Tag Archives: pizza

Restaurant Review: T’s Pizza & Kitchen

 

Do you love pizza?  I thought so.  Please, read on.

Along a quiet back street a half mile away from the Stamford Train Station, near Stamford Connecticut’s Antique Alley (what I’ve termed Dock St, due to its proximity to at least 7 antique stores and galleries), sits an unassuming painted brick building.

ts pizza kitchen google map

On a spur of the moment trip, the new hubster and I decided to explore some of the East Coast.  We figure since we live in a place where we can travel to five different states in one day and there is ample public transit, we should take advantage of these things.  So on a sunny Sunday, we hopped on the Metro North to Stamford, just one hour down the tracks.  We had gone by on our way to the Big Apple once or twice, and it seemed nice.

Downtown is tiny but quaint.  Several restaurants were open on this lovely Father’s Day, and one had a giant sign proclaiming “$5 Burgers Everyday”.  You can guess where we went for lunch… While sitting there, we witnessed some sky-writing of an advertisarial bent. The burgers were also tasty, but that’s another post. We then explored the nearby Stamford Town Center mall, which is deceptively huge. It goes up and up and up… ten floors I think. Pretty darn cool, to my exceedingly tall other half.

Then the true reason for coming all this way, we wandered down to the waterfront.  Harbor Point is the big development here, they have created many lovely living spaces that are very walkable. And there is a free public trolley that runs 7 days a week! This is a fantastic service. After a nice walk down the boardwalk and through the Kosciuszko park (dare you to say that three times fast) and some water-watching, we decided it was about time for some dinner and to wander back to the station to catch a train home.

T's Pizza Kitchen Exterior

Well, since we are in New England, we have made it our mission to find and eat pizza whenever and wherever possible, so as to do a fair comparison.  New Haven style is fiercely guarded and defended as the best pizza on Earth. Just as Pepe’s, Sallys, Modern, BAR, Ernies, or a host of other local hot spots.

Google maps informed us that “T’s Pizza & Kitchen” was super close to the train station, and basically along our way there. So we figured, that’s perfect! We can stop and pick up some dinner to eat on the train on the way home.

T's Pizza Kitchen Interior

The road on the way there, not gonna lie, it’s a little bit sketchy. But what do you expect from the industrial district? Though I must say, I was a little intrigued by the “Vertical Addiction” pole dancing studio next door… Anywho, as soon as we walked in the door, I thought “I love this place!” From the brick and wooden slat walls, to the muted black and rustic wooden decor, to the thoughtfully picked wall of wines and golden crusted baked goodies on display, this place oozed homey comfort with class.

We were welcomed by an elderly gentleman, who asked us some questions, and when we seemed hesitant, gave us a menu and let us sit down to figure out the game plan. We decided a whole pizza was too much, both to take on the train and because of the huge burgers we had eaten just a few hours earlier, so we would split a calzone. He recommended the Stromboli Roll, which comes with salami, ham, peppers, and mozzarella cheese. Si grazie!

Carlos of Ts Pizza Kitchen

While we waited, he offered us some waters, which we gratefully accepted (it was a high of 86 people!).  As I wandered to the back to watch our dinner be rolled out, filled, and baked all by hand, the kind chef chatted about what he did.  Turns out, the guy lovingly crafting our soon to be dinner was Carlos, the manager! He was filling in since Sundays are quiet.

He told me about his love of pizza and all Italian foods, and how hard they had worked since opening just 6 months earlier. It was mesmerizing to watch him roll out the dough into a thin, long oval. Dusting it with spices and layering the toppings carefully. Slices of meat, strips of peppers, chunks of fresh mozz. Then he rolled it up into one long log, and popped it in the giant oven. He was warm and funny, and genuinely interested in our story. It’s too bad we don’t live nearby, I would definitely become a regular!

Ts Pizza Kitchen Calzone

They were kind enough to give us two plates and wrap everything in tin foil, and added two cups of marinara dipping sauce plus a hefty stack of napkins.  We made it to the station! … just as our train pulled away. Ha. Oh well, the next one was set to arrive & depart in 25 minutes, so we could eat it while we waited. I’m sure everyone else on that platform was SO jealous!

Ts Pizza Kitchen Stromboli Roll

The calzone was still steaming hot, and the mozz was molten goo, which is totally a good thing.  The peppers had cooked up perfectly and were nice and soft, a perfect flavor to balance the salty ham and salami. The dough was nice and light, but crunchy and flavorful. The dipping sauce seemed a bit thin, but turned out to be perfect, not too heavy such as would overpower the flavors of the fillings.

While I’m not crazy about the small pool of grease left on the plate, sometimes that is just what you’re craving.  Based on just this calzone alone, they really know what they are doing in the kitchen! Hopefully we will return to Stamford someday, and we can try the pizza too. (If you’ve been there, please let me know what  you think in the comments!)

 

Overall, I’d rate Ts Pizza & Kitchen:

  • Taste: 8
  • Atmosphere: 9
  • Value: 9

 

You can read other reviews here:

Hawaiian BBQ Pizza

 

Whoever was first to combine ham & pineapple was a brilliant person. Taking an Easter ham and slathering in brown sugar, and coating it in pineapple slices, leads to a sweet & salty perfect meal every time. This was then copied in sandwiches, and of course on top of pizza.

I’m a big fan of pizza due to its limitless topping capabilities. You can add just about anything to a pizza, and it will taste at least pretty good, and at best mind-blowingly delicious.

The “Hawaiian” combo of flavors is a pizza natural. Some are die-hard lovers, some may have never heard of such a crazy thing. Either way, give it a try yourself and see if you don’t have a new favorite.

