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Building our own Pizza Palace

04/24/2014
Jen pulls a steaming hot pizza pie out of the oven.

Jen pulls a steaming hot pizza pie out of the oven.

Bangor is not a pizza town.

Jen and I have searched all over this city for a tasty, bustling and reasonably priced pie shop. Here’s what we found:

* Last fall we went to a pizza place attached to a house in Hampden. It was mostly empty on a Friday night. The sausage and mushroom pie was dry and tasteless.

* Last winter we tried a highly recommended shop in Bangor. We sat on wooden benches at a cheap Formica table near a propped open front door. In blew the wind and our mediocre pizza went cold fast.

* A new place downtown is nice. But it serves “gourmet” pizza. Fancy ingredients. A complicated menu and a beer list that reads like “Ulysses,” long, complicated and unsatisfying.

* Friends claim the pizza is so bad at an old school downtown Italian restaurant that a New Yorker enrolled in a federal witness protection plan must own it. We tried the place anyway. When we asked for olives on half our pizza, the waitress got nervous. She said the cook/owner was in a bad mood. We cancelled the olives.

Bangor just doesn’t have a Mystic Pizza.

In fact, we have come to the conclusion that the best pizza in Bangor is cooked up and served at Laura and Roger’s place. Laura and Roger are University of Maine colleagues who live in a busy two-story house near the freeway. They have a young son, a big, black poodle and a well-worn kitchen featuring a beautiful stone-topped serving island. The only thing missing is Naugahyde booths.

Then we thought: “Hey, if Roger and Laura can cook up great pizza pies, why can’t we?”

Jen purchased a pizza stone and a paddle-shaped peel. She started to experiment with different dough and homemade sauces. Then came the big breakthrough: In order to get our clunky Whirlpool Gold “Accubake” oven hot enough, the temperature needed to max out at  500 AND the broiler needed to be fully engaged.

The added broiler blast did the trick

The intense heat cooked the cheese, mushrooms, Italian sausage or bruschetta ham to perfection. It toasted the crust to a crispy crunch on the outside and kept the inside warm, chewy and delicious. Pizza perfection.

Yes, there is pizza heaven in Bangor. It’s in our own kitchen.

 

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9 Comments
  1. John permalink

    Jen’s pizza looks great! Have you tried Governor’s in Old Town? I worked there in 1967 and it was pretty good then.

  2. Corbett Johnson permalink

    Pizza Heaven in Bangor? Is that Iowa or heaven. Must be heaven because it is made and served by a beautiful angel.

  3. Corbett: Jen is a fantastic cook! Her pizza is right up there with ‘Za! Is the FL ice out yet??

  4. John: We’ve been to your Governor’s in Old Town, they still have your Employee of the Month picture up!!! We’re going to Boothbay for a show next month. Any tips?

  5. Ferr permalink

    Cut into wedges(gasp)? I guess the squares are a Midwest thing. Looks really delicious!

  6. Emeraldgift@aol.com permalink

    Way to go Jen……it looks fantastic and yummy:)

  7. You guys are an inspiration! Must try this… But does it beat Red Savoy??

  8. Emily: The Savoy is the best. Mama’s on Rice, Cossetta’s, even John’s down the street are all great in St. Paul. Why can’t Bangor have just one great place?

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