NEWS: Recess Pizza grand opening set for June 22nd in Downtown Orlando

The culinary team behind Orlando Meats is having their grand opening for their latest concept, Recess Pizza, on Saturday, June 22nd, 2019.

The team took over the culinary kitchen at Orange County Brewers back in May just two blocks south of the Orange County Courthouse on the corner of Orange Avenue and Jefferson Street in Downtown Orlando.

Culinary Director Eliot Hillis and Head Chef Seth Parker have developed an alkaline dough for their pizza crust that is being paired with their high-quality cuts from Orlando Meats and cooked in a wood-fire oven.

Some pizzas menu options include:

  • Kya: pork belly, halloumi, chimichurri, crema
  • Tammi: pulled pork, slaw, cheddar, spicy white stuff
  • Beverly: spicy pork, broccolini, ricotta, mozzarella, pomodoro
  • Steph: ham and cheddar, blue cheese, garlic puree
  • & more

The menu will offer more than pizza with hot sandwiches and salads available. Brunch will be available on the menu and launch during the opening. Online ordering will be available on Slice and delivery on Uber Eats and Grubhub.

Limited-edition pizzas will be available for the opening as well as beer specials at the brewery. A raffle will be held at the opening with an array of local partners. The event will be held during regular business hours from 11:30AM to 11PM.

Find out more at recesspizza.com.

Recess Pizza. 131 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801. (321) 204-9616.

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Top 7 Local Pizza Spots in Tampa

Pizza is one of those things that depends on preference. Do you like a cheesy pizza or a saucy pizza? Lots of toppings or just plain cheese? Does pineapple belong on pizza? (the answer is YES) –  I keep things simple normally, but it varies depending on my mood.

Tampa is overrun with corporate pizza chains and plenty of below mediocre strip mall pizza spots, but there are some quality local spots out there as well and they need some love.

Here are my Top 7 Local Pizza Spots in Tampa. Your top choices may vary and that’s okay.

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Chicago Style Deep Dish. 👅

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7. Full Circle Pizza Grill: This pizza spot in Wesley Chapel/New Tampa area is not easily accessible to most of Tampa, but trust me the Chicago pie is worth a look if you are in the area. The portion is simply huge so make sure you bring some friends and call ahead to see if they are serving Chicago pizza, because some days it is unavailable. It’s a more affordable option to a Cappy’s Pizza in my opinion. 19651 Bruce B Downs Blvd., Tampa, FL 33647. (813) 994-3700. http://www.fullcirclepizza-grill.com/

6. New York, New York Pizza: Many drunk nights in Ybor City end at New York, New York Pizza. They’ve expanded their reach over the years, but kept the quality pizza there. I would consider their pizza to be up to my standards for a good pizza, tasty cheese and toppings. Most of my visits are reserved for times out in Ybor at night though and nowadays in SoHo as well where they opened another location. 533 S Howard Ave., Tampa, FL 33606. (813) 253-3929. http://places.singleplatform.com/new-york-new-york-pizza-11/menu?ref=google

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There is a pizza god.

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5. Wood Fired Pizza Wine Bar: This is that gourmet pizza place that you take someone to on a date or that you go to with a really good friend or a group gathering and it does get busy. Wood Fired Pizza is a full-service restaurant and has a nice beer selection as well as a tasty butter beer I have enjoyed in the past. The owner is very passionate about pizza and it shows. The prices are on the higher end and will run you around $15-$20 for a pie, but you get your value for sure.  2822 E. Bearss Ave., Tampa, FL 33613. (813) 341-2900.  http://woodfiredpizzatampa.com/

4. Cappy’s Pizza: A bit of a Tampa institution. Cappy’s has branches all over the Tampa Bay area. My personal favorite location is their New Tampa location. I feel like the service there has always been stellar and it is never overcrowded. Plus they take card and I’m pretty sure the Seminole Heights location is cash-only. I don’t carry cash in 2017. Cappy’s has a solid NY-pizza, but it is more popular for it’s deep-dish Chicago pizzas. Come hungry. 16019 Tampa Palms Blvd. W, Tampa, FL 33647. (813) 512-8947. http://www.cappyspizzaonline.com/

3. Fabrica Pizza: This Channelside pizza restaurant is like no other in town. The owners roots are in Italy and they are doing their best to provide a quality and authentic Neapolitan pizza. Everything is delicious. The wine is great and so are the meatballs. It is probably one of the best pizza spots in town if we are talking ambiance and located blocks away from the Tampa Riverwalk. Oh and the nutella pizza? To. Die. For. 142 S. Meridian Ave., Tampa, FL 33602. (813) 605-0764. http://www.fabricapizza.com/

