Beer and Pizza Reviews
Here are my Beer and Pizza Reviews. I don’t pretend to be some sort of beer connoisseur. However, I love pizza and I love beer. Who doesn’t?They are two of the world’s most simple pleasures. You won’t see any in depth discussion on the level of hops in a Bintang Bali or the cheese to sauce ratio of a Happy Cambodian pot pizza. I just try to let you know what I thought and share the experience. Hope you enjoy!
This is a late addition to one of my features on my old blog. Beer and Pizza Reviews.
Colombia was very interesting when it came to the pizza. Pizza is everywhere and many Colombians eat it but they do it their own way. There are a variety of slices you can order from small pizza shops ranging from sausage (chorizo), mushroom, plain and even with corn. Ask for the mais pizza. I found it to be pretty good but most of the others I was with stayed far from it. Most of the local pizza parlors don’t make pizza with tomato sauce but you can find plenty of Domino’s chain restaurant if you really need it. I didn’t try the Domino’s in Medellin but many expats swore by it.
Beer was definitely a surprise in Colombia. You have three main types of pilsner to choose from if you’re in Colombia. Poker, Aguila and Club Colombia. It seemed like Poker was more common in Bogota and Aguila in Medellin but that might have just been my perception. Club Colombia has the higher alcohol content of the three and would normally be my go-to beer if I was looking for something cheap. All three were good in their own way and were cheap. You shouldn’t pay much more than .75 to $1 for a beer outside of your hotel.
The real treat in Colombia regarding beer is the microbrewery in Medellin called Cordilleras. They are three beers that are are similar to American style pale ale, wheat and a heavier ale. I forget the names of all three but they were color coded blue, red and green. The red was by far the best but pictured to the right is the wheat. They were fantastic you can even take a tour of the brewery near El Poblado in Medellin. I didn’t do the tour myself but if I return I’ll check it out.
I spent many hours at Tiger Paw Hostel’s bar chatting with locals, expats and fellow travelers over glasses of Cordilleras. It was slightly more price than the local pilsners but well worth it. It was one of the highlights of Colombia in my opinion and the constant flow that Tiger Paw provided was excellent. If you show up on the right night you might even be able to drink it for free during their Beer Pong nights. I’d say, Cordilleras are the best beer I’ve had outside of either the U.S. or Europe.
Cambodia & Indoniesia
I have a sad sad regret. I never tried pizza in either Cambodia or Indonesia. However I did try brains. I’m not sure what kind of animal it was but in Bali I munched on some bright yellow curried brains. It was terrible mostly because I knew it was brains. The interesting thing about pizza in Cambodia is that lots of shops are called “Happy Herb Pizza” or “Happy Pizza” and that is basically a pizza with THC cooked into it or magic mushrooms. You can tell by the name of the place and the picture usually has a crazy bloodshot eyed cartoon character eating it. I did not try any so I have no review on the pizza itself although it is completely legal in both Laos and Cambodia.
The beer in Cambodia was some of the cheapest I was able to find. Angkor Beer is the cheapest and is brewed locally. Happy hours had the beer sold at .50 for about 12 ozs and .75-$1 any other time of the day. The beer wasn’t all that great but for a price like that there was no other option in my opinion.
There is also Anchor beer which I’m not sure where exactly it is brewed but you can find it all over SE Asia and it is a bit better than Angkor. They are both typical ales. Light and tasteless but they do the job.
Then there is Bintang which is a beer sold through out Bali in Indonesia. It is the only non-ale of the beers around the world since it is a pilsner. It had a lot more flavor but it was more bitter than any of the others. Still, it was the only choice in Bali unless I wanted to drink a Heineken or a Budweiser. I spent most of my time in Indonesia drinking tequila and whiskey. It was my final week… I was allowed to celebrate.
Laos… one of the poorest countries in the world, a very simple people… produce one of the best beers you will found outside of the western world.
Beer Laos is cheap and full of flavor and nothing beats relaxing in a restaurant or bar on the banks of the Mekong River chugging down a large sized Beer Lao. It actually has flavor and fullness and doesn’t does like water which most of the other beers around here do. It is a premium lager and can put some European beers to shame.
As far as pizza goes… I only had it once in Laos. Later that night I had terrible diarrhea. That being said, the pizza was actually pretty good but you won’t catch me trying it again just incase some ingredient was the culprate.
OK, this is not a full review because I’m still in Thailand but I have to talk about the pizza I had last night and tonight here in Chiang Mai. Yes I had pizza 2 nights in a row. With a big trip ahead of me tomorrow I didn’t want to take any risks.
