pizza tour

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Day 23: The cutest bitch I’ve ever met on tour is Pizza the pup 😍🐶 #warpedlife2016 (at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

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Upstate NY Part 4: Pizza Tour 2011

Who doesn’t love a good pizza pie? When we lived in Brooklyn, we were right next to some of the best street pizza around from Luigi’s Pizzeria.  Now that we’re in LA, we have a shortlist of fine pies, topped by Mozza and followed by Casa Bianca, Mother Dough, and…well that’s about it. Whenever we’re in Upstate NY, pizza becomes a staple food group. Some of the best pizza we’ve ever had is in the Triple City region. Our visit this year was no exception in eating as many slices of pizza iterations as possible. Here’s a few of the highlights:

Jim Roma’s Bakery
Jim Roma’s sheet pizza probably had the sweetest of all the sauces, with a light and fluffy crust that was just on the verge of being undercooked. It made for a great saucy slice that was delicious even at room temperature. They slice the sheet with giant scissors, which seem completely appropriate given the “shear" scale of pizza we’re talking about.

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Jim Roma’s Bakery202 North Nanticoke Ave.
Endicott, NY 13760

Mario’s Pizza
Another exceptional sheet pizza is the plain cheese sheet from Mario’s. The crust is quite a bit softer than a standard round pizza, probably because of the sheer volume and size of the pie. A mildly sweet sauce topped with a hearty portion of cheese.
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Mario’s Pizza51 Fox StreetOwego, NY 13827

Consol’s Family Kitchen
Hands down the best pizza we had that week was the "Hot Pie” at Consol’s. The pies were made famous by Consul’s Uncle Duff back in the mid 1940’s. The perfectly thin but substantial crust with a slightly sweet sauce is topped with a nice blend of cheeses.  They also have a grilled pizza which we’ll have to taste test next time we’re there. The best part is how they package the pies to go- not in a box, but wrapped with butcher paper so the pies don’t sweat.
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Consol’s Family Kitchen101 Oak Hill Ave.Endicott, NY 13760
Shortstop Deli
While technically not a pizza in the truest sense, honorable mentions go to the Hot Truck Pizza Sub from the Shortstop Deli, which combines the best of both the pizza and sandwich worlds. These toasted subs are made of fresh french bread baked daily on site, with options for toppings that you check off from an order form at the counter. The Poor Man’s Pizza (PMP) is a standout. They even have their own secret “truck sauce” which seems to be some mixture of mayonnaise, garlic, pizza sauce, and amazingness.
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Shortstop Deli200 W. Seneca St.Ithaca, NY 14850
Rare NYC Pizza Bus Trip to STATEN ISLAND

We start every Sunday NYC Pizza Bus tour at Lombardi’s in Soho. It’s a perfect launching point for about a million reasons, but it does hamper our ability to visit faraway lands. But there are some magical days in which New York’s epic traffic lets up just enough to make such fantastic jaunts possible. Labor Day weekend is one of those magical times in which this city empties and Big Yellow School Buses are free to cruise as they wish. We use this opportunity to venture to the often forgotten borough of Staten Island, a borough that I strongly feel has some of the best pizzeria in all of NYC.

Here we have Bus Driver Patrick showing that he’s not at all worried about our first dramatic encounter: an accident on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. No problem, we made our way as planned and hit Staten Island Stop #1 - Joe and Pat’s Pizzeria. This place opened in 1960 and their pizza is iconic. It’s the perfect slice. Thin and crispy with the perfect cheese-to-sauce ratio (CSR). 

Joe and Pat’s is such a great spot, Staten Island pizza obsessive Mikey Rodriguez decided to meet us there just before heading to his shift making pizza at Two Boots on Avenue A. Mikey’s sporting his Slice Out Hunger shirt, representing our annual $1 slice fundraiser for New Yorkers who have trouble affording food. 

Next up was Nunzio’s on Hylan Blvd. This place originally opened in 1942, when it was located in South Beach. It was relocated in 1960 and enjoyed its new digs until Hurricane Sandy came in and destroyed most of the dining room and pizzeria equipment. Even without a dime from Uncle Sam, Nunzio’s managed to open just over a month after the storm. 

