Wilmington Pizza Insulting the stretch of pavement and stripmalls you call home

23May/113

Gumby’s Pizza

Posted by pete

Thanks for shitting on my childhood, jerkbags

I had no plans to review this place. I've been here once before almost a decade ago and even though I was probably stoned to oblivion I still knew I was eating garbage. But it seems a certain, small, deviant minority of Wilmington gets a kick out of these reviews and since I can still afford the gut rot whiskey it takes to write them, I figured I owed it to my readers to shit down Gumby's throat. Hell, they're more of a pizzeria than some of the places I've reviewed. I think.

Well I got there at almost 6 p.m. expecting to pick up a pie and wonder of wonders, the fucking oven has been fucking off and my pizza has just been sitting in a cold oven. I mean if you open at 6 p.m. maybe that's almost excusable but they allegedly open at 4 p.m. Luckily I didn't care that much since it afforded me the opportunity to walk over and buy some Big Flats 1901, which I had been meaning to try. But it was still a telling sign, you know?

The pizza:

This is the smallest amount of pizza from Gumby's that I could get (as far as I could tell) and if you've read my terrible reviews you know that I'm always in favor of slices - the cheaper the better. Well shit I'm about to go off-topic again out of nowhere:

I don't understand the interior of this place. They've got a door for an employee's restroom (red/brown one on the left in the uppermost picture) and a mystery door in the back, and a sign on the front door that says "no public restrooms." I usually take that to mean no hobos are allowed to shit here, but I'm not convinced in this case. Are customers even allowed to eat in here? What are all those chairs for, people waiting? I don't know man this place is weird but if they allow people to sit down and eat they should sell slices. I think it would be in their best interest. They should also allow people to shit.

Fuck that misplaced and terrible aside I'm now going to talk about the pizza. Shit tasted like Domino's. Or maybe an amalgam of Pizza Hut and Domino's. Regardless, just skip this fucking place and eat at one of the national chains if you're craving crummy, crappy, generic pizza. Go to Gumby's and get a small 1-topping special for $5 or go to Domino's and get a large 2-topping special for $6. Same shit, different size and price. Totally your call.

As crummy as I found this pizza, I seem to find it difficult to rate. Part of me wants to shit on it for being a replica of chain garbage. Then again well-made chain garbage is better than poorly-made faux-NY style pizza. And for chain garbage it was done fairly well despite the oven kinks, which I felt compelled to mention but can't take much off for. It's in fact going to rank a tad worse than the nearby and new  Wilmington's House of Pizza, only because they were both going for the same style pizza and Gumby's came up a bit short by comparison. As an aside, the style of pizza I just referred to is called "American." Said nomenclature makes me want to rig up a tube and vomit into my own ass.

I'd like to go on record as saying that I love Gumby. The character. That fly green mofo with the horse. Baddest dude made out of clay ever, as far as I know.

I think I ate most of it anyway, in a period of overwhelming self-loathing.

6 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)

Gumby's Pizza - $5.39
1414 S College Rd # 105  Wilmington, NC 28403

Gumby's on Urbanspoon

6May/112

Mellow Mushroom

Posted by pete

A hell of a place


I'm a huge fan of Mellow Mushroom. Mainly because they've got a lot of beer. Also because their mascot is a mushroom, and that's basically my favorite drug ever. But I also like their sandwiches and consider them a decent bargain. Alright, you caught me; I haven't mentioned their pizza. I'm not a huge fan of their pizza.

Let's start with the good. The jalapeno slice had a lot of fuckin jalapenos on it. That's cool. Moving onto the cheese slice, it just looks dumb. It's got a weird secondary ghost cut line along the side of it. I'm not taking points off for that, I'm just commenting on it. It looks dumb. What's up with all that parmesan cheese along the rim? Newsflash, fuckfaces: you put parmesan on every table so don't unilaterally put this shit on the rim of my slices like you are the U.S. military napalming unsuspecting civilians. I don't even really like parmesan! I never put it on my pizza, thats for damn sure. I'm guessing they do this to entice you to eat the rim of the crust. How about just making your crust less shitty? Try that on for size.

