September 29, 2008

Este Pizza Co.

By Arikka Fullmer
2021 Windsor St Ste A, Salt Lake City, UT

The Food (taste/flavor/quality of food & drinks)

>>>>>= always great, unique, and flavorful no matter where you’re from
The Atmosphere (environment, wait staff, comfortableness)
xxx= good but could be improved
Price (what to generally expect to pay per person per entree)
$$$$$ $30
Value (what you get for your money)
*** = fair -you get what you pay for, not in a bad way

Este is a cozy little pizza joint in the heart of Sugarhouse, an eclectic neighborhood that houses Este well.
Tucked into the back of a free standing two story, Este consists of two simple rooms. In one, a small dining area and bar to order your pie with a sampling of single slices laid out.
The back room is the kitchen, on full display through a giant window facing the outdoor patio.
Este is one of those laid back, local as local gets places that I almost feel too uncool to be in.
But the delicious smells, and bold murals quickly make me feel very cool to finally be eating at the much raved about Este.
True to word of mouth, Este is pricey for a place with standard ingredients of pepperoni, sausage and onions.
But Este will argue you pay for what you get, and what you get and what they serve is tradition, New York style pizza.
No pineapple here!
We get the Italian flag, a red, white and green striped pie. The pesto sauce was delicious, the perfectly thin crust was flavorful and just my style. What won me over was the orzo salad, you must order a side with your pie. But pack your patience and your wallet. We weren’t greeted, were unsure how to order and waited quite awhile for our food. The atmosphere on the patio is a great place to wait though. Kick back at the tables next to the worn brick exterior, covered by an ivy canopy and string lights overhead. I will go back, next time for a more affordable single slice and wash it down with Uinta’s Kolsch, always on tap.

September 24, 2008

New Jersey Pizza Company *Updated- Again!*

By Angele Sionna

2224 E. Cedar #6
NEW website with updated menu as of August 22, 2009

The Food (taste/flavor/quality of food & drinks)
>>>>>= always great, unique, and flavorful no matter where you’re from

The Atmosphere (environment, wait staff, comfortableness)
xx= nothing to write home about

Price (what to generally expect to pay per person per entree)
$= under $10

Value (what you get for your money)
***** = superb -lots of quality/taste for what you pay

What a refreshing change of pace New Jersey Pizza Company is! Not only do they have great tasting pizza, but they use locally grown and organic ingredients and don’t charge you extra for that (like so many other businesses that seem to think organic means adding an extra $5 to the cost for customers)!

“Our efforts are dedicated to the small family farmers, ranchers, artisan cheese makers, laborers and cooks of the world, whose endless work, wisdom, and passion make it possible to bring this food to the table,” their menu boasts. Now that’s the kind of motto I like to see on the front of the menu. Someone with a passion for food who also cares about how it’s grown and the people who grow and make it. That motto shows in the taste of the pizza.
My daughters and I went to New Jersey Pizza Company for the first time this week. We were the only sit down diners, but a few other people stopped in to pick up food while we were there. The building is painted with a giant mural of Italian favorites on the outside – from soccer to the Roman Coliseum. Inside the décor feels like a new (but old fashioned) Italian farmhouse kitchen: very open, a satillo tile floor, colorfully painted walls. You walk up to the counter that doubles as a refrigerated food display and order. Fresh tomatoes of varying colors are on big plates on the counter. Behind the counter you can see the full kitchen (which looked very clean), where they were making their own Mozzarella cheese. That was impressive. I’ve never eaten at a pizza joint before so dedicated to the taste of their food that they made their own cheese (at least not that I know of).

We ordered a small (12 inch) Classic Cheese Pizza ($8). For a dollar more you can get fresh pulled Mozzarella, though I didn’t realize that at the time, as I didn’t browse the menu before placing my order. I just assumed all of the pizza was made with the cheese they were making, as that would make more sense. The kid that took my order was very nice, but didn’t tell me that was the case. He did however tell me about all of their foods, their use of organics and local products when possible. Though some of their organics are shipped in from California, I’m told. Even found out that their chickens are brought in fresh from somewhere in the South. They used to use local chickens but apparently that chicken farm as since gone out of business. Interesting. As nice as he was, he also forgot to get me a drink, but brought one out as soon as I asked. But never came back to refill it.
We sat down in the small dining room, separated from the entry and kitchen by an arched doorway. There are only a few tables and there’s no air conditioning so it was a little stuffy despite the front doors being propped open. I wouldn’t want to come here on a really hot day.

