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Question for seasoned pizzaiolo! - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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  • Question for seasoned pizzaiolo!

    I've been on this wood fired pizza band wagon for a few years now. I finally got a Forno Bravo pizza oven last summer - after dreaming of it for a few years. We built a new house so it was the perfect time to put my dream into fruition. I have much to learn I know - but I will learn! I have such a passion for wood fired pizza - it's like some sickness that you just can't help! 😀 I have read and watched more videos than you can imagine. I've practiced and practiced trying to get my dough perfect. I am not there yet. I've done some studying of VPN - and I really want to go take the class in CA sometime soon.

    Tonight - we are away from home. We are in Minneapolis for a couple days. Of course, my husband and I both wanted to check out a new pizza place we haven't been to yet. So we did. The crazy part is, it came recommended from a guy we know that owns his own pizza store. He actually makes some of the best pizza I have ever had - wood fired of course. So we thought we were in for a treat since he recommended it. It was BY FAR the worst pizza I have had to date. Ok - not the worst - but considering they have VPN written all over everything - it was beyond bad. There was only a couple other tables in there when we ordered. We each ordered a pizza. I ordered a pretty standard Margherita - with salami. I then moved over so I could watch them make the pizzas behind a half glass wall. They were making one pizza after another. I would say they made 7 in about two minutes as I stood there. One would shape the pizza, the next one would put the sauce and basil on. The 3rd would put the cheese on and put it on the peel someone else put it in the oven. But not right away. I was thinking when she kept shaping the pizzas - who is eating these? There isn't that many people in here!

    The first thing I noticed, was all the tomato seeds I could see in the bowl of sauce sitting there. Ok - well I guess that isn't a big deal. At that time my husband hollered for me to come over to our table because our pizza just got there. Wow - that really was fast! They say 90 seconds in the oven - so I guess that was true. I got to the table, and I looked at the pizza, and the first thing I said was, "This pizza doesn't look hot. I bet it isn't." I could tell because the cheese had totally set. It looked like pizza does after it sits around for a bit. It kind of turns almost clear looking if that makes sense. I picked up a piece and it wasn't hot at all. Just warm at best. I was so taken aback at how soggy the crust was! It was soggy up until you got about 1/2 inch from the cornicione. We were both shocked to say the least. I'm not one to complain - however - when one of the workers was walking by, I asked if I could ask some questions. He couldn't speak English well, so he got the manager. I started my conversation out telling her I was not looking for a refund at all. I was just wanting to ask some questions. I started with asking her if there was a VPN trained person at every store. (It's a chain I guess) She said no. One of the owners got the certification. Then as delicately as I could - (and apologized as I continued) I told her how cold the pizza was. I actually asked her twice - "How can this be? We had our pizza in two minutes. How could it not be piping hot?" She never did answer that question. She just said, "Why didn't you say something?" And she's right. We really should have. I just always feel bad complaining about food. Then I asked her if it was customary for the crust to be that soggy. She said YES. She said, "The TRUE Napoleon pizza in Italy is just like this - really soggy." I was blown away. I know we have kind of Americanized pizza here, but why would anyone want their crust soggy?! Can anyone shed any light on this? Once when my pizza turned out like this, I considered it an epic fail! Check out the picture. Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Sounds like the restaurant needs to see the customer service video called "Give them the pickle". One dissatisfied customer, by word of mouth, can make 10 others consider not going to the place. I guess, lesson learned, hard to beat a pizza from your own oven. Thanks for sharing.
    Russell
    Build Link............... Picassa Photo Album Link

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    • #3
      Oh you are so right! I guess my question is - is this really VPN guidelines? A soggy crust pizza? Has anyone been to Italy and can confirm this is how the pizza is there? Because if this is how VPN training goes, I won't be attending.

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      • #4
        ACGarner is going to this training I think next week. Ask him when he gets back.

        http://www.fornobravo.com/community/...l-texas/page26
        Russell
        Build Link............... Picassa Photo Album Link

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        • #5
          Lipstick I live in Minneapolis and am wondering what place you went to? We go to several different places and I would not say any were soggy. I wounder if they were having a off night?

          Randy

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          • #6
            I also am waiting to hear from ACGarner as to the vpn training. It looks like it would be a lot of fun. He is doing the 3 day class and that is what I would like to do. The few reviews I found were from yelp and all were very positive.

            Randy

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            • #7
              Randy - we live in Fargo so we are here for just a couple of days. We went to Punch in Maple Grove. I ALWAYS look at reviews for new places but I didn't even check out Punch because someone recommended it. All I can say is he must have been there on a very good day. The soggy crust was bad enough - but the fact that it wasn't hot really through me. It had to have been sitting there - but WHY? I don't think it was an off night for the soggy crust. We talked to the manager. She was very firm when telling us REAL Neapolitan pizza in Italy has a soggy crust. Why in the world would anyone want that? We headed over to Pizzaria Lola's for lunch today. Best pizza ever - the real deal!

              ACGarner - I can't wait to hear how the training goes. I'm assuming you're going to CA for the training? I want to go before spring is here. RandyJ - are you serious about going too?

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              • #8
                I agree that pizzeria Lola is probably the best I have had. One of my other favorites is pizza nea in NE Minneapolis. It is also great. As for punch I think of it as Mc Donalds of wood fired pizza. To chared and over sauced and then as you said saugy. I live in Maple Grove and did not know punch was there. I hope you have a great trip.

                Randy

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                • #9
                  I missed your question at the bottom. Yes I am considering it. It would be a cool experience and a chance to get real training on cooking in a wfo. I talked about with my wife and she didn't think the price was out of line so I am hoping to do it next winter if we get a good review.

                  Randy

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                  • #10
                    Lipstick, you can go to Pizza Quest and view the latest webisodes where Peter Reinhart interviews and makes pizzas with Peppe Miele, the President of VPN Americas. His crusts look quite crisp! There are many other episodes with pizzaiolos like Tony Gemignani and Nancy Silverton.

                    https://www.fornobravo.com/pizzaques...est-webisodes/
                    Forno Bravo

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                    • #11
                      fbfireoven - I did watch them - thank you! You're right - his crust is very crispy! This is why I wanted to talk to the manager while I was there. It certainly wasn't to complain - and I told her that. I really wanted to know what the scoop was. I really wanted to hear they had an off night. But that wasn't the case. I'm glad everyone here agrees - a crisp, yet bendable crust, is the ONLY way! 👍🏻

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                      • #12
                        The result is all about oven/heat management and the Pizziola doing the cooking.... I have had that result and although it can still be really good. A few more seconds of cooking could have made the difference.
                        Darin I often cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food... WC Fields Link to my build http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/4...-ca-20497.html My Picasa Pics https://picasaweb.google.com/1121076...eat=directlink

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