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Pizza Update?

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Post by kb9gzg Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:51 pm

I see that the last comments on Ajijic pizza were posted in May, and I'm wondering if there have been any changes in opinions.

Last night, my wife and I had a goat cheese, tomato, Italian sausage, and mushrooms medium-sized pizza (don't remember its menu name) at Trattoria di Axixic. Fairly thin crust, slightly charred in spots, served piping hot, crispy, and paired with a very nice Chilean Merlot. This was the first pizza we have had in Ajijic, and have to say that it was delicious. We brought the rest home, and I just finished re-crisping it in the oven--tastes as good, right now(!), as it did last night.

Knowing that taste-in-pizza is a matter of opinion, has anyone had a better experience?
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Post by Chapalagringa Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:19 pm

Does the Trattoria di Axixc have a brick wood fired oven?  Gee, is there anything else on my mind?  Speaking of thin crust, I have yet to read a pizza review lakeside that mentioned anything but thin crust.  Hopefully we can chat a bit about pizza on this thread and not exclusively the restaurant mentioned above, or split my comments off into a new pizza thread.

We're in the curing stage and near completion of building our own Italian styled dome brick wood fired oven and I've been promising not to make any pizza until we can fire up the new oven and bake it in there.  Until then, I'm open to visiting the other wood fired oven pizza restaurants with a bit of hesitance.  

I'm just curious as to what the others look like...I only know of three restaurants that have them.  One is out towards Mescala, Chapala, and the Japanese garden in Ajijic.   The hesitance is because out of the two places we've ever eaten wood fired pizza(Chapala and Tapalpa), the pizza wasn't as good as mine.   The place in Chapala was a cool hole in the wall place, but the ovens aren't made up to spec and one was only being used as storage.  The pizza came on a cracker crust.  Some people love that and that's ok, enjoy!!!   We still have the other two places lakeside to try unless Trattoria is also wood fired then perhaps I'll put that on the list.  I just don't even want to waste my time, money or taste buds if the pizza crust is only a cracker thin crust and is served cold.  

My children seem to like the pizza's at Pizzeria Toscana in Riberas.  If the wood fired isn't a big deal, you might like to try that place.  Their oven is gas.
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Post by Ms.Thang Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:25 pm

Are you talking about Il Giardino in Chapala? I've had some good pizza there but the last two we got were really tough. I guess that comes from overworking the dough? I think that any place will make a thicker crust pizza for you if you just ask.
There is /was a wood fired oven at that little place on the highway in Riberas...is it Fito's? They have one of those dome wood fired ovens and it's pretty good too. I have bought apple pie that was baked in that oven and it was amazing.
I like La Toscana pizza but we stopped going there and I can't even remember why. I think it had something to do with the owner, he can be tricky to deal with. I like the pizza at Trattoria as well as any of them.

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Post by windrider17 Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:30 pm

Toscana has a different guy in charge now and the place has improved. Staff is happier, food seems to be consistantly better, and they actually get the orders right and serve them timely. I''ve started to go back.

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Post by Ms.Thang Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:26 pm

Oh, I see. Well I'm sure La Toscana is a much more pleasant place to eat now. We never had a problem with the food or service there, it was always wonderful. I guess it has been two years since I've been there, we will definitely give it another try.

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Post by Chapalagringa Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:48 pm

Is Trattoria di Axixc the name of the Italian restaurant that built a wood fired pizza oven and it's near the health food store in Ajijic, by the Telmex?

Yes Giardino II is where we went, it was fun but didn't taste like mine.  I don't make cracker crust pizza but they roll out their pizza dough, another pizza making no, no(just don't make too big a deal about it because a lot of people do but it's not authentic style)  They may not have let the dough rise sufficiently before using it or   if they rolled out the dough and didn't like how it came out and re rolled it without resting the dough, that's one reason why it would have been tough.  When I saw a rolling pin come out I was ready to leave but wanted to give the wood fired oven a shot.    

The guy with a restaurant in Tapalpa, he baked his dough first, a huge no,no and then after putting the toppings on didn't cook the middle all the way through, it came out cold in the center, ridiculous...he shouldn't have cooked the dough first and should have dome baked the top if it wasn't cooked all the way.  

My son said the sauce as Toscana was pretty good, that was one reason I wanted to try a bite there.  

Fito's in Riberas...will have to look for that one too.  We need to try these places so we could make a recommendation to others.  

Other than clay cob style wood burning ovens, I haven't yet heard about another residence with a brick wood fired oven around here, am I wrong?  I'd love to see them, at least a picture.   Unless they are prefab they all come out with a different finish to the style of the person building them, very interesting.
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Post by kb9gzg Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:43 pm

Trattoria di Axixic is a little east of Colon on the Carretera (lake side).

Our pizza wasn't cracker-thin, had a good chew but crisp the whole underside (no floppy ends!). Sorry that I didn't ask about--or looked to see--the kind of oven used. With the bit of a char, though, my hunch is that they use a brick, wood-fired oven.

So, Chapalagringa, when are you going to invite us all over to your place for pizza?
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Post by Chapalagringa Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:05 pm

jaja a "pizza swarm" at Chapalagringa's house. I would in a heartbeat but would probably have a nervous breakdown for so many people!

We need to finish this project, still prox 2 weeks left for curing, plastering, finishing the little kitchen bar and see how it works before potentially embarrassing myself. I have hopes to cook a proper easy peasy traditional Neapolitan Margherita Pizza in 60 seconds but who's to say before it's even been fired up? I need to practice!


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Post by David Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:07 pm

Trattoria is across the street from OXXO and Intercam.  Pepe has a wood-fired brick oven at his restaurant west of Ajijic.  Further on is the Osteria, just before the Pemex by the "Japanese Nursery, also with a wood-fired brick oven.
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Post by Chapalagringa Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:14 pm

Thank you for the clarification David.

