#67: Riverside Pizzeria

Time for pizza again!  Today I stopped by Riverside Pizzeria.  It’s located on Riverside Ave almost across from the BMX track.  I had driven by this place countless times thinking it was an abandoned building.  The corner it’s on with the unmanned commercial fuel station helps give the impression of a vacant lot.  One day though, I noticed neon signs in the windows (not all that easy to see in the daytime).  Ever since then I’ve been a little curious about it.

I’m guessing the building must have originally been a drive-in type place based on the covered parking in back.  Never having a reason to do anything but drive by I never noticed it (or the little strip of three businesses on the other side of Darling Way).  Stepping inside was interesting, if only because of how small and strangely laid out it was from the perspective of the front door.  Immediately to the right is a tiny ordering counter, directly ahead is a narrow path maybe 10-15 feet long before it dead-ends.  I can’t recall now, but there must have been stools along the counter that was on the left side of this path.  On the left is the dining area, a small little room with tables, a couple arcade games and TVs.  In here the other side of the aforementioned counter definitely has stools (I even sat on one, so I’m pretty sure that’s right ;))  Even though the place is pretty small, it feels a bit more open due to the windows that go all the way around on three sides.

I studied the pizza options on the menu which is right next to the counter on the window.  I decided on a 12″ medium, enough to take the leftovers to work for lunch tomorrow.  I was kind of in the mood for something with chicken and artichokes, though I ultimately just went with a half and half and didn’t get my artichokes.  They have them on the menu, but they are considered a gourmet topping and are charged at twice the normal extra-topping rate, which is why I skipped them.  What I went with instead was half Riverside (salami, pepperoni, sausage, green peppers, onions and black olives) and half Gourmet Chicken (grilled chicken, red & green onions, bacon and tomatoes with creamy garlic sauce).  I paid and was told about 20 min when I asked how long it would be.  I used some of that time to go across the street to get a photo.  The cashier was a bit vacant, but the two other employees I had very brief interactions with when I got my pizza seemed friendly enough.  Probably closer to 15 minutes after ordering, I had my pizza handed to me, was offered cheese, peppers & napkins and then I was on my way home.

I grabbed a Dr Pepper from the fridge and cracked open my pizza box.  The first thing I noticed was the crust witch appeared to be well baked and seemed a little between your average thin and thick crust, leaning towards thick though.  Toppings appeared plentiful and uniform on the Gourmet Chicken side and uneven on the Riverside half, where the outside slices were almost completely empty in the center, and what toppings made it on them were falling off the sides.

When I picked up my first slice I could feel that the crust was actually quite soft throughout, but it had just enough firmness to almost hold the slice up on it’s own.  According to their website, they make the  sauce and dough from scratch daily.  The crust was definitely good, and I’m much more of a thin crust guy.  The Riverside, despite the uneven toppings, was pretty good.  It’s a petty typical combination pizza as far as toppings go, all of which seemed fresh and tasty.  The sauce was a touch on the sweeter side.

The Gourmet Chicken was fantastic.  The creamy garlic sauce was some of the better of that type that I’ve had.  There was a good amount of moist, tender chicken, and a lot of bacon as well.  The green onions were crisp and had a little bite to them.  The tomatoes were just a bit bigger slices than I care for and nearly overpowered the bites they made it into.

I was pretty happy with Riverside Pizzeria overall.  I can definitely see myself ordering from them in the future, and the dining room looks like a fun place to overwhelm with a big group.  The prices were a bit on the high side, I think on par with Round Table Pizza, but I feel like the quality backs it up.  Not really much to complain about here.

Website: http://www.riversidepizzaroseville.com/

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#66: Miabella Gelato

It’s nice and hot out, so why not go cool off with a tasty gelato from Miabella Gelato in the Fountains?  That’s what I did today.  I’ve only been here a handful of times, but each time I wonder why I don’t go more often.  My favorite flavors are Tiramisu (which I think tastes exactly like tiramisu), and Zabaione.  The employees at Miabella told me that Zabaione is a Marsala wine gelato.  I’m not sure I’ve ever had Marsala wine, other than when it’s used in cooking, so I can’t say how it compares, but I can say that it’s super light and the flavor is subtle.  I recommend it.  Not much more to say here other than go check it out!  Also, be sure to check their website before you go.  I found a 15% coupon that’s good through this month.

