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Friday, June 12, 2009

Pizza and Beer fit for a Queen!

Queen's Pizza
Clearwater, FL

I have been to Queen's several times over the years. I first learned about them from my parents. Its their favorite pizza in the Tampa Bay area and they have been going there for well over 10 years when it was just a little hole in the wall. Personally, if there is one thing about the South and Tampa in general its the lack of really, REALLY good pizza. I come from CT where pizza is *almost* as good as NYC or Chi-town. Still, in Tampa you can find a few pizza joints that don't do half bad and Queen's is certainly one of the top ones on that list.

Before I go further, I apologize for the crap pictures - I only had a camera phone to work with.

BD and I do not live close to Queen's Pizza by any means but we were in the area and made the decision to have dinner here. It's probably been a year since we've had the chance so we took advantage.

*Queen's Pizza also has two other locations: Palm Harbor and Tarpon Springs.

I already knew what we would be having but I took a peek at the menu anyway. I know I should probably try some of their other menu items but when I come here - I come for Pizza! Its a pretty standard Italian menu with Pizza, Subs, Pasta and apps.

Shortly after being sat the waitress came to take our order. We ordered the Queen's Special: Pepperoni, Sausage, Hamburg, Ham, Onions, Green Peppers and Mushrooms. However, we 86'd the Ham and asked for extra cheese. DB ordered some AmberBock and I did the same. I am by no means a beer drinker and AmberBock is one of three beers that I will actually enjoy on a rare occasion. This happened to be one of them because for some reason a beer sounded really tasty right then. (Queens is wine and beer only)

The beer was ice cold and served in a frosty mug which made my day. When I do drink beer it needs to be ice cold for me to enjoy it. I made a comment to BD how good it tasted and he explained that its because I just got off work and "the harder you work, the better the beer tastes". I kinda liked that little saying.

One thing about Queens that you should know is that it will take at least 25 minutes for your pizza to be ready. They don't rush the cooking process and that is perfectly okay with me.

25 minutes later......

The picture really doesn't do this justice. We ordered a Medium or 14" pizza.

The first thing I love about Queen's Pizza is that if you ask for extra cheese - they make sure you get it. I feel that the cheese on any pizza can make it or break it. Skimpy topping, icky sauce, whatever can all be forgiven if the cheese is good and plentiful.

The crust is also very good here. Crisp and thin enough on the bottom so that it doesn't feel like you are eating a breadstick but thick enough so its not like a thin crust pizza. The edge is also that perfect balance of being firm an not flimsy but not as hard as a rock. The crust is also light and airy.

The toppings:

Cons: I personally would have liked a little more hamburger. Hamburger is a topping rarely seen on a menu in FL but in CT - its everywhere. One of those small things I miss from back home. I don't need or want my pizza to be overloaded (that would distract from the cheese of course) but in the two slices I had I could only taste it once. Also, while everything else on the pizza is very fresh the mushrooms seem to be either canned or sauteed prior to being placed on the pizza. Some people don't like the earthy taste the mushrooms have when they are fresh like that (DB doesn't) I however do.

Pros: Obviously as mentioned above - the cheese! Also, they put just the right amount of sauce on the pizza. I hate it when a pizza has too much sauce, the cheese slides right off= fail. The sauce also has a good flavor - not too sweet or acidic. One thing that really impresses me about QP is they very finely shave the green peppers and onions. This ensure they don't overpower the pizza and cook thoroughly while in the oven.

BD and I eat had two slices and were stuffed. We only ate half and now I have two slices of my own waiting for me at home for dinner tonight and I can barely concentrate at work now. I can't wait for 5 0'clock!

Happy Friday!

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