The Slice Is Right

The timing of this post is right.  I have some dear friends headed to New Orleans next week and I thought it was only right to go back into my archives for this week’s pizza extravaganza!

I love this city, I love the energy, the people, the outdoor festivals and parties, bars, restaurants, people watching, sight-seeing, and everything in between.  I know I just used a lot of similar narratives but so be it. I am getting emotional looking back and photos and writing today’s post.

SliceFrontSliceSign

After a quick ride from the airport and dropping my bags off my room, I was not about staying inside whatsoever.   I never had that much of a set plan while I was there except for maybe trying a few pizzerias.  It only seems right for changing the geography of this blog when I can.

I wrote about an incredible spot back in July and I’m grateful to be writing about Slice Pizzeria in the beautiful St. Charles neighborhood.

This was actually planned.  Sometimes they do come together. My room was just minutes away.  When I arrived here I got goose bumps.  I’m getting goose bump and chills now.

A few friends had suggested this place to me and I’m all for fun places to go along with wherever random and unexpected turns I make in my travels.

I knew I was in good for a great day and great visit. The inside is so laid-back and so charming.  There were a few regulars and enjoying their food and their cold ones.   It felt so right and a nice start before I did more of the touristy stuff.

Now onto the slices!

SliceCheeseUpClose

First up, in typical vacation fashion, I ordered a cheese slice.   The crust on all of these is perfectly cooked and a bit crunchy. That’s a good thing.   The slices were crisp and thin so I never got bloated.  And that’s good because I would be over-indulging for the majority of the trip shortly thereafter.

I think the cheese was solid but I wasn’t blown away by it.   It was enjoyable but nothing out-of-the-ordinary. However, at $2.75, it’s very reasonably priced.  That was a pleasant treat.

SliceMenu

After that slow start I got a bit more ambitious.  The menu had a nice breakdown of pies between Classic, Signature, and Native.  I think that’s a wonderful touch.

SliceUpClose

Next was the Sportman’s Paradise.  We had a lot of moving parts on this one.   The shrimp and sausage mixed together definitely gave it some power.  I had to pick some of the pieces off just to see how they tasted on their own.  And they were brilliant.

In my honest opinion, having the onions, peppers, and tomatoes might have been a bit much.  Don’t get me wrong, this was another good pizza but I think there may have been one or two toppings too many.   Sometimes less is more and that’s what I felt here. But how can you complain at $4.25 a slice.  This was worth that.  I just think this slice could be incredible as opposed to just really good.

SliceDuo!

So I ordered those two slices together and usually I’d be done at this point.  But I’m in a different universe. It’s time to get ambitious and inspired.  And this final slice I ordered is exactly that.

SliceSpecialty

SliceBBG

The B.B.G., which is short for Bacon, Basil, and Garlic is one of those slices I still think about.   Maybe that saving the best for last and the third time is a charm cliché applies here.  I can’t rave about this one enough.   This is how less is more and how every topping really means something here.

I wish I had ordered a pie of this.  This was heavenly, divine, cosmic, metaphysical, and out-of-this-world.   And at $3.50 I felt like I was stealing from them.  We all know how amazing white pizza is.  But these simple additions really make this something to behold.   The garlic, bacon, and that fresh basil thrown on top is pure eye-candy.  It was almost too beautiful to eat.  Thankfully I saved a photo.

SliceWine

And you know I’m going to enjoy some vino with my meal.

This is how I will always remember how I started my vacation.  And knowing who I am, this was perfect.  I am missing this amazing city as I write all this.  It’s only been four months but I’m feeling incredibly nostalgic and yearning to go back.

The bartender was very friendly and this made the experience all that much better.

SliceTees

There will be more NOLA posts to come.  When the timing feels right.  This feels right.

I miss it.

Best,

Ideen

Living In America

This Summer has been one for the ages!   And I don’t want it to end.  It’s not only been fun writing about pizza. It’s just been fun in general.  The whole reason for doing this is to feel good, enjoy life, and to make some pals along the way.  That is what life is all about.

An added bonus in my pizza travels, is that I get to be extremely random.  I can write about anything pizza related and hopefully find the positive and sometimes spiritual in every situation.

It’s only fitting that on this unofficial final weekend of my favorite season, that we celebrate what is good and symbolic about this holiday.  Were these three paragraphs a little too melodramatic?  Then good! 🙂

I had to take it back to the beach and this time I found myself in Rehoboth to be more specific.   There’s a lot to love about this cozy and charming resort town.

There’s great restaurants, shopping, bars, people watching, and of course the beach and boardwalk itself.   So what about the pizza?

Well there’s plenty of that.   I had a list of places I wanted to check out and they were all in close proximity of one another, but fortunately plans don’t always go accordingly and something new throws you for a loop.  I’m happy it did.

This lead me to America’s Pie At The Beach.  And what a wonderful surprise awaited me and awaits anyone else that tries their pizza!

The staff could not have been more friendly and approachable.   They had some unique selections to go with their cheese, pepperoni, white, etc.

They could tell it was my first time as I was eager to try a couple of random slices.  So without any further adieu, here were my two orders :

TheSlices

First was one they had literally just created that day. It includes bacon, red onions, and peaches!  Yes peaches!  And it was then topped with greens.   You must pardon my excitement, I may be missing or incorrectly typing a topping or two but that’s the gist of it.  I don’t believe they even had a name for it.

