ Tour Amano, Lodi, Pizza Town, Vesta, Brunos
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2012, 09:15:01 PM »
I will second that ! Post what I have Tomorrow what a great day,
John
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Pizzamaking Fanatics 2012 NJ Tour Amano, Lodi, Pizza Town, Vesta, Brunos
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2012, 09:18:49 PM »
Glad to see you guys carrying the torch.

I wish I could have been there!

CL
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizzamaking Fanatics 2012 NJ Tour Amano, Lodi, Pizza Town, Vesta, Brunos
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2012, 10:16:27 PM »
Looking forward to the pictures and write up guys.  I also get overloaded with pizza every now and then, but today, I ate pizza for lunch and dinner.   :-D

Offline RobynB

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Re: Pizzamaking Fanatics 2012 NJ Tour Amano, Lodi, Pizza Town, Vesta, Brunos
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2012, 12:40:12 AM »
I just made 9 pizzas (7 savory and 2 dessert) for 4 people.  That would be 9, 14" pizzas.  There is very little movement around our house tonight... 

Offline JConk007

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Re: Pizzamaking Fanatics 2012 NJ Tour Amano, Lodi, Pizza Town, Vesta, Brunos
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2012, 09:40:18 PM »
ok I know Craig would have had this posted by 7:30 pm but I had a lot going on. I apoligize for the phone cam I know larry took a lot also but he is in NY and probably wont jumop in til he gets home.
What a blast we had great fun, great variety , and great pizza!!  I willl post in order
We started at amano .
This is allways good they have it down for sure. we had  a sausage and broccili rabe and a margherit
Saly as with kest but cooked perfect. Carlos was there and welcome Larry to come in anytime and work the line. They brought out a fresh batch 55 lbs bag of flour so we watche them scale and ball as well I gat a cool viseo of the expert and larry and I jumped right in to help with a tray. Great start and just the right amount of a taste test.
as I say. I think this guy has done this before !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSC4vM-tiVQ&feature=youtu.be
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 09:06:52 AM by JConk007 »
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Offline JConk007

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Re: Pizzamaking Fanatics 2012 NJ Tour Amano, Lodi, Pizza Town, Vesta, Brunos
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2012, 09:46:40 PM »
Off to Lodi Pizza where pizzas are coked in a pan. completely different style than neopolitan we all grabbed a slice they were just opening at 3 pm. This was good but the sauce was as Scott123 picked up on Ellios like there may also be some cheddar in the cheese. Limitesd pics here we were all busy looking at the picture of the Sopranos on the walls. There were a few episodes filmed here and you get the feel that Tony fit rit in. Good pie Highly rated in NJ
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Offline JConk007

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Re: Pizzamaking Fanatics 2012 NJ Tour Amano, Lodi, Pizza Town, Vesta, Brunos
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2012, 09:56:29 PM »
Few miles up te road lies Pizza Town One of my Favorite slices in the entire area. established 1958 it like going into the past or carnivalesk. The pizza GREAT! The keep it simple and have not changed a thing. NY syle at its best!. Cornmeal on the peel. very few topping choices and a bright fresh sauce keep the pies coming out perfect one after the other. Healthy swirl of parm and pinch of oragano.  They cook at 650 plus and as scott say "thats where the magic happens" and heppen it did we ordered a whole pie here to get it fresh, it was stretched and put in the oven  but another was grabbed out and served to us. the best thing here is it was nice and quite, which is rare for this place believe me. We had such a great time talking with the 2 sisters whos father owns the place its just them and the brother many days and they sure can rip! Its like a symphony- stretch, in, out, spin, rotate, but man you can see here how good it is! We yaked it up with the sisters more tlking than the last 20 time i have been there put together !  Larry tried very hard to charm  some info from them if I was going to make dough would I add some oil ?" and the repsonse was "nice try". Really fun stop as they are allways so busy they might not be in such a jovial mood. Here are the sisters they even hooked us up with some free zeppolis which we could not pronounce properly what a great place!
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 10:22:16 PM by JConk007 »
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Offline JConk007

