Something New

This week’s post brings me back to Virginia, and specifically the Herndon area.

RubinosStoreFront

I had never heard of Rubino’s Pizzeria but this is what makes this gig fun. You can drive around any city, town, or neighborhood and you’re going to find a pizza place.   I feel like an explorer of sorts seeing where this journey will take me.  I have so many places like this stored away for future posts (hopefully) that now is as good a time as many to talk about one.

So this was a month ago and I found myself passing through the region, where I saw many a strip mall and shopping center.  With the power of technology and the Internet I was able to pinpoint a few places nearby.   But they weren’t as close to me as I had surmised.  So I said to myself I’ll let it come to me, and sure enough moments later I get to the Village Center at Dulles aka Clocktower & Village Center.

All the standard chains and box stores were visible but fortunately at the very end of one side of the strip you have Rubino’s.

This was during lunch rush so I am a little more objective as to the time, the crowd, the energy, and everything in between.

It was busy, the crowd was a lot of employees, government workers, tand corporate types.   So you’re going to get a lot of folks trying to expedite their visits and get out as soon as they can.

I ordered three (count ’em three) slices and my wait time was about 5-6 minutes and that was reasonable for the time frame.

In sequential order I will recap my carry-out order.

Rubino'sCheese

First, the cheese is very good.  The mozzarella, the sauce, and the crust mesh perfectly.   I forgot to mention that these are NY Style Slices, and they’re going to be thinner than what some of us might be used to.  But this worked here.

The picture above may look funny as  I literally opened it as soon as I got out of the restaurant, and you see that bubble or hole.  I attribute that to anything but the pizzeria itself.  This is a really good cheese that I’d be happy to have on-the-go or sitting down.  Nothing that bill blow you away but a strong slice for sure.

Now onto the bacon part of the discussion…

Rubino'sMeatLovers

The Meat Supreme with bacon, sausage, ham, and pepperoni was not my favorite.  The toppings were fine.  They may not have seemed as fresh a I would have liked but there was something else missing.   It seemed as if the flavors were too overpowering and I didn’t get to taste much of anything.   I picked pieces of them off and enjoyed them individually but it still wasn’t what I had hoped.   It wasn’t terrible but I didn’t find it very good either.  I ate about half and saved the rest for later.

Rubino'sBBQChicken

The Barbecue, Chicken. and Bacon I saved for last but this didn’t work.  I didn’t care for the bbq sauce and that really compromised the slice altogether.  The chicken was find but again it didn’t taste fresh.  And the bacon got lost in the shuffle.   I barely ate more than a few bites.

For all three the pizza crust itself was really good.

Rubino'sHangSign

In reading their story I do appreciate how it’s family run and that they now have three stores.  They’re three brothers that grew up in the area and went to school nearby.  I love finding out information like this and hope they expand and end up with more successes.

I am in Virginia quite a lot so if I pass through, I will give them another go again.

Rubino'sCoke&Slice

And $3.99 for a coke and a slice for this area is pretty unbeatable.

I hope you all are having a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend and I wish you all the joys of the holiday season.

Take good care.

Best,

Ideen

 

 

Hand Over Heart

WeThePizzaNola

The title make not sense at first, but the culinary joy sure does.

Over a month ago, I somehow find myself in the interesting locale known as Crystal City, VA.  The circumstances leading me here were a bit bizarre but that’s the joy of life.  You don’t always know how you end up at a certain places but at that very moment this is where you were supposed to be.

WeThePizzaRain

This brings me to We, The Pizza.   And I loved it.  With what was going on in the air that day and the gross weather, this was the comforting food that I needed.   You can tell in one of the photos that it was a gross and dreary day.

When it’s blah out I (or we) don’t always make the most rationale or educated of decisions.  Our axis might be a bit off.  I admit I was very off this day so what I chose to order might have seemed clumsy at first.  But I nailed it.  They nailed it.

I’ll say this though, the location is not the most approachable.  The D.C. area does bring an energy at times that doesn’t encourage that.  But that by no means will cloud my judgement on this or any other area order.    I think I’ve beaten around the bush enough.

I surveyed their eclectic menu and after much deliberating  I went with the Cajun Chicken & Andouille as my first choice.  Second but no least was the Forest Shroomin’ Slice.

Aside from the cheese which is $3, every slice on their menu is $4.  And for the location and what I was eating this was a bargain.

