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

 

 

Alexander’s the Great

The Fells Point Festival is just one week away.  I find that so exciting and freaked out that time is just flying.

And As promised, the pizza theme of this neighborhood continues.  This visit brings us to a much more favorable spot, as opposed to last week, Alexander’s Tavern.

A month-and-a-half ago a huge group of us were out in the neighborhood for a dear friends birthday. Several stops were made but none were better than this location.

Our group of about 50 or so had taken over the entire front bar area.  And there was such a powerful and magnetic energy in the room.  My words alone will not do it justice.   The day was phenomenal.

And speaking of that, I saw a few friends eating a few appetizers and other foods to soak up the libations that were being procured throughout the afternoon.

To my pleasant surprise, a couple pals were eating pizza.  So I just had to jump on this opportunity while I was there.

ThreeLittlePigs

Now I’ve noshed here a multitude of times before and always enjoyed myself.   I forgot they served pizza and shame on me for that fact!   After making several inquiries to the friendly bartenders and perusing the menu, the unanimous suggestion was to order the 3 Little Pigs!  Mama Mia!

Alexander'sMenu

I had this in early August but the taste still resonates with me.  The crust was thin and just perfect.   On just a visual level it was almost too beautiful to eat.   One thing about me, I’ve never seeked out red meat on my pizza.  It’s just never been near the top of the list for me.   It’s not that I don’t love it.  I just prefer chicken, vegetables, seasonings, yummy sauce, and of course lots of cheese.

ThreeLittlePigsSlice

But this is something else.  The trios of ham, pepperoni, and sausage taste so fresh and so real.   For a second, I thought all this meat could clash and some flavor might be lost.  How wrong I was!  I also do love some ham so this was a treat. Just looking at the toppings I can tell this is real quality and a lot of effort was put into preparing this.  I took a few pieces off my mini slices and ate them individually and it was glorious.

The sauce and cheese were easy to taste even with all that meat piled on top.   My mouth is watering at the though of having one right now.

ThreeLittlePigsWine2

The presentation was inspiring as well. I found the plate that it came on to be very charming.  Whether the color was intentional or not, I don’t know.  But I do believe they do serve red plates and I find this detail to be an added bonus.  And it went perfect with my wine!

ThreeLittlePigsWine

These are personal size pizzas and I would’ve devoured another one.  But I also found this too good not to share.  I passed around a few slices to the buds of our birthday crew, and the positive reviews were unanimous.  It was superlative city.   Being in a great mood also helps.   Everything just felt right about the day.  And the was pie is stupendous, sensational, and splendid.   It was so good that a little over-the-top alliteration was necessary.  And they’re only $6 on Thursdays!  That’s highway robbery!  This pizza is worth every penny and then some.

Alexander'sFrontAlexander's

If you’re in the neighborhood or going to be headed to the festival next week, I strongly recommend stopping by for a pizza or anything for that matter.  I’ve always had a great experience here.  And I cannot wait to try some more of their creations.

Thank you so much.

Best,

Ideen

I Love Annapolis

I wanted to wish congratulations to the Class of 2015. Many Universities are having ceremonies this week and that includes the Naval Academy.

BellaItalia

I actually helped with the set up and break down of the stage and seating, for their ceremony one year ago.  In honor of graduation day, Memorial Day, and my sentimentality for our capital, I will be reviewing Bella Italia.  Which is walking distance from campus.

As you can see, there isn’t much to the website.  I basically posted all that can be seen.   I’m not sure if it’s still a work in progress or it’s going to be left alone.

But most importantly, how is the pizza?   This is a recap over two visits in the past month.  Which happen to be my first and second visits ever respectively.  Two slices and two visits!  Hehe.  Let’s get to it.

BellaItalia1

For round one, I got my order to go.  My first slice was a White with spinach and mushroom.  There really wasn’t much to it.  It was a decent slice. The vegetables tasted fresh.  The white didn’t taste as good as other ones I’ve had.  The dough and crust were good. It just didn’t wow me.  It was decent at best.

And number two was the Meat Lovers deep-dish style pizza.  This was fantastic.  It blew up me though.  I’m glad I tried this, as I don’t always see the Chicago-style slices available to patrons.   I took my time eating this. It was the perfect amount of crust.   I would be lying if I said I finished this right away.   It tasted just as good as a leftover meal the next day.  The meat and cheese really blended together into the pie.   And you can see it’s loaded with pepperoni, ham, sausage, and bacon. And they didn’t skim on the toppings!

BellaItalia2

And for my second visit,  I dined in.   The interior is very quaint and doesn’t feel contemporary.  It does give a hole in the wall vibe and I can appreciate that. The staff was very friendly both times.

For my first slice, I ordered the cheese.  This wasn’t good at all.  It might have been in the oven too long and tasted too crunchy for my liking.  There was a little burnt taste in my mouth as well.  This wasn’t the worst cheese I’ve had.  But this was disappointing.

I wanted to end my post on a high note and I will do just that.  The other purchase shown above is the white with pesto, grilled chicken, and penne!  This was wonderful.  The chicken and pasta tasted fresh, and pesto is one of the marvels of this universe. And I always smile when I see toppings buried under the cheese.  It’s similar to finding hidden treasure!  The simple things and metaphors is what life’s all about. This is one of the better slices I’ve had since doing this blog. I was happy I ordered this and went out of my comfort zone to try something a little different and unique.

So there’s some great slices and some not so up to par, in my humble opinion.  I’m in the area a lot.  And I’ll be definitely giving this spot a look again.  For a recap of a previous Naptown pizza place, click here.

I wish you all a Happy Memorial Day Weekend.  Stay happy, healthy, and have fun!

Best,

Ideen