Every Peace Is Important

DonatosHotChicken4

You know after last week, I thought my time in Vienna, Virginia was going to be short lived and an eventual return to Baltimore was inevitable.  The universe had other plans for me.  And that can only mean more pizza from out of the way.  And I’m so grateful for another place to discuss, which I otherwise wouldn’t have.

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Until last week, I had never heard of Donatos. I wasn’t aware of this growing pizzeria chain, and why it sometimes takes so long to find something so beautiful, or for it to find you, is just one of those things.  I wasn’t meant to discover this until now.   Who knows what else is out there, but what I do know is this a magical discovery that is another great reminder of how life, and as we approach the holidays, can be so awesome if you let nature and a belief that good things till come, take its course.

Of course I’m talking about pizza, but you can apply this to everything.

What I first loved when first walking in was the decor and the colors of the interior.  It had a soothing feeling that can only be described as pizza.  I know, this is the expert analysis you come to look for in this blog.  Thank you so much and have a blessed day.

All kidding aside, I just had a good feeling about this place before I even walked in.   I love the fact that they use provolone cheese as their base.   I mean, who doesn’t love mozzarela, it’s the perfect pizza for cheese.  It was the cheese that was meant to be married to pizza dough and sauce.  But provolone has a distinct taste all its own.  And it showed on my two pizza choices.

DonatosBoard

First, I went with the pepperoni.  Maybe it was the sign that enticed me?  Wouldn’t it do the same to you? No? Well ok, it did to me… But if I’m going to get cheese, I might as well get a simple topping so I can get several tastes in one.  That’s what makes pizza and blends of foods so fun.  You never now what you might discover.

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But as the sign said, they throw a multitude of pepperoni that you won’t know what to do with yourself.  Well you can eat it for one.  Not sure what else you can do, except have a little fun with this.

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This was a fun pizza.  I got this and the second pizza to come, in personal size (at only $6) to sample and to save for later.  I like the basic crust and the charming pieces it was cut in.  I like their style a lot.  It’s a style all their own.

DonatosHotChicken

Speaking of all their own,  the Hot Chicken was a first for me.  This showed ambition and while it was aggressive, it succeeded.  I didn’t even realize they threw pepper jack cheese on it.  I figured it was more of the provolone.  But little did I know.  The hot chicken pieces were the highlight.  And as I’ve been stating since the beginning of this journey, I always have fun picking off the toppings and eating them by its lonesome. The same goes for the aforementioned pepperoni.  It would be a crime not to do this.

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The jalapeno peppers and pickles that complement the pie, may be a challenge to eat for some (it was a little for me), it’s a different take on pizza.  Essentially a chicken sandwich was put on top of a pie.  Some ranch drizzle thrown on top and you think you’re somewhere else.

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I’ve grown to like pickles again, or otherwise this might have been more of a chore than a feast.  But with all that being said, this was a fun adventure, and I love when pizzerias get creative with how they present their takes on favorites, and then throw in their own select pies to stand out.  This one stands out alright.   And if their menu tells us anything, they have quite a few stand out pizzas that I would love to try sometime.

But what’s most important is when we approach this time of year, you’ll start seeing more requests for donations to causes near and dear to each and every organization and establishment we come across.  I like the gesture.  It makes me feel warm. It makes me want to do more.  And while I think I can only do so much.  A little donation here, a helping hand there is what life is all about.

DonatosDonate

It wasn’t a forced request.  It’s there waiting for your support, and it’s up to us to decide if it’s a cause we believe in, or not.  And even if isn’t, it’s always the symbolic gesture that always means the most.

I like that the word Donatos sounds so similar to donate.   I don’t think I’m reading too much into that.  And I don’t think it’s by accident.

For more on Donatos, here is their menu, their locations, and more about their company.

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I found my brief visit quite peaceful yet so substantial and spiritually healing.   I’m grateful to have been granted the opportunity to discuss and share with you.

We’re less than a week away from Thanksgiving and I could feel the peace and spirit of the holidays at Donatos.  I can’t wait to see where I head to next.   But for now…

…Peace be with you.

Ideen

Pizza With My Poppa

PotomacPizzaSlices

For friends and family who have lived in Montgomery County dating back to the late 1970’s, you know about Potomac Pizza.

