Friday, March 25, 2011

First Look: Old School Pizza in Wellesley

If there's one thing Wellesley has plenty of it's banks and pizza places. The latest addition is Old School Pizza which takes up space vacated by College Square Pizza which mysteriously disappeared last year.

According to The Townsman's Teddy Applebaum Old School is owned by Joe Perdoni Jr. with help from highly regarded Tutto Italiano's Bobby Palizzolo. Though they don't have delivery (yet) we decided to try Old School for this week's Family Pizza Night. How was it? I'm glad you asked.

Ordering the pizza for pick-up over the phone was an interesting affair. I was left on hold for 3 minutes and able to hear what sounded to be a crowded and hectic restaurant. I got disconnected, called back and placed my order:
  • 1 Small White Clam Pizza ($14.99)
  • 1 Small Tomato Pie w/Mozzarella and Mushroom ($8.99 + $0.75)
  • 1 Greek Salad ($6)
Total: $36

A little pricey but we could have kept he cost down if we'd gotten 1 large instead. I wanted to try a couple different pizzas so I think it was worth it. Good start.

Pick-up was a little hectic. We had to pay for parking across the street and there was a line for pick-up. Our food was ready by the time we got through the line, we got what we wanted, and it was still warm by the time it got home.

The Greek salad was nicely loaded with toppings including stuffed grape leaves. The dressing was typical pizza house quality. A good salad for $6.

The White Clam pizza is described as coming with "Whole Belly Clams, Grated Cheese, Fresh Garlic & EVOO, Basil & Shaved Parmesan." I'm not a big clam guy but visually the pizza looked and smelled delicious. Our 6 year old blurted out an unsolicited "this is better than Upper Crust!" My wife said it was "garlicky" - and she likes garlic.

I went with a simple mushroom pizza wanting to compare it to one of my favorite pizzas I've had the past year - a mushroom pizza from Upper Crust paired with a 2006 Radio-Coteau La Neblina Pinot Noir. The combination of earthy and slightly sweet notes in each combined with their focused flavors was a brilliant pairing.

That said, I think the Old School mushroom pizza was better. The mushrooms were sauteed to perfection, and the crust found that perfect combination where it's crunchy on the outside but still soft on the inside. And the sauce - the sauce! Ripe tomato flavors with a touch of sweetness with the perfect amount of saltiness for my taste. I can't think of a better sauce I've tasted. A delicious pizza.

Overall Rating:
4/5 Stars: Very Good/Outstanding

Conclusions and Outlook:

Old School Pizza is a welcome addition to the crowded Wellesley pizza scene. Add delivery and we'll look forward to trying them again. I thought the simple mushroom pizza was delicious and some of the "Favorite Pies" on their menu look intriguing.

Further Reading:
Check 'em out:
No delivery (yet)

    Thursday, March 03, 2011

    Roku: First Impressions

    I bought a Roku from Amazon – it arrived yesterday.

    Setup took less than 10 minutes. The reason I bought it over the Apple TV is that it works with our old SD TV but it’s also capable of streaming 1080p HD.

    First thing I did was Netflix and streamed the kids favorite Busytown Mysteries for free. Loved it.

    Next thing was hook up Pandora. Nice interface, connects to your existing account and remembers your stations. It works with or without the TV on and hooks to the stereo with an optical cable. Sounds great through the house.

    Then, a free kids movie via Amazon. Amazon has started streaming some content free for Prime subscribers.

    Finally: The big creshendo - Breaking Bad Season 3!! I bought the season from Amazon in SD for $16.99 (13 episodes) less a $5 credit I had for some past Amazon digital purchase. Haven’t been able to find that anywhere else yet.

    It doesn’t have YouTube, it doesn’t stream podcasts, it doesn’t play nice with Apple products, and it can’t stream from our music collection without some effort.  But for $99 it does a whole lot of stuff that I like. They make a $59 model too but I liked the optical audio out, the better wireless networking, and the 1080p streaming for the future.
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