Ingredients:

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Step 1: Pre-heat the oven to 450. If you have a pizza stone, great. If you don’t, a cookie sheet works just as well, or any oven-safe pan.

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Step 2: Drain the pineapple, reserve juice for a cocktail, syrup, or smoothie later. Spray your cooking item, and roll the dough flat.

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Step 3: Layer on your ham slices, pineapple slices, and pour on the sauce. Cover with a thin layer of cheese if desired.

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Step 4: Bake at 450 for 25-30 minutes, until dough is brown and crispy on the edges. Dig in!

 

Flatbread Flexibility

 

One of my favorite things to go on sale is biscuit mix. This is because the mix is so very flexible. You can of course whip up soft, flaky biscuits in ten minutes, but you can also do so much more. I’ve used it to make pizza bites, tuna pockets (more than once actually), and as a pie crust substitute.

But the best way to use biscuit mix, other than biscuits, is as a flatbread for pizzas! These are amazing because the toppings are only as limited as your creativity.

I was having a get-together, and had to make something to feed a crowd at the last minute. This was my mom’s idea, and it turned out to be brilliant. Everyone could try something different, and everyone was happy with the results.

Feel free to get creative with whatever you have in your kitchen.

Ingredients (per pizza):

  • 1 roll biscuit dough (or pizza dough)
  • Approx. 1 cup toppings
  • 1/3 cup sauce (marinara, ranch, BBQ…)

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This pizza included bacon, cooked chicken breast, spinach, shredded cheddar cheese, and ranch dressing.

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As you can see, you can make pizza pockets, in many different sizes. Just press the dough together and mold it to the size you need.

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The smaller the pizza pocket, the less time you need to cook. These all went in for about 12 minutes, and you can see the smaller pockets are a darker brown whereas the larger ones are slightly golden.

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We had some with mozzarella and pepperoni, some with red pepper and spinach, and some bacon BBQ. These would be great for birthday parties, cookouts, picnics, a casual weeknight, and more.

How to health-ify pizza

 

Who doesn’t love pizza? Chewy dough, crispy crust, tangy sauce, myriad toppings. I adore pizza in all its many forms. Deep dish, thin crust, stuffed crust, veggie, pockets, rolls.

The problem is that chain pizza is really not healthy. We all know this. Mountains of cheese, grease that literally drips from each slice, fatty processed meats as the most popular toppings, and dough made with bleached white flour.

However, most people do not want to make a cauliflower crust, with ground flax and chia seed, all-veggie pizza with no sauce and kale.

There must be some middle ground.

Turns out there is! Good news, you can have you pie and eat it too. (Pizza pie that is) If you really have a craving, go ahead and order that $5 hot and ready. But every little step you take to healthify it will contribute to your long-term overall health.

Simply start with the addition of 1 cup of vegetables to your meal every day, and your body will thank you. It’s easier than you think!

Besides adding good stuff, you can also cut down on the not-so-good stuff. Try one step each time, and see which suit your tastes. Over time, your taste buds will become used to less and less fat and salt, and will come to appreciate new flavors.

Here are some tips:

  • Ask for half the amount of cheese, or no cheese at all
  • Opt for vegetable toppings like mushroom, onion, and spinach rather than bacon, sausage, or pepperoni
  • Make pizza at home with store-bought or preferably from scratch dough and fresh vegetables (a great way to clean the fridge!)
  • Just have one slice, and add a bowl of soup or salad to the meal
  • Buy a plain pizza (which will save you money too) and top with your own grilled vegetables at home
    • Topping ideas: wilted spinach, steamed kale, red bell peppers, sliced onions, banana peppers, microwaved sweet potato slices, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, squash, tomatoes

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Do you have any ideas of your own on how to health-ify pizza?

Make your own pizza, male and female style

You may think I’m weird for saying this, but I don’t like pizza that much. I know, how un-American of me. I will eat it if it’s around, and I get an occasional craving for a weird one like chicken bacon ranch, but in general if asked what I want for dinner, the answer will not be Little Caesars.
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My current S.O. could literally live off pizza and burritos. So we found a compromise, making our own pizza. That way I can have the things I want on it (veggies) and control the sauce, and he can have what he wants (as much meat as possible) at the same time. This is our version of men are from Mars, women are from Venus, in the kitchen.
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Ingredients:
1 tube pizza dough (about $2 at grocery store)
1 jar pizza sauce (~$2)
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Toppings of choice: Female half
Spinach & mixed greens
Onions & peppers julienned
Zucchini
Mozzarella cheese
Pineapple
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Toppings of choice: Male half
Deli ham
Ground beef (pre-cooked, left over from burritos actually)
Bacon
Mozzarella cheese
Pineapple
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Step 1: Cook the meat if needed, spray a 9×13 oven safe pan. Roll the pizza dough out flat and press to the sides of the pan.
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Step 2: Spread on as much sauce as you like. I don’t like most pizzas because I end up scraping a cup of sauce off my slices, so I put it on thin.
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Step 3: Layer the toppings.

Step 4: Cover in as much cheese as you can handle. Because cheese is sent from heaven to make all foods taste better. Some calories are just worth it.

Step 5: Bake at 425 for ~20 minutes or until crust is brown and crispy and cheese is bubbling.

This recipe is as varied as your imagination, nearly any meat or vegetable can be a pizza topping, so if you like it then go crazy! You can use veggies left over from other meals. It’s easy to make a vegetarian (or even vegan without the cheese) pizza.

You can fold the dough in half to make a smaller deep-dish pizza. Try a bunch of variations and find what you like best.  No matter what you put on yours, its likely to still be much cheaper and healthier than a purchased one.