2. Sally O’Neals Pizza Hotline: Many of the restaurants who have survived the many changes on SoHo serve some of the best food in town. Sally O’Neals have been around for over 30 years and this quality pizza is a must for anyone wanting to try the best in town. I first tried their pizza at Taste the Best of Tampa Bay at the Straz Center where a mob of people kept chowing down on their excellent pie. From the first bite, Sally O’Neals changed my opinion about pizza in Tampa.  The quality is there. 1319 S. Howard Ave., Tampa, FL 33606. (813) 251-0220. http://sallyonealspizza.com

1. Eddie & Sam’s NY Pizza: There is no denying the magic of Eddie & Sam’s NY Pizza in Downtown Tampa, which has served the area since 1998. The options are numerous and I have never felt disappointed with an experience there. I like pizza by the slice and Eddie & Sam’s serves excellent slices that will brighten even the worst of days. It is the best pizza available in Tampa in value, quality, and it may not be fancy, but who needs fancy when the pizza is going to blow your taste buds away. I’ll be at a quality, local, dive any day over a fancy restaurant. Go to Eddie & Sam’s if you haven’t. We need more like it.  203 E. Twiggs St., Tampa, FL 33602. (813) 229-8500. http://www.eddieandsamspizza.com/

Giveaway: Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza $25 gift card

Are you ready for the 2nd Carlos Eats giveaway contest? I’m giving away a $25 gift card to Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza. Maybe you want to try their Cauliflower Pizza or Eggplant Marino? Or how about the fresh mozzarella, sliced tomato, and basil pizza (yum!). Well I believe in feeding my readers. Here’s how you can win:

You can have up to (4) entries in this contest.

1) Follow Carlos Eats on Twitter: @Carloseats – Send me a Reply or Direct Message letting me know you’re following me and also tell me what your favorite pizza place is.

2) Like Carlos Eats on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/carloseatsblog “Like” the post with this giveaway to confirm you have liked my page.

3) Tag the Carlos Eats fan page on a post on Facebook and share something you’re eating.

4) Follow Carlos Eats on Urbanspoonhttp://www.urbanspoon.com/br/30/2873/Tampa-Bay/Carlos-Eats.html Let me know in the comments here if you use a different alias on Urbanspoon.

Comment below with your name and use your contact e-mail when filling out the form so I can email you if you win.

Good luck and happy eating!

Contest ends July 28, 2011 at 11:59PM. I’ll then contact the winner, it’s important that you reply within 3 days or I will be forced to pick another winner.

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Metromix’s #WellDoneMix Tweetup

I had the pleasure last week of attending a tweetup in Carrollwood hosted by Metromix and Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza. The #WellDoneMix event hashtag was a play on Anthony Coal Fired Pizza’s catch phrase “Our pizza is well done”. The event was a tasty networking event. When I came inside I was greeted by Metromix employees and won an awesome bag filled with swag, such as t-shirts, a cup, plastic shot glass, and more as one of the first seven people to arrive. In the back of the restaurant, Anthony’s provided pizza, meatballs, wings, and salad for visitors at no cost to tweeters.

My personal favorite was the “fresh mozzarella, sliced tomato, and basil” with no sauce. Normally I don’t enjoy pizza without tomato sauce, but this pizza tasted as fresh as its name and wasn’t heavy or greasy. Although I do enjoy greasy pizzas at times, I don’t the stomachache I get later that day, and the food at Anthony’s left me feeling great. The pizza had a thin crust and was cooked just right. My second favorite that I sampled was their pepperoni pizza.

A small specialty pie at Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza is normally $16.25 and a large specialty pie is normally $19.25. I became full after my second slice with some of the salad and meatballs on the side. While perhaps not the cheapest pizza around, it did taste good and was a good change from your usual pizza chains. In other words, I wouldn’t mind spending the money for a pizza like this. There is an Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza in Brandon I have yet to visit. The only other pizza places out in the Brandon area I really enjoy are Cappy’s Pizzeria and occasionally Marco’s Pizza.

There was a line of hungry tweeters behind me (and my camera battery was dead -__-), so I apologize for the blurry photos. I’ll link to the Metromix page where you can view the professional pictures at the bottom of the page.

The meatballs, wings, and salad were great additions to the pizza. They complemented the flavors well.

