Doing my homework for my annual 30A beach vacation with Mrs. Pie, I came across two new pizza joints in the swanky eastern end of the strip known as Rosemary Beach. One called Ticheli’s Pizza was a small shack meant mostly for take-out which won’t hear from me until next year’s getaway. However, I did make a solo lunch time run for a quick slice at the Southside Slice Pizzeria.
Swanky sure is the word for Rosemary Beach, and Southside Slice is located beneath some high-dollar condos in the town village on the beach side of 30A. There’s a big free parking lot just off the highway where I put the car for the short walk down the lane to their location. My advance work already had me pre-judging them when I saw that I would be paying the most I have ever paid for a normal-sized slice in my career–a whopping six bucks!
Near the end of the season with the weather crappy, it was just me and a lone table full of holidaying revelers in the back room. Looking over the nice shiny new place and their menu, I learned that in addition to slices, you could also get yourself a whole pie, a salad or a sandwich. There was plenty of seating both indoor and out.
At the counter I ordered a slice that cost me what it used to cost to fill my gas tank. (You can also add a buck over that first six for each topping.) Although it would probably be hard for them to forget me, their lone customer of the moment, they gave me a red #05 marker that I took to my table and stool, so they’d know where to bring my slice.
Upon its arrival, I couldn’t call this slice a pretty sight. Absent any real trace of tomato sauce, it was soft-looking and as white as snow, except for a few bubbly orange-colored drops of oil scattered throughout the cheese. At this point, I was about as excited as I would be to spend this rainy day getting wet on the beach.
Despite some visible crust char, this slice didn’t leave the oven with any crispness. The mysterious cheese turned out to be a little top heavy making the slice off-balance. This heavy white stuff on top was sure no high-grade Mozzarella and frankly, I’m just not quite sure what all was in it. Sadly, the cheese was more of an enemy to the slice, sliding around and falling off, and not blending in as a part of the total package. It would also leave a rather unpleasant aftertaste.
However, I was taken for quite a surprise when a big glob of cheese fell off to reveal a thin layer of dark rich tomato sauce. Ten out of ten on the dark scale, I have to say it was awfully flavorful and tasty! Only to think what a better balance in the cheese-to-sauce mix might have produced!
Well, the gravy kept this one from being a total wash out. If it were up to me, I’d work on the cheese, thin things down, and crisp that crust up a bit. Otherwise, I’m gonna pass on Southside.
With people in Brooklyn giving Di Fara grief over charging $5 for their exquisite slice, paying $6 just because Southside is in a high-rent district just doesn’t cut it with the Pizza Snob. To me, the location, location, location justification of this price just means I will probably eat my pizza somewhere else when I’m at the beach.
PIZZA SNOB RATING ***Better Than Dominos
Southside Slice Pizzeria
74 Town Hall Road, Suite 1B
Rosemary Beach, FL 32461