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

11Mar/116

Papa Bella’s Pizzeria

Posted by Capt. Falcon

Eating an entire arid Saharan landscape would be preferable to this

Papa Bella's Pizzeria is where underachievers congregate to brood over their past and imminent failures. It's located near North Chase, between the shittiest high school and the shitty community college in Wilmington, both of which I have had the displeasure of attending. Since Pete has been in an eternal, drunken coma recently, I took it upon myself to venture into the bowels of Wilmington and try this place out.

I brought my sister along with me in solidarity; if I was going to be forced to eat vile food, she would be too. Also, my phone was unable to take pictures, so I needed a photographer. Upon entering this establishment, my low expectations were somewhat lifted, mostly because it smelled god damn delicious in there. So I sat down with an odd feeling of optimism - a real rarity in this city. But I soon realized that the higher your hopes are, the easier and more satisfying they are to crush. I ordered a slice of cheese pizza for the blog and a slice of bacon & chicken pizza for possible personal enjoyment. The girl behind the counter let me know that chicken and bacon would cost me more than the other toppings, but apparently she has a thing for putrid, unkempt hobos like myself, so she told me I would get them on the cheap.

This picture makes the cheese look like the old, decrepit skin of a Himalayan sherpa. However, that should be attributed to the undeniable shittiness of my sister's phone. The cheese actually looked decent and didn't taste half-bad, either, aside from the cheese-less bubble at the rim. Although I am required to rate Papa Bella's on their cheese pizza alone, I feel the need to comment on the other slice as well. At first glance, it appeared that the cook had jizzed all over my meat pie, so I devoured it like a ravenous beast. To my immediate dismay, I realized that it was only melted cheese. Nonetheless, it was an interesting addition to the slice.

Back to the cheese. Expecting it to droop like Larry King's gonads, I lifted the slice up as gingerly as possible. My mind was blown when, unlike Antonio's slice, it held its shape without turning to goo. So far, so good. However, the first bite was somewhat of a let-down. While I enjoy thin pizza like any other dirty vagrant, Papa Bella's pizza was like paper. I was grateful I ordered two slices, because one would not have sufficiently satiated my hobo hunger. Although the parsimonious use of dough was disappointing, they were also frugal with their application of cheese. That was certainly a plus, because cheese clusterfucks piss me off like nothing else.

So their cheese was good, the service was friendly, and the place had a nice feel to it. Regrettably, that's where the positives ended for Papa Bella's. I would have been fine with the slimness of the pizza had the dough been good. But the dough, especially the crust, was so dry it literally turned to dust in my mouth. That fact was only made worse when I realized that the bottom of the pizza was heavily powdered with saliva-absorbent flour. Luckily, in a fit of prescience, I had ordered a glass of water ahead of time. This foresight proved invaluable - without the added hydration, I don't think my mouth would have ever recovered from the drought that pizza caused. I honestly have no idea how their cotton-mouthed, pothead customers survive without an IV-drip.

I made it through both slices with remnants of hunger pangs. I shied away from ordering another slice, instead opting to return home to eat my leftovers from Flaming Amy's. So I paid my tab, which was cheaper than it should have been thanks to that discounted bacon & chicken slice, and I actually left a bit of a tip. Perhaps it was because I heard one of the workers mention the possibility of them closing down. Apparently they're losing a lot of business to Hoobies (who would've guessed?). Actually, my generosity was most likely due to the fact that the service was friendly and the girl behind the counter was cute. I'm a sucker for girls who treat disheveled vagabonds like somewhat more respectable tramps. 50 cent discount? Yes please.

 

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

Papa Bella's Pizzeria - $2.16
3224 N. College Rd., Wilmington, NC 28405

Papa Bellas on Urbanspoon

4Mar/1117

Antonio’s Pizza & Pasta

Posted by Capt. Falcon

No cheese pizza at 2:30p.m.? Fuck you.

Greetings to all of Pete's non-existent readers. This is Capt. Falcon, and for my first review I was forced to eat at this god-forsaken, end-of-the-line hobo haven. Welcome to the Antonio's of Porter's Neck, where a single slice of god damn cheese pizza doesn't exist unless you ask for it explicitly, and where the roof of your mouth is guaranteed a spot in hell once it gets burnt to shit by their scalding hot food.

