My favorite Panini recipes

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Have you ever considered buying a panini and sandwich press for yourself? No? Then, these following recipes will definitely convince you to buy a Panini press for yourself right now.

A Panini Press can grill more than sandwiches, here is a list of the top 6 recipes which you can make with the help of your Panini press:

Chicken Pesto Panini

A simple recipe for making a delicious Chicken Panini, this one requires you to slice focaccia breads into horizontal pieces and then add a layer of presto on all the slices.

In the bottom slices, add a layer of chicken, bell pepper, onion, and cheese and then cover it with the top focaccia slice. Then press the sandwich until it is cooked golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Turkey and Bacon Panini with Chipotle Mayonnaise

Another amazing Panini recipe for all those bacon and turkey lovers. In this recipe, you would first need to cook all your ingredients before pressing them in a sandwich. Take cooked bacon pieces, cooked onions in butter, spinach, and then prepare a mixture of it for the filling.

In the meanwhile coat the inside of a focaccia bread with a mixture of mayonnaise, minced chipotle pepper and adobo sauce.

Then place a slice of cheese, turkey and bacon on it and add the spinach mixture on top. Press the other slice of bread on top of it and then press it in the Panini press until it is cooked golden.

Lobster Panini

A great recipe for all those lobster lovers out there, this recipe requires you to make a mixture of 1 cup chopped lobster meat, 2 tbsps. minced shallot, 2 tbsps. melted butter, 2 tsp chopped tarragon, a little lemon juice and salt and then fill this mixture inside a hollowed out baguette. Then press this baguette until cooked and golden.

Chicken Saltimbocca Panini

If you love a grilled chicken sandwich, then you would definitely find this recipe tempting. Take a ciabatta roll and brush its inside with pesto, add grilled chicken pieces, fontina, and prosciutto and add a few freshly chopped sage leaves. Then press this sandwich until it is cooked and golden.

Grilled Veggie Panini

Another great Panini recipe for all the vegans out there. This recipe requires you to take a ciabatta roll and coat its inside with a little pesto.

Then fill its insides with grilled eggplants, zucchinis, and all the veggies that you would like to add. Add fresh mozzarella to it and a few basil leaves and press until it is cooked and displays a shade of gold.

Berry Croissant

Are you a croissant lover? Then, you would love this Panini recipe for making a Berry croissant. All you need to do is preheat your Panini press. Then take a split croissant and spread the inside of it with a marshmallow cream.

Then fill it with strawberry pieces and chocolate chips and press the croissant for 3-5 minutes till it is cooked into a golden shade.

5 Features that’s a must for every kitchen faucet in restaurants

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There are numerous Kitchen Faucets to choose from depending on their design and features but there are some functionalities which are more important than the others.

If your kitchen faucet comes with a few basic features but is still lacking the important functions, then it is really not much use to you. What features should you look for in your Kitchen Faucet? If you’re looking to buy one now then you should definitely look into some top rated kitchen faucets before you get one.

Here are a few features and functions which you just cannot miss out on:

Tough Finishes

A great feature to have, if your faucet comes with a chrome finish or a stainless steel metal finish then your faucet is bound to be more durable and won’t easily rust or corrode.

It is usually available on all faucets and provides your faucet with a shining, non-scratch surface which not only looks great in your kitchen but also helps in prolonging its life.

So it would be better if you choose a faucet which has a finishing which protects it from scratching and stains and makes your faucet more durable.

Constant Temperature Setting

Some single-handle faucets come with a temperature setting which ensures that your faucet provides you the same temperature water after you have shut it off.

This is particularly helpful when you need to use your faucet in regular intervals and want to save yourself from the whole trouble of setting the temperature every time you open your faucet.

Spray/Stream Settings

Another great feature to have in your faucet is the ability to switch from spray setting to the stream setting by just pushing a small button. This button allows you to choose a setting and provides you with the same setting until you switch to the other one.

