Jet’s Pizza Restaurant Review

Category : Pizza

Jet's Pizza new location on Oakland Park

Jet’s Pizza new location on Oakland Park

Post revision 5-23-2013: Jet’s has moved from their old location on Federal Highway to this one on Oakland park (between 95 and Federal).  The new location has it’s own parking and is a larger facility with indoor seating that has air conditioning which is an improvement from the old location.  I wasn’t able to get free wi-fi any longer, but I’ll take AC over wifi.  The stats below have been revised to be up to date.  Same great deep dish pizza,new location…

I’ll admit, my photo doesn’t make Jet’s Pizza look that impressive.  From the parking lot, it’s just another store in a row of many other stores and doesn’t really stand out, however lurking beyond those walls is a little secret I’m about to let out.

Jet’s Pizza is a chain that has locations in about a dozen states, yet south east Florida has but one location, this one that is located off of Oakland Park Blvd (between i95 and Federal Highway).  For people working in downtown Fort Lauderdale, it’s a solid 10 minute drive, but ordering is quick and simple so you can still do a round trip in under an hour.

Jet’s Pizza
Website: Yes
Phone: (954) 565.5387
City: Fort Lauderdale
Location (map): Oakland Park Blvd
Delivery: Yes
Outdoor seating: No
Lunch $: $5 – $7
Dinner $: same

Jet’s delivers, allows for pickup, and has three casual tables for those that want to eat fresh pizza indoors.

Jet’s menu is very simple… deep dish pizza is the flagstone with some other items like chicken wings, salads and some deli subs.  My advice to you is to make your first visit a successful one and just get yourself a slice (or entire pie) of deep dish pizza.

Todd’s review of the Deep Dish Pizza:

Jet's Pizza - 2 slices and a coke lunch specialWalking into Jet’s a lovely little sign makes ordering lunch easy.  I can get 2 slices of pizza and a 20 oz coke for $4.99.  Easy and cheap, so I was game.

The gentleman behind the counter was courteous and asked if my food was consistent on my visits, inquiring about quality.   I found the interest in my visits a great gesture.

I made my order and was asked if I wanted a corner piece or middle piece.  Unsure, I got one of each so I could sample both.  He heated my slices under a heat lamp briefly (for about a minute) to get it to that perfect temperature.  I grabbed my slices, coke and went outside to give things a try.

I sprinkled on a little hot pepper and parmcheese and then tested out the first bite.  I could tell the pizza was fresh, the crust was a perfect consistency of crunchy and chewy and the cheese was practically too hot.   After a few bites I had a nice rythm going and the flavors were jumping out.  The cheese is not greasy at all and had a semi sweet and light quality that made for a wonderful taste.  The red sauce was a perfect medium blend of everything.  What really makes these tastes combine perfectly is the texture of the deep dish crust.  It really needs to be experienced to be appreciated.

Jet's Pizza - I bite into a perfect slice of deepdish pizzaThe second slice of pizza was absolutely perfect.  Having cooled slightly after a few minutes it was at the perfect temperature to be consumed.  The cheese was still hot, but not as goey as the first slice.  Everything just seemed to sing in a harmonious note that reinforced that I was eating a pretty near perfect piece of pizza.

This is one of the few foods that really take things to a new level of enjoyment because of the texture and consistency of the food.

Take two slices of perfect deep dish pizza, a coke and a low price tag and you’ve got yourself a lot of value and a perfect lunch.

Todd’s Score: 92/100
Pros: Most importantly: pizza has wonderful taste and texture, nice and cheap (lunch special).
Cons: none… maybe they could use more locations near my house!

Jet's Pizza - inside is for ordering only Jet's Pizza - logo Jet's Pizza - 2 slices of deepdish pizza Jet's Pizza - outside eating area

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza Restaurant Review

Category : Pizza

Anthonys Coal Fired Pizza - View from outside the restaurantIf pizza is your thing, then practically every city in the United States is loaded with pizza parlors.  Finding one that’s unique or special is the hard part.

Anthony’s has restaurants all over south Florida and a few other locations in Delaware and Pennsylvania.  The one we reviewed today is about a mile from downtown Fort Lauderdale off of Federal Highway.

Dining inside the restaurant has a clean and high end feel, yet retains a touch of a casual sports bar with the various flat screen TVs peppered around.  This place does seem to have its fans too, getting a table at noon was no problem, but by the time we left there were at least 20 people waiting for tables!  Thursday is a popular day for pizza I guess!

