According to the National Restaurant Association, labor costs now represent about
of sales in America’s full-service restaurants.
Slice of Hope 2012 takes place next month when members of Pizza Today cycle throughout the state of Florida to raise money for the Karen Mullen Breast Cancer Foundation. This year’s goal is to raise $150,000.
Florida has 3,698 pizzerias.
This year, the pizza industry is expected to grow at a rate of 3 percent.
/// Places That Rock // Pie Hole Pizza Joint / Urbn Coal Fired Pizza / Basil Brick Oven Pizza
Pie Hole Pizza Joint
3477 N. Broadway
Chicago, Illinois 60657
Pie Hole is a hopping late-night spot in Chicago’s Lakeview district. In addition to whole pizzas ($16.99-$18.99 for a14-inch), the pizzeria features custom, made-to-order slices ($2.99 plus toppings), where a whole pizza is par-baked and sliced and await toppings of patrons’ choosing.Interesting combinations include the After-school Special with sausage and marshmallows; the Spicy Salty Sweet with jalapeño peppers, pineapples and feta; and the Lasagnizza with an “al dente” pasta sauce, mozzarella, provolone, ricotta, ground beef or spinach and topped with lasagna noodles and more sauce and cheese. Wednesdays are popular for its “All You Can Shove” deal — unlimited slices and fountain drinks for $8.99 from 5 p.m. until midnight. The restaurant also features a namesake appetizer of poppable balls of pizza dough coated with basil pesto sauce or olive oil and Parmesan, baked, and served with red sauce olive oil or ranch ($6.99).
Urbn Coal Fired Pizza
3085 University Avenue
San Diego, California 92104
Urbn brings New Haven-style pizza to
Southern California with its location in San Diego’s North Park. The
5,000-square foot pizzeria has a trendy, industrial warehouse ambiance. It offers a dozen specialty craft pizzas like the Fresh Clam white pie with Parmesan, garlic and EVOO ($18) and the Mashed Potato white pie with mozzarella, bacon and Parmesan ($15). Though Urbn doesn’t open until 12 noon, it features
a popular individually-sized breakfast pizza served all day — the Pig + Egg,
a white pie with mozzarella, mashed potatoes and option of bacon or sausage ($10). Urbn puts a unique spin on traditional chicken wings. Its Coal Fired Wings are bathed with rosemary, garlic, Thai chili, lemon, Parmesan and EVOO ($9). House-made chocolate cookies are coal fired as well and served as sandwiches with a vanilla ice cream filling ($7.50). The pizzeria also serves up 50 beers and a large selection of tequila, bourbon, scotch, gin, vodka and cognac.
Basil Brick Oven Pizza
28-17 Astoria Blvd.
Astoria, NY 11102
The small, artisan pizzeria in Queens, New York, is gaining the attention of the NYC pizza scene, nominated for “Best New Pizza
2012” by TimeOut New York magazine and buzz in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. This summer, the 20-seat pizzeria expanded to add 50 more seats, as well as a Gelato station. A 50-seat two- level patio is still in the works. Basil boasts fresh ingredients, including mozzarella made daily. Nearly 40 artisan pizzas are featured, including the Speck & Brie with Parmigiano-Reggiano, extra virgin olive oil and basil ($13.75) and the Boscaiolo with tomato sauce, mozzarella, heavy cream, sausage, asparagus, mushrooms, Parmigiano-Reggiano, truffle oil and basil ($13). It’s also famous for a chocolate dessert pizza, the Pizza al Cioccolato ($10). Basil menus an assortment of Panini, ($9.25) from the Salsiccia with Italian sweet sausage, mozzarella, roasted red peppers and caramelized onions to the L’Americano with scrambled eggs, bacon, mozzarella, black pepper, Parmigiano- Reggiano and extra virgin olive oil.