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Re: Pizzamaking Fanatics 2012 NJ Tour Amano, Lodi, Pizza Town, Vesta, Brunos
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2012, 10:10:02 PM »
Off to see my good friend Frank at Vesta! If you have not been here GO! Frank was such a gracious host ! showing us the kitchen, mixer,  private rooms , and sharing openly about his passion  and experience. He started a long time ago cooking making Perogies and stilll has a mobile perogie truck  he plans to fire up again soon. We had the Margherita and a wonderful Vodka sauce base with buffalo mozz.  and blackened shrimp. I hope scott will descibe the texture and tenderness of the dough here. Very thin but the Dualing Stephano oven and that magic 3-4 min. bake time create some really wonderful pizza . Frank sat with us the whole visit chatted pizza. yes the man knows his pizza and his passion shows in the finished product.  I could go on for a page here but I dont want to sound bias. I love the pizza here and very glad we made it a part of our tour ! Frank is so cool he even hooked us up with som eexpresso to keep us going and some real donuts his creation using pizza dough and a banana center OMG delish. I am hoping Larry and scott put up some pics of the place as well its a very beautiful place and such comfortabe environment. I go here as often as possible and cannot express my gratitude for Franks good nature and the use of his Diving arm mixure all last year. He would not even let us pay!!!
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 10:13:59 PM by JConk007 »
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Offline JConk007

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Re: Pizzamaking Fanatics 2012 NJ Tour Amano, Lodi, Pizza Town, Vesta, Brunos
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2012, 10:18:56 PM »
Full yet?? YES I WAS  :P Our last stop Mt Brunos in Lyndhurst NJ . also voted best in class. !! Here the special is Sicilian Pizza  Pan raised and baked chees under sauce so not to burn . I love this crust and saiuce it was just so damn good. We also got one of the owners engagesd and talked to him about the family bus how it took off up to like  6 places a few started penny pinching and the product went down hill. Not here!  a great finish to a great day
John
I Love to Flirt with Fire! www.flirtingwithfirepizza.com


scott123

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Re: Pizzamaking Fanatics 2012 NJ Tour Amano, Lodi, Pizza Town, Vesta, Brunos
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2012, 03:02:10 AM »
Nice write-up, John. 

I'm still putting together my thoughts, but, in the mean time, I posted some videos on youtube.

Bear mind, these are the first videos I've ever filmed, so, don't expect Scorcese  ;D Bad lighting, jittery camera, glare/reflection off a window, you name the possible mistake and I made it.  My apologies to Frank at Vesta- his pizzas looked SO much better than this (I'll have more to say about Vesta later). As time goes by, my filming skills should improve.  Anyway, here they are:





The Pizza Town Stretch is like a master class on stretching NY style. 

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizzamaking Fanatics 2012 NJ Tour Amano, Lodi, Pizza Town, Vesta, Brunos
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2012, 07:58:27 AM »
Love the videos Scott.  The opening technique is mesmerizing to watch.  The precison she diaplays and with such ease and effort.

Offline JConk007

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Re: Pizzamaking Fanatics 2012 NJ Tour Amano, Lodi, Pizza Town, Vesta, Brunos
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2012, 08:24:45 AM »
Scott ,
you captured the symphony I spoke of ! Even the open a bit and rest a minute or 2 while she spins and makes  room I think is part of plan. She slides around on her  crocks  like an olympic skater !
I would love to know how many she has done over the many years I think She said she started in 1970 and works 4 days a week ? quick math puts her well over 1/2 million pizzas!!!.
Peronally I think she could put Dom D to shame,  the fact that she does 2-3X as many in the same time and the finished product is spot on! Everytime. The time you get the slice, weather its right out of the oven, leftover, or they reheat whole pies when its busy... is the only variable here.
John
I Love to Flirt with Fire! www.flirtingwithfirepizza.com

Offline thezaman

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Re: Pizzamaking Fanatics 2012 NJ Tour Amano, Lodi, Pizza Town, Vesta, Brunos
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2012, 09:12:24 AM »
Scott great videos the pizza town video is everything you need to know about how to make a new York pizza . From method to ingredients . That pizza tasted like a pie I had from a new York guy in Ohio . I wanted the recipe and he was willing to sell it for a large sum of money. The video, what the girls told us and you input on dough we could make that wonderful pizza .

Offline thezaman

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Re: Pizzamaking Fanatics 2012 NJ Tour Amano, Lodi, Pizza Town, Vesta, Brunos
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2012, 09:18:30 AM »
One more comment. That was a great get together. Talk about pride and passion towards what you do . The four owners that we were able yo talk to sure had it!!! I have pics to contribute but no Internet

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Pizzamaking Fanatics 2012 NJ Tour Amano, Lodi, Pizza Town, Vesta, Brunos
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2012, 11:41:34 AM »
Wow, excellent pizza get together. Good stuff!