Note to parents of babies: New Jersey Pizza just got in one high chair. It usually isn't packed with families with babies, so chances are you'll be fine, but you may want to bring a stroller just in case.

Also for kids... New Jersey Pizza has special colorful plastic plates for the little ones to eat on. (Sometimes you have to ask for them, but some servers automatically bring one out.) I was glad to see that they didn’t use throwaway products like NiMarco’s does. Something else that detracted from a pleasant atmosphere (which I’m sure is not the case on other occasions), the owner was arguing very loudly with a supplier or other business associate about money. Unprofessional to do with clients in house, even if it was just me and my two girls. I felt like I was back in New York.
The sauce was fantastic! Flavors of fresh tomatoes and spices blended well together to make an almost creamy sauce. Thin but plentiful. The cheese was also generously doled out. Salty but not overly so. The crust is very thin and crispy. I expected more of a New York-style thin crust, which is really flimsy, not crispy, almost hard to hold they’re so loaded down with sauce and cheese. I really enjoy that type of pizza. I was spoiled when I lived in New York and had so many options all around. But that is not the type the New Jersey Pizza Company makes. You get lots of cheese and lots of sauce but the crust is crunchy. Our pizza was a little over cooked, though. When one of the guys working in the kitchen brought it out, he apologized for it have a dark spot on the crust and said the chef will gladly make a different one. I declined. It tasted fine. It was nice of them to offer though. And it still tasted great.

New Jersey Pizza has other enticing items on their menu. Some of the most interesting are: Caprese Salad with Arizona grown tomatoes and house pulled Mozzarella (market price); two sizes of Calzones with two types of cheese, your choice of three other ingredients, and sauce on the side ($8 regular, $11 large); Olive Plate (market price); Cheese Breadsticks with extra virgin olive oil, mozzarella, Parmesan Reggiano, and your choice of homemade sauce ($3.50 regular, $6 large); homemade lemonade and fruit sodas, all made with unrefined organic sweeteners; and many homemade deserts. I wanted to get a Farmhouse Ricotta Cannoli, but was told they won’t be making those again until the fall. I’ll definitely be trying that when the time comes and report back here!

All in all, the service may not be so great at New Jersey Pizza, but the good food makes up for it in my book. They knocked Fratelli Pizza down to my second favorite in Flagstaff, though the atmosphere and customer service (and air conditioning) are far superior at Fratelli.

[caption id="attachment_103" align="alignleft" width="180" caption="Cheese Breadsticks"]Cheese Breadsticks[/caption]

**Update: My family went to New Jersery Pizza again tonight and had the Cheese Breadsticks ($3.50) and two different Calzones ($8) - one with tomato, mushroom and their fresh pulled mozzarella, the other with ham, salami, mozzarella and ricotta cheese. Each tasted fresh from the garden and the oven.

[caption id="attachment_104" align="alignright" width="180" caption="Calzone"]Calzone[/caption]

Both the breadsticks and the calzones were served with a cold tomato sauce that tasted like it was just picked off the vine in the hot house. Flavorful because the tomatoes used to make it were flavorful, but I would have preferred a heated sauce with a few more seasonings. Still I enjoyed the meal very much. But would recommend the pizza over the calzone.

Again the service was kind of slow but at least the waiter couldn't be any nicer. I was hoping to try a desert but they were all sold out. Guess I'm going to try to get to the Farmer's Market early this weekend and hope they're serving desert there. New Jersey Pizza sells their fresh fruit juices, homemade mozzarella ($9/pound), and other items every Sunday at the Farmer's Market. (Click HERE for more info on Flagstaff's Farmer's Market.

For more photos of New Jersey Pizza Company, click HERE.

Indiana Jones Costumes

September 18, 2008

Tacos Locos

By Angele Sionna

2 S. Beaver St. Suite 170 (on the Phoenix Ave. side of the building)
Menu at :

The Food (taste/flavor/quality of food & drinks)
>>>>= a favorite, can count on it being good every time

The Atmosphere (environment, wait staff, comfortableness)
xxxx= comfortable

Price (what to generally expect to pay per person per entree)
$ = under $10

Value (what you get for your money)
**** = worth it - you won’t be disappointed with what you get for your money

Looking for a place to kick back on your lunch break or grab some good Mexican grub in between classes or errands? Tacos Locos is a good bet.

