In the zone at Joe’s in Long Beach

By JOHN E. BIALAS

Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019

1:15 p.m. Time for my third annual Cruisin’ the Coast with Bubba and Nancy, who pick me up at my house for a ride in Bubba’s classic car to make a trip from Gulfport to Bay St. Louis and then a stop in Long Beach before I get back home.

The reason for the stop in Long Beach: Lunch at Joe’s Italian Ristorante on Klondyke Road.

I ordered the sausage calzone, Bubba got a pepperoni pizza and Nancy went for the chicken parmesan.

When the delicious-looking food was brought to the table, I knew I would be in the zone. Actually, I knew I would be in the double zone because I got two huge calzones that could feed four people.

I ate about two-thirds of one calzone and it was a platonic and abundant experience.

The giant roll included provolone or mozzarella and ricotta to complement the sausage, which was in the form of pellets or pebbles. Wait. Pebbles and pellets don’t sound appealing.

The sausage was in the form of crumbles, and there were a lot of crumbles, and they were quite tasty.

A cup of marinara topped with parmesan for dipping or pouring came with the calzones and the marinara was savory and a little chunky and it was so addictive, I would like a couple of gallons of it to take home. Instead, the rest of my calzones and the rest of my marinara came home for dinner the next day.

Bubba’s pizza looked so good I had to take a picture for this post and make it a reminder for me to get a pizza my next time at Joe’s.

This was my second time at Joe’s, the first being when I went with Bubba and Nancy during Cruisin’ in 2018.

I made a promise to myself I would not wait until Cruisin’ in 2020 to go back.

Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019

I waited just one week for a return trip to Joe’s, this time for takeout at 6 p.m.: Pepperoni pizza with double cheese and one order of garlic rolls.

I forgot to mention that me, Bubba and Nancy got garlic rolls the week before and they were excellent.

After I brought my takeout home, I had one of the excellent rolls and then two slices of pizza.

The first thing I think of when I get a pizza is this: You have got to trust in the crust. I trust in Joe’s crust. It could stand alone as a meal. It’s that good, especially the ends of the crust.

Bubba has a theory I have never heard of. It’s the ingredients-to-crust ratio with 80-20 being the best.

My pizza was 80-20. I don’t know if it was because of the roll I had before the slices, but the pizza tasted buttery and garlicky and I really like buttery and garlicky. The slices were light and thin and I felt like I could eat three or four more.

Oh yeah, the pizza was peppy, too, and enough is left over that my dinner on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, will be buttery, garlicky and peppy.

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