I’m still missing New Orleans as previous posts here and here will indicate, so this was the perfect slice to take me back.

Off the bat, the crust was cooked on each immaculately.  I am reminiscing now about how great it was. It had a genuine taste to it.  Maybe it was the oven, maybe it was the perfect amount of charring and heating, or maybe it was the folks and the energy behind the cooking.   So good.

WeThePizzaSnug

The free-range chicken and chicken andouille sausage come together perfectly.  Neither one imposes on the other and the toppings complement one another well. This may have been the first time I had this type of sausage, but oh my goodness this was a winner. I could have multiple slices of these.   The cajun seasonings brought just enough of a kick and spice to make this a winner.  This is a great pie.

The forest shroomin’ was a random choice and luck was on my side again. This will sound like a dig at first but it tasted like a cream of mushroom pizza poured on top of a pizza.  And I loved every second of it.  The thyme may be what really makes this slice.   I love mushroom so this is something I would definitely get again.  This may not be a slice for everyone but that’s the fun in pizza adventures.  There’s so much to choose from.

Look how cozy these slices are next to each other? They’re akin to being best buds.

I would be foolish not to mention that entertaining pictures adorning the walls and the mens room.   I’ve said it before but any pizzeria that has their own to go box gets many brownie points.  I love that touch. And now for your viewing pleasure:

WeThePizzaBox

I will be back.  I just don’t know when.  I had a pleasurable time here and the patrons who seemed to be in a rush were in good spirits.  Either that or I tuned all the negativity out.   The staff was very cordial too. I enjoyed myself.

WeThePizzaDisplay

They have  a Washington, DC location I’d like to check out sometime too!

WeThePizzaSide

For more information about this great spot or contact info click here.  And I love seeing community involvement tabs, so even more brownie points!

All I needed to turn a strange start to a day around was focus on something positive.  I discovered a great new pizza place and the dominoes fell from there.

That’s where the hand over heart comes in.  I was in a place of tranquility, along with feeling full and happy.   That’s all I needed.

Thanks so much and Happy Thanksgiving in advance!

Best,

Ideen

Short N’ Sweet

BrickNfireJesse

That’s what I intended this post to be.  Or maybe I’m still salivating at the thought of this pie we ate last Friday.  It was just that, short n’ sweet.  It was decimated within minutes.   Well that’s it, thanks everybody!   Ha!

We were at a local wine club party enjoying our various snacks.  But I had another inspired thought, just like last time, to order a pizza from the highly touted and regarded, BricknFire Pizza Co.  The results were incredible!

BrickNFireBoard

I scoured their menu, or big board, as I like to call it, to find something that fit the mood.   We’re fast-approaching the heart of November. A pie that would represent the spirit of the holidays was definitely in order.

A bottle or so in may cloud a persons judgement but not me.  I went with the ‘Jesse’ for the simple reason I saw cranberry. I felt inspired.  I just had a feeling this was going to be something exceptional.   Saying I was right would be an understatement.

So who’s Jesse?  Well he is the man.  And he was the gentleman heating up everyone’s creation in that incredible looking oven. This screams passion and heart.  And this pizza we ate definitely came from the heart.  My goodness.

This was jut the perfect thing we needed while we’re a little relaxed via our red wines. We had our cheese, crackers,  fruits, and other oddities, but this put out evening over-the-top. Alright I’ve used enough superlatives and vagueness, and I’ve yet to talk about the pie.  Let me get to the point.

The dough and crust had this perfect squishy factor to it (just right for the holidays).  And for the element we’re in this was beyond perfect.  We were inside a barn listening to live music in a very intimate setting.

Almost any pizza pie was going to be good here.  But only a few were going to be great.  This goes beyond great.  The goat cheese, walnuts, cranberry, speck, and balsamic all really shine through.  And no one gets lost in the shuffle.   Speck, a type of prosciutto, is not something I have frequently.  And for good reason. It’s very high in fat content but it was pristine and flawless here.  This whole pie was exquisite.

I did not deliberately leave out the brussels sprouts, but I wanted to give credit where its due on that too. I didn’t discover them until seeing them at the very bottom of the slice.  And sometimes under the cheese.  This was divine.

BrickNFireHalfEaten

As you can see this pie never had a chance just a couple of minutes in.  And it went perfect with our Merlot.