Onto more of the good: I thought the sauce was good. I also thought the cheese was okay. But the crust was terrible, I'm sorry to say. There was no crunchiness anywhere in this crust. It looked like it was cooked to fucking hell, but it was floppy as all get out. It was so fucking soft and stupid and weird, it pissed me right the fuck off. Much worse than that, it was covered in corn meal on the bottom, and as a result of that, plus the under-seasoned, low-hydration, overcooked dough, the slice was just dry and stupid in my mouth. It was very disconcerting, but since I had beer it wasn't exactly the end of the world. Which is to say I didn't die.

Everyone loves this place, including me. Their pizza is a fraud, though. They view pizza crust as merely a means of carrying toppings to someone's face. That's why I review plain slices - to weed out the shysters. The crust is the backbone of all slices and if you depend on masking your bummer crust with a ton of toppings, you're not getting past me. And Mellow Mushroom does indeed have a lot of awesome, fresh toppings, applied liberally. But their crust is shitty. Most people don't give a shit about the crust, so take this review with a grain of salt. And put it in the fucking dough recipe. Probably wouldn't even help, actually.

Another pint to go with this shitty pizza, please.

5 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)

Mellow Mushroom - $2.70
4311 Oleander Drive, Wilmington NC 28403

Mellow Mushroom on Urbanspoon

17Apr/110

Brooklyn Pizza Co.

Posted by pete

Brooklyn II: The Return of Brooklyn


In light of  how glowing  my review of the original Brooklyn Pizza Co. was, this review is bound to be shitty as hell, and more boring than the 'Health Nut' store located next to Brooklyn's Hampstead location. So I'll make this one short.

Looks pretty similar to the slice I reviewed at the other Brooklyn. Similarly small, which continues to baffle me because when I buy whole pies the slices are bigger than this, I swear. In any case, this slice wasn't as good as that other I reviewed, but it was still pretty damn good. If I had to guess, I'd say there wasn't as much sauce and cheese, so it wasn't quite as dank. The crust was good, as always.

I'll also mention that I tried a 'pepperoni pizza pinwheel' (as reviewed by  PCF) or whatever they call em. It was a weird big old undercooked greeseball and not very appetizing, though it filled my fat face pretty well for $2.50+tax. God damn gut grenade. Also, I was charged $2.50+tax for a plain slice. Either Hampstead's price is higher than the other location or the dude fucked up (the dude probably fucked up).

Oh yeah this place has no seating, which is weird. I think  Reel might've been the same way but I'm not sure because I was completely hammered when I went there. All of Hampstead weirds me the fuck out.

Viva Brooklyn!

2 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)

Wilmington's House of Pizza - $2.70
16865 Us Highway 17 N, Hampstead NC 28443

Brooklyn Pizza on Urbanspoon

14Apr/116

Wilmington’s House of Pizza

Posted by pete

Strange little place

My compliments to the photographer!

This is a curious establishment. I first caught wind of this place by way of Port City Foodies. I guess they were supposed to be called Pharaoh's Pizza, but changed their name at the last minute. King Tut still graces their menu, curiously. Late last week I inferred that they were open for business, after spotting over 9000 watts of neon blasting forth from their windows.

When some place calls themselves "House of [insert food item here]," you sort of expect that food item to be the flagship of the restaurant. I don't think I've ever had pancakes at IHOP, but that's only because pancakes are stupid. They're just lazy waffles, after all. However, as a pizza addict, WHOP piqued my interest, by virtue of its name alone.

Well fuck me running, pizza only makes up about 10% of the WHOP menu. This place has the most extensive menu of any place I can ever remember patronizing. They should have named this place Wilmington's House of Every-God-Damned-Thing. The menu is mostly various sandwiches and salads, plus some pizza, pasta, breakfast, bar food, wraps, burgers,  calzones, seafood and desserts. Got that? All the prices look pretty good, though. Incomprehensibly, they don't offer slices on their menu.  Wilmington's House of Pizza will gladly sell you souvlaki (wtf is that?) or flounder, but there's no mention of goddamn slices on their menu. Kind of off-putting.

