Friday, March 25, 2022

Eating Around the World - 2022 "Challenge" [March - Pizza]

I came up with a fun "challenge" for the hubby and I to tackle in 2022. You see, we try and limit our eating out to once a week (because I'm frugal like that ;)). With that said, we tend to stick to our tried-and-true favorites (you gotta make the most of those dining-out experiences, right?!). Well, that means we usually eat at the same two restaurants. Hear me out, I am NOT complaining, but I thought it might be a fun "challenge" for the year to try a new place once a month. To take the idea one step further, I thought we could try a different cuisine every month - that way we aren't just trying a new Mexican restaurant every month (because, let's be real, I can never turn down great chips and salsa ;)). Here's how it went:

[Originally this was going to be a single post, but blog readers said they preferred monthly, so ask and you shall receive.] 

January - Indian

February - Korean

March - Pizza

I'm not really sure if you'd consider "pizza" to be a specific cuisine (we probably should have considered it Italian), but we were looking for pizza specifically so it works. Let me start off by saying we have a couple go-to pizza places by us. The first one is temporarily closed (or at least we hope they will be reopening) due to a fire. They are a Michigan pizza place that somehow opened a location in Oceanside and we really enjoy their Detroit style pizza. We have a couple other decent places that we've found since our fave is closed, so we normally don't venture outside of those two or three spots. We figured this "challenge" was the perfect nudge to see if there were other great pizzerias we were missing. We took to Yelp to find an option and narrowed it down to a few different spots. (Note - I am NOT a thin crust sort of gal. When I am eating pizza I want to feel like I'm eating pizza ;) This tends to limit some of the places we go because I would prefer not to eat NY style {or "cracker crust" as I deem some of the thin, crisp stuff}.) We ended up settling on Grand Slam Pizza after looking at some of the Yelp photos and reading a handful of the reviews about the local, mom-and-pop pizza shop.
Not super inviting from the outside, but the windows do catch the sunset.

We arrived around 5:15pm on a Friday evening and the place wasn't overly crowded. When we entered, it reminded us of a few pizza places we've been before - games for kids, long tables for groups, walk up to the counter to order, etc. We jumped in line and noticed that there didn't seem to be a menu anywhere. They had the sizes of the pizzas hung up, but nothing about their specialty pies, other options besides pizza, toppings offered, etc. We normally get a plain cheese pizza, so this isn't a huge issue, but because we were looking at a couple different places on Yelp we couldn't remember which one offered what, so having a menu to look at while waiting in line would have been nice. As per usual, we ended up ordering a cheese pizza and two waters. After placing our order and filling our cups, we went to find a table. The majority of the long tables had "reserved" signs on them. Looked like a team was going to come in for maybe a post-game dinner or an end-of-the-year celebration. We were able to find a table in the corner, but it happened to be by the arcade. 

I wonder how much money the average customer spends in the arcade...

While we waited for our pizza, kids were running a muck, going back and forth between their family's table and the arcade (either coming back for a bite of pizza or to ask their parents for more quarters). It was pretty loud, but at least they had March Madness on so we were able to distract ourselves from the busyness around us. Eventually our pizza came (oh yeah, and two softball teams arrived for the reserved tables which increased the volume and slowed down the service).

I totally missed my calling as a food blogger, right?! HAHA - NOT!

I'm a "blotter". I normally use 2-5 napkins per piece of pizza to blot off the grease on the pizza. This pizza seemed extra wet (and I even ended up getting napkin stuck in the cheese on the first piece and had to take off the majority of the cheese on that slice). The pizza was fine, but nothing special. I would say that the pictures we saw on Yelp showed that they do cover their pies generously with toppings (all the way to the edge), but since we just got a cheese pizza we didn't partake in this "benefit". Also, it was a little toastier than I would have liked. When I looked around, it did appear as many of the pizzas seemed to be a little more "well done" than I prefer, but maybe that's just part of their thing. Ryan and I both agreed that the food was "fine", but we wouldn't be coming back. If you had a baseball or softball team and were looking for a place to eat together or if you wanted to eat pizza and let your kids play games, this could be the place for you, but for two kid-free, late-30 year olds, it felt like a knock-off Chuck E Cheese - but they can't all be grand slams, right?!

I do appreciate that it's a mom and pop shop and they support the local community!

When was the last time you tried a new-to-you restaurant?

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