BrickNFireNWineBrickNFireSlice2BrickNFireSlice

My mouth is watering as I expound on this.  You have got to be kidding me.  This was a 5-star, pie for the ages candidate. I truly mean that.   Where can I find you guys again?

BrickNFireOven

Well for our friends in the Baltimore area, their Facebook page keeps us up-to-date on where they’ll be.

I know for sure I’ll be on the lookout for them.  I can’t say enough good things. So this post went about the normal length.  Hey I could go on forever…

For more on the wine and party mentioned in this post, click here!

Thank you kindly!

Best,

Ideen

The Slice Is Right

The timing of this post is right.  I have some dear friends headed to New Orleans next week and I thought it was only right to go back into my archives for this week’s pizza extravaganza!

I love this city, I love the energy, the people, the outdoor festivals and parties, bars, restaurants, people watching, sight-seeing, and everything in between.  I know I just used a lot of similar narratives but so be it. I am getting emotional looking back and photos and writing today’s post.

SliceFrontSliceSign

After a quick ride from the airport and dropping my bags off my room, I was not about staying inside whatsoever.   I never had that much of a set plan while I was there except for maybe trying a few pizzerias.  It only seems right for changing the geography of this blog when I can.

I wrote about an incredible spot back in July and I’m grateful to be writing about Slice Pizzeria in the beautiful St. Charles neighborhood.

This was actually planned.  Sometimes they do come together. My room was just minutes away.  When I arrived here I got goose bumps.  I’m getting goose bump and chills now.

A few friends had suggested this place to me and I’m all for fun places to go along with wherever random and unexpected turns I make in my travels.

I knew I was in good for a great day and great visit. The inside is so laid-back and so charming.  There were a few regulars and enjoying their food and their cold ones.   It felt so right and a nice start before I did more of the touristy stuff.

Now onto the slices!

SliceCheeseUpClose

First up, in typical vacation fashion, I ordered a cheese slice.   The crust on all of these is perfectly cooked and a bit crunchy. That’s a good thing.   The slices were crisp and thin so I never got bloated.  And that’s good because I would be over-indulging for the majority of the trip shortly thereafter.

I think the cheese was solid but I wasn’t blown away by it.   It was enjoyable but nothing out-of-the-ordinary. However, at $2.75, it’s very reasonably priced.  That was a pleasant treat.

SliceMenu

After that slow start I got a bit more ambitious.  The menu had a nice breakdown of pies between Classic, Signature, and Native.  I think that’s a wonderful touch.

SliceUpClose

Next was the Sportman’s Paradise.  We had a lot of moving parts on this one.   The shrimp and sausage mixed together definitely gave it some power.  I had to pick some of the pieces off just to see how they tasted on their own.  And they were brilliant.

In my honest opinion, having the onions, peppers, and tomatoes might have been a bit much.  Don’t get me wrong, this was another good pizza but I think there may have been one or two toppings too many.   Sometimes less is more and that’s what I felt here. But how can you complain at $4.25 a slice.  This was worth that.  I just think this slice could be incredible as opposed to just really good.

SliceDuo!

So I ordered those two slices together and usually I’d be done at this point.  But I’m in a different universe. It’s time to get ambitious and inspired.  And this final slice I ordered is exactly that.

SliceSpecialty

SliceBBG

The B.B.G., which is short for Bacon, Basil, and Garlic is one of those slices I still think about.   Maybe that saving the best for last and the third time is a charm cliché applies here.  I can’t rave about this one enough.   This is how less is more and how every topping really means something here.

I wish I had ordered a pie of this.  This was heavenly, divine, cosmic, metaphysical, and out-of-this-world.   And at $3.50 I felt like I was stealing from them.  We all know how amazing white pizza is.  But these simple additions really make this something to behold.   The garlic, bacon, and that fresh basil thrown on top is pure eye-candy.  It was almost too beautiful to eat.  Thankfully I saved a photo.

SliceWine

And you know I’m going to enjoy some vino with my meal.

This is how I will always remember how I started my vacation.  And knowing who I am, this was perfect.  I am missing this amazing city as I write all this.  It’s only been four months but I’m feeling incredibly nostalgic and yearning to go back.

The bartender was very friendly and this made the experience all that much better.

SliceTees

There will be more NOLA posts to come.  When the timing feels right.  This feels right.

I miss it.

Best,

Ideen