This can be really helpful when you need to clean several dishes. You can first spray them with water to remove the food pieces and once you have them soaped them up, you can switch to the stream setting to gently rinse them clean.

Magnetic Lock

This feature is extremely useful if you are going for a pull-out or pull-down faucet. Once you pull the faucet nozzle out of the base, the nozzle retracts back to the base but doesn’t get fixed in position. In such instances, the magnetic lock can prove beneficial by connecting the nozzle securely back in place.

High Arc Spouts

This is one of the most useful feature that your Kitchen Faucet can have as with this functionality you can spray water to a greater distance and clean utensils which are farther away from the sink with great ease.

This feature comes handy when you have a huge pile of dishes to clean and you have no space in your sink to keep the dirty dishes, you can then use this long ranged spout to clean dishes which are kept farther away from the sink without any difficulty.

Another great thing about high arc spouts is that they come with a flexible neck which can be rotated from 90 to 180 degrees which further helps in the cleaning process.

Here’s how you can adjust water temperature and increase water pressure

ClevelandFoodandBrews : Buyers guide for Home espresso machine

Buying an espresso machine for yourself isn’t easy as it requires you to look at various features and models before you can make the perfect choice for yourself. If you choose a wrong espresso machine for yourself, you could end up regretting this decision your entire life. So, to help you out with this humongous task, we have listed down all the features and functions that you should check to buy the perfect Home espresso machine for yourself.

Types of Home Espresso Machines

The first thing you need to decide on when choosing a home espresso machines for yourself is the type of espresso machine that you would like to consider. There are many types of espresso machines available mainly divided into 4 kinds.

Manual Espresso Machine

In this type of espresso machine, you will have to perform all the tasks which include applying water pressure, grinding coffee, regulating the amount of water being dispensed and so on. You should only choose this type of machine if you have time and training to make the perfect espresso.

Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine

This type of espresso machine requires you to grind the coffee and fill the portafilter but apart from that, the machine performs all the tasks. It applies pressure and regulates the water flow to brew an espresso for you. This is good for those people who have some time in hand and would like to grind the coffee to suit their requirements.

Fully Automatic Espresso Machine

This type of espresso machine performs all the tasks with you with just one click of a button. This is great for those people who are always in a hurry and don’t have time to adjust their espresso taste.

Super-Automatic Espresso Machine

Well, the last but not the least, this espresso machine comes with many extra features like a built-in grinder, automatic water filling capability, etc. which allows it to be the ultimate espresso machine without any inputs from you.

Features to consider:

Easy to Use

If you are looking for a machine which is quick and easy to use and has most of the process automated, then you would look for an espresso machine which does just that. You could consider buying a semi-automatic machine or a fully automatic machine. It all depends on how much time and energy are you willing to spend.

Cleaning

One of the most important features to consider when buying an espresso machine is that how easy it is to clean. If it is complicated to clean, then you need to stay away from it as that would just waste your time every day.

Budget

You need to decide on your price range and then look for a model which suits your range. Manual espresso machines will cost the least but if you want an automatic espresso machine, be ready to shed some money.

Drinking preference

Another thing to consider is the types of drinks that your espresso machine can make. If you love making lattes and mochas, then it would be advisable to find an espresso machine which allows you to make them.

Durability

Make sure you go for a machine which is durable and won’t break down anytime soon. You can go for large metal made machines as they tend to last longer whereas an espresso machine with many electric parts is bound to break down sooner.

Size

Choose an espresso machine which would fit your kitchen easily and won’t create a space problem for you. If you don’t have enough space then better stick to smaller machines.

Time for a Break, But Not Really!!

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As you can see by the date of the last post I’ve been on a break.  I should have posted this a few months ago, but that break is because there is a new addition to our Food and Brews family!   I’ll be taking an extended break from directly blogging on this site, however, there are still many ways in which I’m sharing my passion for food and beer via social media on a daily basis.

