Author Topic: aurelio's pizza..  (Read 77424 times)

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Offline Garvey

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #175 on: February 11, 2012, 10:14:14 AM »
Aurelio's in Homewood is a mind-blowing show.  We were there at Xmas, and it had been a good 30 years since I had been inside that particular joint.  The place was competely packed.  I had forgotten how enormous it was.  And the pizza was amazing, of course.

And yes, get good directions to Aurelio's.  It is a bit hard to find.  Sanfratello's should be easy, being on Main St.  It is an interesting place inside, too.  Very cool.

Don't forget Arranello's to complete the Homewood/Glenwood sweet sauce trifecta.  Hailed as the best stuffed pizza by the Trib a while back.  Look 'em up.  They are just a few blocks from Sanfratello's on Glenwood-Lansing Rd. 

And if you're a beer aficionado, you might as well continue on that same road a few short miles to Three Floyds.

I'm making myself hungry just writing this.


Offline Garvey

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #176 on: February 11, 2012, 02:36:04 PM »
BTB:

As long as we're name-checking great pies of the South Suburbs, how about John's in Cal City?  I always considered that being its own style (or sub-style), actually.  It has a softer, more pillowy crust and used the crumbled sausage that covered every inch of the pie.  There were many imitators of that style around the area.  Great, great pizza.

What do you think it would take to make a crust like that?  My first inclination would be that it was leaner (less oil) than my regular thin crust recipe and fermented shorter (24 hrs).  My other inclination was to cut the hydration a bit, to maybe 45 percent, but should I be going the other direction, a higher hydration like 55?  Seems like it would be harder to work with.

Garvey

Offline BTB

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #177 on: February 11, 2012, 03:02:58 PM »
As long as we're name-checking great pies of the South Suburbs, how about John's in Cal City?
John's in Calumet City has gone the way of the . . . eh . . . clubs there.   :-X  Closed.  Several other John's have opened up and claimed to be related somehow to the original John's (See http://theoriginaljohns.com/).  But a large number of people say they're not the same at all. (http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=95914)  The crumbled "breakfast" sausage never excited me (as much as the clubs down the street  :o).  Gone but not forgotten . . .  :'(     --BTB

Offline Garvey

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #178 on: February 12, 2012, 07:10:04 PM »
John's used Italian sausage.  I made it to the Cal City location right before they closed for good.  It was a stellar pie.  I kinda like that crumbled sausage effect.  It really covers the whole pie.  But like I said, it's a different style altogether.  Excellent crust.  Obviously, it's not for everyone. 

Offline CharlotteSailor

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #179 on: February 13, 2012, 08:17:50 AM »
"Aurelio's in Ft. Myers, Florida.  And even tho they only have conveyor ovens, they do a fantastic job with their pizzas."

I have to disagree. I was was in the Ft Myers (Gulf Coast Town Center) several months ago... first some background.  I grew up in "the Heights" and Flossmoor.  I ate in the original store  at least once a week.  I remember when the "new store" opened and ate there once a week for several years, before I moved to California.  Lived in that (California) real pizza wasteland for many years.  My wife and I moved to Southwest Florida and learned that Aurelio's had a store in Naples we went there and enjoyed it several times even though it was a drive.  When Gulf Coast opened we went and enjoyed it although we didn't think it was as good as the Naples store.  The last time we went to the Gulf Coast store it was a disaster.  The pizza was so salty it was inedible .  The manager was making his rounds of the tables and asked us how we liked it we told him it was way too salty.  I also told him I grew up eating at the original Aurelio's. I wasn't looking for anything for free, a replacement pie would have been nice as we had only eaten a slice each (never said this to him), but just wanted him to know that the product wasn't right.  He brushed us off saying Aurelio's sauce and cheese is very salty and walked away.  We had the pie boxed up and left.  We tried to eat it the next day but neither my wife nor I could eat it.  I then did something I have never ever done in my entire life (and I'm in my late 50s) I threw away left over pizza even more unbelievable it was Aurelio's to boot.

