Monday, December 26, 2011


November 28, 2011
5716 York Road

Toss is a new pizza place near Belvedere square. It is sparsely, but elegantly decorated. It seemed geared towards take-out/delivery. Menu offerings include calzones, make-your-own pies, pastas, salads, sandwiches, appetizers, etc. They boast "fresh dough made daily". The pizza menu was written on a chalkboard on the wall, but we were unsure if this would change with daily specials.

Toss is owned by the former owner of Zella's. Which apparently now is under new management and isn't the Zella's that it used to be.

Satchmo's Spicy Chicken - spicy roasted red peppers, sauce, mozzarella, chicken, mushrooms, red onions, sun dried tomatoes.

Good cheese. Even though spicy is in the name of the pizza, we did not find it that spicy or at least spicy enough to include it in the name. Some people thought this pizza was not that exciting, but we all agreed that the crust was really good. It tasted like Zella's crust used to. There wasn't that much chicken on the pizza. We felt like the heat level of the sauce was just right, though the sundried tomatoes got lost flavor wise in the pizza.

Spinach and Artichoke - garlic herb sauce, mozzarella, tomatoes, mushrooms, caramelized onions, spinach, artichokes, feta cheese.

The artichokes has a hard time staying on the pizza when you lifted a slice up to your mouth. The cheese had a really great consistency. We thought that this pizza was far better than the first pizza. There was a more even distribution of spices and it was less dry. The dough was pillowy with think crust. The feta crumbles were a really good touch.

Toss special - tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, ham, caramelized onions, roasted red pepper (roasted fresh)

This was a good looking pizza, but fell short performance wise. The cheese lacked taste and the peppers were not fully cooked. The peppers were still a little bitter which pointed to the fact that they're fresh, but should've be roasted/roasted more. We weren't crazy about this pizza.

Margarita - light tomato sauce, herbed olive oil, mozzarella, basil, tomatoes.

We found this pizza to be very tomatoey. The crust was better on this one that the others. It seemed very fresh and had both crunchy and chewy properties.

There was a discussion on the "Pizza is a Vegetable" scandal. Bonnie pointed out that half a cup of tomato sauce has been considered a vegetable forever. Nothing has changed, they just continued this policy out of fear that school cafeterias would have to double the tomato sauce to a cup and that would make very strange pizza.

Spicy Chicken - 5/8
Spinach and Artichoke- 8/8
Toss Special - 4/8
Margarita - 6.5/8
Overall - 6.5/8

Thursday, December 1, 2011

the beautiful and the sublime

In case you were worried about the absence of pizza-related themes in contemporary fine art.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Next Meeting

Tuesday, November 29 at 7pm
5716 York Road

With time to go see Dune at the Charles at 9pm!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Italian Graffiti

October 13, 2011

On a temperate evening a few weeks ago, Pizza Club convened at Italian Graffiti in Fell’s Point. We were compelled to try their pizza because they, like us, had been voted “Best of Baltimore” by City Paper (except they won best pizza and we won best food blog, not to brag or anything). Anything that purports to be the best must hold up to pizza club scrutiny.

Even the best pie in Baltimore needs to have a gimmick. Italian Graffiti is decorated floor to ceiling with “graffiti” of an “Italian” nature, mostly about pizza. It wasn’t entirely persuasive as street art, but seemed to have been lovingly applied. The employees were friendly, but the place seemed to be empty on a Thursday night. This might be because they are known for speedy delivery and many people order from home. We, however, wanted the complete experience. We even dipped into the non-pizza offerings, munching on a bunch of delicious “Graffiti rolls,” which were pizza dough stuffed with spinach and cheese.

As we looked at the menu, we realized that there was only a dollar difference between a medium and a large pizza, which was significantly bigger, so we ordered four large pizzas. It should also be noted that they offer specialty pizzas by the slice, some that are not on the menu and change often.

We ordered four pies: the Graffiti Feta, the Genovese, the Buffalo Chicken, and the Margherita.

The Graffiti Feta is field greens, mixed vegetables, artichokes, roasted red peppers, feta cheese, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The Feta pie was one of those pizzas that is basically a salad on a pizza: it had arugula, roasted eggplant, mushrooms, and balsamic vinegar. This can be a good thing or a bad thing; it was hard to handle, and there were unavoidable topping casualties. However, it provided the vegetable course of the meal, which felt very healthy and nutritious. Andrew said “I like eating pizza and salad at the same time.” The crust was a little dry, possibly because of the lack of sauce, but people appreciated the balsamic tang as the vinegar soaked into the crust.

The Margherita pizza was a definite winner. It was a classic pizza with fresh mozzarella and basil with tomato sauce. It was described by one table as “completely awesome and delicious,” “straightforward,” and “really solid.” The crust of this pizza was more persuasive than the Feta, possibly because of a generous slathering of sweet, hearty sauce. Some felt lie there was too much sauce compared to the giant slices of mozzarella. The mozzarella was good and stretchy. Although a simple pie, the Margherita was a crowd-pleasing classic.

The Buffalo Chicken is breaded chicken, mozzarella, blue cheese, celery and wing sauce. It was pretty intense. There was a lot of chicken on this pizza that was described as “fall-off-the-slice chicken”. The Buffalo sauce was pretty spicy and left a hot tingle on your tongue. This was the first Buffalo Chicken pizza that we have come across that actually tastes like chicken wings. The crust held the toppings well and did not collapse under the weight of the copious toppings.

