The Original

Doms

I’ve only been to Dominick’s of Parkville a handful of times.  But, each time keeps feeling like the first.   It’s that good, novel, and wonderful.

The first time, only a few months ago, I ordered the Buffalo Chicken and White Vegetable, and they were both out of this world.  Especially the latter.  I can say that it’s one of the best veggie pies/slices I’ve ever had the privilege of eating.

And the smells.  There’s a smell that comes from their store and from the carry out boxes that’s to die for.  To me, it’s a combination of basil, cheese, sauce, and something else I can’t quite put my finger on.  Maybe I’m not meant to know?

DomsPies

For this visit, I ordered a Cheese and a Bacon Cheeseburger.   That smell was back and better than ever.   How the cheese overpowered bacon and burger meat, I don’t know.  But that’s really saying something.  I was hoping the scents would stay in my car longer.

How beautiful do those pies look?

Even more importantly, how do they taste?

Well the cheese tastes exactly how a cheese pie should. It brings me back to the types of pizza I was eating when I was a kid.  It’s more than comfort food. It’s just comforting.  It makes me feel good.  And the crust is the perfect combination of soft, with a little crunch to it.   And the smell helps!

The Bacon Cheeseburger had a lot to live up to after the cheese, but it delivered.  The meats tasted fresh.  And they poured a lot on top of the mozzarella and cheddar cheese.   This was a wonderful combination all around.  I find cheddar to be an underrated topping on pizzas.

Besides the taste and smell, most important of all, is their customer service.  They knocked it out of the park again.  I’ve always had the inkling to order a large and a medium to go.  I keep forgetting that if I ordered two mediums, that I’m getting a savings of over $10. Now I don’t always remember this fact, but they do! And they’ve been quick to remind me of this detail.  Ladies and gentleman, that’s serving your customers at its finest.   They’re not obligated to remind me of this fact, but they choose to anyway.   That will make me keep coming back and supporting their amazing local business.  Thanks so much guys.   And it makes the pizza taste better too!  They’ve been doing this for over 50 years and that’s one of the reasons why. Class.

DomsLocations

Now, I haven’t been to their Perry Hall or Lutherville locations, and that will come in time.  I can only assume I’ll get the same world class treatment there.

Take good care and enjoy the weekend.

Best,

Ideen

Made Fresh Fridays?

autentica

Don’t let the title fool you. I just love alliteration. But, I did not love this weeks selections from Pizza Autentica. And I actually had this on a Monday.

A little road trip led me to the College Park, MD location, not far from the campus of the University of Maryland.   I haven’t lived in the Washington, DC area in nearly 7 years, so I wasn’t aware this restaurant existed, or that they had 8 locations.

This wasn’t a good first impression.  The location seemed cookie cutter and boring.  I didn’t have a good feeling from the moment I walked in.  And the pizza I tried represented that.

pizzaaut

Looks pretty doesn’t it?  Well looks can be deceiving.   I had the Hawaiian first.  And I love ham and pineapple.  But this was disappointing,  The tomato sauce tasted funny.  I can’t describe it exactly.  Perhaps bland is the apropos term.  The ham and pineapple didn’t taste fresh.  And it was just thrown on top of a cheese slice.  The mozzarella didn’t taste much better, so I know how weak their cheese is too.  Nothing about this was authentic.  It just seemed like a slice thrown together with leftovers, near or past their expiration date.

Next, was the white pie, with tomatoes, basil, and ricotta.   This was a little better, but not by much.

In addition, the crusts for both didn’t seem cooked right.  I don’t ask for much.  I just want a pie, or slice, along with the crust to taste good.  This was neither the right way a pie should be toasted nor how it crunches.  It wasn’t the worst I’ve had, by any means, but both choices, seemed lifeless and mediocre.

A fun thing about blogging, or many cool things in life for that matter, is that it can lead you to unexpected and unplanned destinations. In some ways, I am glad that this was my first review of a spot in the Washington, DC area.  I know not every pizza place is going to bring about a positive experience.  Hopefully it’ll get better from here.

Thanks so much.

Best,

Ideen

Buon Appétit

Buon

I have wanted to write about Buontempo Brothers Restaurant, since I began this blog.  And I organically hoped to be in downtown Bel Air, MD to be able to try enjoy some unique slices.  And this week I was fortunate enough to do so.   Oh and you better believe, they have some creative ideas for pies.

Just as important, they have a friendly staff that has always greeted me and as far as I’ve seen, all of their patrons with a friendly hello and some pleasantries.   I have only lived in the area for over 6 years, but I always get the feeling, that there is a strong sense of community and it’s frequented by a lot of regulars, that have been coming for years.  There’s a lot of love going around.   It just feels like what a pizza place/Italian restaurant should be.

And that love translates into their cooking.

Simply put, I love their pizza.  And you see how aggressive their menu is.   You see some selections that are atypical of many pizza parlors.  And ever since, the first time, I visited them in 2008, it’s been nothing short of fantastic quality.

My indoctrination came from their Tuesday special.   A purchase of any large pizza, would get me a second large cheese for just $2.00.   Worth it’s weight in gold, and za!

My favorite slice of theirs, is the Chicken Pesto, and I’ve continuously raved many times on how much I love pesto.    I will review this slice in time, but I wanted to get out of my comfort zone again.

First off, I ordered the Mediterranean and as you can see below, I barely made it to the party.

Med

I will say, that their crust has always stood out to me.  I can’t put my finger on it.  I don’t know if it’s something in the water but, oh my goodness, it’s divine.  I sense there might be some parmesan or butter embedded in the crust, or I could be tricking my into thinking as such,  But it’s top notch.  I could’t resist the pesto anyways, as we’re drawn to each other like magnets.   But this is a damn fine slice.   With the aforementioned pesto, eggplant, feta, tomato, and spinach piled on top of a traditional cheese slice, this is a certified winner.  I was so happy to try this and will be seeking it out again.   I know, many of us, myself included, can’t help but devour a pizza very quickly.  In this instance, I tried to savor this.  The flavors and the soul behind this slice, coming together, was pure ecstasy.

My second order, the Stuffed Spinach, almost didn’t have a chance.   I’m glad I got it though, and for folks that love bread, this is amazing.   But it’s too filling for me.   But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t try another stuffed pie again.  It’s all a matter of taste.  I was pretty full after the first choice.

Spin

I could hardly eat the crust but, the spinach, ricotta, and mozzarella inside was a real winner.  Toasted to perfection.   On a thin crust, it’d be even more magical.  The marinara sauce, on the side, added some more flavor, that was already bringing some good ones.  Still a solid slice, just not something I would go for, on a regular basis.

I’ll tell you one thing that’s cool, they reheated both and to my pleasure, the slices, ended up being stuck together.  Now some people might find that annoying.  I find that cool.  And the theme of this blog has been about soul, joy, and fun.  And how can you not get a kick out of this :

Duo

I had to break the two pies apart, and perhaps that’s a source of good luck or just great food.

If you’re in the Bel Air vicinity, I suggest going here.  There’s a vibrant energy that keeps many of us coming back.   One review of this place will not do it justice.  More to come.

Best,

Ideen