The name “Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza” is catchy and makes you want to see what a difference “coal fired” does to a pizza.  Having browsed their menu online I saw there were a few inexpensive items that can be found for lunch, where as the dinner menu is quite a bit higher in price.  Since they don’t deliver, we made it a lunch for today’s review of…

Todd reviews the Coal Fired Pizza with Meatballs and Ricotta Cheese:

Anthonys Coal Fired Pizza - A large Meatball and Ricotta Cheese pizzaAnthony’s traditionally serves meatball toppings with ricotta cheese, so I went with their suggestion and we ordered a large pizza to share between two people.  That meant $14.50 for a base large pizza (versus $6.50 for a personal lunch size), but there was certainly more food and a guarantee to have some left overs, so that’s what we did.

When the pizza arrived it certaily looked like a large pizza.  The waitress kindly served the first slice to each of us and it was time to test out the first piece.

After just a few bites I was surprised how ‘heavy’ it was. Powerful flavor and with the heftiness of Lasagna, this was no wimpy pizza!  The Ricotta cheese compliments the meatball well and makes for a solid meal, however I will note that it didn’t take long to start to feel full.  After two slices of a large pizza I was plenty satisfied.  This pizza takes on the persona of a heavy pasta dish, so a little goes a long way.

At the conclusion of lunch I found myself wanting a lighter pizza that was easier to eat.  I did like the thin crust and crispy edges that got singed during the coal fire oven process, but overall it was just a bit heavier than I had wanted.

Todd’s Score: 83/100
Touch of gourmet, nice restaurant ambiance
Cons: Pizza was too heavy to eat more than a couple slices, flavor was practically too strong

Brandon’s review of the Coal Fired Pizza with Meatballs:

Todd and I shared a large pizza with half meatball/Ricotta and half just meatball and regular cheese. I have eaten at Anthony’s several times previously and I’m not a huge fan of Ricotta cheese so I was the one who ordered the regular meatball and cheese side, though I did have a slice of the ricotta.  The pizza is actually delicious and definitely has a different taste than most given that it is cooked in a”coal fired” oven.

Despite being somewhat thin (I generally prefer thick-crust), the pizza was quite hearty with the cheese and many small meatballs. In fact I commented that there were enough meatballs on a few slices of the pizza to make up a decent sized hamburger. The sauce used by Anthony’s seems to be a type of marinara and compliments the pizza quite well. I found it to be a bit sweet which I do tend to prefer.

The crust of the pizza was good and and had a nice, unique taste except on the edges which were slightly burnt.  I know that some people like overcooked crusts however I am not one of those people. I prefer my pizza crusts to be chewy and definitely not blackened however I guess that’s the “coal fired” style.

One word of caution – If you are going to eat Anthony’s for the first time I would suggest that you eat at the restaurant versus carrying out. Reason being that the pizza tends to get cold and soggy very quickly (I’ve carried out a few times). In the restaurant the pizza is delicious and fresh but even after a 10 minute car ride home, the quality gets downgraded dramatically.

All in all, Anthony’s is one of my favorite pizza places and certainly destroys the typical quick delivery places like Domino’s and Papa Johns.

Brandon’s Score: 86/100
Delicious pizza, very filling; reasonable prices;  upscale feel
Cons: Pizza crust is too crispy for my liking; doesn’t travel well so carryout not recommended

Anthonys Coal Fired Pizza - indoor seating area Anthonys Coal Fired Pizza - 2 slices to go

Big City Tavern Review

Category : American, Pizza, Salads, Sandwiches

Big City Tavern - view from Las Olas BlvdBig City Tavern is one of dozens of restaurants lining the street of Las Olas Boulevard, just east of downtown Fort Lauderdale.  If you are visiting Fort Lauderdale and looking for a hotspot, this stretch of Las Olas Blvd would be one of the places you’d want to visit.  Exquisite shops and restaurants to match, Big City Tavern seems to fit right in.

For this review we stop by at lunch time during a perfect Florida day.  Looking for a seat with a view and great food is the mission.  Walking up to the restaurant you can see about a dozen tables that are technically outside, but under a canopy.  There door walls are open allowing the indoor tables to get a feel of the outside.  This reminds me of Little Italy in New York. :)

Pricing is a notch higher than typical restaurant in the area, but it fits right in for the restaurants in this particular stretch of Las Olas Blvd.  Most dishes start around $10 and go up.  Aesthetically, the restaurant is very pleasing with rich detail and warm colors.

