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Archive for the ‘Pizza’ Category

Cherry and I recently took an anniversary day trip to Bellingham, which is where we met 10+ years ago, but more specifically, at our Alma Mater, Western Washington University (Go Vikings!). It was extremely nostalgic walking through campus and reminiscing our college years. I’m sure Cherry and I stood out like a sore thumb as the only ones on the entire campus pushing a stroller around! After visiting, we decided to hit up a local spot, Coconut Kenny’s. Located on James St. near downtown Bellingham, Coconut Kenny’s is a fun restaurant specializing in Hawaiian Sandwiches and tasty pizza. There are three other locations; Ferndale, Sedro Wolley, and Burlington. “Aye Brah, where’s the love for Snohomish and King County!?”

 

coconutkenny_entrance

entrance off james st.

coconutkenny_counter

island flare

 

The Food:

 

coconutkenny_cheeseballs

 cheese balls $4.99 (1/2 order)

When it comes to cheese bread, these may be the top of the list!  Hawaiian bread already carries a subtle sweetness to them that make them tasty by themselves. But the addition of butter, garlic and cheese really take this dish over the top. The cheese was melted perfectly, providing excellent goo and the marinara added a bright component to each bite.

 

coconutkenny_kingmahalo

 king mahalo: chicken breast, bacon, red onions, cilantro, bbq chipotle sauce, cheddar cheese $8.29

Cherry went with the King Mahalo sandwich which apparently has been voted as a Top 5 Sandwich in Whatcom County. All of the sandwiches at Coconut Kenny’s are served on freshly made Hawaiian bread then baked with all the ingredients atop to provide a great sandwich. Everything about this sandwich worked. The cheddar cheese was also perfectly melted and acted like a savory blanket covering of the ingredients beneath. It had nice bite from the different textures of the chicken, bacon and onions but unfortunately, like many bbq sauces tend to do, it overpowered everything. It was also a little sweet for my taste, but being a Hawaiian themed restaurant, it fit. I  prefer more heat and bite to my bbq sauce.

 

coconutkenny_waikiki

waikiki pizza: chicken, bacon, red onions, cilantro, smokey chipotle sauce $7.49 (small)

The Waikiki pizza was the daily special for $6.5,  so I ordered that without much thought about the ingredients. When it arrived, I had a “Doh!” moment and realized that the Waikiki pizza is the exact same thing as the King Mahalo sandwich, just in pan pizza form! After laughing at my oversight, we went on with our meal. The Waikiki had the same tasty ingredients as the sandwich but unfortunately, it also had the same overpoweringly sweet chipotle sauce.

 

My Conclusion:

Coconut Kenny’s is a fun and family friendly spot offering unique sandwiches and pizzas with a sweet Hawaiian flare.  I want to try their other offerings but am not thrilled , that in order to do so, I will have to drive 45-minutes each way. One thing I forgot to mention is that you place all orders at the counter and the workers will then bring the food to the table. And don’t forget to bus your own table!

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Last night, Cherry and I finally made it out to Kylie’s Chicago Pizza.  Located off Fremont Ave N and 36th on the bottom floor of a commerial building, Kylie’s is a small restaurant with seating for roughly 25. Generating a lot of positive buzz, they serve Chicago inspired deep dish pizza. As soon as I stepped in, I noticed bright red walls displaying local prints/paintings for sale and a very small hostess stand in the front with the kitchen directly behind. The right half of the space looked to be going under a remodel – as there were primed walls and very few tables.

 

kylies.entrance

entrance from fremont ave n.

 

kylies.windows

tables n’ windows

 

kylies.art

local art

 

The Food:

 kylies.wings

chicken wings: $9

These baked chicken wings were plump and juicy. Their sauce carried a nice heat which was countered well by the sharp and salty blue cheese. The wings were also served with halved baby carrots. During Happy Hour, (4pm-6pm) wings are $3 off.

kylies.pie

kylies.slice

small chicago classic: sweet fennel sausage, onions, green bell peppers, mushrooms $17

If you’re not familiar with “Chicago style” pizza, it is traditionally deep dish with cheese on the bottom, then toppings and the sauce on top. Despite what some pizza enthusiasts say, it’s ok to eat Chicago style pizza with a fork. This 10″ pie was rich and filling. Despite being covered in it, the pizza sauce they use is light and not overpowering. There were also  big chunks of tomato in the sauce which I liked – adding a touch of sweetness to the bite, but Cherry wasn’t a fan of them. The sausage was extremely flavorful and one of my favorite parts of the pizza. Their crust, which is made fresh and in-house, carried a pleasant crunch and texture. One thing unique about Kylie’s, is the addition of cornmeal in their pizza dough. That extra texture really shines in each bite.

My Conclusion:

I wasn’t blown away. The sausage and crust were delicious, but I would have like to have just a lil’ more sausage on my pie. I will have to try their thin crust pizza next time for a better all-around conclusion, but as far as deep dish is concerned, Kylie’s offers a good pie.