How many of the restaurant owners serving pizza are Italian?

I thought I'd read on TOB that the owner of the Osteria is Italian, had a restaurant in Guadalajara but decided to scale down and chose a slower pace in Ajijic...then found another post that they had opened a hamburger place first then went with the Italian restaurant. Doesn't really matter just as long as the food is good.
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Post by Ms.Thang Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:30 am

I thought the secret to pizza crust was OO flour because that is what gives it elasticity..er something like that. Can you get that here or what kind of flour do you use?

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Post by Pedro Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:46 am

tony's pizza in edmonton has the perfect crust. it's thin because it's properly thrown in the air and yes it's chewy and doesn't get soaked to mush with the sauce. none of the pizza here is the real thing crust wise-dominos comes closest. tony does not divulge what he uses for his dough.one of their specials is named after me[pepperoni.bacon. mushrooms, onions and double cheese]i call the pizzas around here californiac crud
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Post by Chapalagringa Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:56 am

Yes, Italian Caputo 00 flour is the best pizza flour if you can find it and afford to pay for it around here Very Happy   If you want finer flour, I have a grain mill but I haven't bothered with regrinding store bought flour yet, and I look for the % of protein content.  I'm not buying flour at Superlake. Caputo 00 is 11.5-12.5%, presently in my pantry is Selecta, the protein content is 10%. Perhaps it's a terrible flour but somehow we manage.

http://www.saveur.com/article/Kitchen/Best-Flour-for-Making-Pizza

I also make a whole wheat crust as a healthier option, that I do add wheat gluten.

If abastos can get semolina pasta flour maybe they'll eventually get Italian caputo 00!


Last edited by Chapalagringa on Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Chapalagringa Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:03 am

Maybe Tony's secret ingredient is azodicarbonamide.

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Post by Pedro Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:16 am

he came from italy and honed his pizza art in new york before settling in edmonton. nothing here compares. before he started i made my own because most of the pizza in edmonton was crap just like here but my own couldn't hold a candle to a master like tony. i'm sure he didn't google his recipe. it is a family bus.
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Post by Chapalagringa Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:52 am

Ms. Thang the heat that bakes the pizza is another key element.  We're expecting the wood fired oven to take a blaze at 1000 degrees with wood fuel but the correct temp for baking pizza is 800 degrees.  It currently takes 13-15 min to bake one pizza and we're hoping to move into the 1-2 min bake with the new oven.  Since it's so hot we have a infrared thermometer with laser to test the oven floor and dome and look for cool spots inside the oven. I just took a reading on my convection oven.  The convection oven can get up to temps higher than 500 degrees but I didn't know how much until now...602! And I should have put a cookie sheet in there and tested the surface.  Flip the cook sheet over and slide the pizza onto the back side of the preheated cookie sheet, the pizza is almost perfect!  Some people use pizza stones or refractory bricks in their ovens to help raise the temps.  With dome baking, if you have any cool spots or if the dome wasn't built by the specs it won't bake evenly/correctly but you can raise your pizza on the peel and finish baking the toppings.  Plus the wood fired oven is built to retain the heat for baking breads and roasting meats etc. at least mine is, it has door with a thermometer. 

The other key element is good cheese and sauce...the toppings!  I get raves about having the best pizza ever eaten.  3 reasons: crust, sauce and cheese.   That's what they love about chapalagringa's pizza.

So anyone want to meet up for pizza tomorrow??? How about a pizza throw down, that way I'm not doing all the baking...bring your pizza to bake and we'll all sample it. ok, i'm getting tired. Sleep
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Post by kb9gzg Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:27 am

I'm an absolutely terrible cook/baker, but am an absolutely wonderful eater. Pizzarama!
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Post by Pedro Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:02 pm

tony's pizza in edmonton alberta. the first is the new york with peperoni added and the second is peter's special named after me and yes it's on the menu.
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Post by Chapalagringa Wed Sep 10, 2014 5:59 pm

Working with the wood fired brick sure is different!  Gonna be fun! This was just a cheese and prosciutto pizza which lacked fresh basil on top
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Post by kb9gzg Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:24 am

(Harumph. No fresh basil on top? Shocked Shall we drum her outta the pizza corps?)

Wow, Chapalagringa, your new oven looks great!
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Post by Zedinmexico Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:23 am

If you like thicker chewier pizza but not thick crust try Costco believe it or not. It is more like PNW pizza which is in between thin and thick types. I always pick up a slice at Costco. They have completed uncooked pies in the back next to the cold meat area. For my taste and yes pizza is about opinion a Costco pie is best over anything lakeside. I am not a thin crust fan FYI.


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Post by Chapalagringa Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:20 pm

kb9gzg wrote:(Harumph. No fresh basil on top? Shocked Shall we drum her outta the pizza corps?)

Wow, Chapalagringa, your new oven looks great!

I know, i hit the tianguis too late that week and had NO fresh basil to top my pizza! argh!!! so delish! Gotta get it going in the garden fast! That's my Neapolitan dough which bakes almost perfect in the convection oven yet insanely sponged up in the wfo, hah! It's a totally different ball game working with the new oven but going to be fun making the new adjustments to get it all just right Very Happy My husband, who likes thick crust ended up with a deep pie, it was hilarious! Thank you for your kind words about the oven...it's really cool...still not finished but looking or cooking good!
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Post by Ms.Thang Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:04 am

Wow, that is a beautiful lookin pizza you turned out there, CG. I wish I could eat it for breakfast right this moment.

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Post by kb9gzg Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:04 am

YES! Left-over pizza for breakfast! (Do you like it right out of the fridge or heated up?)
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Post by kitchener Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:14 pm

No such thing as pepperoni in Italy.

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