Sunday, December 20, 2009

Yo Taxi! Third Annual Wing Thing Celebration ...

CONSTANCE: This Erie Pizza and Wing blogger got invited to a very special celebration this week, the annual “wing thing” to commemorate the anniversary date of … oops, I forgot to ask the honoree’s permission to use his real name, so let’s just call him JB. This celebration was to commemorate JB’s heart attack and survival three years ago. Every year on the anniversary date of his heart attack, he indulges in wings. Once a year! Wow, compared to the weekly Erie Pizza and Wing Blog this year, I felt so honored to be invited to this once a year indulgence.
Year one, JB celebrated at Country Tavern. We blogged about them in the summer, when the black squirrel helped select our destination that week. Definitely good pizza and wings there, and they let us pay by check. Year two’s celebration was at Doc Holiday’s. JB said the wings there were also delicious, although we haven’t officially blogged about them yet.

JB hailed a cab for him and about 30 family members and friends to The Cab Bar & Grill for year three’s party. I had never been to The Cab before so was very excited to try their za and wings.

They are deceptively small from West Ridge Road, but have a huge party room in the back that easily accommodated the 3rd “wing thing”. I’d suggest entering from the side if you’d like to avoid all the smoke from the bar area when you enter via the front door.

We ordered a personal pizza with pepperoni and a large split order of wings. BBQ wasn’t on the menu, but they’ll mix it up for you – just ask! And also Dave’s special, The Cab’s signature wing with about 11 or 12 spices. Excited to try this one. JB ordered Cajun, so he promised I could try a wing or two, too.

The servers were able to accommodate the 30+ crowd’s orders and we got served in about 30 minutes. They kept everything straight, but … get this, they accidentally brought me an extra order of Dave’s special wings – so there were plenty to share. Lucky me and those seated around me!

The pizza was adorable – perfect 4-piece size to enjoy with wings. The crust was bakery crust though, and not hand tossed.

And, the wings were crispy – just the way I love them! The BBQ was finger licking good … not too saucy and very flavorful. I also enjoyed the Cajun – on the dry side, which is my personal preference. But I think the overall consensus was on Dave’s special. Very unique flavor and sinus clearing bonus! I loved the Cajun flavoring and mesquite peeked through pretty strongly too. I wonder what the other 9 or 10 spices were. That’ll require another visit to The Cab and further research, a.k.a. taste testing!

Our total Cab tab was about $25 which included a couple of libations and tip. Very price friendly!

The overall slice review for this week was 6 outta 8 slices for the food but a 10 outta 8 slices for the celebration and camaraderie. I loved the symbolism for the celebration. Next time you have a hankering for pizza and wings, hail a Cab and think of your heart health. JB’s heart attack survival prompted me to visit the American Heart Association’s Web site to share the warning symptoms of a heart attack for readers of our Erie Pizza and Wing blog. You’ll see that minutes matter! I hope that you enjoyed this blog post, and also take away, what could be some life-saving information.

Until next year’s celebration … here’s to your heart health! And JB, on behalf of your family and friends, we’re all glad you’re here … thanks for sharing your life with us!

Heart Attack Warning Signs (

Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the "movie heart attack," where no one doubts what's happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:

• Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.

• Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

• Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.

• Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
Learn the signs, but remember this: Even if you're not sure it's a heart attack, have it checked out (tell a doctor about your symptoms). Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives — maybe your own. Don’t wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1 or your emergency response number.

Calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treatment when they arrive — up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff is also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital, too. It is best to call EMS for rapid transport to the emergency room.

The 411:
The Cab Bar & Grill
5442 West Ridge Road
Erie, PA 16506

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Patti's Pizza - the Perfect Storm of Za and Wings

CONSTANCE: Patti's doesn't really offer coupons or specials, but trust me ... their everyday pricing was very fair and competitive. For about $14 we enjoyed a large, 1-item pizza and a dozen wings.

The wings were very crispy and flavorful. Ranch! It's amazing how many varieties of ranch there are out there - but this was one of my favorites.

I think Mathias may have enjoyed the pizza more than me since it was "bakery" crust and not hand-tossed. But it was good, fast and cheap! The perfect storm of pizza and wings!

The 411:

Patti's Pizza
3403 W. 38th Street

Wing Blog Goes on Thanksgiving Vacation to See Mickey and More!

CONSTANCE: We planned for months and the day finally came - FLA Thanksgiving vacation - complete with Flat Stanley packed as carry-on, his "homecoming". It was the perfect travel day - we even got bumped to an earlier flight at no extra cost and arrived 3 hours early. My brother pulled in some favors at work and met us at the airport. We got "home", unloaded the suitcases, grabbed my sis-in-law and the kids and headed to lunch at Beef O'Brady's. We don't have those in Erie, but nationwide, there are over 254 locations ... and they serve over 2 million wings a week so you know they'll be good.