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Cherry and I stopped by Patz Pies as we began our drive from Kona to Na’Alehu. Located off Mamalahoa Hwy, Patz Pies is on the bottom floor of a small commercial building with a bakery next door. There is a very relaxed feel inside with a small patio in the back that overlooks the ocean. We didn’t order a whole pie, but instead ordered by the slice. Despite the written menu only offering three options of by the slice (cheese, veggie, pepperoni,) when asked, the girl said they could make any slice we wanted 🙂

 

the menu and front counter

 

 

The Food:

 

island style: ham, pineapple $3.50

Seeing as how we were already in Hawaii, it was fitting to name this pizza island style! I think there is a popular saying along the lines, “Once you go fresh pineapple on a pizza, you never go back…” After eating this, I can’t go back to eating the stuff on the mainland! Fresh pineapple has a sweetness and flavor that you just compare to the canned variety – that usually tastes like it’s been injected with sugar water. The subtleness of the pineapple worked wonderfully with the thick cut ham that was piled on. The cheese and sauce was minimal which really helped bring out the flavors of the toppings. The crust had great texture and crunch and was perfect in bringing everything together.

 

the killer: pepperoni, sausage, meatball, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions $3.50

 With a name like The Killer, it was a no-brainer to order this slice. The ingredients all went nicely together to provide great bite – the meats were savory and the onions and bell peppers added a countering bite. Again the sauce and cheese was minimal allowing the ingredients to shine. I really enjoyed the crust these pies, the crunch and char gave it characteristics of being from a wood fire oven.

 

My Conclusion:

It’s always great stumbling upon nice little spot that offers great food when you least expect it. With our stomachs growling and a long drive ahead of us, Patz Pies was that much needed rest stop in the middle of nowhere!

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Elliott Bay Pizza is a solid pizza joint that not only serves up good pizza but awesome subs/grinders! They have two locations: one atop Queen Anne Hill (Seattle) and one farther north in Mill Creek. They share the exact same pizza and sub menu, however the location in Mill Creek has a bigger menu selection – offering pastas as well as a decent selection of beers on tap. One thing I want to point out is that although they advertise them as “subs” they are more like grinders because of them all being toasted with various meat toppings and melted cheeses.

The Food:

 thai chicken sub: garlic butter, thai peanut sauce, chicken breast, spinach, red onion & mozzarella

Whenever I order a grinder from Elliott Bay’s, it is usually the Thai Chicken. Aside from the garlic butter and peanut sauce, four simple ingredients are all it takes to make a delicious grinder. The garlic butter doesn’t pop as much as I’d prefer, but I can overlook that because the piece that really makes this sandwich is the peanut sauce. Their sauce has a very nice balance of savory/sweet and does a great job blending the flavors of the onion, spinach and cheese together. Despite being store bought pieces of chicken breast, they are big chunks, moist and work well in this sandwich. The red onions also do a nice job cutting through the peanut sauce and mozzarella with some kick.

 the original: pepperoni, black olives, mozzarella & mushrooms

A well made pizza featuring some pizza staples.  I really enjoyed the pepperoni being under the cheese and vegetables -almost like a wonderful surpsise at the end of each bite. This pizza also had diced green bell peppers which were a pleasant addition. All these ingredients tasted fresh and were a great ensemble in this pizza production. There’s no fancy technique or gimmicks at Elliott Bay – just simple and well made pizza with fresh ingredients. One thing that can make or break a pizza is the sauce. If it’s too heavy, then that is all you taste and if it’s too light then the pizza can be dry. Elliott Bay’s special pizza sauce carries a perfect balance with a subtle sweetness that counters all the savory ingredients atop. Another thing I enjoyed was their crust – not too crunchy and not too soft and has a good texture throughout eat bite.

My Conclusion:

 I have been to Elliott Bay Pizza many times over the past few years and I can confidently say that I always walk out pleased. Sometimes you’re in the mood for a simple pie that satisfies the soul and you find that here. Shining bright are also their grinders (subs). The grinder menu is plentiful and is all very tasty. I’ve personally had a few other grinders off their menu and they are all outstanding! The fact that Elliott Bay’s has always been an “old faithful” in my pizza experience, I’m officially moving them into my Toppings as number 5!

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Located at the end of Alki Avenue SW, Pegaus Pizza was the next target on my pizza hit list. It’s a good sized restaurant with a great view of the Puget Sound. Cherry and I were greeted as we entered and seated inside, on the lower level of three. There are also several tables outside on their partitioned patio allowing customers to enjoy the cool breeze and fresh ocean air.

 

The Food:

cheese bread & marinara

When it comes to the spectrum of culinary techniques and skills, cheese bread is probably at the bottom of the scale next to cereal. However, the cheese bread at Pegasus was very good. Nothing fancy, just a halved slice of french bread with a generous portion of mozzarella on top. The one thing that stood out was the layer of cheese on top. I’ve had cheese bread at other establishments and it is usually served with a super thin layer of cheese – not here though. There’s no skimping of cheese at Pegasus! The marinara had a good balance of flavors and carried a sweet aftertaste. If I could describe in one word, it would be, winning.

