Tag Archives: Pizza

Toppers Pizza

12 Apr

Hubs and I took it easy this past weekend by watching a lot of Downton Abbey and Mad Men. During the marathons, we had to eat. Found ourselves needing food late Saturday evening and hubs gave me the option to pick (I know, we were real exciting on that Saturday night). I decided that we should try the newly opened Toppers Pizza. The national chain from Champaign, IL, recently opened on North Meridian Street. I figured it was time to give it a go and this evening provided the perfect opportunity.

For about $30 prior to tip, we prdered and received a 12 inch pizza, cheese breadsticks, 6 buffalo wings and a 2 liter of soda. I wanted to try a variety, so that is what we got. I had ordered online and really got to peruse the menu before placing the order. I was impressed with the selection, but confused with one item: quesadillas. Yup, the pizza place sells quesadillas. I have to wonder how they are, considering that if I wanted a quesadilla, I wouldn’t think of ordering it from a pizza place. There has to to be a story behind that…anyone know anything?

Anyway, I digress. Let’s begin with the buffalo wings. There is the option to order boneless or wings. I assumed the boneless were just frozen nuggets of chicken (don’t get me wrong, I have a sweet spot for those things), so I decided to try the bone-in. I was really excited, so I’m sad to say I really disliked them. A lot. I couldn’t get over how mushy they were due to the breading being soft. They had been baked, but it seemed like they could have been baked longer. We had ordered buffalo, and though I anticipated the spicy flavor I adore, I didn’t get any of that. I barely ate one and would stay clear next time. Hubs on the other hand thought they were what one should expect from delivered wings. I just wanted something of higher standards – he thinks maybe it would be better at the restaurant. I raise my eyebrow at that and we agree to disagree.

As for the pizza, I was slightly disappointed here too. We ordered the hand tossed and though the crust was good, it overwhelmed each bite leaving me wanting more toppings and sauce. As you can tell by the photo, it seemed like all the toppings migrated to the middle and stayed put. The sauce was just there and didn’t stand out by any means. I did like the sausage as it had good flavor, seasoned well with being hand pulled rather than frozen sausage. The pepperoni was standard and the mushrooms barely there. I would have liked more mushrooms (and all other toppings to be dispersed better) and for their flavor to be fresh and more apparent with each bite. I would order it again, but next time I’ll go with thin crust and look at one of their specialty pizzas, like the taco. I felt like I missed out on ordering this pizza, like I knew there was something better and I just picked the wrong one.

The main reason I’ll return to Toppers? Those cheesy breadsticks. I loved every single bite of them. The bread wasn’t soaked in grease, but you knew you weren’t eating healthy with the heavy dose of cheese and garlic butter soaked into every bite. Despite the photo and appearance of grease, it wasn’t soggy by any means. I don’t go for bread sticks that are limp because they are soaked with butter. These had substance and stood on their own with each savory bite. I’d like to point out we got the original, but you can get triple cheese as an option. I can’t imagine what the cheese is like on those, because I had plenty of ooey goodness with each bite. And the nacho cheese, which we ordered on the side for $.75 I believe, wasn’t necessary as they really stood on their own.

Overall, the price seemed a little high for the buffalo wings, but everything else was standard. I’d probably pick up next time to avoid the delivery charge and stay clear of the buffalo wings. Who else has been there? What are your thoughts, and would you order again?

Toppers * 12545 N. Meridian St. * Carmel, 46032 * 317.569.6031

Toppers Pizza on Urbanspoon

Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Pizza

11 Jan

Hubs and I attempted to make a decision this past weekend when going out. It was getting late, our stomachs were growling, and we were getting desperate. Quickly, we had to think of somewhere extremely close that was still new. I was demanding something new to be more exact. We ended up in Clay Terrace to try Tony Sacco’s. Every time we drive by, it is busy.I hopped out of the car to see how long the wait would be and with 20 minutes to go, we decided to give it a try on the Friday night.