The employees there were very helpful and happy to explain any of the pizzas to visitors. I noticed that the people handling their event were the catering staff. The Metromix employees were happy to come and chat, while snapping lots of photos of visitors. Metoromix had a giveaway at the end and I won 3 Blu-ray movies as well! Overall, this event was pretty cool and certainly something different for a restaurant to engage social media with a great local partner as Metromix. I would like to see more of these pop-up around town. I met a few local bloggers and tweetups are just a great place to network with people you might never meet otherwise.

Here is the link to the official photo gallery on Metromix: http://tampabay.metromix.com/events/essay_photo_gallery/metromix-and-anthonys-coal/2700018/content

Tweeters documented in attendance at #WellDoneMix:

@AnthonysCFPizza

@MetromixTampa

@fsutoby

@MealsandMiles (Checkout her blog post on the tweetup)

@TriCourt

@ZmandaB (Checkout some of the photos she sent me at the tweetup)

@jwilburg

@theashleygrant

@FLallday

@TwinsFanFL

Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Name: Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza

Neighborhood: Carrollwood

Cuisine: Pizza

Address: 13020 N. Dale Mabry Hwy. Tampa, FL 33618

Phone Number: (813) 265-2625

Website: http://anthonyscoalfiredpizza.com/

Twitter: @AnthonysCFPizza

Wood Fired Pizza Wine Bar

Part of my USF Dining Guide

Wood Fired Pizza Wine Bar is a unique experience into pizza. When most people think of a pizza joint, they think of fountain soda machines, kids screaming and running around the place, and large families taking a trip out to eat. Wood Fired Pizza is none of those things. Wood Fired Pizza is elegant and a great place to take a date or a close friend, I have seen plenty of people on dates during visits. The restaurant is dimly lit and the tables and chairs aren’t what you find in a normal pizza restaurant, they are sleek and stylish. My friend and I decided to order their Michaelangelo pizza during our last visit (House Made Fresh Mozzarella, Pepperoni, San Marzano Tomatoes, Caramelized Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, Organic Herbs) Grandi size ($20). The waitress during our visit was very friendly and helpful throughout our meal and the pizza expert himself, Peter Taylor, came to our table to let us sample a slice of a new pizza he was concocting made out of pork. My friend and I agreed it was the best free sample we have ever had.

Our pizza was a work of art. Each part of it from the crust, to the sauce and cheese, and the toppings was enjoyable. The onions and mushrooms were sweet and crunchy, melting away in our mouths. The cheese and sauces were unique and flavorful. The crust had a crunch to it. Any piece of our pizza that might fall off was instantly picked up with a fork and consumed. The flavor of the pizza hasn’t been matched by any place in Tampa that I have visited. Everything tastes so fresh, it is hard to relate the pizza to other pizzas because most pizza places try and fail to deliver this level of quality in a pizza. Normally after eating a bunch of pizza you feel a little sick because of all the grease that you just put into your body, but Wood Fired Pizza left us feeling great. One thing we haven’t been able to try yet that we want to try is their vintage sodas.

At the end of our meal the waitress brought us the dessert menu, but we were too full to try anything. The cannoli caught our eye and we debated for about twenty to thirty minutes before deciding we just too full. Wood Fired Pizza is located near the University of South Florida on Bearss Ave. near Soho Sushi and Collegiate Hall. The price range may be a little bit too high for a college students budget, but splitting the bill with a few friends may remedy that. The pizza creations at Wood Fired are worth the prices, in my opinion. Wood Fired also offers beer and wine specials on various nights and a happy hour (check their website for details on that). If you’re ever craving pizza and want to take a date out or go to dinner with a few friends, drive over to Wood Fired and experience pizza in a way you never have before.

Wood Fired Pizza Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Name: Wood Fired Pizza Wine Bar

Cuisine: Pizza

Address: 2822 E Bearss Ave. Tampa, FL 33613

Phone Number: (813) 341-2900

Neighborhood: USF

Website: http://wood-firedpizza.com/

Cappy’s Pizzeria opens in Riverview

Cappy’s Pizzeria opened last week in Riverview where Cuenelli’s once stood and I finally got a chance to try earlier today after eagerly awaiting it’s arrival this past year. Cappy’s is only open from 5-9PM Sunday-Thursday and 5-10PM Saturday and Sundays, so keep that in mind when planning your pizza trip. I ordered over the phone and it took only 20 minutes for them to prepare my large New York style pepperoni pizza ($12). Cappy’s is cash-only, and while some people complain about this lack of convenience, I can’t blame them for running a simple business model with the expensive fees that credit card companies charge small businesses. The inside of the restaurant looks great, they really added their own touch to the establishment. The pizza was nice and hot and still warm when I made it back home.

