Tag Archives: pizza

Lombardi’s v. Grimaldi’s

Since we’re on the comparison track, another quest of mine in NY was of course, the pizza quest.  Needless to say that Binks and I are huge pizza fans and you really just can’t go to NY without getting a NY slice.

After some minor research, we compared the highest and most popularly rated pizza places in NY according to Yelp – well minus a few that I didn’t get to try.

First, to Lombardi’s.  After we walked from the Lower West side to SoHo, we were famished.  Upon reaching Lombardi’s we were concerned about the stated wait time of approximately 45 minutes.  What was supposed to be a long wait turned into a 15 minute rest time as many people whose names were called, I think, just didn’t hear it.  So, we were immediately seated and given a menu.  We knew what we wanted.  Half of the Original Margherita and half pepperoni.

Delicious.  Let’s start with the crust as it really was my favorite part.  Usually unnoticed, this crust was perfectly chewy and had a taste – and not just a ‘I’m there as a bread’ taste.  Second, the sauce was quite flavorful without being overpowering for the pie.  I preferred the margherita, but Binks favored the pepperoni – probably for the added saltiness. Can I say that b/c of this experience, I now am requiring (to whoever will listen) that all my pizzas come with fresh basil baked in?!?!  Hello Flavor Town!

I left a very happy and satisfied blimp.

A few days later, we took some cousins, my sister, my mom and my aunt on a trek to Grimaldi’s.  We met them up near Wall St., which I discovered is not that large of a street at all, and decided to walk the Brooklyn Bridge.  Slightly over a 1 mile walk, at around .25 miles, my mom and aunt started wondering how much longer it would be.  Oy ve.

Once we got there, around 7:00 p.m., the line was discouraging.   For our group of 6, this seemed daunting as we were sure that the 2-person groups would be picked over us, which was happening.  But, 30 minutes later, the Grimaldi’s person came out and said, who was that group of six?  We raised our hands – how polite.  He said, “You’re up – come on in.”  You could feel the tension in the line.  And the happiness on my mom and aunt’s face.

We got in and got seated.  We ordered one margherita pie and one pepperoni.

This is what I managed to get a picture of after our hungry group saw the food.

I have to say, didn’t beat Lombardi’s.  And, I was expecting it to considering that everyone says the best pizza comes from Brooklyn.  Everyone I talked to anyway.  Tell me if you know different.  I liked it but it left me wanting something more from the slice.  For instance, the crust lacked real flavor to me.  While cooked perfectly, I wished for the texture of the one from Lombardi’s.  Also, (again b/c I was spoiled), there was a lack of flavor in the sauce – especially the basil flavor.  And, unfortunately I know why.  Watching them making it, I noticed that at the end of the assembly, the man simply throws a pinch of (what I saw of) Italian seasoning and basil right in the middle of the pie.  So if you look at the slice above, there is a basil leaf there and aside from that, no real depth of flavor compared to my previous experience at Lombardi’s.  We all picked the pepperoni – the other one was deemed too plain.

So, in this comparison of Grimaldi’s v. Lombardi’s – Lombardi’s takes the pie!

Oh and turns out – there’s a Grimaldi’s in Dallas – whomp whomp whomp.

Other places I wanted to (and one day will try) – DiFiara’s and Lucali – obviously, this list is not exhaustive.

Have you been to either?  Do you agree or disagree with me?  Are you a NY pizza fan?  What’s your favorite NY place?

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19 Comments

Filed under Italian

Cravings

Yesterday, when Lindsay asked what I was craving, I could have written an essay about it.  Why not a blog post?

While I never got sick during the first trimester, I had serious cravings and aversions.  Prior to finding out I was pregnant, Binks (and even I) thought I was just being weird.  I did not want any bacon or be near it – pork in general.  Meat was just hard for me altogether.  I could not stand the smell or sight of mushrooms.

What I lacked in aversions, I sure made up and keep making up for in cravings.

Pickles

I cannot get enough.

Yep that is mustard and pickles.  Together.  It’s a fabulous thing.  Try it.  I eat a pickle everyday.  This is my pickle of choice these days.

Turns out pickles actually quell sugar cravings, which makes sense because I do have a huge sweet tooth.  Body – 1; me – 0.

Spicy Food

I ate spicy food before, but this is another issue altogether.  I can drink this stuff:

I cook a lot with this:

I don’t know why I crave spicy food.  I don’t know any reason behind this except to know that spicy food does rev up your metabolism a bit.

Cereal/Granola

I could eat this morning, noon and night.  I limit it to just breakfast because pickles don’t go with cereal.

I love to drown my cereal in the almond milk – which is something I did previously anyway.

I love granolas/cereals – it makes me feel like I’m eating a dessert and I swear to the heavens that the vanilla macaroon granola I picked up at Sprouts tastes like a cookie.  So, I’ve been eating cookie cereal.  My favorite these days is Cascadian Farm’s Dark Chocolate Almond Granola.  Again, tastes like cookies!

And, it keeps me full.

Cold Crazy Breakfast Bowls

To the exclusion of cereal, I’m in love with smoothie bowls and yogurt bowls.

This purple goodness is a mixture of prepared banana oatmeal, blueberries and almond milk.  Topped with Justin’s Maple Almond Butter.

That my friends is Noosa Blueberry.  If you haven’t tried Noosa yet, you need to.  I don’t know what they do to make it delicious, but it is.

