Pop in at Pizza Ponte

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Ponte pop

I was at Disney Springs one recent sweltering day — I know, that doesn’t narrow it down much — so I decided to pop in to Pizza Ponte for a pop.

I’d say I stopped in for a popsicle, but Popsicle® is actually a brandname. The generic term is ice pop, though I’ve never heard anyone say, “Hey, I could sure go for an ice pop right about now.” But the brand became so identified with the genre that they’re interchangeable. Sort of like, “Hand me a Kleenex®, would you? This Popsicle® is running down my arm.”

But in any event, I stopped eating popsicles a long time ago. Ice pops, too.

But a frozen device on a wooden stick fashioned out of sangria can certainly get my attention. So that’s what I was at Pizza Ponte to try.

The Pie College Park

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Thepie interior

It’s been nearly two years since we first visted The Pie, the plainly named pizza seller in College Park, and nearly one year since word came that the original owner was closing and a new owner was taking over. I’m not sure when the new management moved in — recently a young fellow working there said it had only been a few months — but it still has the feel of a place that hasn’t quite found its niche.

And I don’t know why that should be because the food is actually quite good, though the pies of The Pie might not be the pizzas most people imagine when the topic comes up.

Muzzarella Pizza and Italian Kitchen

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Muzzarella pizza

This is good pizza. No, this is very good pizza. Dare I commit to say that this is the best pizza in town? I'll need more research, but it's certainly among the best.

It's Muzzarella Pizza and Italian Kitchen on Lake Underhill Road just past Goldenrod Road on the east side of town.

Muzzarella dining

It's a small storefront operation with an open kitchen at the front where pies are displayed in clear cases, just as you might find in a New York pie shop, and a small dining area down one side of the narrow space.

I had called in an order to pick up, a pizza called Assisis, which had sausage, bacon, meatballs and pepperoni. I suppose it got its name from the saint, who also loved animals, though I don't know if he had them on pizza (though he was Italian, after all). I also ordered a Meatball Sub and a cup of Pasta Fagioli.

Kings Pizza

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Kings Pizza box

I suppose it wasn’t very sporting of me to visit a pizzeria that claims to serve New York style pizzas on the day I was scheduled to fly to New York.

Actually, it was my second visit to Kings Pizza on Curry Ford Road, a second location for the business, which also operates a restaurant on International Drive. The first time I visited the Curry Ford location was back in June and I remembered thinking they didn’t really seem completely set up yet.

Kings Pizza interior

It was quiet, no noise from the two people in the open kitchen area and certainly none from diners, because there were none. The black wall across from the cooking and ordering station was painted black and had graffiti-like scrawls in chalk that looked temporary. And there was a refrigerated counter, the type you might expect to have grab-and-go selections that need to be cooled but also want to be nicely displayed, that was empty and unplugged.

Kings Pizza meat

The pizza on that visit was just OK. The pepperoni slice had good coverage but the Meat Lovers was pathetically topped with scrawny bits of tiny ham cubes and half moons of thinly sliced sausage as well as a few of the same pepperoni. Not really a meat lovers pizza, more of a platonic pie.

1803 Pizza/Kitchen

Written by Scott Joseph on .

1803 exterior

As coincidence would have it, earlier this week I told you about a guest column I wrote for Orlando Date Night Guide listing many of the area's oldest restaurants. I also noted that I had written a similar article, in 2005, for the Orlando Sentinel. In neither article did I list O! Stromboli.

I mention that because at one time the owner of O! Stromboli advertised that it was the oldest Italian restaurant in town. That was in 2007, and during my 19 years at that point of reviewing restaurants, it had been Ciotti's, Sandroni's and Farinacci's. Also during that time, there were several Italian restaurants that had been operating longer. When I asked the owner about it, he said that there had been an Italian market or restaurant at that address since the 1940s, albeit under different owners. Not exactly truth in that particular advertising.

The address in question is 1803 Winter Park Road, Orlando. The address lends its name to the new tenant, 1803 Pizza/Kitchen. It's Italian, so by some people's standards it's the oldest one in Orlando even though it opened just last week.

Pizzeria Roberti

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Roberti pies

Every day, Pizzeria Roberti, a new pie monger in East Orlando, features a specialty pizza. You might find braised short rib, Buffalo chicken or even foie gras pizza on offer.

Or a relatively mundane pizza bianca, as was the case when I visited. Oh well, luck of the draw, I suppose.

And the bianca was fine, just nothing out of the ordinary. The crust was New York-style thin and nicely done, and the toppings -- all white, because bianca -- were applied neither too amply nor stingily.

The Pie

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Thepie top

The Pie is the simplistic name for a new pizza joint in College Park. But the pizza here is different from your average pie.

It’s pizza al taglio (say TAH-lee-oh), which, according to a large sign on the wall inside the restaurant, is “Italian for pizza by the slice or ‘by the cut.’” The word taglio translates to shear, so sort of a cut.

It’s also made in rectangular pans and sold by the slice. This is a common type of pizza that you’d find in Rome and is sometimes sold by weight.

Luckily that’s not the case with The Pie because given the toppings that were on the slice I had I would have paid extra euros.

Ragazzi's Still Cranking Out Good Pies

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Ragazzi pie

College Park is certainly becoming a regular Pie Town, isn’t it?

That’s pie as in pizza pie. From Tornatore’s Pizzeria to the Armando’s to the newly opened The Pie, Edgewater Drive is vying for the designation as the city’s Pizza Row.

So it made me wonder how one of the longer pizza mongers and flog friend Ragazzi’s was doing these days, especially since it recently changed ownership.

Lazy Moon Downtown

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Lazy Moon tables

I don’t know, I sorta miss the grunge of the original Lazy Moon.

I don’t mean the one at 11551 University Blvd., which would qualify as the first Lazy Moon when considering the second one opened recently on Colonial Drive in the Mills 50 district.

I’m referring to the one that preceded it. The original Moon was in the more than slightly rundown strip center on the corner of University Boulevard and Alafaya Trail, just across the street from the UCF campus. It had a real College Town pizza joint feel to it, a lived-in look with decals that had been slapped on the hoods over the stoves and an ordering system that involved sliding tickets to the cooks on a wire strung the length of the place.

Pizza Bruno

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Pizza Bruno pie

Finally stopped by Pizza Bruno, a new ‘zeria in the Conway area on Curry Ford Road. Stopping by isn’t  easy to do since the restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, open only for dinner on weekdays and the small parking lot fills up quickly. Oh, and it doesn’t have a phone. Or website.

That hasn’t kept it from being crowded to overflowing, because advance word is that a good pie shop has finally moved into the area.

That’s true, though I’m sure it isn’t much comfort to the people who ran Soprano’s Ristorante-Pizza in the same spot before closing earlier this year.