I was walking down the street last night looking for a place to eat and a sign pointing in towards a collection of bars said “Danny’s Pizza & Fast Food: Thin Crust Italian Style” I thought, hmmm… they know enough to call attention to thin crust so maybe it is worth a shot. I put in my order for a 9″ pizza with cheese only. In a few minutes it was out. First reason this place was so good was that when I asked for garlic powder they actually brought some out. No other place on my trip has been able to offer me that and I never realized how much I missed the stuff till I was never able to find it. I poured it all over my pizza and began to go to work. It was gone in the matter of minutes. This pizza worked because it was simple. A lot of places try too hard to go for the big Sicilian style or Pizza Hut style and they fail. The bread, the sauce and the cheese all good taste and none were overpowering which is another flaw with pizza sometimes. The crust was actually thin which has been advertised before but never perfected.
My only gripe with Danny’s or soon to be called Mo’s, is that it advertises pizza by the slice but does not actually offer it. Oh well, I can still say without a doubt this was the best pizza I have had during my 4 months on the road.
I asked to speak to the owner and surprisingly it was not Danny but rather a fairly young Thai girl who purchased it from Danny about a month ago. I was actually curious as to what nationality Danny was since the pizza was so good. I was disappointed to hear that he was not American but rather Australian. Oh well, great pizza none-the-less.
Look for the sign that says “Mo’s Pizza” in about a week.
Lots of choices here in Thailand so I will stick with the main ones. Heineken is the largest import. You can get Stella Artois, Budweiser, Corona and other imports just about anywhere.
Chang: The cheapest and most widespread beer in Thailand and easily the worst. It is the beer with the highest alcohol content in Thailand. They even coined the term for the day after a binge of Chang Beer… a Changover. If you have very little money and you are concerned about beer costs, this is your beer.
Singha: My beer of choice, aside from Heineken, while in Thailand. It has a sweet flavor which gives it a little more taste then all the others and isn’t as heavy as Heineken. They serve Singha Light which is the only light beer I have been able to find while traveling.
Leo: I only tried Leo once and it was rather warm so I can’t give a fair judgment other than that I don’t see too many people drinking it. It is another locally brewed beer.
I finally hit a country that actually knows how to do pizza at least close to home.
In Chiang Mai it was a guest house named “Same Same” inside the old city walls with a small pizza vendor that served 10″ pies just the way I like them, thin and with good bread. Also in Chiang Mai outside a night club was the first “pizza-by-the-slice” vendor so I grabbed one of those and it was a nice change from the personal pies that you usually get.
In Pattaya at the Royal Garden Plaza there is a food court on the top level that also had excellent pizza-by-the-slice. Parmesan cheese had been rare up till this point but luckily they had both cheese and crushed red pepper. Finally!
I actually haven’t had any non-chain pizza in Bangkok so I have no review of pizza here but if I do before I leave I will update.
Singapore & Malaysia
It has been awhile and this is my first Beer & Pizza Review of Asia. With a lot more food to choose from I have been eating much less pizza but drinking much more beer. Variety on the beer side has gone down since I have found a few choice ales.
It is obvious when you arrive in South East Asia that the king of beer is Tiger. So I’ll start right there.
Tiger Beer: I’m not sure if it is great marketing but this is easily the best beer of the trip so far. Not so much that it is better than any other specific beer but it is cheap and decent. Ok, marketing has a lot to do with it. T-shirts everywhere, signs everywhere at this point I seriously can’t give a proper review other than that I have had a few to drink and a few more and then some.
Carslberg: This is the other big beer of Malaysia and Singapore. I had a few and it isn’t bad. I probably would be drinking this if the Tiger wasn’t available. Only suckers drink Heineken and Guinness here, which are the other 2 major brews available.
I have not found a single pizza shop in Malaysia. Several Pizza Huts™ but no local spots. And as much as I have loved Kuala Lumpur and the rest of Malaysia… could this be the deal breaker on future returns to the country?
Being in Singapore is like being at home. I’d say it is a lot like New York City except the pizza wasn’t THAT good. It was just GOOD. Completely different. Shawn and I ate a local place in Holland Village (suburb in Singapore) called, strangely enough, “Spizza”. They don’t have pepperoni in Singapore but they do have a spicy sausage topping that for all intents and purposes IS pepperoni. We ordered a pie of that and a pie of 4 cheese and went to town. The previous night was a late one so pizza was just what the doctor ordered. It was thin crusted, with small slices, and lots of flavor. The spicy pepperoni/sausage stuff needs to be picked up back home because it was delicious.
It has been a little while but I thought I would catch up on some Beer and Pizza reviews.