Before I get to the good stuff, I believe an introduction is in order. I am a guest reviewer on Ilmza, and, keeping with the tradition of this blog, I don't know shit about pizza. I have never made a pizza in my life, so I have no idea what goes into the cooking process. Actually, scratch that. I eat terrible frozen pizza on the reg, but the only thing that has taught me is how to set an oven to 400 degrees. Fahrenheit? Fuck if I know, I just eat god damn fatty food on a daily basis like every other gluttonous American beast roaming this despicable land. That is to say, I'm your average American dickshit with internet access. However, please don't let that detract from the perceived validity of my opinion. I don't regularly partake in the consumption of high quality foods, so I wouldn't know a delicacy from a rabbit turd if it hit me in my god damn gaping maw. However, I do know what shitty food tastes like, because that's all I eat and that's all that exists in Wilmington, NC. I may not know professional cuisine, but I sure as hell know what regurgitated shit tastes like, and Antonio's certainly ranks up there on my shit list.

I arrived at this establishment expecting mediocrity and received worse than I could have ever imagined. It was 2:30 in the afternoon, I had just gotten out of class, and what the fuck do you know - apparently a slice of cheese pizza is too much to ask of these shitdicks. The woman behind the counter was friendly, but seemed baffled by my presence. Upon taking my order - 2 slices of cheese - she informed me that they were all out due to the recent "lunch rush". I was livid with passive-aggressivism, but it was my duty to review some god damn pizza so I told her I would stick around for the 15 minutes it would take to cook an entire pizza just for me. In retrospect, I don't see how Antonio's could have a lunch rush whatsoever. I doubt anyone with tastebuds has ever double-dipped their dick in this shit hole.

Without further ado, here's the pizza I received:

Trust me, it tasted worse than it looks. And it looks like two slabs of grandma-goat cheese, so that's saying a hell of a lot. Anyway, I was told it would take 15 minutes to cook, and I'm pretty sure it came out faster than expected. I would say that's a plus, but the roof of my mouth would vehemently disagree. In a rush to cook a pizza for what I can only assume was their first customer in weeks, the god damn cook turned the oven to over 9000 degrees. Sure, the pizza came out quick as a result, but my entire mouth was blasted to hell by their scalding hot, piss flavored cheese. And why the fuck is the pizza in a cardboard box, you ask? Fuck if I know. I made it very clear that I would be sticking around to eat their shitty pizza, but the woman handed me this cardboard box as if to say, "Here's your disgusting pizza, now get the fuck out." I can only assume that they're used to having customers stampede out of their doors upon viewing their horrendously macabre monstrosities. In defiance of my immediate urge to turn and run, I took my god damn seat, braced myself, and dove into this clusterfuck of cheese ass-first.

Wonderful first impression. Unlike my Golden Gate Bridge analogy of Incredible Pizza, this slice sagged not because of a poor length-to-thickness ratio, but because of a shoddy cooking job. The cheese sloughed off like a snake shedding its skin. The bottom of the pizza was coated in a layer of flour. The pizza itself couldn't hold up to a simple fold until halfway through the eating process. This shit went everywhere. Cheese was sliding off left and right, so, like the pig I am, I naturally scraped the remaining cheese off the cardboard box and grubbed. By the time I realized my hands were full-blown landfills in their own right, I noticed that Antonio's has no god damn napkins. Fucking no where to be found. If I were a respectable human being with a shred of dignity, this would bother me immensely. But I'm not, so I continually wiped my grimy hands on my pants. The usual.

So their pizza falls apart upon the slightest touch. No biggie. I'm used to eating pounds of fake, microwaved chicken pieces mixed with uncooked noodles and sauce of indiscernible origin. I'm no gustatory guru; I'm a fanatical food fucker. So as long as caloric intake is present, I'm generally content. But this shit from Antonio's was unacceptable, even by my standards. Their cheese smelled like it came from the teats of an aging Mexican llama. It was probably some fancy shit that I've never heard of - some exotic cheese that only eccentric motherfuckers like. Either that, or it really was just cheap shit that had been lying around for a few years. Either way, the scent alone left me feeling like a bulimic high-schooler. Gag reflex all up in that bitch. And the crust wasn't the most amazing, either. If I actually knew anything about pizza, I would probably compare it to that all-purpose flour that Pete always alludes to when he talks about shitty shitburgers. All I know is it tasted like my mom's old pizza crust, which is to say, extremely sub-par. I can't say anything about the sauce, though , because I was too busy focusing on the cheese constantly destroying my face.

