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Inspired Meat Toppings and Wood-Fired Pies at Bottega, in Birmingham, AL

Located in an imposing limestone faced Palladian style building, Bottega actually houses two restaurants. One offers a more sophisticated evening experience, and the other is a casual cafe featuring wood-fired pizzas. Socializing and drinks were the reason for most of my cafe visits, and I never quite bonded with the pizza. They were Zagat's recent pick for the "50 States, 50 Pizzas" guide, which was a reminder to give them another look. More

Robyn Lee Is Leaving Serious Eats a Mere 7 1/2 Years After She Got Here

Congratulations Robyn!

Taste a Piece of New Orleans Burger History At Lee's Hamburgers, Est. 1901

@MikeHs and Celdry - I’ve ben back to to the Bud’s Broiler by City Park fairly recently, their grill set-up has to be one-of-a-kind.That old building’s atmosphere and graffiti covered tables can’t be beat. The meat at Lee’s just has it beat hand’s down.

Despite getting a bigger burger that is grilled-to-temp at Port of Call, I’d still choose Lee’s.

My Pie Monday: Figs, Ramps, Sage, and More!

Maybe some people who are more tech-savvy than me could throw in their two cents worth. If someone creates a social media account using their SE usernames and just uses it to submit pies, how is it really putting any more “personal info” out there than is already on MPM anyway? It certainly seems like the same thing.

There is no denying that Facebook seems to enjoy breaking down privacy. For people like me, who use it almost exclusively for promoting pizza-making, it’s just not a big deal.

Giving the fact that Kenji thinks that the audience could really grow, I’m even more committed to stick with it. I also have it on good authority that MPM wasn’t so easy to maintain.

My Pie Monday: Figs, Ramps, Sage, and More!

It’s a sad day for sure, but it would be a shame to not see everyone’s pizzas on some social media forum. For a couple of pie-makers it might be close to a crime. I’m not using my wfo as much as I’d like, but this time of year, I’m actually producing some decent pizzas.

Even though I don’t use Twitter, I’ll post on both media sites when I have pies, and would love to be in the company of some familiar names.

Social media is actually easier to submit, all we have to do is “show up.”

My Pie Monday: Broccoli Raab, Pickled Shallots, Chorizo, and More!

@Adam: Obviously this flavor caught on with a few great minds. It's something that I'll continue to play with as well. Hope the new pizzas will be more wfo bar pies from the pop-up!

My Pie Monday: Broccoli Raab, Pickled Shallots, Chorizo, and More!

@Tipsykit37: Thanks, the whole inspiration was just to get a taste of Adam's "Famous Original A".

Seriously inspiring pizzas this week on MPM!

Recommendations for pizza joints in Rome or Naples?

In Rome for pizza tonda (round pizzas cooked in WFOs) try La Montecarlo in the daytime, and the original Baffetto at night. They are both fairly unleavened and the cheese is similar to American dry-aged mozzarella; don't set crazy expectations for this style. Pizzarium is fun for clever toppings, but the plain slices (and whole bakery) at Forno Marco Roscoli aren't to be missed. Forno Campo di Fiori is worth a look too.

Da Michele is a top spot in Naples, and they don't follow the "rules". Lombardi is really different and flavorful, as are Gino Sorbillo, and Pizzeria Il Presidente were great. Everything was decent, including Brandi, Di Atillo, Port Alba was probably a low point, especially measuring quality vs. attitude. Pizzas at L'Europeo di Mattozzi, and Bellini (open Sunday lunch) looked good even though I didn't try them.

Check out Ed Levine's book excerpt too:


Kenji also has a guide to 24 hours in Naples archived as well—with pictures.

Game-Changing Cheeseburgers in New Orleans at The Company Burger

@ burgerdogboy and JacquesD

JacquesD, you hit the nail on the head about the popularity. I can remember way back when gigantic burgers were almost unheard of in the South, and PoC has been around since the early sixties. It’s a shame the burger doesn’t live up, a little seasoning and toasting (or losing) the ordinary bun would take them a long way. Still it’s a place for a cheesy drink, and to people watch.

A lot of the Esplanade neighbors would probably react negatively to any new business coming in, but not that many are putting up protest signs. Most of them are posted about five blocks towards the river. Again, a shame, and looks like the developer has backed off for the time being.

Pizza Obsessives: Eric Leath

@ pizzapaul - Great photo of the setup, and pies as well. I will probably do the full hack with my ancient gas oven at some point too.

Many thanks to everyone for all of the comments!

Pizza Obsessives: Eric Leath

@ pauliegee - Sorry Paulie, my skull is pretty dense. I should have remembered that you are a Joe & Pat's fan.

Pizza Obsessives: Eric Leath

@pauliegee - Do I sense Staten Island might need more attention? I did a lot of name dropping above, and Denino’s should belong right with them—love everything about Denino’s!

Pizza Obsessives: Eric Leath

This was a blast, and it’s great to hear that it was of interest!

@ pjkobulnicky - Please feel free to share the names of the two places and photos if you have any.

@ BostonAdam - The hack is for a gas oven that has only one burner that is located beneath the floor of the oven chamber.


It has made a dramatic difference in cooking the tops of the pizzas. A baking steel would likely be too hot for this method, and I haven’t bought a Fibrament yet, or put in a deflector under my stone. I would recommend following all steps. Feel free to email me any time about specifics.

@TXCraig1 - Many thanks Craig! You make some of the best looking pizzas that I’ve ever seen, by the way.

5 Great Oyster Joints in New Orleans

It's always a thrill to see the Rockefeller from Galatoire's. They are one of a kind, and I wouldn't recommend them from anywhere else. They are also on the menu at Galatoire's Bar 33 next door.

