County First, City Later

BirrotecaBianca

Birroteca is a favorite of many in Baltimore.  I’m overstating the obvious.  The location, that atmosphere, the vibration, the libations, and last but not the least, the food is highly regarded.  It’s to the point that you might get sick of hearing about it.  Yes, it’s one of those places.   I love it.  I couldn’t pretend to be different even if I wanted to.

With that teaser, unfortunately I won’t be writing about the city location.  This is for us folks who live in the county and more specifically Bel Air.  Don’t fret,  a recap of the happenings on the city location will be forthcoming.  But I want it to feel special and to feel appropriate.  I’ll know the sign when it comes to me.

It was a dear friends birthday and they didn’t want to dine in haha.  That’s understandable. The request was for something from the dinner menu, and of course that means a couple of pizzas for us to share as friends or pizza pals.   We adore pizza.

The birthday bud wanted a margherita (plain cheese with tomatoes). Second pie would be  the bianco, with four cheeses, candied walnut sage, and pine cone syrup.  Mamma Mia!

A special birthday feast also means a couple of appetizers, so we couldn’t decide between Arancini and meatballs, so we went with both.  That’s how you solve a problem.

Our carry-out order was effortless and the pick-up was just the same.  No issues.  That was my first time setting foot in this Birro.  It’s so much more cozier and quaint versus the one in the city.   This is not to say one is better than the other.  The Baltimore location intimidated me the first time.  It’s colossal.

BirrotecaMeatballs

We first had the apps.   Make sense in sequence right? Our meatballs were good.  The mess in the photo is entirely my fault.

BirrotecaArancini

And the arancini I could eat a plate of.   That was one of the highlights.  One just isn’t enough. Please can I have more.    You could have that as a meal all by its lonesome.

BirrotecaMarg

The margherita was really good and the very thin crust of theirs I’ve always been a huge fan of.  For even the folks who don’t like lots of bread, this works flawlessly.  The sauce and cheese worked perfectly in concert with one another.

BirrotecaBianca

But the bianco was something else.  The pine cone syrup I was able to taste right away. Incredible.  And walnuts on a pie is a sure-finer winner.  You’ve got to be see and eat to believe.  First time for me and I want a next time.

Both pies look gorgeous a well.   These are eye-candy to the highest power.

Our smorgasbord included a great wine.  For more on this vino, you want to click right here.  And believe me, you want to!

The pies have endeared themselves to me even more over time and it’s been less than a week since our feast of friendship.   As a write this I’ve even more giddy with excitement. It feels good and I look forward to visits back to Bel Air and Baltimore in short order.

No more teasing.

Stay warm and stay inspired,

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