The slices were huge. Plenty of pepperoni, which was savory with each bite. The crust had a smoked taste and the cheese was rubbery as New York-style pizza normally is. The crust was harder than most pizzas made in Tampa Bay, which might turn-off people who haven’t tried their pizza before. After my first bite I quickly got used to the different taste and texture of the pizza. The pizza was a little greasy, but not so much that it would drench the pizza.  There wasn’t much sauce on the pizza, as usual for this style. It tasted fresh and I was full with just a few slices. I want to try Cappy’s Chicago-style pizza, but I need to have a few more diners with me for that because I can’t imagine eating a loaded Chicago pizza alone.

Cappy’s Pizzeria coming to Brandon/Riverview is a great new development for local business in the area and I doubt I’ll be ordering Domino’s or Pizza Hut anytime soon. Lookout there is a new pizza choice in town.

Cappy's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Name: Cappy’s Pizzeria

Cuisine: Pizza

Address: 6260 Winthrop Town Center Ave Riverview, FL 33578

Neighborhood: Riverview

Phone Number: (813) 662-4811

Website: http://www.cappyspizzaonline.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cappys-Pizza/175562309134957

Timpano Italian Chophouse

Timpano Italian Chophouse is a restaurant and bar located across the street from CineBistro in Old Hyde Park. The exterior seems fancy and upscale and that wouldn’t be an incorrect way to describe Timpano. Inside the place is lit well, most of the people there are dressed up. My visit was during evening hours and the restaurant was booming with both a dinner crowd and a crowd surrounding their Frank Sinatra Bar.

There was live music playing the night I visited, the tunes were pleasant, but just a backdrop to the chatty conversations in the restaurant. The bartender that took care of us was friendly and quick to get us our drinks. He recommended me some drinks from their Martini menu and I decided to try their Flirtini, quite tasteful for someone like me who hates bitter drinks. There was a crowd of older women there, Tuesday nights are ladies night so they were probably just appeared to stop by while making their way around town.

My party and I ordered their BBQ Short Rib Flatbread Pizza and it was fantastic. The mushrooms and meat were great and the flatbread was appetizing and crunchy. What tasted like olive oil was used as a sauce on top and went well with the pizza. It was hard to not eat it all in a few bites. They have a couple other flatbreads that I would like to try in the future as well as their raw bar.

Overall, service and food at the Timpano Italian Chophouse was pretty good. Its a great place to sit at the bar and have a bite to eat and drink in an atmosphere that isn’t rowdy, but mature and reserved.

Timpano Chophouse and Martini Bar on Urbanspoon
Restaurant Name: Timpano Italian Chophouse
Cuisine: Italian
Address: 1610 W Swann Ave. Tampa, FL 33606
Neighborhood: Hyde Park
Phone Number: (813) 254-5870
Website: http://www.timpanochophouse.net/

Update: New Restaurants Opening in Tampa Bay in 2011

This photo from Cappy’s Facebook page makes my stomach growl with hunger!

Cappys Pizzeria: Cappy’s Pizzeria is opening it’s 4th location in the Winthrop Plaza where Cuenelli’s used to stand by Green Iguana. The new location is set to open in January 2011. Cappy’s Pizzeria has been around since 1995 when it first opened in Hyde Park. A partner was quoted in the St. Petersburg Times stating “Cappy’s is known for a simple menu of quality pizza, calzones and salads. The new location won’t stray from that successful formula”. Source: http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/retail/cappys-pizzeria-to-open-fourth-location-this-one-in-riverview/1140165

http://www.cappyspizzaonline.com/ http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cappys-Pizza/175562309134957

Ryuu Japanese Steakhouse: This new Japanese restaurant in the Westfield Brandon Mall will feature Teppanyaki grills and a sushi bar. Owner Robert Smith has been quoted in the St. Petersburg Times stating “You can watch the show if you want, but there’s also booth sitting if you want a more intimate experience.” The restaurant opens on New Years Day: January 1, 2011 at 11am. Quite a way to ring in the new year! Source: http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/retail/article1129234.ece

459 Brandon Town Center Brandon, FL 33511 http://www.tsunamijapanesesteakhouse.com/

The original Yummy House located on Waters Ave.

Yummy House: One of Tampa’s best choices (and many say the best choice) for Chinese food is opening a new location in Mid-April 2011 in Seminole Heights near I-275. The new location will be able to accommodate up to 200 diners in 5,500 square feet of space and serve seafood and traditional Cantonese dim sum. Hopefully this will make eating at Yummy House a little easier and allow the restaurant to deal with its wildly popular demand (an estimated 400 diners a day visit Yummy House!). Source: http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/retail/owner-of-sherrys-yesterdaze-opening-new-shop-in-seminole-heights/1137591

2620 E Hillsborough Ave. Tampa, FL 33610

It looks like 2011 will be a great year for dining out!

