I am an old fashioned kind of guy. After 75 years of chomping on pizza, from New England, to New York and New Jersey, and on to Florida, I am rather set in my ways. Pizza is supposed to have red sauce, pepperoni, cheese, perhaps some limited veggies (green peppers, onions) and not much more.
Then a couple of years ago, I tried a “white” pizza at a now defunct Tampa establishment and thoroughly enjoyed a pizza sans tomato sauce, topped with artichoke hearts, spinach and cheese. It was good, but I then went back to the conventional type.
Lately I have noticed a plethora of toppings that people put on top of pizza. There are, it seems, as many blogs and comments as there are toppings! Yet I have, until, today, avoided anything other than the pizza of my younger years.
Tonight Joan and I ventured from our north-western Hillsborough county community of Lutz and traveled to south Tampa, specifically to the Gourmet Pizza Company on the corner of South Armenia and Swann Avenues. We went for several reasons. First, the comments on Urbanspoon were very favorable; second, the menu on line seemed to be interesting. Most important, our granddaughter, Jessica, in employed at Gourmet Pizza and she raved about the owner, the cleanliness of the place and the fantastic pizza.
She was correct on all points.
First of all, the menu has 13 “specialty” pizzas, featuring diverse ingredients as bar-b-que chicken, peanuts and a Thai peanut sauce, black beans and corn in a southwestern version, escargot, crawfish as well as the usual sausage, pepperoni and assorted cheeses. For the vegan who drops by, there are a half-dozen or so varieties of pizza without any meat. For the creative customer, one may order a vast variety of toppings, from portabella mushrooms, to broccoli, to 4 kinds of peppers to bacon, ham, rib-eye steak, and on and on.
Joan and I had, at Jessica’s suggestion, a steak Gorgonzola pizza. Unbelievably good! The base of the pizza was a delicious house red sauce. This was topped with a substantial amount of sliced rib eye steak, mushrooms and, a special treat, well caramelized red onions and then covered with a blended Gorgonzola cheese dressing. The steak, onions and cheese blended together in a perfect manner.
The 12” pizza was more than enough for our meal; we noticed at a neighboring table, a very impressive looking Thai ginger salad, and we regretfully declined a slice of Mike’s Pies.
We will return, for certain. I think the Chicken Pesto Parmesan, or maybe, the Cajun Crawfish or Chicken Spinach White with roasted peppers and garlic. Could you toss on some artichoke hearts?
Whatever, we’ll be back.