They have a simple but unique menu with decent prices and a different style than everyone else in town. Tacos Locos is on the a side entrance of the same building that houses Altitudes Bar and Grill, just south of the railroad tracks downtown.

Everything about this place screams laid back and it’s fabulous. Relaxing yet energetic music plays while you browse the menu at the counter and place your order. Items range from beef or fish tacos ($2.39 each) to rolled potato tacos ($2.19 for 3). There are several vegetarian options – mostly consisting of guacamole or potato based dishes. They also have a serve yourself soda fountain (drinks cost $1.79), beers on tap, and traditional Mexican beverages ($1.99), including Horchata (a cinnamon flavored rice milk), Tamarindo (made from tamarind fruit, a sweet yet distinctively sour fruit), and Jaicama (hibiscus flower tea).

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="368" caption="Rolled potato tacos"]Rolled potatoe tacos[/caption]

After ordering you seat yourself in the small but roomy feeling loft style restaurant, complete with high ceilings, exposed ducts, painted concrete floors and even a stone wall. There are naturally stained pine wood panels and soothing orange painted stucco walls. On display all around – local art, which adds to the hip feel inside. There is also a simple but fun patio with metal tables and rainbow colored umbrellas.

Moms take note – even though Tacos Locos caters to the student and lunch break crowd, they have a high chair for the little ones and menu items fit for kids like a large cheese quesadilla for $2.99, enough for two kids to share (although they have no kids menu per se).

This was my first visit to this casual restaurant, which only opened about four months ago. Their sign says café and market, but there is no market yet, though I’m told to look for it this spring. The market will feature their special homemade salsas, which include a salsa verde, traditional salsa and a spicy “chile de arbol” sauce.

Low prices and high quality best describes the food at Tacos Locos. Everything was fresh, not greasy. Food tastes like its made by someone who cares about each customer. On this visit, we tried several items.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="368" caption="California taco & fish taco"][/caption]

First up, my favorite of all that I tried: the fish taco ($2.39). Served with fried fish and cabbage, I recommend adding some of the homemade salsa verde. It is the perfect compliment to this taco with its sour and tart flavor. In fact, I’d add the salsa verde to anything and everything here because it is really good.

One of the weirder menu items (but I’m told very popular with the student crowd) are the California tacos ($2.69) and burritos ($5.39), consisting of carne asada, guacamole, lettuce and french fries. Yes, that’s right, I said french fries.

From the vegetarian menu, I tried the 3 rolled potato tacos ($2.19). These are essentially taquitos with mashed potato-like filling, topped with an almost non-existant amount of guacamole, lettuce and cheese. Good when dipped or smothered in the salsa verde or other salsa. Otherwise, they’re a little bland. But once that salsa is on there I really like them and for $2.19 for three I would definitely get them again.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="258" caption="Veggie quesadilla"][/caption]

I ordered the veggie quesadilla ($2.99) for my daughters to split. It was a giant burrito sized flour tortilla (by Tortilla Lady, the menu proclaims) filled with cheese, onions and red and green peppers. Not what I think of when I think veggie really (I was imagining corn and zucchini). My girls didn’t like the veggies on there, but once I took them off they gobbled it up. I tried it too and I thought it was decent but not impressive enough to order for myself. If quesadillas are what you want, I’d hop on over across the street to Beaver Street Brewery and order their chicken quesadillas instead, though Beaver Street’s are no where near the bargain price of $2.99. But then Tacos Locos doesn’t serve them with sour crème or guacamole.

You can add rice or beans for $1.19 each to your order, but we did not. We also didn’t try their chips and salsa because unlike most other Mexican restaurants, it is not included. The basket of chips and salsa will set you back and extra $4.39.

A good idea on your first visit to Tacos Locos is to opt for one of their combos, like the taco and salad ($5.89) or two tacos ($5.89).