That shit happened every single time I took a bite. Cheese exploded in the general vicinity of fucking everywhere. It was practically liquid. Perhaps if these kumquat-fucking numbnuts took their damn time making pizza, I wouldn't look like a toddler with liquefied food dribbling down my face. The only good thing I can say about this nonsensical bullshit is that the food was edible. By some divine intervention of the hand of Jesus tittyfucking Christ, I made it through both slices without puking my balls up. However, there was darkness on the horizon. I can say with confidence, this was the first time I have ever consumed something while knowing full well the havoc it would later wreak on my bowels. The ominous cloud of foreshadowed toilet worship was not just real - not just surreal - it was god damn diarrheal. It was as if the receipt from this god damn location knew what I was thinking; at the bottom it read "Arrivedercci" in all caps. For my countless uncultured, philistine readers, that is a misspelling of the Italian word for "till we meet again". Fucking ominous way to end the meal. The only time I'll see Antonio's food again is when it comes blasting out my anus in the form of a bile-infused, gastrointestinal, raging waterfall the likes of which the world has never seen.

As I finish up this review, violently hammering my keyboard with my grease-fucked fingertips, I am still peeling skin off the roof of my mouth. I have third-degree burns in the cavernous, gaping abyss known as my mouth because of you fucking readers (who?). Fuck. I can say with conviction that I will never return to the hellhole that is Antonio's Pizza, unless their disastrous shit mind-fucks me into blacking out the past 24 hours. I wouldn't doubt it. If there is anyone on the face of the Earth reading this worthless blog post, heed this advice and avoid this establishment at all costs. It will wreck your shit.

Unless you're that 700-lb motherfucker that walked in when I was halfway through my 2nd slice. He ordered a god damn entire pizza for himself. He wasn't taking it home. I watched him sit and gobble that shit up like those starving Chinese children my parents always spoke of. That fucking whale of a motherfucker probably supplies Antonio's with enough daily income for them to stay open for eternity. Fuck America.

 

7 1/2 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)

Antonio's Pizza & Pasta - $2.16
8211 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28411

Antonio's Pizza & Pasta on Urbanspoon

29Jan/111

Reel Pizza

Posted by pete

Note: This is a Google Cache copy of the original post. All hail Google.

Another example of a pizzeria with a shitty name

Reel Pizza? Fuck you and your name. Actually just fuck your name. There's a place downtown with 'Reel' in the name, too. Are they associated with eachother? On the one hand I doubt it because of their dissimilarity, on the other, it seems unlikely that two separate businesses would put such a stupid word in their name, hinting at a possible association. Regardless, we can all agree that this pizzeria has a shitty name. I've driven past this place many times on my golf adventures in Hampstead, but today was the first time I went here. I won two bucks off my golfing buddy/chauffeur  and traded that money to him in return for a quick stop for a slice of  pizza.

I think immediately after taking the slice out of the bag I commented on how shitty it looked. But I guess one shouldn't judge a shitbook by its shitcover. The slice was way better than I expected. It was hot, which is apparently a miracle in and around Wilmington. The cheese was pretty good, the sauce was pretty good and the crust was pretty good. Finding a fault with this  pizza is tough. I've tried and I just can't seem to come up with anything besides that it looked sorta shitty. The crust was good; it was well salted, cooked, not overly dry, in all respects it was a good crust. The sauce wasn't very memorable but that's generally a good sign around here. If the sauce is there and noticeable but not overspiced and shitty, I won't complain. The cheese was probably above average.

The guys at this placed seemed pretty cool, unlike you. Looking at the picture of the slice, it apparently took up the whole plate, which is another positive thing to take note of. It is, however, possible that they have very small plates here. Mental note: small plates make food look big. Right now I'm experiencing some difficulty in rating this slice. Based on its location, it should suck. Based on the appearance of the slice, it should suck. Yet I am duty-bound to rate the slice as I tasted it. It was a pretty goddamn good slice.