I put our name in and began to observe.The space to wait is awkward. There are a few chairs near the hostess stand, but besides that, you stand in an open area trying to not be in anyone’s way or too close to the tables that are near the space. After all, nothing more horrible than people up in your meal while you are sipping your beverage and noshing on your food. The atmosphere is an unfinished feel. And that is being generous – almost like it done as cheaply and quickly as possible. The floors were uneven and original from the space prior, limited decorating on the walls, and open ceiling beams. It was just a colder feel – maybe done on purpose for the heat of the coal oven? It wasn’t too cold that it was uncomfortable, just not a warm cozy feel. Despite the two hostesses were awfully quiet (saying names at a level where everyone was trying to crowd the podium despite the space permitted to awkwardly stand in the doorway), we had a good position so we could hear our name be called within 15 minutes or so.

We were seated near the open kitchen area and quickly approached by our server. After a quick run down of the drinks, we each ordered a local brew and order of garlic rotolis. When our drinks were delivered, we also ordered a caprese salad and the Marco Polo pizza. A lot of food, but sometimes eyes are bigger than stomachs. And by sometimes, this is 90% of the time in my world.

Strangely enough, our caprese salad came before the rolls that we had ordered 5 minutes beforehand. I discovered, as we were close to the kitchen and within earshot, that our rolls were actually given to the table next to us. They had children, so I was fine with that because I’d prefer them to be happy rather than upset on having to wait a bit for food. And really, new rolls were produced within a matter of minutes, no biggie. The caprese salad was nothing special, and I should have known better to not order it. Tomatoes are clearly not in season and these were slightly mealy because of that very reason. The mozzarella, not fresh by any means. I would even say that it was taken out of a plastic wrapping – similar to the kinds you can buy at your local grocer. I did like the fresh basil and the garlic oil it was served with. Sure, it was a lot of oil, but I really loved the garlic flavor. A little balsamic vinegar on top also helped, but it still was a caprese not in season. As for the rolls, there were a lot for only $5. A big positive as hubs clearly enjoyed them. But, it once again, it was fresh. Tasted like a prepackaged dough, most likely made for the restaurant. They were once again completely swimming in the garlic oil and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. I wonder how much garlic oil this restaurant goes through…anyway, the rolls were expected, but nothing special.

As for the pizza, I was beyond impressed with how fast it was delivered to our table. But that is about where my positives stop. The sauce was a standard tomato based sauce hinted with (you guessed it) garlic and olive oil. Our particular pizza, the Marco Polo, was topped with chicken, sun dried tomatoes and artichokes. I liked the combination of the tomatoes and artichokes on the pizza – it is a earthy taste that I enjoy. But I did pick off the chicken. Unfortunately, it was so bland that it ruined the rest of the pizza. It didn’t taste as though it had any seasoning, but at the same time, it was all I could taste. And the crust, though good in flavor and texture on the ends, was completely flimsy in the middle. When you pick up the pizza, it immediately fell as did the toppings. I ended up picking off the chicken and eating half with two hands before it could support itself. And really, I’ve had much better.

I clearly didn’t have expectations of Tony’s. I figured it was a chain, but I just didn’t know how local or national of a chain it was. From my quick research, it looks like it started as a Midwestern chain. This particular location is in the middle of the outdoor shopping area, so I’m sure they get drop by business all the time. I think that is how many chain restaurants can survive – frequent foot traffic. I could see how it may be a step up from delivery pizza. Overall service was average and prices was reasonable ($40 before gratuity for the salad, appetizer, 12′ pizza and two beers), but I would rather take a few minutes and drive to the local pizzeria down the street – there are at least two that I enjoy within a few miles.

Tony Sacco’s * 14405 Clay Terrace Blvd, Suite 150 * Carmel, 46032 *317.574.3473

MacKenzie River Pizza Co.

11 Oct

I was meeting up with some colleagues of mine for lunch and we decided to rotate our monthly luncheon to the northeast side of Indy in the Castleton area.  Someone suggested MacKenzie River Pizza Co.  I had seen it several times driving by, but I think I was protesting the location because I miss having the guacamole from Adobo on the northside.  But, I’m always happy to try something new, and drove over to the area for a mid-week lunch.

The place is decorated as I expected; a wooded theme, clean and modern yet outdoorsy.  What I would expect from a business with “river” in its title.  It wasn’t busy so our table of 8 were quickly seated in a semi-private area of the restaurant, something we all appreciated.  After reading a bit about the restaurant, I had to question “why Indiana?”  The restaurants are in the northwest of the country, being in Idaho, Washington and Montana.  I shrugged my shoulders and perused the menu to find pizza wasn’t the only option.  They have sandwiches, salads, pastas and more.  They even had two different kinds of nachos – my favorite – on the menu to sample from the appetizer selection.

