Blaze Pizza

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a pair of tickets to the Big Bite Bacon Festival!

Blaze Pizza is another one of those “build-your-own” pizza joints. S isn’t a big pizza fan, but somehow our friend A and I convinced him to try it with us.

Blaze Pizza

Blaze Pizza is located next to Dickey’s Barbecue Pit on Balboa Ave. The store was pretty empty when we visited just before noon on a Saturday – the lunch crowd started showing up as we were eating, though.

I didn’t get any photos of their topping selections, but it’s quite similar to most of the other customize-your-own pizza joints. There is a list of “Signature Pizzas” that have pre-set toppings, or you could choose everything you want from a large selection of meats, veggies, cheese, and sauces. Here is the menu:

Menu

I like that you could choose different toppings for the two halves of a pie, so that you could try more flavor pairings!

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Regents Pizzeria

Don’t forget to enter my KRAVE jerky giveaway!

Regents Pizzeria is our go-to pizza parlor – it’s close to our home and serves up really good pizza. (Then again, I’m not from a pizza city, nor am I a connoisseur of pizza, but other New Yorkers I know really endorse this place!) It used to be just a small shop, but has recently expanded to a huge space, featuring many beers on tap, big-screen TVs, and a patio.

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I couldn’t get a great picture of the interior, though, because it was pretty crowded when I visited.

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Like I said… tons of beers on tap! (I wasn’t feeling like drinking that day, though, so I passed up on the alcohol.)

S, myself, and our friends ordered several slices. We could have also done a large, I guess, but each of us wanted some variety.

Pizza Pazza & Milano

Pizza Pazza & Milano

These are two of my favorite pizzas from Regents. …

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PizzaRev

PizzaRev is a build-your-own pizza joint (much like Project Pie and Pieology) that recently opened up a couple of locations in San Diego. S and I actually attended their grand opening event, but I have gotten around to posting until now… Oops, haha.

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PizzaRev opened two locations in San Diego – one in Scripps Ranch, and the other in Carmel Valley. We attended the grand opening for the Carmel Valley location, which actually turned out to be quite far from our home – the Scripps Ranch one would have been closer.

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The restaurant was quite packed, since they were offering everyone who had received an invitation (either by mail or email, I suppose) a free pizza and drink! I was pretty surprised at this generous promotion, but I suppose they do need a pretty grand gesture to compete with all the pizza joints already here.

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You can choose their signature or gluten-free crust, and either red, white, or BBQ sauce or olive oil, and a variety of cheeses and toppings. Since it was so crowded, I didn’t get any good pictures of their toppings selections. There’s a full list on their website, though.

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Chicago Trip Recap, Part 4: Eataly

It’s been a while since my last post on Chicago, but there’s still a lot of stuff that I haven’t posted about yet! We had several wonderful Italian meals in the Windy City – there is certainly an Italian heritage to the city, and it’s reflected in the food.

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One of the things that I was really excited about trying was Eataly, which is an Italian food market. The first one in the US was in New York, and the Chicago one followed soon after. Inside the market, they sell everything from cookware to sauces and pasta to fresh produce and meats.

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There was a Nutella bar! We didn’t get anything from there, though – we chose something else for dessert (you’ll see later!). 

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There’s a butcher shop, a seafood shop, a cheese counter, and more…

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Blind Lady Ale House revisit

I’ve raved about the pizzas at Blind Lady Ale House before already, but it’s been quite some time since my last visit. A couple of weeks ago, S and I attended a concert at Lestat’s West, and BLAH happens to be right down the street, so dinner choice was pretty much a no-brainer!

Blind Lady Ale House

Their menu changes seasonally, and their taps are constantly revolving. While we were there, it just so happened to be Los Angeles Beer Week, and they had a special flight featuring some of LA’s microbreweries!

Los Angeles Beer Week Flight

Los Angeles Beer Week Flight

LA Beer Week Flight menu

That was the best picture of the flight description that I could get… Anyway, S and I shared this flight – I’m a fan of sour beers, and I really enjoyed the Craftsman Brewing Mesa Verde (last one on the list), which is an oak barrel-aged sour with white wine grapes. (S, conveniently, isn’t a fan of sour beers, so I got to have that one, hehe.) He liked the El Segundo – Hyperion Stout – but it’s hard to find a stout around here that he doesn’t like.

With a great drinks start, we proceeded to order food!

Belgian Frites

Belgian Frites: house-cut Kennebec potatoes, served with seasonal dipping sauce [$6]

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Chicago Trip Recap, Part 1: Hot Dogs and Deep Dish

S and I, along with one of our friends, recently went to Chicago for the first time! We did all the touristy things, hung out with his sister V (who is attending culinary school!), and had a wonderful time. I really loved Chicago and definitely hope to go back for future visits. We ate a lot of yummy food on the trip – I carefully planned out the “food itinerary” – and just writing these recaps is going to make me drool onto the keyboard.

