Marco Polo Pizza: Working Lunch

I asked our staff their opinions on delivery pizza lunch from Marco Polo Pizza & Italian Restaurant, and the overwhelming response was a very non-descriptive “Good”. In my mind, this means “average”. Saying that a pizza is “good” is such a copout.

C’mon people, more detail please! Marco pizza

“Anything with bread and cheese is good.”

“The crust was thin and slightly burnt – a little overdone. The pie was not evenly sliced.”

“My enthusiasm was tempered by the temperature of the pizza on arrival.”

“Marco has good pizza but the trip across town takes away from it.”

One outlier comment came from a staff member who rated the margarita pizza slice the best of its kind she ever had. I have to chalk this up to the fact that she is originally from China, and perhaps has a different pizza palette than the rest of us.

Pizza Hut in Portugal

While I make it mandatory to eat like the locals on my foreign trips, on this particular day I was pressed for time near a train station in Sintra, just outside Lisbon. I could eat a leisurely lunch and miss the bus to Cascais or see what Pizza Hut in Portugal was like. I chose the later. Besides, who’s to say locals don’t go to Pizza Hut?

Pizza Hut Portugal
What a fancy Pizza Hut!

I thought it would be similar to what a Pizza Hut is like at US airports, but this was not the case. It was more like a Chipotle or other fast casual chain in the states. I sat down and a waiter brought me a menu. (I know, right!)

I ordered a veggie individual pan pizza, which was served in a small skillet. Even though the restaurant looked different, the pizza itself did not. One difference from the US is that corn is one of the a standard veggie toppings. It still had that “too perfect” round shape and uniformity that comes from mass production. Every bite seemed oily, although it seemed like the grease was coming from the slab of bread instead of the cheese.

The taste was slightly better than what I would expect in the states, probably because I didn’t buy it from a cheap cardboard box under hot lights at an airport, which is the only circumstance I would buy Pizza Hut pizza when in my own country. Overall, if you’re in Portugal and short on time, Pizza Hut is less bad than in the states, but still bad.

Kitchen Zinc: A Safe Bet for Good Pizza

I first went to Kitchen Zinc in the spring of 2012, a few months before I moved back to New Haven. It’s not the best place in New Haven for pizza, but if it was located in almost an other town it probably would be.

On this particular night, I couldn’t feed my cat because he was having a procedure the next day.  I felt extremely guilty and opted to eat dinner out. As luck would have it, I hit the Happy Hour deal and got the special Tomato Pie and a beer for $12!

kitchen-zincThe pizza looked delicious, as it always does, although a this particular pie was a little greasy. Other than tomato and mozzarella cheese, this creation included roasted garlic, basil pesto, mozzarella, fontina, and was topped with herb salad. To be honest, I didn’t notice the basil pesto.

While the Tomato Pie didn’t disappoint, I wish there had been more mozz and less fontina. Also I think arugula or spinach would have been a better choice over the salad, which wound up getting stuck in my teeth.

There are other pizza styles I like better at Kitchen Zinc, but this one was still a good dinner. And for a $7 Happy Hour special, what a deal!

Bonesse’s in North Haven: A Hidden Gem

It was my birthday weekend, and I wanted to try a pizza place I had not been to before. After a bit of research, I found Bonesse’s, which is only a couple of miles from my house and rated 4 stars on Google. I decided to be a minimalist and ordered a plain cheese.

The restaurant was located in a shopping plaza that had clearly seen better days. It looked more like a location you would find a parts store for industrial equipment than a good pizza joint.

On walking in, it was clear that Bonesse’s has not been renovated in quite a long time, and the tiny area to dine in seemed very awkward. I was glad to be getting take out.

The pizza smelled very good on the drive home and I was excited to open the box. Finally, I got home and popped the top—it looked as good as it smelled! It was hard to resist taking a slice long enough to get a good photo.


I’m happy to report the pizza tasted as good as it looked and smelled. The crust was thin, but not as paper thin as other famous New Haven pizza, and that’s fine by me. The sauce had nice Italian flavors, such as fresh oregano. The mozzarella cheese quality was very good, although not as high as other restaurants in the New Haven area.

All things considered, I would order take out from Bonesse’s again.

IGA Pizza Stands For “It’s Gross All Right”

I saw the featured freezer full of IGA single serving frozen pizzas priced to sell at $1.49 each. It seemed like a dare to me!

IGA pizza
It’s Gross All Right!


I mean, I didn’t have to eat the whole thing, right? And this would sort of even out my splurge on the Ionian Awakening that cost $8.49 and was basically just bread. So into the cart it went!

Knowing full well the only chance of it being edible was to use the toaster oven, I unwrapped the frozen circle and prepared for the worst. I got it. The best way to describe the crust would be like a microwaved matzoh, the sauce cheap tomato paste, the cheese completely devoid of flavor.

IGA – It’s Gross All Right.

American Flatbread, Ionian Awakening: Pizza?

American FlatbreadThe box proclaims, “Handmade Thin & Crispy Pizza Baked in a Wood-Fired Oven”. I would really like to know what person is making frozen pizzas by hand, or how far the legal description can be stretched to fit the marketing copy.

In any case, I fell for the delightful looking box. I’m ashamed to say I paid $8.99 for what was closer to bruschetta than pizza. I think it was the photo of nice olives that drew me in. In reality what I got was maybe one olive shredded into 20 pieces dispersed across the flatbread, with minimal cheese and onion. The box also says there is “homemade tomato sauce” which I totally missed. Whose home did it come from?