The Genovese had creamy pesto sauce, sun dried tomatoes, sausage, parmesan cheese and mozzarella. This is a sausage pizza and the sausage was certainly a dominant taste, which was not a bad thing for most people. There was also secret sausage under the cheese. People preferred the sliced sausage on the pizza to bit of sausage they have experienced at other pizza places. The pesto was not overly garlicy. There was debate over the pesto to sausage ratio.

We lingered outside for a while pondering if they deserved to have won Best of Baltimore. It was pretty good and the pizzas were sizable. Is it the cute gimmick? The graffiti delivery car? They must do more business that way. We were uncertain of their delivery radius. Do they offer more than other pizza places in town? More uncertainties. We congratulate Italian Graffiti on their win and hope they do well. Do they win our best of? Maybe not.

Buffalo Chicken: 6.5/8
Margherita: 7/8
Graffiti Feta: 7/8
Genovese: 5.5/8

Overall experience rating: 7/8

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Meeting this Thursday

Our next Pizza Club Meeting will be taking place at Italian Graffiti
Thursday, October 13

Italian Graffiti
1635 Fleet Street
Baltimore, Maryland

Let's check out fellow Best of Baltimore winner Italian Graffiti!

Facebook event page

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Frozen pizza chronicles: Tofurkey Italian Sausage and Fire-Roasted Veggie Pizza

As I was leaving Whole Foods last week, this caught my eye. The fact that it was on sale made me immediately decide to buy it. Non-dairy cheese that melts? Meatless and delicious? We'll see about that . . .

This pizza looks like it came out of a box, which it did. It is building on the brand loyalty of Tofurkey. You are supposed to trust it, but can you?

There is definitely a flavor of fakeness. There are a good amount of vegetables on it. They look like they were roasted, which they said they were, but they taste as if they were frozen, which again, they were. There is not a lot of cheese on it, even though it raves about its melting ability. There is no visible grease pooling on the surface, which could be the result of not that much cheese and non-meat sausage. Some of the toppings did fall off as I tried to lift the pizza from its place of cooking directly on the rack. The crust is really dense. Overall it tastes like a healthy frozen pizza: no cholesterol, low sodium, low fat, but with flavor!

They want us to join them in their goal of "No pizza eater left behind!" I'm not sure if I would again.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Egyptian Pizza of Belvedere Square

August 25, 2011

Baltimore Pizza Club realized we had been spending too much time in the South so we ventured to the Northern border of Baltimore City, to a foreign land called "Belvedere Square". As we entered the pizza restaurant we were yet again transported, this time to ancient Egypt. We had been tipped off that Egyptian Pizza had a falafel pizza; we needed to investigate.

We were seated in the ruins of a ancient temple where disgruntled high school students and the elderly mixed. The shadows of pyramids towered over us. We looked at . . . the menu and a whole new world opened up to us. Although we were there on pizza business, the menu had many middle eastern delights. The pizza list was also extensive, it was up to us to find the path to pizza enlightenment.

We decided to sample an array of pizza beyond just the falafel pizza. We ordered: New York, New York, Maser, Giza, and the Sunset Boulevard.

New York, New York - Leek with marinated potatoes, mozzarella, goat cheese, basil pesto, sun dried tomatoes, and red peppers.

The tomato sauce traditionally found on pizza was replaced by pesto. This is good. This was not the most flavorful veggie pie, but it was still very good. Uncommon toppings such as potatoes are always a treat. We also ordered a vegan version of this pie which was referred to as "very solid.

Maser - Italian tomatoes, mozzarella, feta, falafel with tahini and salsa on the side.

We we all very excited about falafel pizza. We all had different visions of what this food collision would look like. When it came out of the oven, we felt a little let down. It wasn't that exciting, it was just cheese pizza with sliced falafel on top. They seemed like an afterthought. We were hoping for embedded falafel, each bite recreating a falafel sandwich! but with cheese! General disappointment was expressed. After getting past our initial feelings, we decided we were getting a 2 for 1 deal. The tahini sauce was really delicious.

Giza - Mozzarella and feta cheese, marinated flank of lamb, fresh dill, cilantro and parsley, black olives, roasted red bell pepper, served with spicy cumin sauce on the side.

The sauce was really great as was the feta. After eating a slice of this, one pizza eater exclaimed "I'm so excited to be eating pizza right now!" The lamb was phenomenal and very flavorful. Our only qualm was that there should have been more meat and it could be spread out on the surface more. We also wished they had given us more sauce, though we could have easily asked, intent is important.

Sunset Boulevard - Curried lamb, mozzarella, wild mushrooms, topped with "golden flakes of puff pastries" with mango salsa on the side.

Again this had delicious lamb on it that was piled in the middle. There was an unexpected taste of cinnamon on this pizza. The sweet chutney was a fantastic addition to this sweet and savory pizza.

The crust overall was very good. It was doughy, yet crunchy at the same time. All the ingredients were fresh and Egyptian pizza deserves props for some innovative flavor combinations. That said, all they needed to do was push those a little bit further to fulfill their promises of exotic pizza delight. The fundamentals are solid, but the falafel pizza of our dreams remains just out of reach.

NY - 6/8
Maser - 3/8
Giza - 7/8
Sunset Boulavard - 6.5/8

The threat of a hurricane wasn't enough to keep us from pizza!