Miscellaneous

Other cravings include:

Justin’s nut butters.  If you notice my pictures above you seethat I use it often.  I wish it were a mental thing but it’s not.  I have other Natural Peanut butters and nut butters but something about this one sets it above the rest.  So much so that I’m contemplating buying a $10 jar.

Bananas.  Maybe I’m needing potassium but I find every which way to sneak in bananas – usually at breakfast.

Coconut.  As seen above, I love the stuff.  And let me tell you coconut sprinkled on banana slices – O.M.G. dessert for sure!

Actually coconut has been not just a dietary supplement but an all-over body routine lately.  I use it on my face as a mask and I notice a huge difference.  I’m working on different anti-inflammatory (natural) masks and once I get together a palatable ‘recipe’, I’ll share!  I also use coconut oil on my stomach for stretch marks.

Being from Kerala, coconut is used often and widely.  Not for nothing.  Coconut is a power house of nutrition and other health benefits.

Are all my cravings healthy?  No.  I frequently crave and sometimes eat (sometimes because these are not every day foods):

(1) potato chips – Kettle Sea Salt & Vinegar.  ‘Nuff said.

(2) french fries – Always and forever

(3) fried chicken – This will never go away

(4) pizza – With garlic powder, red pepper flakes and Sriracha sauce for toppings.  I dare you to try it.

(5) Magnums – Shall we go there again?

Pregnant or not – tell me what you crave – a healthy craving and a not-so-healthy craving.

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Filed under Breakfast, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

I Should Have Yelped.

To Yelp Or Not To Yelp.   That was the question.

Throughout the San Francisco to San Diego road trip, I was glued to my iPhone.  My phone served as a map and most importantly – a restaurant rater.  In Dallas, I rarely Yelp.  But, in an unknown place, I Yelp.

Needless to say, Binks got severely irritated and like I said, around Big Sur, got sick of it.  And, I got it.  I’m on a scenic road trip and I spend most of my time looking at a tiny phone screen.  I too got sick of it.

After walking down State St. in Santa Barbara, we worked up a small appetite.  Binks said he would pick a place (sans Yelp) and it would be great.

Binks is a liar.

He picked Uncle Roccoco’s.

You know Binks and his pizza.  How bad could a pizzeria be you ask?

Red Flag 1:  Offering New York Pizza in Santa Barbara.

Red Flag 2:  New cheese on top of old cheese on top of an old pizza slice.

Red Flag 3:  It tasted gross.

Let’s say after this colossal failure, Binks never complained about using Yelp again.

Do you Yelp?  Are you addicted to your phone?

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Filed under Vacation

Cake Walk

Now that I’ve proclaimed myself a baker (I can do that right?), I insist that we do not buy cakes for special events.  Why have a beautifully decorated cake, when I can provide an amateur-ly decorated cake for all special occasions?!

Somehow or another, I have convinced my family that it’s a great idea.  Either that or they will do anything to shut me up.

So, when my mom’s birthday comes around, I jumped at the chance to host a pizza party at my house.  A pizza party for my mom?  Her heart wants what it wants.

You know the pizza.  Meet the cake – The Smitten Kitchen’s Best Birthday Cake (another Kitchen List-er).

I’m still working on the decorating.  Hmmm-kay?!

I’ve had my eye on this cake for a while and was waiting for the best opportunity to bake it.  What better occasion than my mom’s birthday?

The process was easy.  The cakes were cooperative.

And I used what I had to create something fun and festive for my mommy.

Because a party cannot live by cake alone – that is when there is pizza involved!

By golly.

I think she liked it.

The cake was delicious.  I have never made yellow cake before and this will forever be my go-to recipe.  The sour cream frosting was not necessarily my favorite but it was delicious.  I think I prefer a chocolate butter cream above all when it comes to yellow cake.

So, to my mom – who will let me be me, put up with me being me, forgive me for when me-being-me is not very nice, and eat whatever concoction I make (in lieu of a nice restaurant with a fancy cake) just to support me on her day – Happy Happy Happy Birthday to the best Mom ever!

Do you bake your own cakes?  Does someone in your family?  How do you celebrate birthdays?  Have you tried the Smitten Kitchen Best Birthday Cake?

46 Comments

Filed under baking, Cake, Desserts

Pizza Cake!

If I had to be honest (which I most certainly almost always am), Binks and I order pizza in about once every two weeks.  When vowing to be husband and wife, we also made a sub-vow to find the best pizza in any city we live in.  The sub-vow helps keep the main-vow strong!  It’s the power of pizza.

We have yet to find the best in Dallas.  For my Dallas/Texas readers, help me on this front!  In Houston, it is New York Pizzeria – hands down.  The original location, not the new trend of Russo’s.  I just want a slice.  Hold the ambiance.

Obviously our pizza addiction sets us back a bit of money every two weeks.  So, in an attempt to keep the addiction home – because people tend to stare when you take it outside – I attempted home-made pizza.

And it was easy as pie.

First, the yeast and the proofing.

What you see is just the beginning stages of proofing.  Let your yeast/water/sugar mixture get really frothy (i.e. look to the very right side of the picture below – that’s all proofing baby!)

Then the kneading.  And, resting.

Rolling.

Resting more.

Showing off.

Topping

Baking.

Done and done!

Nom nom!

The pizza crust is from here and the sauce is from here.

I promise you this is a keeper!

Do you order out? How often? What’s your place/food of choice? What’s your favorite pizza restaurant in your area (make sure you tell me your area)?

31 Comments

Filed under baking, Favorites, olive oil, Uncategorized