A victorious spirit envelops the tour crew as the first beautiful pizza arrives. Another pie that isn’t smattered with cheese! Just enough to make its presence known, but not enough to obscure the deliciously herbaceous sauce. 

Our final stop before heading back to Manhattan was International Pizza Challenge champion Goodfella’s Pizza. This place consistently wins pizza competitions – and I know first hand because I’m usually judging them! The place has a unique oven that rotates so the pizza maker doesn’t have to do it himself. These guys actually install the ovens in other pizzerias through their own oven company

Goodfella’s has the unique distinction of being the pizzeria that hosted the controversial “Forkgate” incident. Mayor Bill Deblasio. Just to refresh your memory, newly minted NYC mayor Bill Deblasio used a fork to eat a slice of pizza and everybody freaked out. Who cares? Bored journalists care. I guess there’s just not that much to cover these days, right??? Anyway, they auctioned off the fork for charity but the winner gave it right back. The good folks at Goodfella’s framed it, police evidence bag and all!

Here’s pizza tour guest / pizza tour guide Cedric Sparkman posing with the infamous fork. What an end to an amazing pizza journey! We had so much fun, we decided to take a ridiculous selfie with the help of my new Selfie On A Stick!

Our Sunday bus tours begin and end in Soho with four pizzeria stops in Manhattan and at least one outer borough. Stops and boroughs change weekly, so get on the mailing list and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates on where we’re heading next. You can find tickets and info at www.ScottsPizzaTours.com

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Review of Chicago Pizza Tour

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On my recent trip to Chicago I was able to go on the Original Chicago Pizza Tour from Chicago Pizza Tours.  This company is really well-known in the Chicago area.  They have won awards including the one of CBS’s “Best” Unique Tours in Chicago and have some fantastic reviews online from previous customers.  See if this tour is right for you and try to fit them into your trip to Chicago.

Here is my review of Chicago Pizza Tours

About the Tour

This tour takes you to four different restaurants to try pizza at each one.  It lasts 3 to 3 ½ hours depending on how quickly you eat and potential traffic.  It starts and ends at Pizano’s Pizza and Pasta on Madison Street right in the Loop downtown.  The tours are pretty small, with a max of 17 people.  The tour I was on had 9.  A bus takes you around the city, so you don’t have to worry about walking, though you might wish you could after eating so much pizza! Not only do you get to eat tons of great pizza, but you’ll learn about Chicago’s history, both as a whole and in regards to pizza. You can find tour times on their site or book a private tour.

Price

Original Chicago Pizza Tour: $60

What’s included

  • –Pizzas at each restaurant
  • –Waters at each place
  • –Ride from restaurant to restaurant
  • –Great stories and information from the guide.
  • –NOT Included: any extra drinks, but you can easily pay for them.

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Where you go

This tour takes you to four different restaurants throughout the city.  While they don’t always go to the same ones, you always start at Pizano’s.  Here are the 4 I went to.  On your tour you might end up going to a few of them, or some of the other ones I’ve listed.  The tour starts and ends at Pizano’s so you don’t need to find transport back to your car.

Pizano’s Pizza and Pasta

This is the meeting place and where you’ll start the tour.  It’s right in the loop and close to everything.  This is what you’d expect from a pizzeria.  It had a long wooden bar and the rest of the restaurant was filled with booths and round tables.  On the walls were photos of Chicago sports icons and other popular people from Chicago. TVs were also all around, making you feel like you’re in any hometown pizzeria.

Here you’ll test 2 pizzas, one typical deep dish and one South Side Tavern Style.  The deep dish was mostly a thick layer of mozzarella cheese with a light covering of tomato sauce and thinly sliced tomatoes. The crust was crunchier than I thought   This was my favorite pizza of the day. The South Side Tavern piece was very thin and crunchy, almost like a cracker.  It only had a little cheese and sauce with a sausage topping.