Antoine's actually don't include any spinach, are pale green, and have quite a different flavor. Most other places it becomes a dish with sautéed spinach, instead of a rich pate of herbs and butter.

Pizza City Guide: A New Orleans Slice Crawl

@FMFats: Lets say more background information than recommendation. The pizza at Slice doesn’t seem like a compilation of any of these, or similar to any one (except for the cornmeal).

I actually remember Fellini’s at Little Five Points and on Ponce as being good back in the late 80’s early 90s when Chapaton worked there. Granted my tastes have grown since then, and I don’t think much of Fellini’s slices now. It’s been so long, I’m not sure if it’s me or the pizza that changed.

I actually remember Grant Central as decent, but it’s been a few years also.

@sethward: I’ve tried Theo’s, but it’s been a while. They’ve gotten some high praise lately, and are going to have a food truck in operation by Mardi Gras. I’ll definitely be checking that out.

Pizza City Guide: A New Orleans Slice Crawl

@mfrapp: Domenica is fantastic and habit forming—especially for the everyday happy-hour pizzas. They have some of the most interesting toppings around.

@ratbuddy: Thanks! doing this one was a blast.

@punkin712: Agreed about the differences. I do think that at there are a couple of local slices that could stand up to some heavy duty comparisons though.

What's Up in Pizza: NYTimes Declares Pizza 'Meh,' Which Pizza Would Be Your Lover, and More!

As much as we all seem to agree about the sensational and ridiculous nature of the post. It's hard to ignore a post attacking pizza, even in such an insincere way.

What's Up in Pizza: NYTimes Declares Pizza 'Meh,' Which Pizza Would Be Your Lover, and More!

Why do I feel like Andy Kaufman is somewhere reading this and laughing? As a young kid it was so easy to feel outrage at his misogynistic rants of superiority during his “wrestling”phase.

Congratulations to the author of the follow-up who explained their position so well! He simply states that pizza is innocuously decent in a completely unsophisticated way...Oh, wait, it’s also about the fact that all of the divisiveness to let us know how unimportant it all is.

Thank goodness the One Page Magazine’s “Meh List” is not an outpost for inanity, glibness, and trolling.” (Andy did you hear about this one?).

Perhaps the authors of all things meh are patting themselves on the back, having a good laugh at ill-thought caustic ideas that speak in unclear generalities, or maybe they just are hoping to be invited to try some truly good pizza.

Love the response from the Times’ culture editor Adam Sternbergh:


My Pie Monday: Ground Beef, Eggplant, Fennel, and More!

@Adam - Bubbles were always a part of the Shakey’s experience too. No doubt all of these factors play a role, but getting results like that for me have been easier said than done.

Your pie did inspire me to drive out of my way yesterday to get some specific ingredients, and get back on the Shakey’s experiments. Thanks for the help!

My Pie Monday: Ground Beef, Eggplant, Fennel, and More!

A fantastic and always inventive assortment of pizzas!

@ Adam - That pizza hit me with a major Shakey’s jones. The solid color of the cheese is a big departure from the New England bar pies; I’m guessing it’s hard to achieve in a home oven with such a thin crust. I hope to see many more.

Poll: Do You Cut Your Burger in Half Before You Eat It?

Yes for larger burgers, but never for a small burger like the ones from Shake Shack.

With a larger burger, it is a matter of etiquette,...plus, if it's mid-rare or below, the middle is where the flavor is.

Paulie Gee's Planning Nationwide Expansion, a 'Brotherhood of Pizza Enthusiasts'

Congratulations Adam! Likewise to Paulie, and all of the new partners as well! Not even considering the awesome pizza, Paulie Gee's is one of the greatest places on earth to hang out. Sounds like a perfect formula.

Watch Jon Stewart's Epic Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Rant

Trying the Malnati Classic at Lou Malnati’s in Lincolnwood was that “ah-hah” moment for my appreciation of deep dish. Watching a large party enjoy an afternoon celebration helped this Southerner understand the communal tradition mentioned by Titus Ruscitti. While enjoying the flavorful cheese and sausage in the pie, I thought “I get it!”.

Actually hearing someone slam the NY-style slice has always raised hackles; so it’s easy to see the busy two-way-street. Last month a site called Deadspin posted a merciless piece titled “The Great American Menu: Foods Of The States” The author savaged NY-style before beginning the list and put deep dish at #1... Oh, and apparently Cincinnati-style chili ranks below getting hit by a car. It’s still posted on their site.

My Pie Monday: Artichoke Hearts, Mushrooms, Brussels Sprouts, and More!

It's not even near lunch, and I'm starving for pizza now. There is nothing available near me to match the creativity I see here! Sadly and especially no American "pizza parlor" style with thin crust.

Inspired Meat Toppings and Wood-Fired Pies at Bottega, in Birmingham, AL

@ Iamslinky: The pizza crust at Bottega seems to embody qualities of something that could be made consistently, but without trying it frequently I wasn’t sure.

If you do try more pizzas at Bettola, shoot me an email if you want, and let me know what you think(especially about the crust).

Inspired Meat Toppings and Wood-Fired Pies at Bottega, in Birmingham, AL

@ imwalkin: The dough does seem to be out of step with every other dish. I do wonder about it’s origins. Frank Stitt actually mentioned specific dishes and areas of Italy in his cookbook “Bottega Favorita”, but perhaps the crust was more inspired from his Chez Panisse days.

Thinking about the whole pie being first rate makes me wonder if they would sell some of their fennel sausage. It would rock for “My Pie Monday”

@ sheilal: So far, I’ve only tried the Margherita at Bettola. James Lewis’ APN credentials are interesting. I do have my eyes on some of their other pizzas.

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