We ordered three different kinds of wings to please our guest bloggers that ranged from 8-year old Emme and 10-year old Andrew up to a 40-something Me! Medium ... Sweet Jalapeno and Kickin' Bayou BBQ. We quickly learned who liked the drummies and who liked the boney wings and dug in - thankfully there were wet naps!

The medium were pretty tangy. Napkins were definitely being used as Kleenix. And the Sweet Jalapeno were also very good - kinda gummy and tangy both. But after everyone had sampled, the clear winner was thumbs up Kickin' Bayou BBQ!! Hints of honey, BBQ and mesquite I think. A flavor combo like no other tried this year. It was really fun having a group blog vacation ...

We spent Thanksgiving Day at Disney World's Magic Kingdom to celebrate my niece Emme's 8th birthday (so technically she was only 7 at the Beef O'Brady's blog). And Friday, the day after Thanksgiving was really our turkey dinner celebration. But come Saturday, we were hungry again (ha!) and had carry-out wings from Frankie's. Frankie's used to be located right on the harbor where all the Disney cruises launch. But in the past three year, if I remember right, they've moved to the main drag in Merritt Island, N. Courtney Parkway, and are located in the bowling alley.

My brother ordered for us, and we had #2 wings with extra hot sauce too. These were delicious. They were crispy ... flavorful. And we got a quart of ranch dressing too. Nice! We cheered the FLA Gators and Tim Tebow to victory and even dressed Daisy the puppy in a Tebow jersey to celebrate!

You might be asking - what about the pizza part of the vacation blog? That came Sunday night. We went to see Blindside (excellent movie - a must see!) and then out for pizza in nearby Village of Cocoa, complete with a park and ice rink (yes, in FLA!) and Santa! Ryan's! Which incidentally had an Amber alert from the prior day, where a father "kidnapped" his son. This and the Tiger Woods story broke during our FLA trip.

We ordered pizza by the slice and I tried the white pizza with eggplant. Here's a link to the piture in my Facebook album to see how huge and incredible this za was ( Hand-tossed crust - yum! I wish an Erie pizza place would offer eggplant za- baba ghanouj za!

Overall, the Vacation Pizza and Wing visits are an 8 outta 8 slice review. The best part? Having a family that is definitely a 8 outta 8 slices!

The FLA 411:
Beef O'Brady's
1450 N. Courtney Parkway, #36
Merritt Island, Florida, 32953
Phone: (321) 455-6665

Frankies Wings & Snackbar
600 North Courtenay Parkway
Merritt Island, FL 32953-4749
(321) 452-5557

Ryan's Village Pizza
405 Delannoy Ave
Cocoa, FL 32922
(321) 634 - 5555

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mathias loved this one ... for days!

MATHIAS: Check back soon ... I have something to say about Vocelli's!

The 411:
Vocelli Pizza
2823 West 26th Street

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Train Pulls Into Town with Papa Joe's Pepperoni Cafe Engine

CONSTANCE: Papa Joe's Pepperoni Cafe was suggested by a FaceBook friend of a friend and oh so delicious! We had trouble finding them at first. Formerly on 8th and Walnut, they're now on West Ridge Road, just past Powell on the north side. Can't miss them!

So we ordered a large hand tossed pizza with ham topping and zinger wings. They had a special, so everything was about $18. Half-hour on a busy Friday night for our wait. We got there and our decision was reaffirmed - the place was packed. There was even a nun decked out in full habit attire (which, sidebar, prompted a debate between Mathias and I on where nuns buy such garb ... turns out there are 489,000 URLS when keywords "nun uniform" are searched - who knew?). This photo was selected with love to remind Mathias of his primary education environment and my piano teacher, Sister Estelle Marie who trimmed my fingernails till they'd bleed and smack my hands with a ruler during my lessons).

Talk about an outta the box experience - when we opened the za box, the slices weren't slices at all but little squares and triangles. That was a fun surprise and I could eat more quantity! The wings were zingers and very flavorful too. Not too spicy. Really meaty.

After a whole year of pizza and wing blogging, some of our descriptors are getting repetitive ... but this place was memorable and different and very popular for good reason! One of my favorites all year for sure and I'm awarding an 8 outta 8 slice review.

Try them sooner than later ... for me, so I can live vicariously through you till January, when we can repeat visit to some of our favorites! Papa Joe's will be at the top of this list!

