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Happy Cheesy Valentine’s Day To All Of You Lovers Out There 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die

Tuesday or Valentine’s Day as some may call it,  had me considering which dish to choose on this day of love. Do I write about sensual food? Do I write about a romantic place? Then I remembered.

When I was in Kindergarten a boy named Alan gave me a special valentine gift. It was a bizarre arrangement of jewelry, in a heart shaped box.   Looking back, I realize that it was a sweet gesture and being a kindergartener, I really did not know how to handle the situation and I remember that it really freaked me out. Plus, I got the chickenpox. Quite possibly this was the beginning of my cynical view of Valentine’s Day.  So to you, my readers, I dedicate this poem.

Roses are red,

Pizza sauce is too,

So I’m eating a pizza,

And none of it is for you. –

Love Meg

Coal Fired Pizza at Bob’s Victory Grille in Tuscaloosa is the 88th dish that I have tasted on my quest to try each of the 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die, (13th if I am counting down.)

bobspizza

Cheese Lovers + Mushrooms Pizza at Bob’s Victory Grille in Tuscaloosa-Yum

Tuscaloosa is home to The University of Alabama and “Bob” was a former U of Alabama ball player who made big, playing in the N.F.L with the Miami Dolphins. He later went into the restaurant business with the likes of Joe Namath. Bob Baumhower is the CEO of Aloha International, a company that cultivates and runs his 10 restaurants. The story is found on the website “About Bob.” About Bob-Victory Grill Website

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Bob’s Victory Grille Tuscaloosa

Bob’s Victory Grille is a sport’s themed bar loaded with televisions and sports memorabilia that will keep your eyes wandering.

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Bob’s Victory Grille

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Bob’s Victory Grille also sells their own sauces and rubs

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I liked this *cool* bottle display on ice.

The pizza is made in the center of the restaurant in a coal-fired oven.

The pizza is made in the center of the restaurant in their coal-fired oven.   Clean coal-fired ovens burn at a very high heat. When the pizza sits on the oven floor, the crust bake to a perfect light crispness, without being burned. The high heat cooks the pizza quickly as the toppings and cheese melt into the sauce. After my visit, I looked at the website and noticed the statement that these pizzas are made in “Alabama’s first Coal-Fired Brick Oven.”  Who knew?

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Coal-Fired pizza oven at Bob’s Victory Grille

These ovens cost more than their electric counterparts and whenever I see them, I know my pizza is going to be good.   But there were a few things that made this pizza fantastic.

The pizza dough and sauce is made from scratch daily.  The website also said that the cheese was made daily.  When I read that statement, I thought for certain that it was a typo.  However, I did see this written in other areas on the website.

When it came time to order my pizza, I had a difficult time trying to figure out which pizza to order according to Tourism Alabama’s list. In one of my older pamphlets, a coal-fired pizza called Bayou La Batre was suggested; it was not on the menu. I then noticed that the app the dish was Flatbread Victory Pizza but when I asked the waiter for that pizza, he did not know what that was and furthermore the flatbread pizzas were served during lunch hours. So, I Googled the 2016 list by Tourism Alabama the dish was listed as coal-fired pizza.

I chose the Cheese Lover’s Pizza. Crafted with house-made plum tomato sauce and topped with the scratch-made mozzarella cheese, Romano, Ricotta, and Gorgonzola. I added mushrooms.

This pizza really tasted great, arguably in my top 10 pizzas this year, and I have had some darn good pizza….and they do this thing.  After cooking, the pizza crust is brushed with a butter-garlic mix, giving it another layer of flavor.  I really like this.   I added mushrooms to my pizza because I love them and found the pizza to have an ample amount of toppings.

MEGastars: 4 ****  Great pizza, comfortable atmosphere, great service!

MEGatips:

  1. Bob’s Victory Grille is also located in Auburn. See restaurant link above for details, directions, hours and menus.
  2. Check out this photo of my finger and a plaything across the street.   My friend climbed it and made my day!
bobsplayground

Massive and awesome climbing thing at the Snow-Hinton Park near Baumhower’s Victory Grille.

8. Have a lovely Valentine’s Day.

________________________________________________________________-

This MEGabites and MEGastars description is found at the bottom of each post. If you are new to my 100 Dishes in Alabama escapade, this may be helpful information.

ABOUT:  *100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die,” is a compilation of food to chow down on “Bama style.”  Thanks to Tourism Alabama, www.alabama.travel my Alabama bucket list just became a little easier.  I am going to have some food fun while making my way like Ms. Pacman, in yet another state that I call home.   From the little old diner to the white cloth setting, this journey is an opportunity for me to explore my new state and experience pride in food from restaurateurs who are dedicated to local food, with some Alabama style. From the local BBQ smoker to James Beard recipients, you too will take a culinary trip across scenic and historical Alabama.  From this list, I select stops based upon convenience of location and they are in no particular order (but I already have a few favorites.)  Perhaps when I finish this list, I will rank my favorite dishes. You too may pick up the brochure at Alabama Tourism stops or download the alphabetical brochure that begins in Abbeville and ends in York.

I use a 5 MEGastar system.  For the most part, I am traveling a distance to try these dishes and these places get one shot at how I view the food and experience.   I will not be taking an average of three visit experiences and I factor this in when I give my star rating. That said, I’m very easy to please, I can overlook quite a bit and have worked in the food service industry.  I am not a paid food critic, just Meg, a curious traveler, with an interest in trying different foods and sharing my two cents on the experience.  I try to follow my own star system so that I may be fair to the wonderful dishes on this list.

  • *meh food. Just wasn’t good. Maybe the food came from a can? or,  the place was not one that I would want to send someone to show pride in Alabama.   This has happened to me a few times and is a difficult write.
  • ** passable – the food was “ok” but the place was not “ok” or vice versa.
  • *** good but not outstanding or unique.
  • **** Very tasty dish AND meets one of the definitions set forth by Alabama Foods/Tourism, of local food and/or truly highlights Alabama Pride.
  • ***** I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. And/Or, something is very unique, something you cannot get anywhere else.
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