I emailed Aurelio's corporate relating my disappointing experience, again not asking for anything, but as I grew up eating their product I had a great desire to see them succeed even more than they have.  To my surprise I never received any kind of reply.  This really turned me off as I used to love their pies and believed theirs is the standard that all pizzas should be judged by.  I don't know if I just had a bad pie or if they have changed the sauce recipe, if the recipe has changed its way way too salty, salt was the only thing we could taste

Offline BTB

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #180 on: February 13, 2012, 10:24:03 AM »
Hey Charlotte Sailor, good to hear from you again as you've not visited here too often lately.  Hope things are well for you down in Ft. Myers.  Your disagreement is noted and that's fine as we all see and experience things differently.  I, too, spent decades in the Flossmoor, IL area, knew Joe Aurelio, and had his pizza very frequently.  Did you know that the owners of the Naples Aurelio's are former Flossmoor area residents, too? And they also do a wonderful job with their special brand of pizzamaking -- but its slightly different from the Ft. Myers restaurant.  I used to get all my take home "frozen" Aurelio's pizzas from the Naples location, but my family has just a little preference for those made at the Ft. Myers restaurant.
 
Just for your information, my wife, family members, and friends had been at the Ft. Myers location on a number of occasions and we experienced nothing like the "saltiness" thing that you did.  Matter of fact, I added a little salt to the "square" pieces of pizza that I took and ate there.  I know . . . go figure.  Maybe someone was too heavy handed with the salt container that day.   I know, too, that they changed (they say . . "improved") their crust formulation for use with conveyor ovens and cutter pans and despite that I think they do a pretty good job at turning out a pretty good pizza product.  Maybe its time to give them another chance.  Or the Naples location is excellent, too.  
 
All I remember is  . . . . the pizza that I last had at the Ft. Myers location was super excellent.  My earlier is report is at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9706.0.html
 
                                                                                                     --BTB

Add -- I do think it was ridiculous that the store manager did not attempt to make some sort of accommodation for you.  It just makes smart business sense.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 10:31:20 AM by BTB »

Offline CharlotteSailor

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #181 on: February 13, 2012, 04:38:10 PM »
I think I'll give Naples another try I prefer the ambiance, Gulf Coast seems to fancy for a pizza place. Trader Joe's just opened a store in Naples that way I can kill two birds with one stone.

Offline mrmojo1

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #182 on: February 17, 2012, 12:58:49 AM »
oh man extra sauce!  BTB youre killing me!  and that yellow color after cooking. i ordered 4 frozen for the holidays.... beore cooking i looked at the cheese....i tasted it....tastes like mozz it was a little dry....after baking....it still got that yellow color?  is it maybe some of the water or steam from the sauce coming through?  i know sometimes when i over sauce and under cheese, or in sauce making experiments if my sauce was too watery it would realy penetrate and mix with the cheese turning way too orange.  hmmmm.....i am soooo hungry right now!!  love the aurelios discussion!  still a good crust, cheese, and sauce, puzzle for me!
"My Doctor says I swallow a lot of aggression.  Along with a lot of pizzas!!"

Offline Garvey

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #183 on: February 18, 2012, 08:32:01 PM »
This may be crazy talk, but does Aurelio's use a natural starter?  I have always thought of their crust as having a certain sourdough quality to it--the blistering of the edges, etc.  On a whim, I made a thin crust tonight using my sourdough starter, and there were certain things about the finished product that reminded me very much of Aurelio's crust.  I am going to have to experiment further with this.

BTW, this new video clip (dated Jan 2012) shows the assembly: http://chicagoheights.patch.com/articles/aurelio-s-owner-responds-to-chowdown-victory#video-8918707

Cutter pans in a stone deck oven.  Sprinkles it with oregano?  And there is a parm shaker on the counter near the carryout window.  They don't show any going on the pizza.  Maybe it's there to "fix" wet pies...or for sprinkling on non-pizza dishes that are sold there?

BTB, does your crust from this thread resemble Aurelio's at all?  If not, what/whose would you say it's like?
« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 08:57:02 PM by Garvey »


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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #184 on: July 02, 2012, 06:14:47 PM »
It definitely does not, however, bake up with an orange color at all.  Unfortunately, that will remain a mystery for a while, I'm afraid. Maybe just sprinkle a few pieces of cheddar on top to get that effect.
 
 
                                                                                                --BTB


I'm still not counting out scamorza :p.  A possible reason it did not "orange up" for you is because you didn't have Chellino's Scamorza (the most likely candidate they would use, as it is made locally.)  Apparently, the way Chellino's Scamorza is made is different from all the other Scamorza out there.  I think I read (on this forum) nobody makes it like them (meaning the same process and/or ingredients I'm assuming.)

I've been trying to get my hands on some more to test it out, but I'm 800 miles away and I can't seem to get my family to run out and buy me some :\.  It's too hot this time of the year now so I'm out of luck until I visit in October.