Ionian AwakeningLooking at the photo, it doesn’t seem half bad. And it did taste good! But just not much substance.

Ionian awakening? I was sure awakened, but not by any uhm, Ions? Ionites? I was awakened by my own gullibility. At least the bread was good.

Last Day Pizza: Riki’s of Stamford

Today was a co-worker’s last day and I heard pizza would be ordered for the staff. I was excited. I knew that people in my office actually have good taste, as opposed to when I lived in Denver and this usually meant Domino’s or something else equally horrifying.

I don’t know Stamford pizza at all, but I’ve been told that Colony is the best. We didn’t get Colony, but Riki’s, which is some sort of officially sanctioned copy of Colony. Stamford is an odd town. I can’t imagine this situation working out at all anywhere else.

The shape seems a little cookie-cutter
The shape seems a little cookie-cutter

At first glance I found the pizza underwhelming. The cheese looked nice but as a whole the shape seemed too perfect, and it was so thin it seemed to lack substance. The taste was above average, although I found the sauce a little bland and what little crust there was had become a little soggy during transit. The star of the pie was really the cheese, and it was definitely good cheese. I wish it had been a little less greasy, but with this sauce/cheese/crust ratio, that’s really not possible.

My co-workers rated it “good”, lacking the proper pizza terminology to adequately describe the details. (Go ahead, give me sh*t for that.)

I would like to try the real Colony pizza and eat it at the location. Then I will be able to evaluate the full experience in all its glory.

Buy a Couch; Eat Pizza — Jordan’s

blaze_signageI needed to buy a new chair and couldn’t resist going to the new Jordan’s furniture on Long Wharf Drive. Plus Blaze Fast-Fired pizza was inside and it was lunch time!

The pizza restaurant, ice cream shop, and Connecticut’s largest indoor ropes course are situated at the back of Jordan’s. The “it” area, as I think it’s called. It was dark, loud, and glowing back there, kind of like an arcade. I had no hope for good pizza.

The pizza is prepared kind of like at Red Tomado, where it’s flash cooked in just a few minutes. You have to stand around and wait for your name to be called, and it’s kind of hard to hear, due to the loudness factor. I wound up grabbing someone else’s pizza because the person at the counter looked at me when they said a name. Then two minutes later said person came looking for me, took the pizza away, and gave it to the guy standing next to him.

Blaze pizza
It was a “meh” plus

When I finally received my pizza, which was about 5 minutes later, I was hungry and more hopeful about the possible quality. The pizza had an exceptionally thin crust which I enjoyed, but it seemed bland even though I had them put some spices on it. The tomato sauce didn’t seem to have much Italian flavor and while the dough was crisp it was unremarkable. But considering that it’s pizza in a furniture store, not bad really!

If you’re buying furniture at Jordan’s or doing the ropes course, by all means get yourself some pizza. But don’t stop off there just to get it.

Ernie’s: Yelp is Wrong

It’s the last day of 2015ernies_inside and to celebrate a friend and I went to Ernie’s, a place in her Westville neighborhood that had great ratings online.

When we walked in, it was clear that this place hadn’t been renovated in quite some time. Kitsch can be fun and weren’t turned off by the bouquets of fake flowers on the wall, framed prints from the 80s, or brown upholstered booths and chairs. There were a few people waiting to pick up orders, but we were the only dine-ins.

We ordered a salad to start off with, and it didn’t quite look fresh. I wondered if it had come from a bag. We were given paper plates to eat off of and plastic cups to drink out of, which seems a little cheap.

When I first saw the pizza I was a little disappointed. We got half eggplant and the eggplant part just looked awful, like it was floating on top of the pizza and not a real part of it. It was also breaded and fried which is totally unnecessary. When eating those slices I elected to remove the eggplant entirely.

ernies_pizzaAt first I liked the cheese, but after it cooled off it seemed to get gummy. My friend pointed out that it was actually yellow mozzarella instead of white, which is unusual. She also noted that the dough tasted like it might have been purchased instead of freshly made.

After some discussion, we decided that Ernie’s was probably a place that had been in one family for quite some time and the current managers had probably let things go. It would be great for an episode of Restaurant Impossible. Otherwise it’s only average or a bit below average.

Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint: Pizza for the Uber Hip

A friend and I went on a day trip to Williamsburg and Greenpoint in search of some culture. As she is a recent transplant to New Haven from this area of Brooklyn, we decided checkout out some of her old neighborhood haunts, including Paulie Gee’s.

Paulie Gee Greenpoint
Dining in the dark

We arrived at 5:30 on a Sunday and got what looked to be the last remaining table. I say “looked to be” because to be honest the place is so dimly lit you can hardly see. Other than this, the decor was predictably trendy and it looked to be an old industrial space, even though my friend noted the restaurant there before had none of those details.

All pizzas are served individual style. I ordered the Daniela Spinachi: shaved parmigiano reggiano, mozzarella, spinach, olive oil, and garlic. It took a while to arrive, although the waitstaff was kind enough to keep us updated. I was so hungry even a Red Baron frozen pizza would have tasted good by the time it came.

Paulie Gee's pizza
I ate way too much and enjoyed every bite

The pizza was a wondrous creation. Served on a baking sheet, the outer crust was kind of fluffy while the interior was ultra thin. My only complaint is that the outer crust seemed a little too doughy. The ingredients were super fresh and when I was done gobbling it down I still wanted more.

Luckily my friend didn’t want all of her pizza, so I pigged out and took the remains. This was an extra special situation, because there had been meat on her pizza. I usually never, ever will eat something that has had meat on it but the pizza was so delicious I had to make an exception.