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Cuisine Critique – Famous Joe’s Pizzeria

Recently one of my friends shared with me that Famous Joe’s Pizzeria, located at 12120 County Line Road in Madison, has the best pizza in the area.

She raved about several pizza’s, however her favorite was the Sydney, layered with San Marzano tomatoes, mushrooms, mixed peppers, basil, roma tomatoes, mozzarella, and drizzled with olive oil. I was impressed that she recalled the ingredients in such detail.

I concluded that I would have to see for myself if it was really that delicious, so earlier this week, we stopped by for lunch. Famous Joe’s Pizzeria’s slogan is “Where New York meets the South.”

Originally from the Bronx and Carmel, New York, “Famous Joe” Carlucci is recognized worldwide as one of the elite professionals and pioneers of the pizza industry. Joe is a three-time World Pizza Champion and has appeared on the Food Network, ESPN, Fox News, the Travel Channel, the Martha Stewart Show, and the Today Show. He is a Guinness World Record holder of the highest pizza toss. One of the “fun” aspects of dining at Famous Joe’s is getting to watch the chef’s prepare the hand-tossed pizza dough.

The restaurant rests among several other stores along a busy shopping strip mall and if I hadn’t been with the a-fore mentioned friend who has frequented the restaurant on numerous occasions, I don’t think I would have ever discovered it.  Our server greeted us at the door and provided excellent service throughout our dining experience. We decided to begin by sampling an appetizer and chose the Bruschetta –sliced Italian bread with fresh diced tomatoes, garlic, red onions, artichoke hearts, fresh basil and a balsamic reduction.  It was an absolutely delicious treat and gave us a clue that the main course would be equally as delicious.

There are over 25 different pizzas’ to choose from, and the majority of them can be described as gourmet. We chose a 12 inch pie with half the Avery – a mozzarella base with sliced roma tomatoes, roasted peppers, red onions, and grilled chicken topped with basil and reduced balsamic glaze. We chose the Chandler for the other half of our pie, a barbecue sauce base with grilled chicken, roasted red peppers, red onions, and cheddar cheese. The hand-tossed New York crust was literally the foundation of the entire pie. Cooked to a delicate and thin crispiness, the center was soft and slightly chewy, with a flavorful, savory taste. My friend preferred the Chandler with its BBQ sauce and grilled chicken, while I found the Avery, with its “bruschetta-like” taste and the delicious balsamic glaze. We ended our meal with dessert and chose a Four layered chocolate cheese cake.

In addition to the large selection of pizza offerings, Famous Joe’s also features unique salads, appetizers, baked calzones, pizza rolls and traditional entrée’s and pasta dishes. We found the entire dining experience to be fun and enjoyable and the service staff were extremely helpful and accommodating. Famous Joe’s is a great place for families, couples and friends to get away and experience an incomparable meal. Famous Joe’s also offers 10% off for government employees and Monday night from 5-9 p.m kids eat free. Those who visit Famous Joe’s Pizzeria will find the food to be absolutely delicious and definitely leave full and satisfied.

The Italians have a saying, “Chi mangia bena, viva bene – Who eats well, lives well.” Famous Joe’s has mastered this philosophy – I certainly felt well fed and satisfied!

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