The Pizza Town video looks spot on.....the cheese seems to be proportioned just right. Would love to see a little Extra Virgin added as the last step, but that is one good looking NY-Style pie. --K  :)
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scott123

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Re: Pizzamaking Fanatics 2012 NJ Tour Amano, Lodi, Pizza Town, Vesta, Brunos
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2012, 02:30:22 PM »
Thanks, guys.

The NY trip was so magical, educational and life changing, that I was expecting this tour to be a bit of a let down.  But it wasn't.  Both experiences were incredible.  SO much information.  You almost kind of wish we could have brought a stenographer along, just to get the details of every conversation. I could sit down and write about 20 pages worth of information on this trip and I still probably wouldn't have scratched the surface.

Since I have so much ground to cover, I'm going to, like John, give each place it's own post.

Offline JConk007

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Re: Pizzamaking Fanatics 2012 NJ Tour Amano, Lodi, Pizza Town, Vesta, Brunos
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2012, 02:50:36 PM »
Let it rip Scott 
Remember no secrets , dough recipies ....  ;)
John
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scott123

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Re: Pizzamaking Fanatics 2012 NJ Tour Amano, Lodi, Pizza Town, Vesta, Brunos
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2012, 03:30:48 PM »
Amano

I was telling John how if I could measure my excitement over Neapolitan pizza on a scale of 1 to 10, prior to the NY trip, I was a 1 (the place I had gone to was soupy, and had too much char), but after the trip, I was more like a 6, maybe a 7.  I'm more than halfway there, although, it's important to remember that I'm not mad as a hatter about Neapolitan-yet :D

It's interesting, NY style is so incredibly crust centric.  The toppings and the cheese are generally pretty static, while the crust varies tremendously from place to place. Neapolitan crusts, on the other hand, are extremely similar to each other- at least from the perspective I have now.  I enjoyed the less salt, slightly better oven spring and less char at Motorino, but we're not talking about a significantly different crust than Keste, or, for that matter, Paulie Gees.  I guess, as you get more into Neapolitan pizza, these crust nuances take on far greater importance, but, for me, where I am on my journey, it's the toppings that send my heart soaring and haunt my dreams. It's the lard, the brussels sprouts and the spicy honey that get my blood pumping.

In this aspect, we really couldn't do Amano justice. It was only the four of us, and we knew we had a lot of pizza ahead, so we couldn't get a wide variety of pizzas and taste all the topping combinations they had to offer.  I think we also might have shot ourselves in the foot a bit by ordering a margherita. I'm not pointing fingers- I was fully on board with the decision, but, after pondering it a bit, I think I'm going to take a page out of the Paulie Gee handbook and stop ordering margherita pizzas. One can just as easily get a sense of a pizzeria's dough by ordering one of their more uniquely topped pies.

The broccoli rabe and sausage pie was very good. I don't think it's going to haunt my dreams, but it was still a very good showing.  The crust is very on par with Keste, which comes as no surprise, since Roberto helped found the place. This is one of the pies made without cherry tomatoes. Larry made reference to the potential moisture issue that cherry tomatoes introduce when we placed our order. Based upon my own experience with fresh tomatoes, if I went back, I might ask that they be omitted.  I do know, when I do return (and I will), that I'm going back with a larger group of people so that we can taste a greater variety of pizzas, and I'm also going to fight tooth and nail to avoid ordering the margherita. Be prepared  ;D

Carlo, the owner, was very kind and gracious.  I think it's obvious that he's from the same educator/ambassador school as Roberto.  For Carlo to offer Larry the opportunity to come in and stretch skins (in a production setting), it shows an unbelievable commitment to the craft.

scott123

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Re: Pizzamaking Fanatics 2012 NJ Tour Amano, Lodi, Pizza Town, Vesta, Brunos
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2012, 03:42:07 PM »
Lodi

It's official. I am now enough of a pizza eating snob that re-heated slices don't do it for me in any way. At least not slices that sit out and are returned to the deck oven.  It does crisp them up, but it also kind of dries them out.  Lodi is definitely one of the best pizzas I've eaten in the NY area, but compared to the fresh pizza at Pizza Town, there's no comparison.