Home » Dining Out » An excellent food day – Benevento Pizza, Burger 21, etc.

An excellent food day – Benevento Pizza, Burger 21, etc.

It’s pretty great when you don’t even set out to have an awesome food day, but just stumble into it.  Today was such a day.First, Marvo’s got a picture of Classic Ranch Fritos at Walmart.  So I decide to head over to the Glenville Walmart to see if they have them, and they do.  I hope they’re as good as I’m hoping…ranch items so rarely are, despite my fervent wishes.

Next, I thought today would be a great opportunity to grab some lunch someplace new-to-me.  After digging through some online reviews, I ended up at Benevento Pizza Cafe.  And it was amazing.  A meatball parm sub that was pretty close to ideal…WAY closer than most places I’ve found lately.  The meatballs were really good, I believe someone in a review mentioned they were homemade and I’d have to say they seemed it to me.  They were soft, like freshly made and not packed too tight.  Nicely seasoned.  Plus, they filled the (not overly large!) roll with sliced meatballs, not just a row of giant meatballs in a gargantuan loaf of bread.  Finally, the melty mozz was inside instead of melted all over the top, which I don’t actually think I’ve seen before.  It helped adhere the meatballs to the bread.  Only quibbles were a little too much parmesan on top for my taste and just a wee bit on the light side with the sauce.  But overall this is probably my favorite meatball parm I’ve had around here (albeit not that many, thanks to a lot of less than ideal tries in the past).

Since I was trying someplace new, near enough to try again, I decided to also take a shot at their wings and got some garlic parmesan wings.  They were fantastic.  No lie.  No exaggeration.  Absolutely slathered with tons of garlic and parm, but not greasy or gross.  They were cooked as perfectly as you can cook crispy wings – crispy, crunchy exterior, but hot and moist and tasty under the crunch.  Also a good size, none of them were those lame, skinny, meatless suckers.  While some of the perfect job done on these wings may have been the time, it was quiet so I’m sure they were able to focus on them, it was still impressive how great they came out.   Over the top?  I feel like I’m a little over the top about this place.  I can’t help it, it was a really good lunch, maybe because it was so unexpected.  Now I want to try their pizza, too.  I can’t wait to eat the rest of that sub.

While I ate, I unwrapped a bunch of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups so I could try Crazy For Cups’ Reese’s Fudge.  Looking forward to trying that later (follow up: not great, the pb cups are super crumbly and it’s very hard to slice).  Also sliced up an orange to try making candied orange slices.021216-1I’m not sure about these.  I tried one and it was OK, but the outer part never got translucent like everything was telling me it should.  Still, today being today, I hit on the idea of dicing these orangey, sweet slices into little bits and putting them into a batch of creamy vanilla ice cream.  Going to do that soon. (follow up: tastes a little creamsicle-ish with little chewy bits of orange!)

Lastly, off to Burger 21 for dinner.  Well, after that lunch I wasn’t in the mood for a whole burger, so I decided to try one of their hot dogs.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think I might like their hot dogs more than their burgers.  Wow.  I mean, really wow.021216-2It was awesome.  If you don’t want to read more raving, skip to the end.  Apart from being messy, I loved everything about this 101 Dog.  Meaty and perfectly grilled.  The bun was just the slightest bit on the thick side, but not overwhelming.  And the bun was, you guessed it, fantastic.  As in, actually flavorful.  Soft and pliant, but with a perfectly crusty, grilled exterior giving it the right amount of crunch.  Also, salty.  I’m still not entirely convinced it wasn’t salty from the dog, but I don’t think so.  I suspect these geniuses are using salted butter when they grill the bun.  It was clearly slathered with butter before grilling, which gave it the remarkable flavor and I’d say salted butter would give it that flavor.  The large, beef dog was…I don’t know…succulent?  Let’s go with that adjective this time.  Juicy and flavorful.  Even the sweet pickle relish was above average.

That was my day…minus any discussion of the bowl of cereal that I had for breakfast.  Apart from the raving about everything I ate today, I hope the limited reviews of Benevento and (yet another review of an item at) Burger 21 will whet your appetite.