They do offer a small cheese pizza for $4.50+tax, which is an okay deal (I guess):

This is the most spot-on replica of a Pizza Hut pan pizza I've ever had the misfortune of ingesting. If I were to rate this thing based on how much it tasted like Pizza Hut, it would do quite well. However, Pizza Hut doesn't make good pizza. So there you go.

As with Pizza Hut, WHOP's slice had unremarkable sauce and cheese. The crust was big and bready with a well-browned - yet very soft and sadly crunchless - bottom. If you love Pizza Hut but hate supporting huge multinational corporations (chances are no such people exist), I wholeheartedly recommend giving Wilmington's House of Pizza a whirl. They're probably cheaper than Pizza Hut, too.

On a positive note, it struck me that this pizza was created with care. That's more than I can say for a lot of the shit I've reviewed here. WHOP's pizza is what it is, and for what it is I guess it's alright. I'm just not a fan of what it is. I wish their Blodgett oven was put to far better use.

They should have called this place Hut of Pizza to make what they're offering more apparent right off the bat. In any case, I'll likely be going back there to try something else, probably a sub or maybe some souvlaki and motherfucking baklava.

And they seem to have a decent pizza oven too, what a shame.

5 1/2 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)

Wilmington's House of Pizza - $4.86
1016 South College Road,  Wilmington, NC 28403

Wilmington's House of Pizza on Urbanspoon

25Mar/115

Michaelangelos Pizza

Posted by pete

The best Michaelangelos location is in Carolina Beach. There is no God

Never been here before. Like the other Michaelangelos locations northwards, this location has the same sign, similar decor, same wall ornaments and dispensers, menu, specials, the works. Except I don't think they have the all-you-can-eat lunch special that the one by UNCW offers. However, that special is aneurysm-inducing. It makes no sense to me. It's as if fat kids reinvented Christmas and decided to have it make even less sense than a magical obese furry scooting down billions of chimneys, giving out sack-presents and stealing baked goods. Oh, and Fatty Christmas happens every day.

I wasn't really expecting much when I arrived here. In fact, I had so written off Carolina Beach that I had previously, for the purposes of this blog, decided to ignore the entire area and pretend that pizza didn't exist here. In my defense, Carolina Beach isn't really Wilmington. It will be soon enough though, when the Wilmington Borg feasts upon it and adds it to its fatty outer layers, but that's a tale for a different and terrible day.

Out of fucking nowhere, the weather gods shined upon our section of the world, and I felt like going for a drive. Driving through the hellish innards of Wilmington is akin to Sisyphus' eternal struggle, so I went for a leisurely drive southwards. Spring lasts for exactly 4 days in Wilmington before the terrible, searing, awful heat of summer hits. If there is a perfect time to just leisurely cruise around, this is it.

Upon first glance, I felt like I was looking at your standard Michaelangelos slice. That is to say, a rather basic pizza, vaguely soulless, yet structurally very well-crafted, made from substandard ingredients and recipes:

Fat shitbird that I am, I took a bite before remembering to snap a photo. The slice looks alright for the most part. The rim looks a bit under and floury, and there are a few weirdo craters. Sort of like a zitty pubescent female with an undeveloped understanding of makeup, maybe. I don't know. As shown in this photo, I've added some oregano and crushed red pepper, as is my habit whenever they are made readily available.

The star of the show here is the sauce. This slice has some pretty god damn good sauce. The vaguely-nearby Monkey Junction Michaelangelos may use the same sauce recipe, but their slice was overpowered by a ton of shitty cheese when I went there, so I cannot say for sure. The Carolina Beach sauce was definitely a lot better than the the sauce at the  Michaelangelos by UNCW. I also felt that the CB cheese was far above the Monkey Junction location and at least on par with UNCW's. Even Carolina Beach Michaelangelos' crust was better than their brethren (though even here it was clearly the key area which demanded improvement). In every respect this slice at the very least equals the other Michaelangelos locations.

