Archives For pizza

We’re just returning from a marathon trip – from Australia to Chicago, over to Boston and New Hampshire, back to Kentucky and Ohio, and finally, back home!  Here are a few pictures…with some interesting pizza adventures…

Just Outside of Boston

Just Outside of Boston

Entrepreneurs Conference

My wife and I on stage


David Stelzl Jr. In Action

David Stelzl Jr. In Action

Bennington Pizza - NH

Bennington Pizza – NH

I was surprised to find some pretty good pizza in downtown Bennington.  The crust is a little thicker than I like – more like the Ohio Pizza than NY – but over all pretty good.  I’d recommend it if you are in the area.

My boys trying out the NH pizza

My boys trying out the NH pizza

Rotolo's in Ohio

Rotolo’s in Ohio

Why do the pizza places in Ohio insist on cutting round pizza into squares?

Ohio Sicilian PIzza

Ohio Sicilian Pizza

Sicilian Pizza in Ohio – this was probably the best pizza we had on this trip….

© 2013, David Stelzl


IMG_1469Melbourne Pizza

Last time I was here I didn’t have a very good pizza experience, but it turns out there is a great little cafe next to the Melbourne Marriott that offers a great wood-fired pizza.  You can’t really see it from the picture, but the crust is super thin like a Brooklyn style pizza.  The sauce was on the sweet side, but great consistency, and the dough was done in a way that lends itself to folding – an important part of eating a New York style Pizza.  The restaurant is Pomodoro .

Melbourne reminds me of San Francisco in some ways with the small cafes with seating on the sidewalks.  It was an excellent way to begin the trip.  Following are some photos of the amazing architecture you can see in Melbourne…






© 2013, David Stelzl


I arrived back from India just about a week ago, but then headed right to Chicago to visit a client there for the balance of the week.  But before leaving it was important to have more Chicago Pizza!  While I do find places around the country with pretty good NY style pizza, I yet to find a Chicago style pizza outside of the Chicago area…

Me - Ready to Eat Some Pizza!

Me – Ready to Eat Some Pizza!

It took about an hour to get seated – this is the downtown location, right in the center of the city.  But it was worth the wait…notice how thick these pizzas are (Second picture down).  This is not like the UNOs pizza you get in the franchise stores around the country…but then in the third picture you can see the construction of this pizza.  Unlike a good NY Pizza, this pizza has a thick layer of cheese on the bottom, with the toppings melted into the cheese.  Then there is a sauce, which is not at all like the pizza sauce I might find in Manhattan, on top of the cheese.  The sauce was saucier, sweeter, and had some tomato chunks in it – unlike most pizza sauce.  And unlike a NY pizza, the sauce is on top, not on the crust.

In this case I ordered meatballs and sausage.  Normally I would try the pizza without toppings first, just to make sure the pizza itself is good.  Once you know it’s good pizza, it’s okay to add toppings. But I can’t really imagine eating a Chicago pizza with this much cheese, without any toppings.  I think that’s why  this is called “Stuffed Pizza” rather than Sicilian Pizza – a thicker type of NY Pizza, or Pan Pizza – which you might find at Pizza Hut. Notice they do not call it deepdish pizza…it’s simply, stuffed pizza…

Stuffed Pizza

The crust on these pizzas is also interesting…it looks like NY pizza dough when they are making in the back…but it’s much thicker on the pie, and the taste is completely different.  That’s because they add a small amount of corn meal to the dough to give it more body.  You don’t really taste the cornmeal – but you do feel it.

My wife, who joined me for this adventure, says the salad dressing is also excellent – so it’s not just the pizza…I try not to eat bunny food when I am eating pizza.  Somehow it doesn’t make sense to fill up on other things when there’s a great pizza sitting in front of me.  One thing that is always somewhat disappointing – it’s hard to eat several slices of this stuff like I would in NY…it is really filling.  Figure on 1.5 slices unless you’re still in the teenage years.

So next time you’re in Chicago, give Giordano’s a try.  But call ahead to get your pizza started – it takes about 45 minutes to cook one of these things.

Notice the Construction

Notice the Construction

If you’ve followed my pizza posts – you know I like pizza, and you know I don’t like most of the pizza in Charlotte – my home town for the past 24 years!  But, things have changed.  My wife recently came across Lorenzo‘s in Ballantyne, and what a surprise!

I find it amusing to read comments from other patrons.  When I visit other states I often find that people raised outside of NY don’t necessarily like NY pizza.  For me it’s the standard by which all pizza should be measured (I am speaking of Manhattan, NY here).  That is unless you we are talking about Chicago style pizza, which is good, but which is a whole different category of pizza.

One person writes, “The crust doesn’t seem to be completely cooked – it bends!”  If you come from NY you know why this is funny.  If not, you might actually think this is a problem – for instance, those who like Donatos, Ohio style pizza (if there is such a thing).  Those from NY (and those who like real pizza) consistently (and correctly) give this place a five star rating.

We ordered a regular pie and one with Sausage and mushrooms.  It’s important to taste the pizza without toppings before you rate it.  If it needs toppings, it’s not good pizza.  Once you know it is good, it is fine to add your favorites.  Italian sausage ranks high on my list of pizza toppings.

