All I Can Eat

CantinaBothSlices2

I used to crave buffets.  I was a big boy once.  Just the sight or sign of an all-you-can eat buffet or smorgasbord would get my friends and I excited.   I lived for the moment, literally.  I had helpings and more helpings of the most unhealthy and unsightly food, but I didn’t care.  Life for a few minutes was good.  But with that comes severe repercussions.

I’d like to think I’ve grown up.  I’ll eat the occasional Indian or Middle Eastern buffet, but I must be very careful.  Our stomachs can only take so much.  My tummy is hurting at the thought of this.

CantinaBuffet

More on buffets shortly.  That pic looks kind of funny I know.

CantinaStoreFront

This brings me to Cantina Mamma Lucia of Hanover, MD.    This may not be the sexiest area, but I’ve been around the area enough times, it’s been long overdue to visit.  And just because the strip mall doesn’t look too appealing doesn’t mean this spot is unwelcoming. Nothing could be further from the truth.  There’s a pleasantly surprising energy in this place.   I can’t put my finger on it but the massive space may be a factor.  It’s large enough to fit a big group or party but still has that quaint and cozy feeling.

But before going inside I caught the sign for a buffet.  I didn’t expect that.   I had to think for a moment, do I want to focus on the pizza or say the heck with it and enjoy this on my own, no pictures, no blog posts.   I chose the former.  For only $2 more I could have ordered the buffet which included sausage, meatballs, pastas, cheese pizza slices, and to counterbalance the carbs, a leafy green salad area.   So….

CantinaFrontDisplay

I opted for two slices  in the front display area.  I went with the cheese and a vegetarian slice.  The weather was conducive to sitting outside.  Yet no one else echoed that sentiment.   Well that just means more room for me.

As it gets warmer eating carbohydrates may be more of a challenge.  Or maybe it’s just me? But I’m drawn to lighter fare such as salads, healthier proteins, and other nutritional friendly options.  At least that’s my intent.

With these two slices it was a struggle to eat.  I didn’t finish either and that had nothing to do with the quality.

CantinaCheeseSlice1

The cheese was magnificent.  The crust, sauce, and cheese were perfect together.  If the temperature was chillier and my mood called for more comfort food, I would decimate a whole pie.  Oh man maybe I should have gone with the err.. No…

CantinaVeggieSlice1

The veggie slice was ok.  They didn’t taste fresh and I think they were in the way of the cheese.  I really just wanted another cheese at this point.

Which brings me to another point.  As it gets hotter (and I’m not complaining, I love this weather), it’ll tempt me to find other alternatives in terms of crust.  If that means gluten free then I’ll see where that leads me.  I’ve had gluten free slices before with mixed results.

But for now I take solace in remembering how delicious that cheese slice was and forget about the rest.  I hope to come back again and see what else their menu has to offer.  If you’re in the area I would highly recommend that slice, and maybe the buffet.     Maybe…

 

Best,

Ideen

 

 

Flippin’ Fridays

Flippin'

What I love about this blog is that I know the world is my oyster.  I can talk about anything pizza related, with the intent of being fun. And I can change up locations at any time.  For this one, I’m getting a little away from the Baltimore area.

One day driving down by Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover, MD I spotted a strip mall across the street, and discovered a new pizzeria.  I had to try it.

Flippin’ Pizza touts themselves as New York Style.  I know that’s hard to do when you’re not in the actual city or state. And this applies to any ethnic restaurant.  If you’re not in the home nation, how authentic can it truly be?  That doesn’t mean the food can’t be great, or even amazing.  Well the pizza I tried here is neither great nor amazing.  It was nothing special.

I am willing to try all kinds of crusts and doughs.  I prefer a thicker slice, but that doesn’t mean a lighter one can’t do the trick. Something was just lacking here.

In keeping with tradition, I ordered my usual two slices.

TomatoBasil

First, the Tomato Basil, which as you can see, has the ingredients listed, which is a nice touch.  I just couldn’t taste much of anything.  The flavors did not come together.  And the crust tasted like burnt toast.  I don’t think the crust being so skinny had anything to do with the overall bland flavor.  I just didn’t get much enjoyment out of it.

Brooklyn

Second, the Brooklyn, with some of my favorite ingredients, mushrooms and garlic specifically.  And I thought for sure this would be a winner.  Well it wasn’t a complete disappointment.   I expected more.  The meat did not taste as good as I liked.  I thought the pepperoni was ok but didn’t get much from the meatball.  Garlic usually makes everything better, but I got nothing here.  Same for the mushroom.

SoHappyTogether

What can’t be disputed is their amazing weekly special.  Two slices and a soda for $6.00, with tax included, is tremendous. I just wish I could say the same about the pie.  But for those looking for a deal, it’s hard to top.  And from the looks of it you can order this at any time of day, not just lunch.  Pretty awesome stuff.   And just because I didn’t enjoy it, doesn’t mean you won’t.  It just didn’t work out this time.  I’ll definitely give it another go in the future.

Their website is very user friendly.  And as you can see by their menu, they do have a gluten free selection.  And pride themselves on keeping it healthier than other comparable establishments.   Too bad that didn’t translate to a better experience.   Maybe next time I will build my own pie!

Another positive is their willingness to help out with fundraisers.

Their staff was very friendly and appeared happy to be there.

I wish Flippin Pizza all the best in their future endeavors and expansion.   Their intent seems positive. The franchise seems to be growing and more power to them.  Hopefully I’ll have a better eating next time.  Maybe you will enjoy a selection here!

Thanks so much and have a wonderful holiday!

Best,

Ideen