All in all it was a pretty damn good slice of pizza by Wilmington standards, and goddamnit we're talking about Carolina Beach here, which, at the time of day I went, had no other pizza slices for sale fucking anywhere: At the time, this was the only game in town if you wanted a slice of pizza. It's not an outstanding deal at $2.54, but its not shockingly bad either (especially because it's pretty large), plus if you are feeling quite fat, they offer a $4.99+tax small cheese pizza lunch special, or some bullshit. I personally hate the idea of a NY-style joint serving pizzas smaller than 18", but I think even Brooklyn does that now. This is the primary reason that I bemoan our floundering, decrepit economy - even my ever-expanding list of broken bones and other unattended medical issues take second place to the horror of decent pizzerias stooping to such unholy lows as offering personal-size pizzas. It's disgraceful!

The main downside is that the crust, though fairly decent, could be better. I'll just take a moment to bust out my pizza nerd cred and tell these guys to use high gluten flour, for the Pete's sake.

I'm kind of flummoxed and disappointed; I feel like I'm letting my 3 readers down by not blasting this bitch to space like the Russian chimpanzee we all wish it was. Hopefully I'll review some more shitty, gross, mind-fuckingly bad pizza soon, but this shit right here was a pretty good slice!

I woulda eaten another, gladly. In fact, I considered just that.

2 1/2 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)

Michaelangelos Pizza - $2.54
9 South Lake Park Boulevard,  Carolina Beach, NC 28428

Michaelangelos New York Style on Urbanspoon

16Mar/114

Kornerstone Bistro

Posted by pete

Hell hath no pizza as shitty as this


Years ago when the shopping center that houses Kornerstone Bistro was built, I had the crazy idea of opening up an upscale pizzeria here. It's the perfect location. In terms of competition all you have to worry about is Antonio's, which is crummy, and Brooklyn which is far enough away that laziness will often enough be triumphant. Then some other dumb motherfuckers had the same idea and opened up Kornerstone. I ate there immediately and was so amazingly underwhelmed that my dick fell off and crawled up inside my own butt. This place is/used to be called Kornerstone Wood-Fired Pizza. Now it's a "Mediterranean bistro" or something. When I ate this shit years ago and thought the pizza might be microwave-fired, but it was f'sho not cooked in a wood-burning oven.

I have to assume that their other food is better than their pizza. It's just gotta be because their pizza is garbage. This place is classy as hell. It looks great in there. I'm looking forward to when they finally do close down so that I can steal their setup (minus their Pizzazz pizza oven). Alright, fuck all that shit. Now that I've blatantly blown the credibility which I don't even have out of the water, let's get down to it. THE PIZZA:

This looks pretty darn close to the pie I had years ago. The first thing that hit me was that the crust looked kind of totally decent. The sauce seemed kind of abundant, but that's sort of how a margherita pizza is supposed to be. The cheese didn't look terribly appetizing but it also didn't look that bad, sorta. The addition of tomato slices and the lack of basil was fairly off-putting, though.

When you start to actually examine further is when terrible reality sets in. The cheese was okay. It didn't look like there was a ton on there but it was pretty damn dense so it still seemed like there was too much. The sauce was a bit of a conundrum. It tasted sort of fresh, but it was also fairly pasty in a terrible way. Also there was just too much of it. The tomatoes were okay. The lack of basil was very disheartening because I love basil.

The real problem with this pizza is the very same thing that upon first glance seemed like it might be the pie's saving grace: the crust. Apparently this place has the only wood-burning oven in the world where the dome temperature is 9000% higher than the floor of the oven, because although the rim of the crust looks alright, the bottom appeared to have not been cooked at all. Also, in a number of places inside the rim it was basically raw. It did not resemble a wood-fired Neapolitan crust by any stretch of the imagination. It was dense and bready, not in the least bit airy. However, it did have a fairly good, though somewhat yeasty, flavor.

This pizza most resembles the pizza served by Osteria Cicchetti. Except it was worse (but cheaper).  I've got to try this place's other food items because I bet they're pretty good. It's a real goddamn shame that their pizza is so fucking lackluster. As an aside, Kornerstone gets the dubious distinction of selling me one of the only servings of pizza I have ever failed to finish.

Yeah fuck you too.

7 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)

Kornerstone Bistro - $7.56
8262 Market St # 101,  Wilmington, NC 28411

Kornerstone Bistro on Urbanspoon