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Flo and Santos

This is such a unique place.  It’s located in the South Loop area.  It’s a mix of Polish and Italian food, derived from the owner’s ancestry in those two countries.  This restaurant seemed newer than Pizano’s, with two long bars, one in back, and one in front, and chalkboard menus on the walls.  Here we had South Side Tavern Style Pizza with a really thin crust, cut in squares.  It was topped with saucer kraut, and kielbasa, probably making it the most unique pizza I’ve tried.  It came out on a small wooden pizza paddle which gave it a nice, old-world feel.  While this wasn’t my favorite (I’m still holding out on Pizano’s) I really liked trying this different kind.  We definitely weren’t only trying deep dish.

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Pequod’s

Pequod’s is north of downtown, in the Lincoln Park area.  This is an official Blackhawks restaurant so I’m sure it’s crowded when they have games.  This place was really crowded when we were there.  It was a little darker, more like a bar than the other restaurants.  Here we tried another deep dish.  And while I really liked this one, my favorite is still going to Pizano’s.  At Pequod’s, the pizza had a thicker crust than Pizano’s.  The cheese was thick and creamy though not as thick as Pizano’s and there was more sauce.

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Piece Brewery and Pizzeria

Piece is a really popular restaurant in the Wicker Park neighborhood. It’s also a brewery so you can sample some local beer at the same time.  This neighborhood is really young, fresh, and, I have to say it, hipster.  As you can guess, Piece is a play on the meaning, piece, obviously piece of pizza, and peace.  The pizza we had here was very thin, very little cheese, and only parmesan, little sauce with a lot of garlic.  It is a style of Pizza that comes from New Haven, Connecticut. This was my second favorite pizza of the day. I also had a stout that was brewed there.  It was good, though I was really looking for a Guinness.  It was St. Patrick’s Day… But their stout was a good substitute.

Other Restaurants They Visit

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My Thoughts

This was such a great tour.  Not only did we eat, which is awesome, but we tried many different kinds, were bussed around, and I learned so much about Chicago.  This was my first time in the city and I really didn’t know anything more than deep dish and the Sears Tower (which isn’t even called that anymore).  Our guide, Jon, was so knowledgable.  He talked, sometimes nonstop about the history of Chicago, of the restaurant we were in, or stories that just came up in conversation.  It also didn’t hurt that he was funny.  I would definitely recommend going on this tour and would even go on one again if I’m ever back in Chicago.  I’d love to see some of the other restaurants they go to.

Get in Touch With Them

Chicago Pizza Tours Website

Twitter

Facebook

 

*Note: I did partner with Chicago Pizza Tours for the tour I went on, but that didn’t influence my thoughts on their service or my review in any way.*

A visit to South Brooklyn Pizza over the weekend hit the spot after a long day. We went to the location in Manhattan and it is pretty much you eat whatever they have made. Luckily I am not a picky eater. I had a chorizo sausage with extra garlic. I got a corner piece, which made it even better for some weird reason I can’t explain. However…

It was delicious, but I can’t be positive that it was amazing because of how hungry I was or if it really was good pizza. I remember thinking there was a lack if chorizo sausage on it, the extra garlic not being garlicky enough, and toppings falling off when I took a bite. With all that being said, I still inhaled and enjoyed my piece of pizza. I have to go back and have a second try just to be sure.

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I convinced Allison to bring a pizza from Imo’s in St Louis, MO to yesterday’s tour! She followed my very specific instructions:

1. Order pizza (uncut for better transportation)
2. Let cool
3. Wrap in plastic and then foil
4. Freeze
5. Box
6. Get through airport security
7. Arrive at pizza tour

Success! Allison got an SPT t-shirt for her troubles. Contact me before you take a tour for your chance to win goodies by bringing me pizza from another city and/or amazing pizza boxes!

We had the boys at Prince St Pizza reheat the pizza. Watching them cut it into squares was amazing. It was as if the pizza wheel wouldn’t work that way, but we had to stick to Imo’s tradition.

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The Greatest Pizza Box On Earth.

Scott Wiener loves pizza, he loves it so much he has created Scott’s Pizza Tours which tour New Yorks Pizzerias. Scott came up with the idea on his 26th birthday when he rented a bus showing his friends and family his favorite pizzerias. Instead of delivering pizza to the people, Scott delivers people to the pizza. In Scott’s adventures visiting the world, he found the world’s greatest pizza box from Italy and shows us why it is so great.