If a restaurant has pizza in the name, I might as well stick with that on my first go.  The Hot Hawaiian was on special so I gave it a try. Two options for crust, regular or thin, I opted for the thin.   A few others at the table did order regular and it looked about half an inch thick and chewy.   But I was happy with the thin crust as it was crisp all the way through, not soggy in the middle like so many restaurants tend to be.  When you held it up, no drooping.  But even though it was crisp, there was still a slight pull of softness to it making it just a bit chewy.  The barbeque sauce was the perfect amount for me – not too little and not too much.  Though slightly sweet, it still had a good smokey flavor.  But it was subtle, so you didn’t feel overwhelmed by the smokey flavor.  On top, small chunks of sweet pineapple and slices of mildy spicy jalapenos were the main toppings.  The pineapple was probably canned, though I didn’t mind this by any means, but the jalapenos looked fresh, but lacked the crisp spicy factor. Pieces of bacon were strewn across the top and though I would have liked a bit more, the small bites of roasted chicken filled in the spaces.  The chicken was slightly dry, but with the sauce and cheese, it wasn’t too noticeable.  A blanket of mozzarella cheese covered the pizza, though it didn’t reach the ends to give me the crisp cheesy crust that I do love about pizza.

I enjoyed my pizza and first visit the MacKenzie River Co.  It wasn’t anything like a frozen or delivery type of pizza, but it stood up as a solid pizza.  I did enjoy all the selections of pizza and the variety of ingredients to build your own if you decided to do so.  Prices were pretty reasonable and service was good.  It took a bit for us to receive our food, but with the large party and six of us ordering individual pizzas, that was to be expected.  The staff was attentive and personable, something I always look forward to receiving when I dine out.  If you are in the area, maybe shopping or running errands, give it at try.  There is a lot to choose from and it is, once again, always great to try something new.

MacKenzie River Pizza Co. * 4939 E. 82nd St. Suite 100 * Indy, 46250 * 317. 288.0609

MacKenzie River Pizza on Urbanspoon

NY Slice & Scout’s Treats (Food Trucks)

29 Aug

Food trucks are sweeping (okay, driving) Indy. Really, they have been out for quite a while across the country. But here in Indy, they have become much more popular over the past months. There has even been a food truck festival, as well as plans for future events.  I finally had the opportunity to dine at a few of our local trucks.  Food trucks don’t really make their way to the north side of Indy during the work week.  When I heard (okay, read via twitter) not only one, but two, were headed our way, I grabbed my friend and we headed to the parking lots behind a few businesses on North Meridian.

First up, NY Slice. They had rolled into the parking lot at 11am and we were there at 12:20 only to discover they had a few slices of the Hawaiian left, no other options. This didn’t bother either one of us – I personally love Hawaiian pizza. I enjoyed the thin crust that I could fold just like the classic NY pizza. Though I could fold it, it still had a subtle crispness to it.  The sauce wasn’t extremely flavorful other than rich in tomato. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much to the toppings. The pineapple was the basic sweet fruit, the ham subtly salty and the cheese blend standard. There just wasn’t a lot of it – pineapple and ham that is. I would have really enjoyed it more if that was the case. I’d buy again, but I would also like to see what my other options are.

For dessert, Scout’s Treats was right behind NY Slice in the parking lot. I have noticed on twitter Scouts partners with NY pretty often. The truck, though predominately all cupcakes, does serve other treats like frozen candy bars. I was all about their main market and ended up with a red velvet in hand. The cupcake was tender and full of melted chocolate chunks. I’m surer the chocolate was melted because of the warm weather, but I really enjoyed it. The frosting was a cream cheese base, but it had a subtle tangy flavor, almost like a sour cream.  I did notice the frosting wasn’t completely smooth either, subtle chunks of cream cheese maybe? I liked the tang, which is why I really enjoyed this cupcake for a 3:00 snack at work.

Oh, I didn’t have a drink through this meal. Then again, no one offered me one. Would have been a nice suggestion since I obviously forgot. Credit/debit cards were accepted via iPhone from NY Slice, but have cash on hand for Scouts since they only accept cash right now. Definitely give them a try if they are in your neighborhood.