The video here (currently not working) http://chicagoheights.patch.com/articles/aurelio-s-owner-responds-to-chowdown-victory#video-8918707 showed the kitchen.  He put all the ingredients on the pizza, then it cut to a different scene.  In the new scene the pizza had cheese sprinkled on top of the pepperoni  (same color as the other cheese.)  It could be different cheese, which gives the pizza it's orange color and almost cheddar like flavor (along with a nice crisp topping) , or it's the same cheese and is only used to give a crisp topping to the pizza.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 06:48:19 PM by account »

Offline mrmojo1

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #185 on: July 05, 2012, 10:19:45 PM »
I'm still not counting out scamorza :p.  A possible reason it did not "orange up" for you is because you didn't have Chellino's Scamorza (the most likely candidate they would use, as it is made locally.)  Apparently, the way Chellino's Scamorza is made is different from all the other Scamorza out there.  I think I read (on this forum) nobody makes it like them (meaning the same process and/or ingredients I'm assuming.)

I've been trying to get my hands on some more to test it out, but I'm 800 miles away and I can't seem to get my family to run out and buy me some :\.  It's too hot this time of the year now so I'm out of luck until I visit in October.

The video here (currently not working) http://chicagoheights.patch.com/articles/aurelio-s-owner-responds-to-chowdown-victory#video-8918707 showed the kitchen.  He put all the ingredients on the pizza, then it cut to a different scene.  In the new scene the pizza had cheese sprinkled on top of the pepperoni  (same color as the other cheese.)  It could be different cheese, which gives the pizza it's orange color and almost cheddar like flavor (along with a nice crisp topping) , or it's the same cheese and is only used to give a crisp topping to the pizza.

i tried chellino scamorza out here trying to clone aurelios a couple pages back and years back in this post, and i didnt get that orange color.  there was only 1 online site that sold it, and theyre gone.  but it had a green label on it, and i have heard there are bue labels and red and they are all different.  it was drier than the whole milk mozz i use, but it wasnt as dry as what i remembered grinding while working at aurelios as a young teen! 
"My Doctor says I swallow a lot of aggression.  Along with a lot of pizzas!!"

Offline mrmojo1

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #186 on: July 05, 2012, 10:22:24 PM »
Hi Garvey, from a few posts back you mentioned your buddy installing that blodgett deck oven in his basement!  has he fired it up yet? have you cooked on it?  i wonder what that would be like.  perfect temp control!  it would have to be ideal for chicago thin!  and i would guess for deep dish too!!  sounds like a blast!!
"My Doctor says I swallow a lot of aggression.  Along with a lot of pizzas!!"

Offline account

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #187 on: July 06, 2012, 01:02:38 AM »
i tried chellino scamorza out here trying to clone aurelios a couple pages back and years back in this post, and i didnt get that orange color.  there was only 1 online site that sold it, and theyre gone.  but it had a green label on it, and i have heard there are bue labels and red and they are all different.  it was drier than the whole milk mozz i use, but it wasnt as dry as what i remembered grinding while working at aurelios as a young teen! 

What about the flavor, do you think it's similar to scamorza, or something different?  What would you compare it to? (it being aurelio's cheese, since you've been around the uncooked product)

Offline Garvey

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #188 on: July 16, 2012, 08:20:57 AM »
Hi Garvey, from a few posts back you mentioned your buddy installing that blodgett deck oven in his basement!  has he fired it up yet? have you cooked on it?  i wonder what that would be like.  perfect temp control!  it would have to be ideal for chicago thin!  and i would guess for deep dish too!!  sounds like a blast!!

Alas, it has not yet been installed.  They just had a baby, and other projects got bumped up on the priority list.  There is talk of a September first-time firing, so I will be sure to post pix.  It will be like a Chicago Thin Fantasy Camp (and Deep Dish, too). 

Offline davidschoon

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #189 on: July 24, 2012, 12:56:31 PM »
I have to say this is the best thread ever. You guys are awesome.

Offline mrmojo1

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Re: aurelio's pizza..
« Reply #190 on: July 24, 2012, 11:43:58 PM »
What about the flavor, do you think it's similar to scamorza, or something different?  What would you compare it to? (it being aurelio's cheese, since you've been around the uncooked product)

I didn't really notice anything too different.  to me it was like part skim mozzarella that was maybe a tad saltier? definitely dry, not as creamy as whole milk.
"My Doctor says I swallow a lot of aggression.  Along with a lot of pizzas!!"