I could have just said Happy Anniversary Tooloulou, but then I wouldn’t have such a witty (or nerdy depending on your take) title.
Yes, Tooloulou, one of the staples of the Belvedere Square Market, in North Baltimore, just had a major milestone last week. They celebrated their 5th Anniversary! Congratulations.
And that’s it for me, thank you everybody!
No, not quite. I would be lying if I said Tooloulou was in my regular rotation of pizza places. I wish it was. But for the duration the intent from me is there. But what has been a more-than-regular thing is a visit to Belvedere Square.
It’s history is also something I can’t pretend to say I’ve been a part of. However, I was just finishing college in 2003, when it re-opened, so I have some sentimentality to the newer version.
My love for markets goes back forever. It’s the local feel, the sense of community, the local businesses, and all around good energy that draws so many people in. It’s one of those ‘just like the good old days’ feelings that shouldn’t just feel like the old days, but right now. But it’s good to be sentimental. When it comes to supporting local, you can never have enough of that love for local and can you really be that overly sentimental. In my humble opinion, the answer is a resounding no. Wait, resounding doesn’t sound so humble. But I think you know what I’m trying to say.
Now back to Tooloulou. They haven’t always been at the market. A location change, brought this local creation to Belvedere Market. And what a welcome and inspiring addition this has been. Still in nearly three years market, why did my first visit only happen two weeks ago? I have no explanation other than it hasn’t been meant to be until now. Well I changed some history and went back for a second time.
So does that mean two pies? You bet. The first one was a dine-in experience and the second was carry-out. Yes these are the riveting details I present to you.
Have I teased you enough? I obviously love the pizza or I would be misleading you with the tidbits of it being a welcome addition, etc. Ok onto the za!
First up is the Tooloulou Pizza. For my first ever visit, it only made sense to go with this one. And this is where I sat down at their cozy booth and helped myself to this pizza pie.
I loved it. I was hesitant at first, since it seemed on the surface to be a bit too rich. But all my man-made fears were alleviated after a few bites. The combination of crab, Andouille sausage, and banana peppers is a trifecta of wonders. Who came up with this? It’s the perfect complement and complement to one another, and then the other. The flavors came alive when I first thought something would get lost in the shuffle. Nothing could be further from the truth. And they put a lot of crab meat and sausage. No skimming I promise you.
Add to the fact that the base is white sauce with mozzarella makes this all the more extraordinary. I think a less inspired effort elsewhere would be a disappointment. But this was tremendous. And a little old bay was thrown in for good measure. You have a winner. And that crust was cooked to perfection. I’m salivating as I write this. It was filling though as I got seconds and thirds out of this. A 12″ pie at $14.50, with what you’re getting it a deal at this price.
Not to be outdone was the Shrimp Pesto. I couldn’t do a celebratory post without doing a second pie. If I hadn’t found myself back in the area, then this part would never have come to fruition. So I’m excited.
In the two plus years of doing this blog, whenever I found pesto as the base, or as an ingredient, I mention how much it’s one of my favorite things period. Pesto is something of a work of art to me. If I could do a Pesto Pals blog I would. Hmm.. But when I saw this on the menu, I knew I had to try this one. I was actually debating between this and another. If you look at the menu order, I am following it sequentially. Whether that mean there’s more to come is quite possible. Let me get back to this pie before I go on a complete tangent.
I’m not sure which I loved more. I loved this one for different reasons. And then reasons that surprised me. That pesto was authentic. It tasted homemade or market made, ha! And not out of a can. And those pieces of shrimp were pure a joy. I took a few off the pizza and had myself a good old time. I re dipped some in the pesto sauce just for kicks.
But knowing me I would think those were my favorite parts. No, this pizza was so good that the actual highlights for me were the sundried tomatoes and the mozzarella. When I found pieces of tomato and shrimp covered in that mozzarella, I appreciated every bite. The taste is just too good to describe. And this is saying something because the pesto was that good. What have I done to myself? I’m craving this pie too. This was the same price as the previous pizza, and worth every bit of it and more.
This crust may have even been charred better than the first. How is that even possible?
The bonus was the staff both times were overwhelmingly friendly. The Shrimp Pesto was a recommendation over another pie, which shall remain nameless and be reviewed at a later date.
For our friends in the area or might be travelling to the area, here’s their location and hours.
I know Tooloulou is also widely known for their po’ boys. And if I get a chance again, the next time I come back, I may incorporate one of these sandwiches with another predicted awesome pizza.
I look forward to it, but for now, I will appreciate these two fantastic pies. And wish Tooloulou a Happy Fifth Anniversary!
And to many more!
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