1. Follow me on Twitter @CleFoodandBrews.  I’m constantly posting about food, beer and supporting Cleveland!

2. Join the Cleveland Craft Beer Community Page on Facebook.  Here you can post and read about beer, and learn about just how great we have it here in Cleveland in terms of high quality, award winning craft beer!

3. Follow me on Instagram.  As you can guess, I post pictures of tasty food and beers!

Between these three social media outlets you’ll be able to hear from me and communicate with me way more often than I would ever be able to do on this site!

Thanks for all of your support!
Cheers!

All About Beer: World Beer Fest 2013 Review

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On Saturday, July 13th, I had the chance to attend the All About Beer: World Beer Fest.  For my review I’m going to break down the positive and negative aspects of the event.  I will also offer some suggestions for improvement.

The Positive Side
The Ohio Brewers had their own tent outside which allowed people to enjoy the sunshine and the cool lake breeze while trying some tasty brews.  The Ohio breweries represented about 40% of the breweries in attendance. I was happy to see many of the actual brew masters in attendance.  I’ve had most of the beers offered in this tent before, but there were a few new ones that I had the chance to try.  Cornerstone had a coffee infused Milk Stout called Rocket Cow, and Brew Kettle had a Hefewizen called Der Sommer Weizen that were both very tasty.  There was also a cask ale section in the back of the Great Lakes tent.  This allowed people a chance to try some fun cask ales such as the Brew Kettle 4Cs with Citra and the Oskar Blues Sterling Dry Hopped Blackberry Dales Pale Ale.

In order to try any non-Ohio beers, attendees had to walk inside a large metal warehouse where the rest of the breweries were set up.  The brewery representation inside was good, not great, but I was very happy to see Victory Brewing bring a rare beer to the event.  Victory Brewing tapped Liberty Bell Ringer, a massive Double IPA that was brewed with Mosaic and experimental hop #483!  This beer is so rare that this will be the only keg that the Cleveland market will see, and only 3 total kegs made it to the state of Ohio.  A few other inside highlights were the Grand Imperial Stout by Elevator (only offered in the VIP section), and the Waterloo Pilsner (which is not yet sold in Cuyahoga County.)

Beer wise this festival was average for me, however there were a good number of beers at the event for people who are new to craft beer.   Good news for them is that most of the beers at the event are available at your local pub and on your local beer store shelves right now.

The Not So Positive Side
The event took place behind Cleveland Browns stadium.  The weather couldn’t have been better, and we all know Clevelanders love being outside on a beautiful sunny day.   However, 60% of the breweries and the VIP section were inside a closed warehouse that honestly was dirty and dingy.   The massive doors to the warehouse couldn’t open which would have at least let the attendees have a view of the lake a bit of a breeze.   Sure the warehouse provided shade, but by 1 p.m. the massive steel building became an oven. Here are a few pictures that will better show what I am talking about.