I recall growing up as a kid that my friends always gathered at the original location in Potomac, and honestly I don’t remember if I ever joined them.  In my own creation, maybe I thought the place was invite only or an exclusive club.  How foolish of me.  It’s just a pizzeria.  And I don’t mean a pizzeria, but it’s exactly that.  Every patron is a pal and I’m sure they appreciate all business, if it’s good and courteous business.

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What I also think happened that this was not meant to be my go to place until much later.  Location is everything and so is the company.  And it wasn’t until a newer location (not sure if it’s still the newest location in Rockville opened, that this was meant to be my place.  And more importantly this became my dad and I’s place.  So it’s our place, but I always think of it as his place.  It’s one of his places for a pizza pie, a sandwich, a salad, and everything that is quick and convenient.  Sometimes that’s all you want, more so than a need.

My most recent visit was yesterday.  And while I had hoped it would be with certain company, I feel like going to certain places my dad likes is a way of honoring and celebrating him, for all he’s done for me, all he’s done for his family, and all he’s done for everyone, universe included.   So in a way I was dining in with him (we usually eat at his place of business in a beautiful and comfortable setting) in a spiritual and metaphysical sense.

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Potomac Pizza is more about the pies, but I couldn’t eat one on my own. Luckily, they do slices for folks on the go, in a rush, or in solitude.  I’ve always thought not seeing pizza trays takes away from the slice ordering experience  Maybe it’s a visual thing because seeing all those slices is one of those happy place situations.   Even though I would always prefer seeing trays, there is an intrigue and mystery in seeing how the slices turn out when being made behind the counter and behind the scenes.

I’m happy to say that these slices are exactly on the level of how their full sized pies are.

Their pizzas have always been extra cheesy (without ordering the extra cheese), and the sauce has a distinct taste about it.  It’s sweeter than what you might be used to.  But it’s how I’ve always remembered it.  And their toppings are all over the place, just like any good pizzeria should be.

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And when it comes to all over the place, that’s how my dad is with his pizza.  He’ll get toppings for the heck of it, or may not even realize what’s on it.  I like to think he’s an adventurous guy.  That or sometimes he doesn’t know when to stop.  It’s charming either way.

PotomacPizzaFeta

So in that regard, I went with the plain cheese and then one that he would appreciate, Feta, Spinach, and tomatoes.  It’s part of our culture, our heritage, our family, and just a tradition to have lots of fun veggies, with bread, and feta cheese.   Both these slices were fun.   You can’t compare this (or any pizza) to just anywhere.  It’s not the fanciest, it’s not the most artsy, and they don’t need to be.  It’s charming pizza that makes me feel good and is a part of many enjoyable memories with me and my dad.

And you can never have enough good memories, good experiences, and of course good pizza.

I hope my next experience at Potomac Pizza will be one shared with my dad, and another great one I can share with you.

For menus and online ordering info click here,  For a list of locations click here, here is more of their story, and their contact info.

Thank you so much and have a blessed holiday weekend.

Ideen

 

The Groovy Gourmet

PeaceAPizzaSlices

The amount of times I’ve driven by on or on the outskirts of Peace A Pizza without stopping in is too high to count.   I’m perplexed at myself.  But earlier this week I was in the vicinity and decided it was finally time.  Maybe the sun being out consistently has snapped me back into a bit of normalcy.

So when I stepped out of my car and saw a hippie and positive logo on the outside I was hoping I was in for a positive and vibrant experience.   And that’s exactly what I got.

PeaceAPizzaFront

First things first, Catonsville is the home of this location.  And even though I’ve spent a minuscule amount of time in the town, I felt at ease and at peace walking around.  Yes I gave myself a few minutes to soak in the area.  It may not look as historic as towns near you, but it still had a community feel to it that I welcome in my life.

Smack dab and nearly centrally located is this pizzeria.    I was there at an off time so I had the whole place to myself.  While that may sound lonely, it was fine by me.  I was able to snap some photographs I otherwise might not have been able to.

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Without even realizing, the two slices I ordered were based on my favorite ingredients. And I savored both.  I went with the Buffalo Bleu Cheese and the Green Goat, with the latter containing pesto.  For those who’ve been following this blog, I’ve raved about this sauce from the get go.  More on that in a moment.

