Friday, September 25, 2009
TasteCasting - Donatos Hand Tossed Pizza
Bob and I had the pleasure of attending our second TasteCasting event on Tuesday night. We met at the Donatos at Easton Town Center, 4055 Morse Crossing. We were there to taste the newly released “Hand-tossed” pizza.
First let me say that Bob and I are relative newcomers to this group. This being only our second event we really only knew a few people. But everyone so was great to us. And I had the particular pleasure of meeting a fellow blogger that is new to Columbus, Vanessa Druckman! She had previously commented on one of my posts, and I checked her blog out and started following it. You should take a look. This is Vanessa’s blog http://chefdruck.blogspot.com/. We also met other members we had not met before that were just so nice! Thanks Jason (http://www.greatestcityofall.com/) and Joe (http://www.jlh-photo.com/) for great conversation!
Okay, on to the food! We were there to taste Donatos new “Hand-tossed” pizza. This pizza has been three years in development. Donatos has paid intensely close attention to the crust, the sauce, the cheese and even the pepperoni. All are different from their other pizzas.
Being our own hometown pizza, Bob & I are both big Donatos fans. Bob’s preference is the Founder’s Favorite which sports pepperoni, sausage, ham and yellow peppers. We like the thin crust with the famous edge-to-edge toppings. We were looking forward to trying this new pizza.
The evening began with Tom Santor of Donatos telling us a little of the history of Donatos, and the history of the hand tossed pizza. The Donatos new hand tossed pizza has a traditional pie cut as opposed to Donatos square cut pizzas. I’ve mentioned the new sauce, pepperoni and cheese already. In addition, the pie comes with your choice of one of two dipping sauces; either sweet Italian marinara or buttery garlic.
The display of food was lovely. They brought out a variety of Hand Tossed pizzas for us to try. Also available for tasting was a gorgeous super sized Chicken Harvest Salad. This happens to be my favorite salad that Donatos or any other pizza place for that matter, makes. And what makes it even more delicious and incredible? It’s the vinaigrette that you get with it. O.M.G. It is so freaking good! It is T. Marzetti’s Apple Vinaigrette. We horde this dressing in our house. I always ask for extra when I get this salad (sometimes you have to pay for the extra, sometimes not). Then we use it for veggie dip, baked potatoes; heck, at this point I could probably figure out how to frost a cupcake with it! I love it that much! And you want to know the coolest part about it? I know the dude who created it! Yeah, I do!!! Jared Prosek is a rock star in my eyes! Did you catch that name? Why yes, that is the son of our own “Meow”. How cool is that? But I digress. Get me back on track. I tend to wander off when you mention the apple vinaigrette.
In addition to the pizzas and salad, they had their chicken breast strips with a sweet, smokey bbq sauce. Later they would bring out dessert pizzas.
After shooting some pictures and giving everyone else time to get their shots, I zeroed in on the spinach pizza. I love anything with spinach in it. This had the new hand tossed crust, fresh mozzarella, roasted all-white meat chicken, roasted garlic, and roma tomatoes and was lightly brushed with olive oil in lieu of sauce. This was just awesome! The thicker crust has a chewy texture and I liked that. This pizza just rocked!
Next I went for the hand tossed pepperoni pizza. Along with this we were served hot from the oven thin crust pepperoni pizza. That was great for comparison. And side-by-side you sure could tell the difference in the sauce (a bit sweeter on the hand tossed) and the pepperoni (spicier on the hand tossed). If I had to choose between the two, well I guess I’d have to walk the plank. They were both good. Really good.
The hand tossed serious cheese was yummy. It had just the right amount of sauce so that it let the cheese be the star. And was it ever. It was so gooey and stringy and everything a cheese pizza should be! Just ask Elizabeth! She sure was enjoying it with a big smile on her face!
It was tough to follow that with the hand tossed fresh mozzarella Trio Pizza. I just love the fresh mozz, but the sausage is always just a hair too spicy for me. I know; I am such a wimp!
I had never tried Donatos chicken strips before and they were really good! I was quite impressed. Just strips of moist, juicy chicken that is lightly breaded. Very good with the sweet bbq sauce they had with it.
I’ve already told you how I feel about the salad. But I sure as heck don’t want you thinking I’m getting all virtuous on you. My gosh! I still have 3 visits from Restaurant Week that I haven’t posted yet! And stuff since then! My sister tells me I’ve been a lazy blogger lately. Hmmm….there she goes with the “big sister” routine again. Anyway, Casey Pierce from the Donatos test kitchens comes out with two kinds of dessert pizzas; Apple Timpano and Cinnamon Timpano.
The Apple Timpano is a crust filled with whole apple slices and topped with a brown sugar streusel and caramel sauce. The edges are folded up along the pizza and kind of pleated. Reminded me of a galette. And then there was the Cinnamon Timpano; crust baked with cinnamon sugar and topped with a creamy white icing. The edges are folded up in the same manner. The apple is delicious. Just delicious. But the Cinnamon. My knees started shaking. I began to feel weak. It was clearly evident to me that I needed a second piece!
In fact…….where is that phone number for the Donatos near us? How do you pronounce “Timpano”? Oh, no problem; they’ll know what I’m talking about.
So thanks to the folks at Donatos in Easton for inviting us for an evening of tasting. It was great fun!
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