I was not the only one who was displeased by the setting.  I spoke to many of the people who were in attendance and they too wished the entire event would have taken place outside the warehouse.  Also, many breweries that were inside voiced their displeasure with the set up. They voiced that they would have rather set up outside either in the sun or with their own pop up tent.   I understand using the warehouse if the weather was poor, but it would have been great to take advantage of the beautiful day outside.
Why not set up some of the breweries out here?
This event was about craft beer.  I see no reason why this vendor was even allowed in the door to sell these shirts.  Drunk 1, Drunk Bitch 1…Really!!  How about setting up a table and selling brewery shirts instead!  This would help enhance the new craft beer drinkers experience rather than making them think the fest was all about getting drunk.
The VIP tickets were $75 each.  For $75 you got in 1 hour early, some buffet style food, access to 7 extra beers, and a glass to take home.   Also, as I mentioned above, the VIP section was inside the warehouse, and that just can’t happen!  In my opinion these extra beers and “perks” were nowhere close to being worth the extra $35 per ticket.
Ways to Improve
If the World Beer Fest comes back to Cleveland next year, they are going to have to improve some aspects of the event in order to compete with our other local beer events like Winter Warmer, Brewzilla, Blues and Brews, Fat Head’s Brewer’s Brawl and IPA Fest…just to name a few.
1. Improve the setting of the event.  I loved the location choice, just didn’t enjoy the set up of the event at all.
2. Improve the beer list, especially the VIP section.  For an extra $35 the VIP section should have at least 10 unique brews, by unique I mean we can’t easily go and find them at our local beer store.  Breweries should be encouraged to bring at least one beer that is somewhat unique.  This picture sums up some of my frustration.  Sierra Nevada only brought cans of Summer Fest and Torpedo, which are two very common brews.  Simply adding a beer like Hoptimum or Narwhal Imperial Stout would have made this table a much better destination for both newbies and for craft beer snobs.
3. Invite more Food Trucks.  Do away with the buffet and let VIP ticket holders get a choice of 1 item from a food truck.  By having more food trucks, they also will not get overwhelmed and they will be able to serve everyone at the event including the general admission folks.
To me, the World Beer Fest got off to a rocky start here in Cleveland.  Sure there were some highlights to the event, but there were aspects of the event which need to improve when the event comes back to Cleveland next year and expects the support of the local craft beer lovers here in Cleveland, from newbie to beer snob.
Disclosure: I was granted media passes to attend this event.  These thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. 

All About Beer: World Beer Fest Cleveland Info and Giveaway

First, where have I been?   To keep a long story short, the past 4 months have been simply crazy.  My wife and I were in the process of selling our house and madly looking for a new one.  During this time, we decided to save as much money as we could, so going out for dinner and drinks as often as we were had to end!  Although we have not yet found our next home,  I’m hoping to get back to writing more this summer since we’ll have a bit more free time, so look for some tasty food and craft beer posts on this site!

So, it looks like All About Beer Magazine is coming to town July 13th with their World Beer Fest.  This is the first year of this festival here in Cleveland, so it will be very interesting to see what this outside event has to offer to our outstanding craft beer community. To help with your decision making check out the events beer and brewery list.

Like other beer fests, World Beer Fest will have two sessions. Here is a quick run down of what you’ll get at each session.

General Admission 1-5pm: $40

  • Tasting glass and forty taste tickets for 2oz samples from over 200 of the finest craft beers!
  • Access to the Art of Beer Village for food & beer pairings, educational seminars & cask ale
VIP Admission 12-5pm: $75
  • VIP preview hour 12-1pm
  • Tasting glass and forty taste tickets for 2oz samples from over 200 of the finest craft beers!
  • Access to the Art of Beer Village for food & beer pairings, educational seminars & cask ale
  • Festival commemorative glass
  • Private hospitality area and bathroom area
  • Bonus selection of beers not available to general admission
  • Upscale food buffet
The 4-hour general tasting event will feature over 200 beers from over 70 local, national and international breweries, all serving their finest beers. Enjoy beer exhibits, seminars, live music & more!
The Art of Beer Village sponsored by Great Lakes Brewing Company, will focus on Great Lakes’ Urban Farming Initiative, educating festival attendees on how to pair food with beer and create recipes from their own garden.  The Art of Beer Village provides a patron experience that not only showcases this initiative but also moving farm to table through chef demonstrations.Demonstrations will be held at 2 and 4pm, while food and beer samplings will take place throughout the entire festival.
The Art of Beer Village will also include a learning station that focuses on the element of beer making while allowing patrons to sample local ingredients and cask ale from local breweries as well as sit in on educational seminars given by some of the finest in the beer industry.

I’ve been asked by All About Beer Magazine to help spread the word for this event and they have given me two general admission tickets to giveaway to one lucky reader.

The lucky winner is Doug with comment #7!  Congrats and Cheers!
There are 3 ways to Enter The Giveaway
1. Leave one comment on this post telling me who you are and what beer from the list you are most looking forward to trying. 
 
2. Share this post on Facebook by posting this link: http://hops.me/5mja
Then come back here and post a comment with your Facebook link.  You can only do this once, and it counts as one entry.
 