But this was a very charming slice.   I thought the lettuce (which I’m going to say was red leaf) would be too much, but it was a fantastic addition to this wonderful slice.  I must say the peaches did it for me. This all came together superbly.   If it was just a white pie with peaches I’d be happy too!  Red onions were a welcome addition too.  And the crust was heated so perfectly!  What a wonderful crunch.  And the way the cheese, and the toppings baked into the crust is aesthetically pleasing. This was creativity at its peak!

Peaches

Here is a picture with the lettuce off to the side, so you can get a great visual of what’s below! Magnifico!

I did my first peach festival a few weeks ago, so I felt warm and fuzzy having this one too.  This was a symbolic gesture from the universe and to myself as well.

And just when you thought it couldn’t get anymore inspiring, we have the New Orleans!  I visited New Orleans for the first time earlier this Summer, so this was more of a sentimental choice than anything.

I was able to get a cheat sheet off the menu for this one.   I was too excited at the time to remember all the toppings for this soulful slice.

It’s amazing how one or two toppings can make or a break a slice.  This one falls on the former.  The mozzarella with the pepper jack cheese is a heck of a duo.  I would have been happy with the slice as that. But even better, the honey dijon mustard and cajun chicken gives it some authentic New Orleans flavor. And again, it’s heated to perfection.

America'sPie

As you can see their website is under construction but the pizza is anything but.   There were so many unique pies and slices to try that I hope I get to visit again very soon.   It also seems they create stuff on the fly and that day.  Like the first order I referred to, I was so excited I didn’t even get the name.   I’m not sure if there even was one.  Regardless, they were both wonderful.

For more on my love of peaches, click here.  And for my love of New Orleans, you can follow this link.

I found out the place has only been open a month but they’re making a strong case for one of the best pizzas at the Eastern Shore. And I wish them all the best!

And on a personal level these two slices were incredible representations of two of the more wonderful experiences I had this summer. (New Orleans and the Peach Festival)  I doubt that’s a coincidence.

Happy Holidays.

Best,

Ideen

These Boots

TwoBootsSignage

Just in time for Artscape, I wanted to get around to writing about Two Boots in the Mt. Royal section of Baltimore.

For those outside of the area, if you aren’t familiar with this festival, its massive.  Major streets are shutdown and it’s a sea of humanity.  It’s really quite the visual.

This pizza establishment, based out of New York, is entrenched in the heart of MICA and the University of Baltimore.  Penn Station is nearby as well.  Because of the diversity of folks, from locals, students, business travelers, tourists, and passersby, you get a very unique energy when you go inside.

I would like to think that’s usually a positive.  But, the last few times I’ve gone it’s been a weird vibration of sort.  It could be what I’m seeing or it could be all the moving parts around me.  I’d like to think it’s a little of both.  It has been uneasy at times.

My most recent visits, have led to 15 minute plus waits for just a couple of slices to be heated up.  And it’s with little to any line in front of me, or people waiting for their orders.

However, I have never been the biggest fan of their food.  I’ve only had pizza but it as never blown me away.  And many times when I wanted a slice, because of the toppings, it would be gone.  That’s likely a combination of their popularity and so many people coming in and out getting whatever slice may be available.  And that happened to me on the eve of this event, which starts today.

The two I really wanted to get today were unavailable, and there was a 15-20+ minute wait time on the next pie to come out, which is understandable, just frustrating.

AnimalCo

The Animal Collective, which is a spinach and artichoke pie, had been decimated way before I got there, from what I was told.  I would like to give that a shot sometime.

Cleo

And the last slice of Cleopatra Jones was taken by the person directly in front of me.  It was a bit disheartening but the early or last-minute bird gets the worm.

MisterPink

So with what was available, I ordered the Mr. Pink and because they were low on slices, a regular cheese. You can always judge a place on their cheese.

MrPinkCheese

The cheese nor the Mr. Pink I found enjoyable.  I could barely taste any cheese and I am not a fan of their sauce.   For the latter, the creole chicken didn’t taste particularly good.   It wasn’t fresh.  I was in New Orleans for the time first time recently and tasted some wonderful chicken, along with other meats. This wasn’t it.  I’m not all of a sudden an expert on southern cooking.  I just want it to delicious and feel good eating in the process.   These were both very mediocre slices.

TwoBootsDuo

And the cornmeal crust is an interesting topic of discussion.  Some of my friends love it more than regular dough.   I find it very coarse and rough.  It feels funny on my tongue and when chewing it.   It’s not likely to be an acquired taste.  Good crust is good crust. This isn’t it.

I wasn’t able to finish either slice and found myself pining for something else.   And the wait for my two slices was again, around 15 minutes.

With this major festival happening, the wait for your slices and pies will likely be much longer.   And a few of my peers love it, as might you.

I wanted to post about this because if you’re attending the festa, you may want something other than food truck or outdoor vendor to snack on.  Two Boots, with its wonderful storefront signage and charming names for their za’s will be easy to spot. And I wish them a massively successful weekend!

TwoBoots

It’s going to be a great for few days for Baltimore and the local businesses nearby. The positives that will come from this will be infinite.

TwoBootsSpecials

And because they have so many varieties, I will gladly try them again.  And I understand how busy they can be, so that may lend itself to rushed cooking jobs.   The staff has always been friendly and show a great deal of patience during busy times.

Most important of all, they have a large community presence and that always feels good to read about.

If you head down, see you at Artscape.  Enjoy!

Best,

Ideen