Delaware’s Finest

DimeoSlices2

I didn’t know much about Wilmington, other than that it’s the largest city in Delaware. Maybe I didn’t know that and I just looked up that information moments ago.

Little did I know that this is a city that’s only going to keep on growing.  But every city says that and they should, as long as its for the better.

There’s a lot of character.  We got old buildings, we got run down ones, and everything in the middle.  Sounds like everywhere right?

No matter what, when you drive into a new town, it’s likely going to be exciting and  the feelings create a sense of curiosity.   For me, when I pass through town I want to park my car and start strolling.  I had no idea I would find myself here and get lost at the same time.

DiMeoFront

Within that curiosity leads me to naturally want to find some yummy pizza slices.  I wasn’t in the mood for a whole pie today.   Fortunately, DiMeo’s checked up so many boxes and more.  But I don’t have a checklist haha.   But the coziness and location already sounded like this was going to be a winner.  And of course it was.

DimeoSide

It’s got a great vibe yet feels like a newer pizzeria all at once.  If you’ve been there or been to a place similar, that will most likely make sense.

DimeoSign

I didn’t know at the time this was a family run business.   That always tugs at my heartstrings and hits a sentimental spot for me.   So my hope is that the food, ambiance, and vibe will all match what most independent restaurants tend to bring.  I’m happy to report that it did.

The place was starting to pick up as it was lunch hour so I grabbed my slices real fast.  I tend to love my alliteration so I deliberately ordered two slices that both started with the letter, ‘V’, for that reason alone and no other.

I went with the Vulcano and Venerdi.  Yes I originally thought the former was called ‘Volcano’, and that wasn’t as far off as dopey at first glimpse.  It’s a buffalo chicken with a much sexier name.  I like it.  I liked the pizza.  Even though the warm weather didn’t echo dining on a thicker and spicier slice, it was still tremendous.

DimeoVulcano2

If I had to nitpick, the slices didn’t seem as thin as they may have advertised.  But they do Neapolitan Style which further explains the Vulcano name so their crust is going to be a bit different.  It’s freshly baked and delicious, but was a bit thicker for my taste at the the time.  But it was cooked perfectly.  The diced chicken mixed with shredded pieces was charming.  And the sauce, my goodness that sauce, was fantastic.  And just a little bleu cheese goes a long way. This is a great slice.

DimeoVenerdi1

The Venerdi was outstanding.  I love mushrooms and spinach.  These two veggies paired together was a treat.  I actually may have liked this slice more. That’s more of a personal choice than anything else. The tomatoes were a nice complement to the rest of the pie as well, if albeit understated.  Man this slice was good.  And the crust actually went better with this than the Vulcano.  But once again it’s a personal preference above all else.

DimeoSlices4

This was my first time in Wilmington and hopefully not the last.  It’s a little under an hour from me so I shouldn’t make any excuses.  It’s a different world and different is good.  It’s easy to get comfortable in your neighborhood or nearby city, so as to not leave. I imagine that many folks who live here would feel the same, unless they head 30 minutes to Philadelphia.

There’s a lot to like in the downtown area.  And for me I’m glad it all started DiMeo’s.  If you’re interested in hearing more, here is their contact information.

Enjoy Summer.  Yes it’s still Summer.

Ideen

 

 

 

Olympic Style Pizza Party

HudsonPie3

Some time back a couple friends told me that Hudson Street Stackhouse does pizza well.   That’s oversimplifying things just a bit  But keeping it simple and down-to-earth is what most of us want from our pizza pies.  It’s just pizza after all.

And the simplistic nature of their pies is what’ll make me want to come back.

Last Sunday a couple of friends and I wanted somewhere to go to enjoy sports in peace. They wanted soccer and I wanted the Olympics.   To say where we walked into originally was a zoo was an understatement.   Overcrowded venues have never done anything for me. It brings out the worst in people.   So after two minutes of chaos, we took a walk and let fate dictate the rest.

Minutes later we landed at Hudson Street and we were fortunate enough to grab some bar stools, and the rest was history.

Many locals and folks into sports know this is a hockey bar.  I’ve been there when this place has been packed to the rafters. Just like the spot we were in minutes before.  And I’ve been a part of some of the busy crowds at this bar too.  So to see a more mellow environment where my friends and I can have a peaceful conversation and hear one another is always welcome.