3. Share this on Twitter
I love #CraftBeer & want to win 2 tickets to the World Beer Fest from @CleFoodandBrews & @AllAboutBeer http://hops.me/5mja

Then come back here and post a comment with your Twitter link. This will count as one entry. You can do this every single day.  Just make sure to leave a comment each time you tweet!
Rules:
–You have until Friday, July 5th 2013 at 9:00am EST to enter.
–Comments that do not include a way to identify the poster will not be eligible , examples–Unknown and Anonymous entries do not count.
–The winner will be picked at random using Random.org.   
–Only comments  with links left on this post will count.  If you tweet, facebook or enter in any other way be sure to leave a comment here telling me you did it with the link to that post.  
–You must leave a SEPARATE comment for each Entry, otherwise your entry will only count once.  
–Winner has 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. 

Disclosure: I’ve been granted 2 GA Tickets to giveaway and media access to cover the event and all thoughts and opinions expressed are 100% my own. 

Cleveland Indians Opening Day 2013

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With the Indians home opener coming up on April 8th, I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of my favorite food and brew places around the Jake!  Yes, I still call it the Jake even though it is technically “Progressive Field.”

Here are six of my favorite places to get a tasty bite to eat and a refreshing craft beer before the game!

  • Greenhouse Tavern–My snack of choice before heading to the game has to be the frites!  The good news is they come in three different ways.  First, the standard Pommes Frites have raw garlic, rosemary & garlic aioli. If you want to step it up a notch they also have the Gravy Frites.  These are pommes frites with mozzarella cheese curd and brown gravy.  For the ultimate experience they also have the Animal Frites.  These pommes frites come topped with bacon, two fried eggs, whole grain mustard, mozzarella cheese curd and brown gravy.  To wash all that down, don’t worry, Greenhouse Tavern has plenty of craft beer. They always have two drafts that they brewed in collaboration with Victory Brewing on tap, plus and plenty of bottled and canned craft beer favorites.
  • The Winking Lizard–My personal favorite from the menu at the Winking Lizard is the Buffalo Chicken Wrap.  This wrap comes with slices of chicken breast covered in the Winking Lizards hot sauce and rolled up in soft tortilla with lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese. The Winking Lizard is one of the best places to get a quality craft beer anywhere in Cleveland.  For the most up to date list of what is on tap, check out the monthly placemat which lists every draft beer they have on tap. (Rotating Draft selections change monthly.)
  • Winks Bar and Grille–Wink’s is a new Winking Lizard concept that opened in late 2012.  Here you’ll find a craft beer list that is Ohio heavy, with 33 different brews on tap. They also have a wonderful Beer Cheese Dip that hits the spot before watching the Tribe!  The Beer Cheese Dip is a spicy hop cheese dip that is made with a local IPA, spicy seasonings, and red pepper.  It is finished with aged white cheddar and cream cheese and is served with garlic crostinis.
  • Noodle Cat–If you are looking for some tasty Japanese-American food look no further.  My favorite food choice would have to be the Steam Buns.  With so many choices it is hard to pick just one flavor, but don’t worry, you can mix and match!  Beer wise, Noodle Cat does a nice job carrying various cans and drafts.  You’ll want to check out the menu before hand to see what they have.
  • Great Lakes Brewing–The best part about going to Great Lakes Brewing before a Tribe game is they will shuttle you to and from the game. The shuttle is only $1 per person and runs continuously runs 45 minutes before and after the game, except on Sunday’s. (Offer is only valid with additional Brewpub, Bar and/or Gift Shop purchase).  While you are there get an order of the fish and chips, which is Alaskan cod fried in Edmund Fitzgerald Porter batter with a side of pub fries.  Beer wise, be sure to check out what they have on tap as pub only exclusives, you don’t want to miss these!
  • Tremont Tap House-This one is not within walking distance, but the great food and huge draft beer selection make this worth the 5-10 minute drive!  I love the Buttermilk Blue Cheese and Applewood Smoked Bacon Burger paired with any of the fresh hoppy IPAs they have on tap.
No matter where you decide to go and eat and drink before an Indians game, remember to always be safe and GO TRIBE!!!