PeaceAPizzaBuff

The chicken on my buffalo slice tasted fresh and real.  That’s all you can ask for.  I could pieces of chicken on this slice all day.  I didn’t have all day though.  The bleu cheese was delectable but the funny kicker is that instead of sour cream, they used crème fraîche instead of our cream.  What’s the difference?  You can read more here.  The red peppers were a nice touch.  This was a wonderful gourmet slice.  And that’s what they tout.

PeaceAPizzaGreenGoat

The Green Goat is a funny one.  When I ordered the slice at the counter, I forgot to ask what it was.  I just liked how it looked and saw the green pesto sauce emanating from the slice.  So after looking my pictures over and perusing the menu, I can deduct that is what I ordered.  My excitement got the best of me.  At the time I could only officially identify my slice as, ‘what is this?’ or just ‘this’.  That’s the crack reporting you’re looking for I know.

The goat cheese and pesto are a winning combination.  I love how both slices look. I’m admiring them even more a few days after the fact.  The arugula and plum tomatoes also complement this slice accordingly.  Man I love this one too.

I noticed they didn’t heat up either slice entirely.  I’m actually glad they didn’t.  I’ve mentioned before, that sometimes heating it up too much will cover up for glaring holes and issues with the pie itself.  Lukewarm is a strong barometer of how the pizza truly tastes.What I ate is what I got.  Makes sense right?

The vibe inside is one of happiness, harmony, and hippies.  Did I just do some alliteration again?  Oh boy.  And I wanted to avoid using the word hippie if I could.  But it applies here. I’m all for uplifting vibes and feeling good.

PeaceAPizzaOutside

This is a chain that looks like it will blow up.   There’s only seven locations currently, but I suspect that number will grow.  If you’re near one I highly recommend a visit.

I had way too much fun here.  I will have to come back here sooner much rather than further down the line.  Whether it’s this particular location or elsewhere, I welcome trying some more unique and groovy slices.

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I’m feeling those good vibrations.

Peace and Love,

Ideen

 

Extreme Eating

ExtremeMidEastPie

I didn’t have a clever title nor did I come up with anything so terrible that it could end up being funny.   I made myself laugh just now.   I stuck with the alliteration.

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My random travels brought me to Extreme Pizza.  I had only heard about them sparingly but never stumbled upon a location, until now.   Makes sense, since the only one remotely close to me was my stop in Pentagon City/Arlington.

This wasn’t the best first impression. But first impressions in life and in food can be deceiving.  Because of their elaborate menu, of not just pizza, I’ll be back.

Check out some of the eccentric names for these pies.  That’ll draw folks in on that alone.

This may come as a shock but I went with the Peace In The Middle East.  I badly wanted to like this.  It unfortunately didn’t happen.

I got the personal size to go and that was more than enough.   I know the picture at the top tells a different story.  That’s another misleading first impression.   Don’t judge a pizza by its cover.  I’m just full of cliches today.

The biggest problem was that feta and mozzarella were on the same pizza.  In some instances I could see that working. It didn’t happen with this choice. It’s such a dichotomy of cheeses that it didn’t materialize into a masterpiece.  It felt bland.  I love feta and I love mozzarella.  Not here though.  Feta is a sentimental thing for me per family gatherings and other reasons, so this made me distraught.  I’m projecting.

There were too many other moving parts.   I love hummus, tomatoes, olives, and pepperoncini but not all at once.   If you pick the pieces off they’re fine on their own.  I did that quite a bit.  The caramelized onions didn’t work here either.  They didn’t have a place here.   I’m sad to even write that as I adore onions.

While eating I wondered if I should have gotten the wheat or gluten free crust. Maybe that would have improved this pie?  Ironically, the crust was my favorite part.  So that wasn’t the problem.  I get the feeling this is an adventurous pizza that many will love.  But I didn’t.

I took many photos of the slices. It’s gorgeous on the surface but buyer beware.

However, there’s so many magnificent looking pies that I will be back.   Perhaps I’ll try a vegan selection.  That alone is a draw.  I’m all for expanding my horizons.

If you’re near a location, I would recommend a visit.  Maybe you’ll find a gem.  I suspect this chain is only going to grow.  They seem to love California.

If and when I’m back at Extreme Pizza, I’ll be happily writing about it and I believe it’ll be a stupendous pie.  I’m optimistic.

Best,

Ideen