It’s just like eating at Pronto pizza as far as I’m concerned, or maybe Ray’s Original (which one?).  The crust folds like it should, the sauce has just the right sweetness, and the cheese mixture is perfect.  They serve an 18 inch pie like any NY pizza parlor would (why do these chain pizza places down here insist that a large pie is 14 inches?).  We topped off our meal with freshly filled cannolies…I highly recommend eating here next time you visit Charlotte – and for those who are attending next week’s Business Planning and Strategy Meeting, guess what?  Yes, we are having lunch at Lorenzo’s on Saturday.

© 2012, David Stelzl

Wisconsin Pizza Disappointment

September 20, 2012 — 3 Comments

Here I am in Wisconsin, having never tasted an official Wisconsin pizza, and I can’t have one.  It’s not on my diet this month…

The good news is, I just hit my goal weight, having lost 35 pounds since January, and 20 of it in the last 4 weeks on the HCG diet.  I’m just 5 lbs over what I was 24 years ago when I married my first wife (who I am still married to!).  So I am not about to blow it with a Wisconsin Pizza.

The great news is, I feel great.  The last time I went mountain biking I really noticed the difference.  There is something more difficult about carrying that extra 25 pounds of fat up the mountain on a bicycle.  You don’t notice it as much when you’re driving in a car.

The bad news is (well maybe it’s actually good news), I probably need some new clothes.

So now I am in the transition phase…this diet, unlike others, has a transition phase that is suppose to help recalibrate some of the slow down we see in metabolism as we get older.  I remember being 20 and eating like crazy without the worry of putting on weight.  Those days are gone.  As I get older, healthier eating seems to be in my future.  After all, I do want to be around for my grandchildren…

Well, if anyone has experienced great pizza in Wisconsin, comment here.  I want to know about it.  The next time I am in  town, I’ll be sure to visit.

© 2012, David Stelzl

First time in Nebraska…What an exciting week.  I’ve hit Iowa and Nebraska, both new states for me, so of course I had to try the pizza.  Nebraska was actually an accident.  I was looking up pizza options within reach of my hotel.  The choices were all chains – Pizza Hut, Dominos, Papa Johns, and one I haven’t heard of, The Pizza Ranch (didn’t really sound Italian to me).  But then Rosies came up with a four star rating on my Verizon Navigator!  From there, I hoped in the car and headed south, and in three minutes I was into Nebraska, so here I am.

Rosies sounded promising – the name reminds me of Roses located in midtown Manhattan in the subway station under OnePenn Plaza (which has some great pizza).  Inside is clean, and the staff is friendly,  but from there it went downhill for me.  First, there is no Rosie, the owner’s name is Karen, but she wasn’t in.

Karen has been in business for 23 years, so apparently the locals like this place.  There seemed to be a constant stream of customers coming by to pick up pies throughout our meal, but then, the only other choice in South Sioux City is Pizza Hut as far as we can tell.

The picture to the left is Nicole making a pizza…big smile…the entire crew was easy to work with and enjoying their evening making pizzas.

The pizza itself was not what I call good pizza – not as bad as my Texas experience, and Singapore still has the worse pizza I’ve experienced, but this was not one I enjoyed.

The crust is more like a matzah cracker than pizza crust.  You can’t fold it, and it has a sort of crumbly texture, but pretty thick.  The cheese mixture was also very different – not like typical New York style pizza with mozzarella, although there was mozzarella in it – maybe just a strange brand.  It was kind of dry, falls off when you bite it, and requires a lot of chewing.  In any case, there was lots of it!  Probably too much.  The sauce was okay if you like sweet tomato sauce on your pizza (like a Papa John’s Pizza would have).  I do like a lot of sauce on my pizza, and Rosies has it.   One other thing I didn’t like;  they cut our pizza into about 12 slices – what happened to the 8 slice pizza?

Would I recommend going there – no.  If you’re down this way, stick with the chains – as I always say, bad pizza is better than no pizza.  Once you’re into the chain pizza, you not really eating pizza, but Papa Johns would get my vote.

© 2012, David Stelzl


Photo Taken on My Blackberry

Well, we completed the first phase of our marketing strategy yesterday, but more importantly, I was delighted to find that Winter Haven, FL, has some great pizza!  Who would have guessed…Not sure of the name of this place, but it’s right next to Arabella’s, another great place to eat if you enjoy Italian food (we did have dinner there).  This Pizza is slightly thicker than a traditional Brooklyn style pizza – more like you would find in Manhattan…cooked in a brick oven, a full size pizza (meaning their large pie is 18 inches unlike the 14 inch large at fast food pizza chains like Papa Johns and Domino’s), and the sauce and cheese are excellent.  I believe they make their own sauce, meatballs, and use fresh mozzarella.   The pizza folds like a real slice should, so that you can eat it without everything falling off.  I had pepperoni, sausage, ham, and meatballs on mine…Definitely give this a try if you are traveling through the area.

© 2011, David Stelzl