Website: http://miabellagelato.com/

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#65: Slice – A Pizza Company (CLOSED)

Tonight I finally made it out to Slice – A Pizza Company.  I’ve been meaning to try them for some time now and have had a $25 Sac Perks sitting in my glove box that expired later this week, so off I went.  I brought my friend Justin along, who can be very critical of anything involving cheese.  Slice is a newish pizza joint next to Islands and near Sunsplash.  I looked at their website once, back when I first added them to the list.  From that I knew this wasn’t your average pizza place, they are definitely going for a more hip, modern feel.  They would probably fit in to Midtown quite well.

We showed up at about 6pm to a mostly empty dining room.  There was a couple waiting for their order and the two employees behind the counter were busy finishing it up, so we had time to browse the menu.  You can order 14″ and 20″ pizzas or by the slice.  You have multiple sauce & cheese options: tomato, garlic, pesto and bbq for sauces, mozzarella, parmesan, white cheddar blend and feta for cheeses.  Topping options are fairly basic compared to what you would find at a big chain: bacon, ham, pepperoni, roasted chicken and sausage for meats, mushrooms, red onions, green peppers, black olives, basil, sweet peppers, green onions, pineapple, jalapeños, tomatoes, garlic, sun dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts for veggies.  The also have salads, Slice Sticks (breadsticks – hand tossed traditional cheesy garlic bread served with a side of ranch), Bruschetta (freshly prepared with Slice Sticks, lightly topped with tomato sauce, finished with fresh basil, and diced tomatoes) and Cinn-a-Slices (made fresh from hand tossed dough and baked to create a fluffy, chewy dessert topped with cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla icing).

Justin ordered a slice with tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, green peppers, red onions, green onions, mushrooms and olives.  I ordered a slice with garlic sauce, the white cheddar blend, roasted chicken, bacon, mushrooms, olives and green onions.  We each got fountain drinks.  I knew I still had a good chunk of the Sac Perk left to burn, so I also ordered a garden salad (iceberg, romain, cucumber, red onion, carrot, tomato, croutons and Italian dressing) and the bruschetta.

We took a seat and watched them work on our order from the dining room.  The kitchen is very open, so you can see everything.  I found it interesting that they had pre-cut slices of pizza dough which they used to build the slices with.  I guess I had never really considered that before as a way to sell custom pizza by the slice, but it makes total sense.  After a short while my salad was up on the counter and one of the employees was busy cutting what looked like a medium pizza, at least I thought thats what it was.  They let me know the salad and bruschetta was ready and as I walked up I wondered A: where’s my bruchetta and B: who’s pizza is this (we were the only ones there at this point).  Thats about when I realized it was the bruschetta.  Crazy, I expected maybe 3 or 4 small sticks.  Then again looking back at the price, it was more than my slice was, so I guess it works out about right.  The salad was fairly small, but it was just a couple bucks.

The bruschetta was pretty good, it was fresh out of the oven so the bread was nice was warm.  It was served with sides of ranch, and the ranch was really strong, like a little tiny bit would almost dominate the flavor.  It’s a lot, even for 2 people, but I would definitely order it again.  The garden salad was good, everything seemed to be fresh and crisp.  The croutons were tiny little things, and actually just about everything else was also small.  I found it difficult to spear a decent amount with my fork and did a lot more scooping than I normally would with a salad.  I’m not much into Italian dressing but it was alright.  I could see myself getting it again.  One thing I was thinking is that it could have been a lot colder, which is how I like my salads.

Not long after the bruschetta and salad came out the slices were ready.  The crust was nice and crisp and nearly supported the toppings on it’s own, but it did need just a little help from my other hand.  I was really happy with the amount of toppings they put on it.  Every single bite had a nice amount of everything.  A thin but flavorful layer of finely chopped bacon pieces were spread over the entire slice just above the cheese.  Justin commented that while he liked the crispness of the crust, he thought the cheese could have been better melted  By the time he mentioned this however, his slice was long gone (he eats crazy fast, refer to my Counter post) so I didn’t get a chance to see it.  I thought my white cheddar blend was melted just fine.  I noticed on of the green onions was slightly burnt, but everything else seemed to be cooked just about right.  The chicken pieces were good sized, tender and juicy.

Overall I was really happy with Slice.  I went in with fairly high expectations and wasn’t disappointed.  I also felt like the prices were very reasonable.  My $25 Sac Perk covered both our orders with a few bucks to spare.  Besides the cheese melting comment, Justin seemed to approve of Slice as well, though he wondered how long they might last in this location.  I doubt they get much foot traffic, maybe some from the nearby hotels and probably some walk overs from Sunsplash but that’s about it.

Website: http://www.apizzacompany.com

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