Todd’s review of the Sirloin Gorgonzola Burger with Ceasar Salad

Big City Tavern - Gorgonzola burger and ceasar saladBrowsing the menu I was delighted to see a nice mix of entrees with several unique sounding items to try.  There was a bunch of pizza, salad and other specialty dishes, but me being me… I was in the mood for a mans lunch, so I chose the Sirloin Gorgonzola Burger.  It comes with a Caesar salad and burger condiments for $12.

When it arrived at the table it did look unique.  It is served open faced and the burger looks quite large.  It was literally the size of a tube of socks rolled up.  I wondered why it was this shape; but after cutting into it it was obvious.  The burger was rolled into this shape with the Gorgonzola cheese trapped on the inside prior to cooking.  It’s like a beef twinky, with Gorgonzola cheese instead of frosting.

It really is quite delicious.  The warm Gorgonzola cheese was smooth and rich and complimented the burger very well.  Though it came with onion, tomato and lettuce, this ‘burger’ didn’t need anything other than a knife and fork (and a little ketchup).  The Caesar salad however was a little lacking.  It seemed as if little effort went into this.  The salad was very light on dressing and therefor lacked flavor.  Perhaps 4 or 5 croutons were in included, otherwise it would almost literally be a handful of lettuce .  Perhaps ask for dressing on the side so you can add more to kick up the taste.

While the food scored some points, the service was lacking.  Our waiter forgot to give us silverware (when the food arrived we had to lean over to another table and get it ourselves), forgot that Brandon ordered a coke (never brough it) and had to be visually queued to refill our drinks.  I saw the owner/manager making his rounds to various tables to see how things were going, but ironically, he skipped “the reviewers” table twice, even after I made direct eye contact with him, inviting him to ask.  I find this amusing because here I am reviewing the restaurant and he just walks on by.  It was a nice touch though for the majority of patrons he did stop to greet.

The Big City Tavern has a executive/snooty feel to it with most of the people dining in being men in shirts and ties.  The view of Las Olas was excellent and the restaurant as a whole has a upper class feel and high end decorated look.  With several dished coming in between $10 and $15 I can recommend this place for a treat.

Todd’s score: 86/100
Burger itself was delicious, very unique and of good size.  Ambiance was great. Nice outdoor seating options.
Cons: Ceasar salad was ho hum and the service was severely lacking. Some items on menu are expensive.

Brandon’s review of the Grilled Chicken Baguette with Mozzarella, Romesco Sauce and Fries

Big City Tavern - chicken sandwichI’ve eaten at Big City Tavern many times in the past but usually I order the special (generally a salmon dish) which is always very good. This time I decided to try something and went with the grilled chicken baguette with mozzarella and romesco sauce. I think it was the romesco sauce that piqued my curiosity – I wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but that was quickly rectified by a quick search on Wikipedia via my iPhone. For those of you also unfamiliar with Romesco sauce, here is the description straight from Wikipedia:  “Romesco is a sauce originating in Tarragona, Catalonia, that is typically made from almonds, pine nuts, and/or hazelnuts, roasted garlic, olive oil and nyores – a smaller, sweet, dried variety of red bell pepper. Other common ingredients include roasted tomatoes, red wine vinegar and onion.”

When delivered, the sandwich looked quite appetizing and by the time it arrived I was quite hungry.  In general I am burnt out on sandwiches since that seems to be a frequently purchased item by myself and Todd given all the sandwich places in the Fort Lauderdale area. However I must say that this sandwich was quite delicious. It was a bit different given the Romesco and large, thick slices of mozzarella cheese. The chicken was grilled to perfection and it was all tied together nicely on a flavorful baguette. It took me a few bites to realize how much I was actually enjoying the sandwich and it wasn’t long before I had polished off the entire thing.

The accompanying french fries were also quite good (though not as good as those at Argentelle Cafe).  All in all it was a delicious lunch and I can’t really think of anything negative other than the subpar service as Todd described earlier.  Regardless, I will be here again and I will definitely be ordering up this sandwich!

Brandon’s score: 89/100
Different but delicious chicken sandwich; Overall meal was very satisfying and atmosphere was quite pleasant.
Cons: Price is a bit high (compared to what we are used to) and service could have been better.

Big City Tavern - menu and a nice shadow of my iphone Big City Tavern - indoor seating with an outdoor view Big City Tavern - indoor dining area