Carlos Eats Pizza Tour Stop 3: New York, New York Pizza

Hearing from many that New York, New York Pizza in Ybor City has some of the best pizza in town we decided we would give it a shot after a night at Gameworks. We arrived into the place, perhaps not the nicest looking restaurant…but plenty of customers. We found a booth and were quickly waited on. The waiter gave us some time to look over the menu and we decided to go with a large pepperoni pizza.

When the pizza came out it smelled fantastic. There was dim lighting so it was hard to get a good picture of the pepperoni pizza. I took a few photos so hopefully we could portray what it really looked like. The crust was nice and crunchy, the cheese was oozing (thankfully not too hot so we wouldn’t burn our mouths, but just right) and the quality was the best I have had in Tampa. The pizza had little grease as well. Each pepperoni was enjoyable, easily passing any other places visited so far on the pizza tour. Seasoned just right, they made sure not to go overboard with the add-ons and had the additional condiments available to us for our use.

The picture that does the best justice to the pizza is this picture of a slice of pepperoni pizza. You can see how cheesy the slice is, you can tell the pepperoni was cooked right, and see some of the seasoning, as well as a toasted crust. Just looking at this picture is making me hungry all over again for some of their pizza. I can’t count how many times I have walked by this place while visiting Ybor City and never knew what was inside.

I’ll have to make it back here sometime to try some of their other pizzas, but this pepperoni pizza was the best I have had so far.

New York New York Pizza Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Name: New York, New York Pizza Bar & Grill

Address: 1512 E 7th Ave Tampa, FL 33605

Phone Number: (813) 248-1845

Website: http://www.newyorknewyorkpizzeria.com/

That’s Amore

Tonight my parents took me out to That’s Amore, an Italian restaurant on Harbour Island where a singer they used to follow at the Jazz club “The Fox” was spotted by a friend singing. Being the food critic guy that I am, I started researching the place before I got there and found many negative reviews around Urbanspoon and Yelp. We cautiously headed to the restaurant unsure of what to think about it.

When we got there we were greeted with a pretty spectacular view of Downtown Tampa and complimentary valet parking. Upon entering we heard the piano and found a few seats by the door. The place was pretty busy, but the entertainment had yet to really start. We ordered some drinks and we noticed that the waitress was swamped, her ability to keep up with our table and many others was quite impressive. I think the restaurant should probably look into getting her some help during these busy nights, she seems to be managing…but a little too slow and you could get one of those angry writers. After taking a look at the menu my parents ordered a Veggie Pizza and some wings.

My Step-Dad was pleased with his wings and we discovered that one of my family’s favorite bartenders was also working in this place. The pizza arrived and looked quite unique. I had a slice so I could add it to my pizza tour. The sauce was made from marinara and not from your regular pizza sauce, it gave it a fresh and powerful taste. The toppings were all on thin crust and it almost tasted like something you could whip up in the oven, but much better. All the toppings were pretty good and the pizza actually had a slight kick of spice to it as well, which my family loved, and although I am not much of fan of spicy food fan, I still liked it.

After the pizza I decided to give some of their dessert a shot. I ordered a Tiramisu ($8.95). It was decent, although a little too much liquor for my liking. It stayed true to the taste, but I think I prefer the Olive Garden when it comes to this dessert.

If I was just going to review this place based on food and service, I would probably say that it is a mediocre experience and that it has a nice view (like many others have said). However, once the main Jazz singer for the night Cleo Heart (visit her website) hit the stage it was clear that all these critics had missed something. Vibrant and full of energy, she brought the crowd to the place and really brought that restaurant to life along with her on key pianist. She brought the experience from okay, to I’ll be back for sure. Extremely friendly to any stranger in the crowd, she was witty and her songs all had pizzazz. To be able to kick back to her singing while having a meal or some drinks, now that is worth coming here. She performs Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturday nights so I would recommend visiting during these times.

A restaurant that advertises itself as a “romantic Italian restaurant” has made the right move to have her sing there. The view of downtown waterfront, some interesting food, a bar, and live music combined makes this place a pretty cool spot to be at in Tampa.

That's Amore on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Name: That’s Amore

Address: 700 Harbour Post Dr. Tampa, FL 33602

Phone Number: (813) 221-9889

Website: http://www.thatsamorerestaurant.com/