Saturday, March 3, 2012

Club Charles

February 24 2012
Club Charles
1724 North Charles

The Lost City Diner recently (temporarily?) closed and the kitchen is back open at Club Charles. They have a new menu and new pizza. Having had pizza from the Zodiac long ago we came into this expecting tasty, but small pizzas. They used to be personal pan size, but now they are much larger, yet cost the same as the old ones. They also offer pizza by the slice! We couldn't decide between the Florentine and the White pizza and Jeremy the bartender suggested something we never considered; do it half and half! I thought it would be impossible, but after sipping on some beer, there in front of us was a pizza with distinct halves.

There was good crunch to the crust, yet it still remained soft and chewy. There were a lot of ingredients, but the dough did not crack under the weight. Both of the pizzas that we tried were white, so we are still unsure about how their sauce is. We learned that Paul who made the made the pizza, grew up in New Jersey and had been tossing pizzas since his youth.

Considering the pizza was technically bar food, it was really exceptional. They take the time to actually make the pizza as opposed to microwaving a box of frozen pizza. If not, we were totally fooled.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hersh's Pizza

February 23 2012
Hersh's Pizza
1843 Light Street

People had been suggesting that we check out Hersh's, the relatively new pizza place in Federal Hill. We finally got the opportunity to try them and were very glad we did. The atmosphere inside is very charming. It was pretty crowded for a Thursday night. The host was super nice and attentive. We started off ordering three pizzas: the Margherita, a tomato pie with fried eggplant, and the kale and pistachio. The bowl of red pepper on the table was a nice touch.

The Kale & Pistachio pizza - Fontina/Garlic/Pecorino Romano.

The pistachios gave it a subtle nutty roasted flavor. This pizza was pretty garlicky, but we are definitely fans of garlic. The crust was nice and sturdy. It was bubbly with visible air pockets. This pizza was a bit spicy, but flavorful. This was by far our favorite pizza.

Tomato with fried eggplant.

We added the eggplant to this pizza to make it a little more exciting. This pizza was very thin and reminded one attendee of "Philly pizza"; it was her dream pizza. The eggplant was deliciously caramelized, though we would have liked to have seen more of it. This pizza was a little gooey in the middle. The sauce was very fresh and light with some sweetness to it.

The Margherita.

This was chewy and delicious. It was extremely thin. We were expecting to see big circles of fresh mozzarella, but that wasn't the case. We found the crust on this pizza to be a bit limp and resulted in a floppy slice. Because of the structural instability one was forced to roll up the pizza in order to eat it. The sauce on this was comprised of crushed tomatoes.

At this point we were not yet satisfied with our pizza intake and ordered a fourth pizza. We ordered a cheese pizza with mushrooms.

The sauce on this was a marinara, which was different from the pizzas we had already consumed. The mushrooms on it were crimini. When the pizza arrived at our table, it looked molten and gooey. We were expecting it to be a little cheesier than it actually was. They were a little light on the cheese, but it worked. Anymore would have been too much.

These pizzas are thin, which is both a blessing and a curse. The structural integrity of the kale pizza was far superior than the others, though we are unsure of the why. There was a noticeable saltiness to the dough, though the crust was really fantastic. Everything seemed really fresh. It is a little dark inside, but we decided that it made everyone look really good. Hersh's seems like an ideal date spot. They have a pretty impressive selection of beer and cocktails. They did a really great job with the decor and creating a warm and pleasant atmosphere. We did note that although not pizza, they offer gnocchi on Monday and lasagna on Wednesdays, which they boast is homemade. Save room for dessert because we didn't and now we're just going to have to go back and try some.

Kale and Pistachio - 8/8
Tomato and Eggplant - 7/8
Margherita - 5.5/8
Cheese and Mushroom - 5.5/8