Our first stop after arriving in Chicago was Portillo’s, which V recommended to us. There are many locations, and luckily one of them was just a short walk from the hotel.

Portillo's

Portillo’s

We found out that it’s not really a restaurant, but instead a food court of some sort, and you order at the counter of your choice. We were there, of course, for the hot dogs.

Hot dog assembly 

Here they are, being assembled! I like that the little holders look sort of like the taco holders that we see so often here in San Diego, haha.

Hot Dog

Hot Dog with everything: mustard, relish, freshly chopped onions, sliced red ripe tomatoes, kosher pickle, sport peppers, piled onto a perfectly steamed poppy seed bun

This hot dog was amazing. The flavor was spot-on. I really loved all the accompaniments, especially the relish and peppers, and I even enjoyed the pickle a lot! (S and I normally don’t eat pickles because they’re either too salty or too sour.) I was actually kind of sad that I had to share this with two other people… and if it weren’t for the fact that we were about to have a real dinner in about an hour, I would have insisted that we get another hot dog.

Chili Cheese Dog

Chili Cheese Dog, served with onions

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Pieology

Before I left for my trip to China, I was at Target running some last-minute errands and buying stuff to bring back to my family. I saw Pieology in the plaza across the street from Target and thought, “I should probably have pizza before I leave.” Haha.

It was a ridiculously windy day (during the first heat wave here, at the end of April), so I just ducked inside after parking my car. No photo of the outside, sorry.

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The interior is very similar to Project Pie, complete with the quote wall. And guess what? They’re also both customize-your-own-pizza shops. And they opened almost around the same time, I think. Hmm….

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You can create your own pizza, or go with one of their suggestions. There are also salads and “Strips,” which I guess are like breadsticks. I decided to customize my own pizza. I’d seen some customers order theirs with different toppings on each half of the pizza, so I thought that’d be a good way for me to try a couple of things even though I was by myself.

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I chose half Italian sausage and half spicy buffalo chicken for my meat toppings (weird, I know… but I was in the mood for buffalo chicken that day for some reason)….

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Craft Pizza Company

Craft Pizza Company is a fast-casual pizza place that recently opened in UTC Westfield Mall, and Eater San Diego made a really big deal out of it so I had to check it out. S isn’t a huge fan of pizza, but I got my friend J to accompany me for a lunch time excursion one day.

(It turns out that J had already tried Craft Pizza when it first opened, so he gave me some good tips for what to try. Yay!)

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Pizzas on display

Look at that one sad piece of pepperoni pizza left. Well, someone ordered it shortly after I took this picture, and they replaced the pepperoni with another type of pizza – I took a photo of the display case from another angle:

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You order by the slice what you want ($3.49 for cheese, $3.69 for any slice with toppings), and they will fire it up in the oven to heat it up.

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Carnitas: all-natural mozzarella, roasted pork, organic tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, poblano chiles

Carnitas: all-natural mozzarella, roasted pork, organic tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, poblano chiles

I chose two slices, Carnitas and Truffle. …

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Project Pie

Project Pie is a fast-casual, customize-your-own pizza restaurant. The first location was in Las Vegas, and they recently opened up another shop in Hillcrest. I was really intrigued because many people have called it the Chipotle or Subway of pizza, where you can choose all the toppings you want for pizza. After reading the posts at Pink Candles at Ridgemont High and Serious Eats, I knew I wanted to try it out ASAP. So, when Kirbie of Kirbie’s Cravings and I decided to get together for lunch, we ended up choosing this place. 

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The menu includes several pre-built pizzas and salads, and includes a long list of toppings for building your own pizza. I’m not sure what “Strips” referred to – I know they have a Nutella & Banana dessert pizza, but the others are probably bread stick-like things? 

You start out with a blank slate of rolled-out dough, ready for pizza-building!

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That oven was indeed Really, Really Hot since the pizzas would be ready in two minutes. Two minutes to bake a pizza! I was really impressed.

Custom pizza: Italian sausage, caramelized onions, black olives, and roasted red peppers

Custom pizza: Mozzarella, Italian sausage, caramelized onions, mushrooms, roasted red peppers (white pizza)

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Regents Pizzeria

Regents Pizzeria is a pretty low-key-looking, but quite famous little restaurant located in the UTC area. S and I live quite close, but we don’t visit very often for some reason. I’ve ordered their pizza a few times and really enjoyed them, but I’ve actually never dined inside the restaurant until recently.

It’s a pretty small space. You order up at the counter and hope that there’s a seat available (there are maybe 15 seats, at most?). In addition to pizza, they also serve pastas, salads, and sandwiches. The menu is not extensive, but S assures me that everything he has tried was pretty good.

Pig in a Garden (left) and Popeye (right)

Pig in a Garden (left) and Popeye (right)

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