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I had pizza on the brain, so we decided to try Big Roman’s Pizza on Drew St.  All the reviews I read said to order the meatball garlic rolls, so we did.

These are truly a meal in themselves.  Tasty meatball wrapped up in a garlic roll.  They were good.  We ended up taking half of them home since we also ordered a large pizza.

What can I say, I like leftover pizza.  We got meatballs & mushrooms with onions on half.  It was a good pie.  The crust & sauce were good and there was plenty of cheese and toppings.  I also got some cannoli to go.

They were tasty little cannoli, though they weren’t quite filled all the way to the center.  Total bill with a drink was $28.

Big Roman’s Pizza
1719 Drew St
Clearwater, FL
727-441-3300

Big Roman's Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food3/5
Service3/5
Atmosphere3/5
Value3/5
3.0/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Clearwater, Pizza
  • I was craving pizza today so we decided to try Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza.  We sat outside, but soon regretted it when someone at another table started smoking.   Our pizzas seemed to be taking a long time and I noticed people who sat down after us were getting their food before ours.  The waitress came over and let us know that they had to remake our pizzas because they got a bit too well done.

    We both got an individual lunch pizza.  Loren got one with onions, olives & mushrooms and I got the mini meatball & ricotta.

    The lunch pizza is plenty big enough for one person and then some.  Both pizzas still had a bit of overly burnt around the edges and some of the meatballs on mine were too overdone to be eaten.  Neither of us was that impressed with the pizza.  Nothing really stood out about it.  It didn’t have a lot of seasoning or flavor.    I ordered the chocolate cake for dessert and the waitress said it was on the house because they had burnt our original pizzas.

    This was one thick, rich chocolate cake.  The cake itself was a bit dry though.  It definitely needed something to cut the richness, either some ice cream or whipped cream.  The layer on chocolate on top was like a hot fudge sauce.  Total bill with a drink was $27 and I think we’ll continue our search for an awesome pizza place.

    Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza
    2532 McMulen Booth Rd
    Clearwater, FL
    (727) 797-0929

    Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Food3/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere2/5
    Value3/5
    2.9/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Clearwater, Pizza
  • We’ve walked by Grimaldi’s Pizzeria at Countryside Mall a bunch of times and finally decided it was time to check it out.  It was about 8pm on a Sunday night and they weren’t very busy.  We got a small regular pizza and added garlic, meatballs, and mushrooms to it.

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    I understand charging for toppings, but $2 for fresh garlic is a bit on the unreasonable side.  I liked the crust of the pizza, but not the sauce.  It had that “not cooked long enough tomato from a can taste” and desperately needed the garlic we added.  The meatballs were ok, and normally, I don’t like a thin crust, but this one had the right texture to it.  You could even watch the guys in the kitchen tossing the dough.  They had a special butterscotch cheesecake that we couldn’t pass up.

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    I’d come back just for the cheesecake.  It was silky smooth with a wonderful butterscotch flavor.  Absolutely delicious.   Would I come back for the pizza?  Probably not.  It was overpriced and lacked the flavors I was after.  Total bill with a drink was $32.

    Grimaldi’s Pizzeria
    27001 Hwy 19 N.
    Clearwater, FL
    (727) 725-1200

    Grimaldi's Pizzeria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Food2/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value2/5
    2.5/5

    Pizza


    There are a lot of little restaurants tucked away on the side streets in downtown Safety Harbor and tonight we made our way over to Pizzeria Gregario. They must have had a line waiting when they opened because we were there pretty early and all of the inside tables were already occupied. Luckily, it was a beautiful evening and the outside tables were in the shade.

    Their menu is on the wall as you walk in and then you order at the counter & they bring the food out to you.  Loren started off with a salad.

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    Honestly, I’ve never heard him rave about a salad as much as he did about this one.  It had a little bit of this & that and seasoned perfectly as far as he was concerned.  I think he would go back just for the salad.  Loren made the mistake of getting a GuS soda which is supposed to be a not too sweet “grown-up soda”.  It was quite awful tasting.  We also ordered a side of meatballs.

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    He liked them more than I did.  They were well seasoned, but I didn’t find them moist enough for my taste.  The sauce was a bit on the loose side as well.  It had the flavors, just not quite the texture I was after.  That little gator in the background was our table designation.  He looked like he was ready to eat everything brought to the table.  For our pizza, we went with the mushroom.

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    It was ok, but neither of us would be tempted to order it again.  The crust was good, but it has a gremolata on top and with every bite the lemon zest overpowered all of the other flavors.  Lemon and pizza just isn’t a combination that worked for us.   Overall, the food was fresh, and we may go back & try a different pizza at some point.  If nothing else, Loren would be happy just to have more salad.  Total bill with a drink was $33.

    Pizzeria Gregario
    400 2nd Street North
    Safety Harbor, FL
    727-386-4107

    Pizzeria Gregario on Urbanspoon

    Food3/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.0/5

    My sister & I met in Winter Park yesterday for a walking food tour.  I had done one in New York years ago and it was a lot of fun, so we decided to check out what Orlando Food Tours had to offer.  We met our guide, Kiel, and the other ladies in the tour outside of Prato on Park Avenue at 11:30am to start our 3 hour tour.

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    Prato is a modern rustic Italian bistro.  They weren’t too busy at 11:30am, but it sounds like you need reservations if you want to get in there for dinner.  There was bread & dipping oil on the table and we all dug in while our pizzas were in the oven.