Oh, the Train concert was very good too. The Clarks were the warm up band. They didn't play many of their oldies but focused on their new CD which has a country flair, and I really wanted to hear "On Saturday" for the line, "That's not the color I wanted, I said blu-e!!". Pat Monahan was incredible and such a showman. I loved the new release "Hey Soul Sister" which he performed with his daughter. And his son also played guitar for another song. It was such a diverse performance and he made Erie proud, and vice versa! Check out "Hey Soul Sister" at Pat's URL:

See you next week - we don't know where we're going yet, but I'm sure there will be stories on how we got there! Or send your thoughts on our next pizza and wing destination to us. Have a good week filled with pizza and wings!

The 411:
Papa Joe's Pepperoni Cafe
3826 W Ridge Rd
Erie, PA 16506
(814) 835-3360

Yamato and Cornerstone are the Pulse of Life

CONSTANCE: Yamato's show was sold out. They've traveled the world over and have reached more than a million people, but I felt like they were freshly performing for me, and Mathias. The 11-member ensemble performed at Mercyhurst's D'Angelo Performing Afts Center on Sunday November 1 and we were there! They believe that the drumbeat, like the heartbeat, is the pulse of life.

And our blog believes that of pizza and wings, too. What a great combination and fun evening.

We went to Cornerstone after the performance and placed our order. Large pizza with split topping of ham and banana peppers and cajun ranch wings. With $2 tip, the order came to $15. Not bad!

It was a 20 minute wait so we drove to Giant Eagle in Wesleyville to pick up a birthday cake for my friend and called my Mother on the way. She wants a telephone and slippers for Christmas. How practical! She's getting more than that of course, but it was a great catch-up call.

Our order was ready when we got back. It was a later night to eat, but we settled into Curb Your Enthusiasm and enjoyed some good za and wings. While everything was really good, it wasn't memorable. I'd rate 4 outta 8 slices. Value and very nice service! It would probably be a fun place to eat there and shoot some pool and chillax!

The 411:
Cornerstone Bar and Grill
809 E 38th St
Erie, PA 16504-1768
(814) 825-3700

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Food fight, my parking spot secret ... and Desparate Housewives!

CONSTANCE: While Mathias and I usually agree or share similar opinions on MOST things, there are a couple of areas where we are a nice complement to each other. That's a euphemism for we horribly disagree but go along to get along! The first is parking the car. If it were up to Mathias, we'd park in Meadville to go to the Millcreek Mall, and he'd consider that a good parking spot. His theory is grab the first spot you see. Not me! I visualize a parking spot close to the Macy's entrance, and boom - we're there. Sometimes it takes a drive down the adjoining row, but more often than not, my secret parking spot visualization does the trick the first pass!

The second area of complementary thinking is Sabo's Pizza. We're already in third quarter of our year-long Erie Pizza and Wing Odessey and we've had similar reviews of all the local pizza and wing places until now. Food fight, oh, it's on!

We ordered based on the phone special, of a large pizza with one topping and 20 wings for (with tax) $19 (seems to be the local going price). Mathias wanted diced tomatoes on his half and I love sausage. The wings were Cajun ranch flavored with a hint of Parmesan. It was only a 15 minute wait on a busy Friday night, and about a 15 minute drive to get there, so our order was ready when we got there ... and also lukewarm when we got home. Our bad not Sabo's fault.

The wings looked like Part Tavern wings, kind of burnt, but I had an open mind. The sausage was saucer-shaped, like the pepperoni at Uptown's and Luchetti's, so I knew I'd love it. The crust is fresh dough made daily guaranteed - and it was delish!

The wings were very meaty and crispy and tasted like you could make them at home. Which I thought was a good thing; however, Mathias did not, and I quote him from FaceBook, "The wings tasted like wings you'd get in eastern Europe, before the fall of the soviet union; a bird like creature, cooked in machine oil and sprinkled with the flavoring of an herb only found near the abandoned Chernobyl nuclear facility." Ouch - how did you really feel Mathias?

I thought they were good ...

There was a piece of my pizza left over for breakfast meaning that Mathias ate four pieces on Friday night. And the leftover wings were devoured by Mathias for lunch on Saturday too, before I realized how much he hated everything.

I was surprised to see Mathias eating an "I love you man" sized bowl of cereal - Apple Jacks, his favorite, because he was still unsatisfied and hungry from Sabo's.

Overall, I'll give Sabo's a 5 outta 8 slice review. I think it would be a nice place to eat in too and I'd probably try the antipasto salad next time too. Their menu is pretty comprehensive too including subs and calzones. Oh, I have a confession to make ... I thought their name was Scavo's at first, just like on "Desperate Housewives" ... oops, my bad!

The 411:
Sabo's Pizza
7374 West Ridge Road