Mention Blue Ribbon Pizza to any local and they will all tell you the same thing: GET THE BUTTERSCOTCH PUDDING. It’s the first thing that comes to anyone’s mind who knows this place. “But how’s the pizza?” I ask. And then they always go off again on how amazing the pudding is. I would have to see for myself.
Blue Ribbon Pizza is in a prime location in the Lumberyard right in the middle of the 101 hustle and bustle. The small restaurant has expanded with two patios which is perfect for San Diego outdoor dining.
I was also told by many people to order the popcorn appetizer. Really? Another place trying to do something trendy with popcorn? When it comes to popcorn, I am a purist. I don’t like it sweet. I don’t like it cheesy. Heck, I don’t even like it salted. I like my popcorn popped with some coconut oil and nothing else. It’s good just like that and doesn’t need all the fancy stuff that everyone likes to ruin it with. But Milwaukee born, Packer-loving Tracy was with us tonight. As soon as she saw the word “Wisconsin” on the menu, she was all over it!
Heirloom black seed popcorn comes from black colored cobs and have smaller but sweeter tasting kernels. I skeptically tried some and almost fell over. What in the heck did they do to this popcorn? It was amazing! I scooped some out and passed it down and everyone dug in. It was incredible. Was it the truffle oil? Was it the more flavorful popcorn? Nope. It was all about the cheese! The parmigiano reggiano cheese piled on top was out of this world! I am now a believer.
They serve Coke in a bottle which I guess is a big deal for some because Tracy was giddy about this as well.
The BLT salad with smoked bacon and butter lettuce was simple but delicious.
The Little Gems Caesar Salad is made with garlic bread crumbs instead of croutons so you get some with every bite. I don’t know that I prefer bread crumbs to croutons, but the dressing was tangy, flavorful and the salad worked.
Mira insisted on ordering the Fried Brussels sprouts. I typically don’t like fried food and find the grease off-putting. But again, I was wrong! These Brussels sprouts made me sing show tunes! Were they greasy? You bet! But paired with a bite of salad to dumb down the richness a bit, it was like a symphony of flavor that was almost more than I could stand. “OOOOk-lahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain!” There’s no way any butterscotch pudding could be better than this. This has got to be the best thing on the menu.
Blue Ribbon makes their own pizza dough, their own sauce, their own pepperoni, sausage and even makes their own cheese! “Artisan crusts” mean they are hand tossed and often misshapen. I guess there have been some pissed off customers about this because they needed to put a disclaimer on the menu.
Geoff ordered “My Father’s Pizza” with Blue Ribbon’s homemade meats. It was very good. I think the crust tastes better misshapen.
The “Signature” pizza is made with lemon zest, three cheeses, red onion and fresh basil. We were split on the verdict. Some (mostly just Mary) felt very strongly that the lemon zest made it taste sweet (it didn’t) and she felt it was more like a dessert pizza (she’s wrong). Luckily, I get the last word on this, and my word is “yum!” The lemon zest is quite prominent but gives the pizza a unique and bright flavor that most of us (who have good taste) loved.
My eldest, who loves sharing others’ food, but not so much his own, ordered all the things I don’t like. The “Epic” includes, among other things, Canadian bacon (PASS), goat cheese (BLECH!) and jalapenos (NOPE). He got the whole thing to himself and was a happy camper.
The winning pizza by leaps and bounds goes to “Truffle Shuffle (swapping out the goat cheese ((BLECH)) for fresh ricotta). It’s rich. It’s decadent. It’s so freaking good that I wouldn’t need to order any stinking pudding. Nothing could be better than this! This is better than dessert. This pizza gets the BLUE RIBBON!
Of course, there was no way to really leave without ordering this butterscotch pudding that I have heard more about lately than which proposition to vote on. Plus we did eat our meat.
It’s butterscotch and really, who’s favorite is butterscotch anything? It’s topped with salted caramel and fresh whip cream. Of course it’s good, but is it worth the hype?
OH HELL YES IT IS!!! I found the proof! I typically don’t like things that are so sweet, but I bow down to this very sweet, butterscotch creation of all things good in the world of food. Worth all the hype. Worth every calorie. I felt another show tune coming on…..”Seventy-six trombones led the big parade!” If Tracy’s tongue could have reached any further, her mason jar would have been licked clean as new. Thank you Lynne, Cathy, Michelle, the guy from Craigslist who just bought my son’s old golf clubs, Kim, Mira, Marlo, Anne, Jen, Violet, Debbie, Joyce, Dana, my mailman, and to the three people in the restaurant who heard that I was blogging here tonight for recommending this dessert. Suggestion taken! The only person, I’m pretty sure anywhere, who didn’t care for it was Hubby. He is in a committed relationship with chocolate and he doesn’t cheat.
We had an excellent dinner at Blue Ribbon. We loved sitting outside on the patio this cool evening, with plenty of heat lamps available. Our waiter was polite, friendly and efficient. The food we ordered was fantastic. The beer was cold and the selection was great. Best of all, the company was superb! Some say Blue Ribbon is over-priced but my group disagrees. Look, you’re not at Chuck E. Cheese eating cardboard. This is the real deal, with quality food made in-house. It’s pizza for adults. If you’re meal does not have you smiling with delight and singing show tunes in your head, than you ordered something different than I did.
Next week’s blog will be for dinner at 6pm
Saint Tropez Bistro and Beyond