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    The bread was fresh and had an almost spongy texture which was perfect for sopping up the oil.  I was a little surprised that there weren’t an herbs in the oil.  Then the pizzas arrive.  First to the table was the Fiorentina.

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    It had spinach, prosciutto, and fontina cheese.  All of the ingredients tasted very fresh and were very fragrant.  There was something in this dish though that tingled my tongue.  I don’t know if it was the cheese or the prosciutto, but there was a little spiciness there that I wasn’t expecting.  The second pizza was the “Widowmaker”.

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    This one had caciocavallo cheese, a rustic tomato sauce, fennel sausage and an egg cooked right in the middle.  I loved the rustic tomato sauce.  It was so fresh and flavorful.  We took the middle piece with the egg, split it open & passed it around the table for everyone to taste.  The funniest thing was watching everyone trying to cut the slices from the pizza.  Our knives just couldn’t make clean work out of the crust.

    Prato on Urbanspoon

    Now that we all had our pizza fix, we walked over to Ancient Olive for our next tasting.  We were all a little hesitant at first because I don’t think any of us ever put much thought into olive oil or balsamic vinegar and certainly never went out of our way to taste different ones.  This tasting shop had an amazing selection of different combinations and flavors.

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    James was our expert in the shop and he told us more than you ever knew existed about olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  We tasted two oils and learned that you taste the same way you would wine.  You take it in your mouth, breathe in a slurping sort of gulp of air and then breathe out your nose.  It was quite a sensation.  You could taste grassy or peppery notes in the oil.  He also said something to the affect of what you get in the grocery store is pretty much akin to lamp oil since its polyphenol levels  have degraded over time.  James also has one of those English accents where he could have been reading the phone book and we’d have listened to him for hours. This was by far the most interesting stop on the tour.  The shop is a tasting shop, so you can go in at any time and taste the different olive oils and balsamic vinegars.  James was a phenomenal host with a lot of knowledge to share.  They also have some other locally sourced products such as jams, honey, drink mixes and a bunch of other stuff.  We got to taste one of the black tomato jams over goat cheese, some locally spiced pickles and a local sourced margarita mix.

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    The jam was really tasty.  Lots of flavors that blended wonderfully with the goat cheese.  It would be perfect over toast points or pita chips.  Yum!  The pickles were really spicy to me.  I tasted a couple of the other oils and was just amazed at the difference between these fresh oils and balsamic vinegars compared to what I’ve had my entire life.  There just is no comparison.

    The Ancient Olive on Urbanspoon

    After the Ancient Olive, we took a little walk through Winter Park and Kiel told us some of the history of the buildings.  We stopped outside of Casa Feliz which has an interesting history.

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    This isn’t where the house was originally built.  Someone had bought the property and planned to demolish the home.  The city and a “friends” group managed to raise the funds to save the home and relocate it in its entirety to its current location.  It went through a restoration and can now be rented out for functions.  We walked back by and learned about the Morse museum and then headed into the Spice & Tea Exchange for our next food stop.

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    This stop had some spicy hummus, which I didn’t try, but my sister really liked, a freshly brewed iced tea, and some blackberry salted caramel brownies that were divine.  I got a recipe card for those and plan to make them soon.  The shop has a large selection of spices and teas.

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    There were things that I’ve only seen and heard of on the Food Network or in cookbooks and they were all there in the shop.  This shop as well as the others all had fantastic aromas as you walk in the door.

    The Spice & Tea Exchange on Urbanspoon

    We then walked next door to Orchid Thai Cuisine.  This was my favorite food stop.

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    At this stop, we had chicken satay that had a peanut sauce with a strong lemongrass flavor that I really liked.  The chicken was tender, though it did not want to easily come off of the skewers.  We also had a sampler with spring rolls, dumplings, curry puffs, and golden purses which are similar to crab rangoons.  Everything we tried was fresh and flavorful.  The golden purses were the biggest hit at the table.

    Orchid Thai Cuisine on Urbanspoon

    We took a quick walk over to Central Park where we saw the last remnant of the original train station, then it was off to Kilwin’s for some dessert.  I got the impression that the staff forgot we were coming, but they quickly scooped out our sample of turtle fudge and ice cream.

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    Kilwin’s has a nice selection of chocolates, fudge, caramel apples and ice cream.   The fudge and ice cream were good, but I think I would have preferred to taste one of their caramel apples.  Kiel said when there are at least 8 in the tour group, that’s what they sample.

    Kilwins on Urbanspoon

    Our last stop on the tour was Sassafras Sweet Shoppe where we got cotton candy.

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    This is our tour guide Kiel before he handed over the sweet, sticky, strands of sugar.  I felt like this was a throw away stop on the tour.  The candy shop had some interesting vintage candy, but there’s nothing terribly interesting or food worthy about cotton candy.  For both Kilwin’s and Sassafras Sweet Shop, no one from the shop interacted with us.  What makes a tour interesting is the stories behind the locations and the food.

    Sassafras Sweet Shoppe on Urbanspoon

    Overall, though, we all really enjoyed the tour.  James & the Ancient Olive was the most interesting stop since he really engaged with the group.  I liked the food at Orchid Thai the best.  I’d definitely recommend taking the tour if you’ve got a few hours to spend walking around Winter Park.

    Orlando Food Tours

    800-979-3370

    facebook/OrlandoFoodTours

    twitter.com/OrlandoFoodTour

     

     

    Food4/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere4/5
    Value4/5
    4.0/5