Chinato in Downtown Cleveland

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With some free time over the last few days of our Winter Break, my wife and I decided to finally have dinner at a restaurant we have both been dying to eat at, Chinato.  With the click of a button the night before, we had a 6pm reservation set up thanks Open Table.  When we arrived, we were kindly greeted and seated immediately.

Food
After looking over the menu offerings we were a little bit overwhelmed on what to order, everything sounded so good.  To start, we decided to share a small portion of the gnocchi with tomato, basil, toasted garlic, butter and Parmesan   Simply put, the gnocchi was some of the best gnocchi we have ever tried.  The texture was light, yet it still had the density in which you expect in gnocchi.  Top that with some basil, toasted garlic, and fresh Parmesan and you have yourself a perfect dish.  When I go back there is a good chance I’ll get the larger portion they offer as my entree.

For an entree, my wife went with the chicken legs “saltimbocca” style.  The chicken legs were deboned and then stuffed with prosciutto and cheese. The chicken was cooked perfectly, but the prosciutto used was extra fatty and took away from the overall flavor of the dish.   The polenta was smooth and creamy, while the kale added a nice spicy contrast.
For my entree I went with sea scallops sauteed with peperoncini, escarole, and garlic oil roasted potatoes.  I really enjoyed everything about my dish.  The scallops were cooked perfectly with just a hint of the spicy peperoncini present.  The escarole was sauteed with lemon and bits of peperoncini flakes.  Finally, the potatoes were simply amazing.  Soft, tender, and full of flavor were the three very large garlic roasted potatoes.
Drinks
I can tell you that from looking over the drink menu, even a craft beer lover will be pleased with the selection. Dogfish Head, Bells, and Great Lakes all were on the tap list, in addition to a decent selection of craft bottles.  Prices ranged from $5-9 per pint, and per bottle.   Of course if you are looking for wine, Chinato has a very extensive wine list that can range in price from $10 a glass to over $100 a bottle.
Service and Atmosphere
The service throughout the night was prompt, informative and friendly, everything you would expect at a restaurant the caliber of Chinato. The menu is a little overwhelming to read but our server explained and answered any questions we had beautifully.  Chinato also has a wonderful vibe to it.  We both found the interior of the restaurant to feel very homey, but still very modern.

With tasty food, a good drink list, and great service we would highly recommend dinner at Chinato!

Sunday Supper: Flank Steak Carnitas

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Recently my wife mentioned going back to Momocho where we had a great meal about a year ago.  That got me thinking, why not try to make something Momocho like at home?   We had all day Sunday to cook, so why not utilize the slow cooker too.  Here is what we came up with: A take on Carnitas, which are traditionally made with Pork, but instead we used Flank Steak.

The Ingredients:
1.5 lb Flank Steak
1 yellow onion finely chopped
1 green pepper finely chopped
1 red pepper finely  chopped
1 jalapeno finely chopped with seeds mostly removed
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (use more if you like spicy!)
1 tsp fresh ground sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
A package of fresh corn tortillas
1 avocado
Fresh chopped cilantro
1 lime

Directions

Mix the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, sea salt, and black pepper in a small bowl.  Then rub your spice mix all over your flank steak. Then, place the steak at the bottom of the crock pot. Cover the steak with the chopped onions, bell peppers, and jalapeno pepper. Turn heat on LOW and cook for 8 hours.  Don’t try to rush this by using high for a shorter amount of time, all good things come to those who wait! After 8 hours, shred the meat with a fork. It should be incredibly easy to shred.  You can feel free to eat it right away, or leave the shredded meat in the pot for another 30 minutes if you’d like. To serve, heat your corn tortillas in a skillet on the stove. Then, spoon some carnitas on a tortilla and top with avocado, chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime.#

I have to say this was a winning recipe. The meat alone was amazing, but paired with rich avocado and a bit of lime, they were outstanding.  I didn’t want to stop eating them!  If you like this style of food I highly suggest you try this recipe   As a note, be sure to get good quality tortillas because the meat will be very juicy, and will easily soak through lesser tortillas.   Also, the 1.5lb steak would be enough to serve 3-4 people without having left overs. Since it was just the two of us, we used our left overs the next day in a salad topped with avocado, chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime, which was also very tasty!  Cheers!