HudsonMenu

Speaking of welcoming, the bartender was just that.  And I’ve always liked their food here. But how I overlooked getting a pizza baffles me.

It’s been hot out (no complaints from me), so a thick crust is not going to sit well with many of us. Fortunately, their dough is a yummy flatbread that won’t fill you up too quickly.

HudsonPieMenu

I went with their Mediterranean pie, per the bartender’s recommendation, and I’m glad I did.  It was the one I was leaning towards.

HudsonPieMenuGlasses

They use diced tomatoes instead of tomato sauce, and what a call.  I didn’t even miss it.  If it wasn’t specified, I wouldn’t have noticed much of a difference.  Whether that’s an indictment of how mediocre some sauces are in places, or that the tomatoes were so amazing, I don’t know.  I’d say it’s a bit of both.

HudsonPie4

This is a vegetable pie that I’m savoring as I reminisce about this experience.  I love garlic. And it heightens so many entrees, not just pizzas.  This was no exception.  And the onions and olives tasted authentic.  This whole pizza was authentic. It was a pleasure to share it among friends.

HudsonPieMenu2

Even the oval shape had an Olympic or sports look to it.  I might be reaching but that’s what I was feeling.  Well when the Olympics are over they’ll still be cranking out these pies, so I may have to come up with another analogy.

For such little dough, this packs so much power.  The melting of the cheese is pure eye candy.   There was a lot of soul and positive energy behind this pizza. The slightly burnt edges adds a little more character, and it didn’t need any more.  I’m a happy guy.

I’m coming back to write about another pie.  And the likelihood will be during that sports season I referenced before.

I’ve been hesitant to move on from Summer.  It moves too fast.  It all does.  But many of us share this same sentiment.  I’m loving this season, I’m loving the Sun, and as a bonus I’m loving the Olympics. Many of us are.   Enjoy that while you still can.  And there’s plenty of time too.

HudsonOlympic

Beautiful.

For our friends in Baltimore, if you haven’t been to Hudson Street, I highly recommend it. Here’s some more links (here and here) that’ll help you say yes.  And many people know their beer list is a huge draw.

People have asked me about the heavy hitters and sexy names, of pizzas, in the Baltimore area.  I would put this in that conversation.   I look forward to reviewing another pie of theirs in the coming months.

Best,

Ideen

Frenchman Street

DizzyPie

Did I fool anyone with that title? My mind is still somewhere else or maybe it’s over here.

Nevertheless, we had the most dynamite individual pie brought to us by my new friends at Dizzy Cow Pizzeria.

I say friends because I chatted with them and explained what I was doing.  They were very receptive as long I was being positive.  How do you turn that down?  When supporting local and anything with good intentions, finding the heart and the good is the way to go.  More on that shortly.

Speaking of heart, St. Francis Neighborhood Center does a lot of good for the city of Baltimore.  I’m grateful to know some of the folks behind the operation and helped them volunteer at their Resource Fair & Music Festival this past weekend.  Links can be found here.

When I heard there would be food trucks I got the sense there’d be pizza.  Now I’ve reviewed a few in the past (click here for  more , over here, and wait up I got one more!) so you’d think I’d run out.  This isn’t the case as food trucks are still a growing phenomenon. I figure there’s room for everybody as long as the food and service is quality.

I’m glad I got to try Dizzy Cow for the first time at this event.  My first sight of them was at the Downtown Monument Lighting way back in December of last year.   The event was a frenzy, and as I was about to order some pizza, and snap some photos, my phone died.  It wasn’t meant to be.  It was too hectic, so in hindsight this all worked out like it was supposed to.

DizzyCheese

A dear friend had ordered the cheese earlier, or as they charmingly title it, ‘Old faithful’, and it was a great starter.   My friend pointed out, you always start with cheese.  That’s a recurring sentiment.  I knew I was in or something special.

Josh, the owner and operator could not have been more friendly.   And his associate Matt, was just as helpful in suggesting the most amazing of pies on this most momentous of days.

DizzyMenu

I wanted something different from the menu.  I wasn’t in the mood for meats or standard vegetables. Matt said his go to, if he was in the same frame of mind, would be the Frenchman, their house speciality.  No hesitation on my part.  The idea of honey, figs, and brie on a pie sounded awe-inspiring on the surface.  And unique is always good.  There’s plenty of weeks for your traditional pies.