Tacos Locos is particularly great for lunch breaks because they have free high speed internet so you can easily take a working lunch. They have happy hour and serve up several flavors of margaritas, pina coladas, on tap beers and bottled beers. There are no waitresses but the guy at the counter is about the friendliest you’ll come across. He’s happy to explain every item on the menu with a smile. Food is served up fast and hot in plastic baskets, which you’re asked to kindly put up yourself as you toss your trash or recycle your bottles.

Tacos Locos is going to become a part of my regular dining rotation. I left there full, satisfied and relaxed. I recommend it for tourists and locals alike.

September 8, 2008

The Pizza Guy

[caption id="attachment_147" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The Pizza Guy's cheese & mushroom medium pizza"]The Pizza Guy's cheese & mushroom pizza[/caption]

By Angele Sionna

1417 S Palza Way (In the Safeway shopping center)

Carry out or delivery – no sit down dining 928-556-0200 (Delivery only on West side of town)
No menu online

The Food (taste/flavor/quality of food & drinks)
>>= mixed bag, can be good but can be bad, can’t count on it

The Atmosphere (environment, wait staff, comfortableness)
x= if the food’s good enough, still worth going, otherwise forget it

Price (what to generally expect to pay per person per entree)
$ = under $10

Value (what you get for your money)
** = okay - overpriced for quality/taste

The Pizza Guy is one of those hit or miss kind of places. I’ve ordered from them several times when I wanted pizza delivered.

There’s nothing fancy about their food. The sauce is on the spicy side, so it’s not really a hit with the kiddos. They’re generous with their added toppings, but not so much with the cheese.

Today I ordered their lunch special - medium one-topping pizza with a soda for $8.99. When I asked about a delivery charge, they said they do not charge a delivery fee, but when the delivery guy showed up, the receipt showed an added buck for delivery. My total ended up being $10.92 plus tip. Overpriced for what you get. The Pizza Guy used to have much more reasonable prices and free delivery.

It took about an hour to get the pizza and when it showed up it was closer to cold than to hot. Disappointing. The driver had called up wondering where my house was, although I had ordered from there before without incident.

The pizza cheese was getting congealed, It was not fresh or stringy. The sauce was good, but too spicy for my daughter’s likes, so I had to make her something else to eat.

The Pizza Guy also serves wings.
All in all, The Pizza Guy was so disappointing this time that it will be my last time to order. There are plenty of better pizza joints in town and now that Fratelli downtown is delivering again, there’s no reason to order from this place. You can get a better pizza for a better price elsewhere.

*TIP: If you do order from The Pizza Guy, be sure to ask for their specials. You don't need a coupon but they won't necessarily tell you about them either.

September 6, 2008

Fratelli Pizza

By Angele Sionna

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="180" caption="119 W. Phoenix Ave., Flagstaff, AZ"]119 W. Phoenix Ave., Flagstaff, AZ[/caption]

119 W. Phoenix Ave., Flagstaff
Menu at:

The Food (taste/flavor/quality of food & drinks)
>>>> = a favorite, can count on it being good every time

The Atmosphere (environment, wait staff, comfortableness)
xxxx = comfortable

Price (what to generally expect to pay per person per entree)
$= under $10

Value (what you get for your money)
***** = superb -lots of quality/taste for what you pay

When I walked into Fratelli Pizza, I was feeling brave and a little nervous. It was the first time I’d ventured to any restaurant by myself with my two year old and 8 month old daughters. I couldn’t have picked a better spot. The staff went out of their way to help me and the food was served hot and fast.

I strolled up to the counter holding my eldest’s hand and pushing my youngest in a stroller. We ordered one of their fantastic combos – plenty of food for us to share. For six bucks (including tax) we got an over-sized slice of cheese pizza, a fresh salad with ranch dressing, and a drink. You can also get two slices and a drink for the same price. Either combo can be upgraded to add one of the six beers they have on tap instead of a soda for $1.50 more.

After we ordered - we pulled up into a booth at Fratelli's location south of the tracks downtown. The five tables and four booths look like they could have been installed yesterday. The walls have a relaxing Italian garden wall theme painted on them. Two flat-screen TVs are mounted on either side of the restaurant. I’ve yet to be in here without some sort of sports on both of the TVs. The volume is always muted and instead they play upbeat music at a good level. Enough to entertain you if you’re there by yourself, yet quiet enough to have a good conversation with your fellow diners.