Biga Wood Fired Pizzeria in Kirtland

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Neither my wife or I particularly enjoy cooking on a Friday evening so, we decided to finally make our way out to Kirtland to visit Biga Wood Fired Pizzeria.  What intrigued me most about Biga was their style of pizza.  To give you a little more background here is what Biga has to say: “Biga Wood Fired Pizzeria specializes in the authentic Naples-style (“Napoletana”) pizza pie prepared and cooked just as it was 168 years ago in a wood-fired hearth oven at over 900° F. Our mission is to provide our guests authentic Napoletana pizza, house-made seasonal tasting dishes, fresh salads, and unique desserts using only the finest fresh ingredients, cooked using time-honored traditions and served in a warm, inviting atmosphere.”

As we walked in at 6:00 pm on a Friday evening we walked into a half full restaurant. The only problem was that we were told those tables were reserved and we couldn’t get seated until 7:45 pm! One of the owners came up to the front of the small restaurant and asked how we were doing.  I said we didn’t have a reservation and she immediately jumped into action and moved a few tables to make room for us.  The customer service was already off to a great start.  That being said, be sure to secure a reservation because from what we heard, Biga is pretty busy all of the time!

Food
To start our meal we decided to split one of the special salads for the evening.  It consisted of pickled carrots, pickled onions, pistachios, beets, blue cheese and a light vinaigrette. As you can see in the picture, the salad portion was gigantic, clearly enough for two people who plan to eat pizza too!  We loved everything about this salad, especially the balance of the light dressing and equal amounts of ingredients to go with the great amount of lettuce.  I really liked how they incorporated two different kinds of beets in the salad because they each gave a different textural element to go along with the crunchy pistachios and the soft carrots and onions.
Pizza wise you have your work cut out for you making a choice of what to eat!  They had 13 different pizzas on the menu, all of which sounded fantastic.  We compromised on the Sweet Sausage Pizza, $15.  It came topped with freshly crafted-in-house sweet sausage, locally grown oregano, tomato, and fresh mozzarella cheese.  The crust on this pie was cooked to perfection.  The crispy, but not overcooked crust held up wonderfully to the ingredients on top. Speaking of those ingredients, the sweet sausage was also outstanding. Every bite that we had with it was well balanced and delicious.  The light spread of sauce and the incorporation of the fresh mozzarella didn’t overpower the flavor of the crust or the sausage.  If we had one small complaint about this tasty pizza, we both were looking for a bit more seasoning with sea salt.  If you didn’t get a bite of sausage and/or mozzarella, the presence of seasoning was somewhat lacking.
Something we didn’t know until the end of our meal is that Biga has one heck of a dessert offering!  If you like fresh homemade cakes and pies (who doesn’t?), save some room because what we saw was big and looked delicious!
Drinks
Biga is a BYOB establishment, so your wine and beer choices are unlimited.  Just know they do charge a $2.00 glass fee.
Atmosphere and Service
Biga is a very small restaurant with a cozy but vibrant atmosphere.  From every seat in the house you have a view of kitchen and the wood fire stove. From start to finish, we had wonderful service.  The owner, who seated us and then said a friendly goodbye, should be commended.  Keeping customers happy should be the #1 goal of the front of the house, and she clearly understands that!  Our waitress was also very friendly and helpful when we had some questions about the specials and pizzas. Overall, we have to give Biga a thumbs up.  We will surely be back with a few craft beers and to try a few more pizzas.