The Markel Family Tour di Pizza

Today we wrapped up the first-ever Markel Family Tour di Pizza!

Last year, we came up with an idea to try lots of different styles of pizza from places we don’t normally frequent. We decided the perfect day to start this event was on MAR10 Day (March 10), and we decided to kick it off with Jet’s Detroit-style pizza, which was delicious!

On Friday I made Chicago-style pizza, since there’s just no place around here that makes it as well as I do. This was definitely the most familiar item on our list, but you can’t have a Tour di Pizza without stopping in the Windy City!

On Saturday we had the craziest day of our experiment with California-style take and bake pizzas from California Pizza Kitchen. Their pizzas are pretty small, so we tried three varieties…the ever-controversial Hawaiian, shrimp scampi, and California Club. Even though they were unusual as far as pizzas go, they were all delicious (although the shrimp scampi variety did fall apart a bit in the oven!).

Since I had some time on Saturday, I made the perfect dessert to accompany pizza…cannoli! I don’t think I could have made them any better…the shells were perfectly flaky and crispy, and my work to thoroughly drain the ricotta paid off, making the filing just right!!!

Yesterday we tried New York-style pizza from Papa John’s. I don’t know if it’s because I have a bias against New York-style pizza as someone who grew up in Chicagoland, or it’s just that Papa John’s isn’t my thing, but this was my least favorite pizza of the event.

We wrapped up our Tour di Pizza today, 314 Day, with St. Louis-style pizza from the hometown favorite, Imo’s. I’m not going to lie…this generally isn’t my favorite type of pizza (it’s a crust thing…I like something with more substance than a Saltine), but I do really like that they use provel cheese, and it’s not so bad for a special occasion!

Since today was also Pi Day (convenient that we could have pizza pies for dinner, don’t you think?), I made pies for dessert to cap off our dinner event…s’mores and chocolate hazelnut, with decorations courtesy of Bunny:

This was a really fun, silly thing to do for a few days, and it also gave me a break from making dinner for a few nights, which was really nice!

Tasty Tuesday–Frankie Tocco’s

For the last several years, when we’ve gone to St. Charles, MO, for their Christmas Traditions festival, we’ve eaten lunch at Frankie Tocco’s. Even though we only go there once a year, it’s become a place that we, (the children in particular), look forward to eating at.

This year, we started with an order of the St. Louis specialty, toasted ravioli. This isn’t my favorite food, no matter where it’s made, but the children, (and Ryan), love it. I think they could have easily put away several orders, but they managed to be happy with just splitting the one.

Every year, we order two pizzas. It amazes me how much children can eat when given the opportunity. They managed to finish off an entire large cheese pizza, (and that with Ladybug having eaten a piece of the pizza Ryan and I got), before they were full. It’s definitely a St. Louis style pizza–saltine-like crust, provel cheese, etc., but it’s still pretty good.

Ryan and I got a Tocco special pizza, which had mushrooms, onions, Italian sausage, pepperoni, and Canadian bacon. It was also delicious!

I splurged, and got a dessert. But you can’t go to an Italian restaurant without ordering tiramisu!

One of these years, we may try a new place when visiting St. Charles. Then again, we are creatures of habit, and know what we like, so we may just stick with Frankie Tocco’s!