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Restaurants & Bars 21

South Florida pizza

Covert Ops | Mar 8, 200209:41 PM

Chuck and I have been having a great discussion about this, buried somewhere under a Steve's thread. I thought I'd bring it out and stick it higher on the board. :-)

Keep in mind before I start listing my favorites: I spent 4 years at UMiami researching these, but I'm at least one year removed from SoFla, so some of these may be outdated. My qualifications? Born and raised in Bayonne, NJ, across the river from the city, and spent those college years road-tripping from Hollywood to Key West with a fellow Jersey-chowhound-pizza-freak in search of the perfect pie.

Sorry if this is haphazard, I'm still at the paper recovering from a particularly bad deadline rush.

MY FAVORITE: Pucci's, at the intersection of Lincoln and Alton roads in Miami Beach, across the street from that huge movie theater. Humongously fat man makes the pizza while wearing a white wife-beater. Sauce is kinda interesting, but the pizza is well-done (in both senses of the word) with just enough cheese, and crust that you don't leave on the plate after you're finished. I think there are actually several Pucci's on and around the beach, but this is the only one I personally endorse. ;-)

UM'S FAVORITE: The Big Cheese, in Coral Gables (or maybe South Miami) on Ludlam Rd. just off U.S. 1, on the northwest side under the Metrorail. Actually, I really am not thrilled about their pizza, which I've only had once, but their garlic rolls are KILLER. Now that I recall, I think their pizza was more like Steve's, which I'm sure Chuck will elaborate on.

There's a fairly new place across the street from Big Cheese called Slice N' Ice that was fantastic for about a month, then slid sharply downhill. It's probably gone by now, but consider yourself warned.

Ever eat bad food that tastes really good because you're starving? That happened to me at a pizzeria in Key West, can't remember the name, in an alley just off Duval, I think near where the guy takes picutres of you holding a parrot. Whatever. Just don't go. My friend and I took a weekend in Key West and spent forever looking for this place, and then when I finally found it I had to listen to him bitching at me for making him waste a trip.

The aforementioned Steve's is in North Miami on Biscayne Blvd. and 122nd St, I believe. They have really late weekend hours, I think till 4am, which is a plus. The pizza has lots of cheese and is underdone for my tastes. Ah well, chacun a son gout.

I found a better-than-average place in/near Plantation, I wonder if this is the Mario's everyone is talking about. This was a combo pizza-counter/nice restaurant, think Via was in the name somewhere. It's in a shopping center, possibly on Nob Hill and Pine Island (or Nob Hill and Sunrise -- whichever, it's a street or three after Cleary Blvd). Not overly well-done (cookingwise) but we ordered a fresh pie instead of slices, which will have that effect.

That's all I can remember now, sorry my directions stink. (It happens when you don't have a car and have to be the passenger.) If you all ever make it to Central Florida, definitely hit Bizzarro's. Best pizza in the state, IMHO. Take exit 71 off I-95 straight east to the beach. Look for the line that stretches out the door and all the way to the sand. Or get off at 73 and go to the Bizzarro's Express in the Mobil station. (I'm not kidding. It's really that good.)

Please, everyone chime in!


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