The waitress brought over our slice and salad as I filled up our glass at the beverage station. A nice kid-friendly feature here: along with the all you can drink refills, Fratelli has orange and lemon slices for your beer or iced tea. My daughter loves to snack on a few of the orange slices as her appetizer every time we’re here.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Fratelli's side salad"]Fratellis side salad[/caption]

I sat back down and we started munching down. The salad was not your typical quickie pizza joint salad. It was a fresh, crisp mix of spring greens topped with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, shredded carrots, and croutons. Served with ranch dressing on the side.
I couldn’t take more than two bites of it, though, before I turned my attention to the pizza.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Fratelli's cheese pizza slice"]Fratellis cheese pizza slice[/caption]

It was the size of two normal slices. The cheese was super-gooey with just the right amount of sauce. The dough is home made and hand tossed then baked in a stone deck oven. Perfect if you like New York-style thin crust, which I do. My daughter likes to add a little Parmesan on her part of the pizza. Luckily, Fratelli has that plus red peppers, Tabasco sauce, and garlic salt at the table to add on as you wish. Another kid-friendly feature at Fratelli, everything is served on non-breakable dishes – plastic salad plates and metal pans for the pizza.

Also great and a unique spin on pizza - Fratelli's pesto pizza. Even if you're not a huge pesto fan you should try this. The pesto is blended right into the gooey cheese. It tastes so fresh and smells so good. Most days the pesto pizza is one of the options on the daily slice deal too!

Fratelli has more than slices on the menu, though it doesn’t go all crazy like some places with too many choices. Just the right amount of options to satisfy their base crowd: college students from Northern Arizona University, which is just down the street.

Everything I’ve had before here has been good. If you’re not in the mood for pizza, I’d recommend the Giant Calzone ($8.50). I like the Veggie. My husband likes the Your Creation, which gives you the option of adding four toppings of your choice to the mozzarella. Note: if you like sauce on the inside, ask for it. Otherwise it’s just served on the side.

Fratelli Pizza has been voted the best of Flagstaff for the last six of the last seven years. I too think it is on of the best pizza parlor in town. Though the pizza at New Jersey Pizza Company is fantastic and arguably a little better, the atmosphere and service at Fratelli is superior.

Whether you’re looking for a great pizza and beer joint or a night out with the family, avoid the chains and head to this small pizzeria. You’ll have a great time with its welcoming atmosphere and leave with a great taste in your mouth and a satisfied stomach.

Note: The slice special lasts all day, but in general I've found getting slices at lunch and a full pizza at dinner is the way to go for optimum freshness!

More Fratelli photos HERE

Netflix, Inc.

September 2, 2008

A Must Visit for the Best Produce & More - Flagstaff Community Market

By Angele Sionna

Photo courtesy of If you happen to be in Flagstaff any Sunday morning thru mid-October, take the time to explore the farmer’s market south of the tracks downtown near Beaver and Phoenix.

My family and I have gone several times this summer and are delighted with all of the vendors. There is all kinds of locally grown produce from tomatoes to onions, herbs, and more. Plus specialty foods and flowers.

My two year old really likes picking up a honey stick from Cowboy Honey for a quarter. Of course the breads from Village Baker are fantastic.

You can grab lunch while you're there from Molly's Tamales, a Phoenix-based vendor. They make fresh tamales to enjoy there ($2.50 each, $3.50 each for Salmon) or buy the frozen ones to eat at home later ($13.50/6). They have vegetarian and meat tamales. I've stopped a few times and can recommend the bean and cheese, the zucchini and mushroom, and the salmon tamales. Next time, I hope to get there early enough to try Molly's fruit tamales. She says she's the only one who makes them and they sound fantastic.

The most interesting flavor combinations of the whole event came from Terra Verde Farms artisan foods. I really like their Lavender Pepper rub, Strawberry Lavender Preserves, Blood Orange Marmalade and the Spicy O’s. They have a web market (in case you don’t get a chance to try them in person) at

The Flagstaff Community Market has some strict rules on who can sell at the market. Every vendor has to make the products they're selling. No resell is allowed. Plus they don't allow outsourced processed foods. That means patrons can count on original and great products grown in our area... which is good for the environment too.

The Flagstaff Community Market runs Sundays thru October 12 from 8am to noon. For a map click HERE. For more info, go to their website:

Share This