Sky's Pizza Pie by Rattaya Nagorski

Pensacola, FL

I noticed a small sign by the side of the road with rainbow plastic letters, spelling out NY-style pizza by the slice. I had been in town for a week now for work, and a huge slice of pizza sounded great. I didn’t know much about Pensacola; and it didn’t help when someone at work informed me that the city didn’t have much “mom and pop” places. I looked over at the pizza place, Sky’s Pizza Pie, noticing that it was small. The blinking open sign was definitely drawing me in. At that point, I didn’t care if the place was going to be good, just the idea of a big slice of pizza seemed enough.

The place had 7 tables, with 2 for the outside. When I went in, a couple of tables were waiting for their pizza, and a line out the door followed behind me when I went up to the counter. The girl was cheery as I ordered two slices, one with spinach and fresh garlic, and the other with salami and artichokes. I didn’t see sun-dried tomatoes, otherwise they would have been on both. When I was waiting for the slices, the girl behind the counter was telling a lady that people loved this place and many people enjoyed their pizza. I was definitely excited and ecstatic to try it.

The pizza came out hot, and they were huge slices. It was what I normally expected when a place advertised NY-style pizza. The garlic/spinach one was great and the crust was crispy. The salami/artichokes was also great, but not enough salami; regardless, the meal was good enough to what the girl behind the counter had promised. It wasn’t the best pizza I had, nor did I know any other mom and pop pizza places in Pensacola, but I became a fan.

Wholly Cow Burgers by Rattaya Nagorski

I enjoy a great burger just as much as the next person. What’s even more exciting is a chance to try a new burger place, especially a small local place. My brother, Ed, lives in Austin, TX, and he definitely knows his local scene. Wholly Cow Burgers has become the spotlight restaurant for this trip, and I’m quite ecstatic.

Wholly Cow sits at the corner of Congress and 7th St. The place is small, homey, and feels like your typical Austinite semi-hippie burger place. ***I LEARNED THAT THIS LOCATION HAS CLOSED, but they are still operating on S Lamar.*** And of course, it advertises that it serves local grass fed beef and even has a paleo-focus dish. Calling it The Fit Cross, the dish doesn't use the great Hawaiian rolls like the burgers, it has grilled portobello mushrooms as the buns; quite clever for the paleo fad.

Wholly Cow has that laid back, great food, let’s just hang out kind of place. The menu offers a good amount of selections, and it’s been filled with greats like The Almighty Reuben or the Hellfire Cajun Chicken Sandwich. It is only fitting to go all out in whatever they have to offer.

This is a photo I got from their website. Not my photo at all!

I opted for the Wholly Cheesesteak Batman!, made it “trashy” through the recommendation of the guy behind the counter. “Trashy” was equivalent to adding a mixture of portobello mushrooms, jalapenos, and sweet roasted red peppers to any sandwich or burger.

This was probably one of the best cheesesteaks I have ever had. The cheesy goodness earned nothing less than delicious, and I was glad I made it “trashy.” The jalapenos gave it a kick that pierced through the cheese. The fries were crisp and had great taste. And to top it all off, the prices were reasonable. Actually, the prices were cheap, considering the quality of the meats and the quickness of the food. Last but not least, the service was also great.

Wholly Cow tops my list as one of the best burger places. It’s not quite up there with Houston’s Lankford’s or Burger Guys, but Wholly Cow goes on the wall of fame. Sorry there are no pictures, but I plan on returning so I will post many pictures then. In the mean time, check out their menu at Wholly Cow.

Moving onward to another local place!

Note: the photo posted was from Wholly Cow Burger's web site. It's not my photo at all!