It was kind of shitty paying $2.43 for a plain slice when a 1-topping+drink is listed for $1.50. Shit can that be right? Fuck it.

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

Reel Pizza - $2.43
15010 US Highway 17 N,  Hampstead, NC 28443

Reel Pizza on Urbanspoon

20Jan/1124

Avanti N.Y. Pizza Restaurant

Posted by pete

I'm finishing off a liter and a half of Shiraz to forget

Well, let's get down to some motherfucking business. This place is new. Like for real new. It exists in a terrible shit biscuit of a stripmall space that has been forever-populated with failed pizzerias since this stripmall was born from some unholy mother who wanted to make a dime on some Market Street real estate. It's never been good, it never will be good, and we are okay with that. Apparently out-of-towners buy space here and think they can outdo the space's former pizzeria. Well, sorry, it's not a problem with the space nor with the pizza. The problem is that Brooklyn Pizza is right next door and they outclass you in every regard. Avanti won't be here in a year and it pains me. They probably won't be around in six months.

I took the above picture from my car because I was feeling lazy. I have to say straight off that I wanted to like this place. This place has been a number of pizza places. I lived nearby for years and I may have been here once during its various incarnations. There was never a need with a high quality pizza spot a football field or four away. This is clearly a family or near-family operation, unlike the "Fantastic" or "Incredible" or such-like that has perhaps existed here before. It's got a very homey atmosphere; it's really an ideal location for a pizzeria, except for it being far too close to Brooklyn Pizza. The entire layout is completely ideal.

Well, fucking newsflash: I don't know what's going on here. Look at the southern portion of the rim of this slice. It looks like a fucking shitbird rat gnawed on the end of it. Important: NEVER SERVE A SLICE THAT LOOKS LIKE THIS TO A CUSTOMER -- ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE A NEW BUSINESS. Continuing, this slice looks shitty regardless. Just looking towards the rim you can see that there is far too much sauce. The worst part about this slice is that the cheese was good, the sauce was good and the crust was good. The problem being that the crust was malformed and regrettably flour-laden and the sauce was inexcusably heavy-handed. This heavy-handedness revealed that the sauce was far too spiced - a problem which would have otherwise likely not been noticed.

I wanted to like this slice. The fellow serving me was exceptionally nice, I suppose a testament to the terrible economy, in some sick way. After delivering my slice to my table on a ceramic plate with silverware and a napkin he preceded to check in 3 times before I was done with the slice and further gave me a free dessert. A free dessert with a $1.95 + tax slice. Imagine that shit.

This was a turbo-okay dessert. Since this is not a dessert review I will only briefly mention that it was good yet hella-wicked-dry, which was a problem since I didn't buy a drink here. My mouth felt like the Sahara expected me to swallow. Furthermore, I realize I am a celebrity around town but I will not be swayed by paltry dessert-gifts. A free PBR tallboy is a different story. Future notice. I'm sorry the pizza was pretty crummy. The sauce was actually fine. Except it was ladelled on by an eternal ladel, which, being eternal, never stopped. So much sauce, it was just god damn shooting out everywhere. The cheese was good. The crust, besides being grotesquely malformed near the rim, was good. The quality of the components are important, and they will be featured in my rating. Sadly, the general overall fuckitude and the wicked oversaucing will also be featured in my rating.

I also force myself to mention some oddities in Avanti's pricing: they charge 12.99 for a 16" Plain Pizza. Brooklyn charges 12.00 for an 18" Plain Pizza. The difference between a 16" and an 18" pizza is huge. Also, as a curiosity I need to mention that Avanti charges $1.95 for a plain slice and only charges $.05 more for a Hawaiian slice, which I think comes with pineapple and ham, as is custom. Like I said, this place is new.

By the way: if you make your way near this shit-cluster of businesses, go to Firebowl. It is the best or second-best Asian takeout that I know of in town. It's a few doors down from Avanti.

I hate giving this place a lesser rating than Fat Tony's but I sorta have to.

Rating:

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

Avanti N.Y. Pizza Restaurant    - $2.11
7134 Market St.  Wilmington, NC 28411



Avanti N.Y. Pizza Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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