Primus Beer: Easily the worst beer I have had so far on my trip. Its brewery is in the town of Gisenyi where we stayed for a couple of days. I tried it in Ruhengeri after the gorilla trek and I was sadly met with a flat, watered down, digusting beer. There was absolutely no head and no bubble. In Primus’ defense I did someone else drinking it a few days later that had plenty of head and looked tasty so maybe I got skunky old beer.
Mutzig: Seems like it would be imported from Germany but the label says brewed in Kigali, Rwanda. Apparently this is a pretty big beer in Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo. It is hands down the best beer so far. It is a pale lager with a full taste blah blah blah IT JUST TASTES REALLY GOOD. Ordered plenty of petits and grandes. Very cheap too. Recommend anyone traveling in central Africa to stick to this instead of Primus.
Safari Beer: Had a bottle on Pongwe Beach. In the bungalow there wasn’t too much space to put a drink down so I put it on the bed post and accidently spilled it. So really, I can’t report on this one. I’m sure the floor of my bungalow enjoyed it.
Kilimanjaro: This is my go-to beer in Tanzania. I have mostly been drinking it out of cans which for some reason always reminds me of Natural Light at home. It actually isn’t so bad. The can is bright yellow with blue and red. Kind of looks like a fruit juice can. Recommended over what I tasted of Safari and East Africa’s other big beer, Tusker.
I ate pizza on the mainland but it was a terrible chain restuarant so it never had a chance of being good. I mean, I can enjoy chain pizza at home from time to time but this was terrible.
On Zanzibar we found a nice Italian resaurant whiched looked to be run by a German lady. We split a Greca pizza, tomatos, mozzarella and olives. I thought it was pretty good pizza. I realized after this one that all the pizza out of the United States had a specific flavor to it that I couldn’t quite pin down. It isn’t that it is bad but it is just much different and noticable to me, at least.
Last night after months and months of hearing about Zanzibar Pizza, Daisy and I visited the night stalls at the Garden in Stone Town. They cook up meat on a stick, seafood, naan, fries, and Zanzibar Pizza. It is different from any other kind of pizza. Made with beef, eggs, chili, dough and some other assorted ingredients. It isn’t pizza at all but it is definitely delicious. Daisy wasn’t kidding when she said I had to try it.
Ok, I am at an internet cafe avoiding a seedy hotel that I was forced to stay the night in. The scary thing is that my Lonely Planet guide has this place as the #2 budget spot in town. I wouldn’t recommend it. Hotel Baro in the Piazza of Addis Ababa. There is a nasty spider sitting on the ceiling waiting for me as well as a box of condoms provided to guests. The worst part is that the room wasn’t available to 7pm so it sounds like someone went hourly in this place. So, needless to say… killing some more time on the net doesn’t hurt.
I have had a couple of different beers over the last week. Ethiopian beer is not much of a step up from the Kenyan one I had but there was a lesser of the 2 evils.
St George: This beer was slightly worse than the Tusker in Kenya and had a sweet taste which normally I don’t mind in a beer but this was just disgusting.
Daschen: So far this is the best of all the beer I have had. It is malty and tasty and has the highest alchohol content of the rest. It is brewed in Gondar which was a great city so I would say if I lived here this would be my goto beer.
I have had pizza 3 times in Ethiopia so far. Twice in Gondar. The first was at a spot aptly named Tuscany. The pizza was incredible and so far the best I have had. Ethiopians BETTER do pizza right. I mean, they were occupied by the Italians for a few years in the 40’s. The other pizza in Gondar was terrible because they didn’t use tomatos sauce… instead they used this sauce called berberi which is used all over Ethiopia and it is the stuff that got me sick a few days earlier. Finally, in Addis Ababa I ate at a place called The Pizza Corner and ordered a plain cheese pizza w/ oregeno. It was also very good. Overall the pizza in Ethiopia topped the pizza in Kenya .
Ok, here comes the first addition of my World Beer & Pizza reviews. Most of you that know me understand that one of my favorite foods is pizza. I have no shame. I will travel half way around the globe to the most exotic locations and order a ocal pizza. I figure I’ll be eating enough traditional food that a pizza in each country won’t take away anything from my experience.
I stopped off at a restaurant in Nairobi last night and had me a 4 cheese pizza with gorgonzola, parmesan, mozzerella and some mystery cheese. It was thin and delicious in my opinion. It was about 10″ in diameter and I could only finish about half of it. I’d say it was: VERY GOOD
BEER: Tusker Lager. Kenya Breweries.
This tasted sweeter than your usual American beers (bud light, mich lite etc.) but still tasted pretty bad. I would say it was sweet piss water rather than just the usual. Overall:POOR