Monday, February 29, 2016

Spring Trip 2016: Pizza Rock

I had seen pictures of Pizza Rock Las Vegas pretty much everywhere online for the past few months. Specifically, good things written about their meatballs. Since I was going to be in Downtown Las Vegas with no plans for dinner I figured why not give it a try.

First, some background.  When I eat Italian food it's typically with my wife, and my wife has Celiac disease which I can tell you, in opposition to what Ted Cruz thinks about the matter, is a real problem.  If you've never been around anyone with Celiac (as Mr. Cruz clearly has not) then you've never had to deal with the issues that result from accidentally ingesting a belly full of gluten.  As an aside, Mr. Cruz, I can assure you that we will not have the strong military that you are advocating if even 1% of your soldiers is spending half their time doubled up in the restroom throwing up.

But, back to Pizza Rock.

First, the pictures:

Quail Egg Guanciale California Style Pizza


As you can see I did order the meatballs.  And, yes, they were very good. I did find that mine seemed to be slightly heavier sauced than the other pictures that I've seen of these, and that did throw off the balance just a bit.  I could have used with possible 1/4 less of a ladle of sauce and these would have been outstanding.

For the main course I had the Quail Egg Guanciale pizza which comes on a thin, California-style, crust and is topped with mozzarella cheese, potatoes, Italian chorizo, calebrese peppers, pork cheek and quail eggs. The menu also claimed that the pizza was seasoned with "Rosemary and Lavender sea salt" but it was in quantities small enough that I didn't notice it.

Despite missing the aromatics however the pizza itself was great. Especially the bites where I was able to bite into a quail egg. The warm, runny egg yolk added a LOT to the pizza. If you've never had quail egg, or chicken egg for that matter, on your pizza I highly recommend you consider it when available.

I had a Dogfish head 90 minute IPA which was good (of course) although they did have some local Las Vegas beers on offer I had been Vegasing pretty much all day and just wanted something old and comfortable to sip on while I ate. Next visit I plan on paying more attention to the drinks list.

As far as ambiance?  Pizza Rock is rock and roll, and pizza. The walls are black, the carpet is gray (I think) the music is loud-ish, but not too loud. There's a take-out counter at the front of the restaurant, a giant semi-truck sticking out in the dining room and what appeared to be a stage.

The bathrooms were dirty, one was broken, but the food was good and the beer was cold. Considering we walked in after 9PM, the service was friendly, although not overbearingly so.  The food order for 4 people came out quickly, and my wife had no issues with her celiac. (She ordered white wine with clams and the pancetta and arugula salad. My father had the lasagna while my mother had her first Calzone (The Manhattan) ever (FYI: she loved it but she couldn't eat it all).  Because I'm not a fan of reaching over the table, I only took a picture of my food. (I also let everyone else in my party eat. This is something more food critics need to realize, people are hungry)

Overall that's a pretty solid visit IMO.


Food:  A  The meatballs were good, though slightly over-sauced. The pizza was excellent.

Service: B- Overall good, but the lady that ran us our food (not our waiter) almost threw some of the plates at us rather than setting them down.

Ambiance: B+  For a place called Pizza Rock you pretty much get it as advertised. If you're looking for fancy this place ain't. It was passably clean however, which was a plus.

Overall: A- I liked Pizza Rock, a lot. Broken stalls in bathrooms, provided they are properly marked (and this one was) are not a big deal to me.  Some customers can't hold their liquor.

Price: $$ A party of two should be able to eat at Pizza Rock, including appetizer, main course and drinks, for well under $100 unless you really go extravagant. 

Value:  4/5 - Given that this is Las Vegas, land of high prices, I thought Pizza Rock was a very good value for money. The best deals were the Calzones ($13) which could easily feed two people or the meatballs (3 for $6 or 6 for $9) which could be a meal in and of themselves if you choose the larger order. Ironically, it's the pizzas that prevent PR from receiving 5 out of 5 for value. Not that they're over priced, but they're not exactly a bargain at their price points either. In other words, I think they are priced fairly.

Chance of returning: 100% If and when I get back to Las Vegas that is.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Las Vegas: Coming Soon

My first Las Vegas trip of the year is fast approaching so if you do happen to stumble across this, just wait. I'll have trip updates and other news coming up soon.

I might even have, wait for it, video content to share.

Until then....

Wait for it.....

And now, some news:

Not only paid parking on the Strip, but outsourced Paid parking on the Strip. - It doesn't get much worse than that.

The Las Vegas Raiders? This shit-show of a disaster would be fitting for Davis and Co.

Of COURSE Nevada should take the lead on DFS. - They're really the only State that gets gambling correct.