We had a great time on our weekend getaway to Anna Maria Island. The water views were amazing, we traveled around the area quite a bit. On our way in at around 10pm on Friday we stopped by an original Buffalo Pizza place called Casa De Pizza. It was a favorite of my wifey, being from Buffalo and it did not disappoint. It was a small little place in a strip mall with some outdoor seating as well and it was packed full of people watching the final game of the NHL hockey playoffs with the hometown Tampa Bay Lightning playing the Boston Bruins. It was good to see so much interest for hockey, but of course it was the most important game of the year and unfortunately they lost, but we were at the hotel by the time the game was over. It was cool to see Buffalo memorabilia in the restaurant. Pictures of Flutie Flakes, Buffalo Bills and Sabres stickers on the windows, pictures of Bills players, etc. If you didn't know any better, you'd think you were up north and the wifey said the pizza was just like home. Check out the two pics I found on Trip Advisor of that place. Next time we'll have to try the wings.
A main goal of our trip was to bring back some yummy pizza from one of our favorite Rochester NY pizza places, Pontillo's. We made the 40 minute drive into Sarasota to try things out to see if things stacked up to the reviews we had read prior and unfortunately it was an EPIC FAIL. Apparently they've changed owners, but kept the name and the pizza is absolutely nothing like the original. It was actually TERRIBLE, almost inedible. I will be posting a review on Urban Spoon or whatever site it was that we read beforehand, which said the pizza is exactly the same as it is in Rochester, NY because that has certainly changed.
Fortunately for us, we had a backup plan in Mark's pizza, which was also a hometown favorite and they had just opened up about a month ago about 50 minutes from where we were staying. Fortunately that pizza was EXACTLY the same as the Mark's pizza up north and was/is soooo good. The owner was super nice and was originally from Canandaigua NY and he gave us a great deal. He only charged 7.99 per large, which was $5 off each pie. And man was it worth every penny! We shared 3 slices that day, 1 just after eating lunch and 2 more just before dinner. Needless to say, I didn't eat a whole lot of dinner that day. I couldn't help myself today, we haven't grocery shopped for the week yet and I couldn't find anything for lunch today and I broke down and ate the 3 pieces in the freezer inside the house. :-o They were right there calling my name and I couldn't resist. Luckily the rest are in the freezer in the garage and they're just far enough away that I should be able to resist the temptation for a while. You'd think I'd be pizza'd out by now, but really its so good that I'm salivating right now just thinking about it!
So for now we'll have to make the remaining 4 1/3rd pizzas last to satisfy that hometown pizza craving. We had mentioned to the hotel staff that a big reason for the trip was the pizza and everyone had to ask what it was about the pizza that was such a huge draw...It was really hard to put into words, but it is really the whole package. It's not at all about the toppings for me, as I usually just eat cheese or if I'm real hungry, I'll eat Peperoni also. I'm a huge sauce and dough person and for me, it's just the right thickness, perfect combination of texture/taste and look/feel...mmm, perfection!
Mark's is now our favorite since they came through where Pontillo's failed us. Whenever we're in Rochester it will still have to be handled on a case by case basis with the standard Pizza Wars in effect to determine if Pontillo's or Mark's takes the crown on any given day. Stay tuned for further details on the trip in tomorrow's blog post!
|Casa De Pizza in Bradenton Florida|
|Picture from Trip Advisor of some Bills Fans enjoying Casa De Pizza|
|This should be called NON-Tillo's|
|A disgraceful, almost inedible attempt at pizza|
|Knight in shining armor to the rescue!|
|Just HAD to try one piece before we left, so freakin good!|
|5 yummy boxes full just prior to being wrapped up in foil/ziplocs|