DizzyPie2

It was so good that this had to be shared.  I believe three or four folks helped me finished it. When I say it like that you might think I didn’t want any more.  That wasn’t the case at all. This was tremendous.  Honey and fig are two of the essentials I need more of in my life. And that brie mixed in with the mozzarella, you’ve got to be kidding me.  Neither cheese got lost by the other.  But I could always use more brie.  Mozzarella isn’t going anywhere. I’m at the verge of drooling as I write this.  Where can I find some more?   And that soft yet slightly (done to perfection) crisp crust was perfect for this day.

DizzyPie3

I didn’t miss the tomato sauce at all.

For my pizza pals in the Baltimore area, here is a list of where they’ll be on a weekly basis.

DizzyCowLogo

And finally here is their catering and contact information.   A user friendly and simple website speaks volumes by the way.  Their amazing pies do all the talking it needs to.  I can’t wait to try them again, whether by chance or some other universal alignment.

I’m hungry now.

Take good care,

Ideen

Hi Cousin!

MarioFullPie2

New Jersey is an untapped resource for me.  I’ve done one previous pizzeria (click here) nearly a year ago to positive results.  I don’t come here enough.  After this encounter, this will hopefully change.

My friend and  I were on a small road trip and the amount of pizza places up and down this stretch of road were plentiful.  Keep in mind, we originally saw all these places driving up and I was given the green light to choose one on the way back.

To pick one felt much more agonizing than it needed to be. But this tends to be my personality.  For a while I made this more difficult and less fun. Pizza is supposed to be fun!    Whether I was being too trigger happy or a bit instinctive, I literally went with the first spot we saw upon our return.  And Cousin Mario’s was it.  At the time I felt like I choked, but relief set in and in hindsight I’m grateful with this decision.

Cousin Mario’s of Mays Landing had this welcoming aura that I assumed would set the tone for the meal itself.  Indeed I was right and the heavy breathing and panic subsided.

The restaurant is quaint and cozy.  A lot of families and couples represented the majority of the venue, and people seemed to be in good spirits.

We were starving so an appetizer and full pie were in order.  More could have been gobbled but no need to get carried away. There’s a lot to digest (ha) from this menu.  And they have entrees from one spectrum to the other.  That may raise a red flag in some places, but I suspect these guys know what they’re doing.   It was Taco Tuesday.  No tacos this time. I’d like a large pizza please!

MarioMozz

The mozzarella sticks were solid but that vodka sauce was the real winner here.  It was a different take on a standard appetizer.  This was refreshingly different.  If we had standard marinara sauce I would think this was any other fried cheese experience.  But this was welcome.

MarioFullPie

We split our pizza right down the middle.  And I don’t mean the tab.  Half pepperoni and half meatball was the call.  And the latter was brilliant.

I was starving so my review may not be as formal as per usual.  It’s never been that serious anyways.  The crust was standard but sometimes that’s all you want.  I’ve had and we’ve all had crusts that would keep us coming back for more to the point of no return, but this is not that I was looking for here.  This takes me back to simpler forms of pie and for this day, this was perfection.

MarioPepperoniSlice

I’ll get the pepperoni out of the way.  It was standard.  I wasn’t blown away by it.  There wasn’t anything wrong with it.  It was a decent slice and not one to write home about.

MarioMeatballSlice

Now onto the meatball.   This was done with a lot of care and precision.  I’ve had meatball before where literally it was full or half pieces of meat thrown onto a pie.  There’s nothing wrong with that but it can be daunting trying to eat.  These were cut down and had a visual that made this a winner.  And most importantly it was tasty.  It made the cheese better. And I liked the cheese to begin with.  It was one I wish I ate a little slower and got more of a chance to appreciate what was going on here.   I’ll gladly have it again.   It suggests that the more informal toppings might be the way to go at this ristorante.

MarioMeatballSlice2

I wish I was in the area more.  I would gladly give this place another go.  It’s not hard to find.  This stretch of road connects us from NJ to the main interstates that lead us to Maryland. Taking the dramatics out it’s a little over an hour away.

I’m also alluding to the fact that there’s more pizza just an hour away.  More is coming. Cousin Mario’s is a hit. If you’re in the area, I recommend them highly.  And supporting local business is always paramount. The staff is friendly, parking seems to be abundant, and so are the great eats.

Happy First Day of the Olympics!

Best,

Ideen