 

house (tom’s) special: mushrooms, green peppers, onions, olives, feta & mozzarella cheese, fresh garlic, diced tomatoes, spinach, sunflower seeds and topped with shredded pepperoni

When this pizza came out, it looked delicious – a plethora of toppings that could have all came from grandma’s garden! All the toppings looked fresh and my mouth immediately began watering upon sight. The pie was fairly thick – biting into it really took me through the different layers of ingredients. One thing that I really enjoyed was the home made crust. It carried a nice crunch and did a really good job acting as a foundation for everything to rest on. Generally, the more the merrier is a popular slogan, but in this case, I think all the toppings took away from the pizza.  Don’t get me wrong, all the vegetables were tasty on their own, but when piled atop the pizza sauce and cheese, the result was a mushy texture that wasn’t very appealing. The shredded pepperoni did add a savory twist and subtle crunch that countered the other ingredients quite well. Despite having an army of ingredients, I felt that the diced tomatoes masked all the other flavors that tried to shine. I personally don’t like tomatoes on a pizza because the juices from them tend to spill over everything, leaving a soppy slice. My suggestion would be to get rid of the tomatoes all together.

My Conclusion:

Coming into this meal, I had big expectations to be blown away by the pizza at Pegasus. Although I was far from being blown away, I was hardly disappointed. I will definitely come back soon and try a less ambitious pizza before making my final judgement. If there were a reality show, I would say, “Pegasus Pizza, you are still in the running to make it into my Top 5 Pizza Joints category of my Toppings.”

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Here we are, the final stretch!! It’s been a long and tough trip but my stomach is grateful to see the finish line! Here are the final two stops on our Seattle Pizza Tour!

4. Amantes Pizza

roma pizza: grilled garlic chicken, roasted red peppers, red onions and feta cheese

As if the previous three stops on this Seattle Pizza Tour wasn’t enough, Cherry and I had to order Amante’s Pizza. Amante’s isn’t listed on the “Top 50” list but these lists are all subjective right? In our case, Amante’s has been our Anniversary tradition ever since the beginning, and they have always served delicious pizza with gourmet ingredients. The Roma Pizza had great flavor throughout. The garlic in the chicken didn’t come through as much as I liked, but the roasted red peppers and the red onions were very flavorful – each ingredient complimenting one another. The Feta cheese also added another nice layer of flavor to the overall pizza. One thing I really like about Amantes is the layer of cheese covering everything. Some pizza places put down the cheese first and then the toppings on top, however I prefer having the toppings under the cheese. Sort of reminds me of a deep dish pizza. When it comes to pizza, to me, there are three camps: the Gary Paytons (the Superstar), the Pedja Drobnjaks (the goofy (and disregarded bench warmer) and the Nate McMillans (consistent and dependable). Amante’s is my Nate McMillan.

5. Serious Pie

roasted hedgehog mushrooms, truffle chesese

penn cove clams, house pancetta, lemon thyme

 In saving the best for last fashion, we decided to indulge and jump into the upper echelon of pizza – Serious Pie. For the past several years, Serious Pie has always come up as one of (if not thee) best pizza on Seattle. A majority of the sites rank it as numero uno and I’ve even seen it featured on foodnetworks the best thing I ever ate. With all this hype surrounding Serious Pie and my passion for pie, it made sense that we came here. My conclusion…. Why did we not come here sooner!? We initially ordered just one pie – the mushroom. But after seeing several orders come out with two to three pies on each table… we were peer pressured into ordering a second pie – the clam. When the mushroom came out, it was visually a very delicious looking pie. They say that we first eat with our eyes, and we definitely liked what we saw. The hedgehog mushrooms were covered with truffle cheese and sprinkled with parsley. Biting into the pizza was like bliss. The heavenly collaboration of the wood-fire baked crust, the creamy cheese and sweet tender texture of the mushrooms, ranked up there as texturally, one of the best bites I’ve had. I’ve never had hedgehog mushrooms before coming here, so I didn’t know what to expect. They had great flavor with a surprising sweetness to them and was definitely the star of the show. Needless to say we devoured it- we actually had to hold back as to not look like starving animals. The clam pizza was also very delicious. Before we even got to Serious Pie, I mentioned that they have a pizza with clams as a topping. Cherry without hesitation stated, “Um, no… I’m not trying that! There are some things that don’t belong on pizza, and clams are one of them!”  I ordered it anyway. After her first bite and while still chewing she mumbled, “It’s really good!” The clammy flavor worked perfectly with the pancetta. There was also crushed red pepper  that added a nice kick of heat to each bite. This pie gets my serious recommendation! One thing I want to make clear is that the pies offered at Serious Pie do not look like your traditional “round” pizza with a crust on one end. They resemble more closely to flat bread. Regardless how you interpret what you are served, there is no mistaking how you feel after you eat here, fulfilled… seriously.

 

My conclusion:

When it comes to pizza, Seattle might not get the pizza notoriety as say, Chicago or New York, however, they definitely hold their own in this huge field of heavy-hitters! For pizza enthusiasts, Seattle definitely has a slice to satisfy everyone’s personal needs and tastes. From the late night greasy hole-in-wall joints that satisfy a night in the bars, to more upscale establishments where all you’ll see are suits and briefcases. Seattle is like the peddler selling goods at a barbershop – she’s got anything you need.

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