Pizza reviews at Florida State

The 6 Best Pizza joints in Tallahassee

A foodie's review of the best pizza dives to enjoy while in 'Nole Nation.

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Eating pizza has become a sacred ritual for me.

After working in an Italian pizza restaurant for four years, I have come to only expect and accept the best pizza in my area, with special thanks to my Yelp account. You want to walk into a place and become a new regular of the establishment. Service, taste, atmosphere, quality, and price are all factors that go into finding that perfect pizza. For most of us, pizza is an average treat we savor as we indulge in that coal-fired dough, with the tempting cheeses, robust sauces, and options of fresh toppings. Once I got to college, I desperately needed to find some new bites around Tallahassee that weren't just your usual 3 A.M. Dominos-after-the-club eats. Since spending an exceptional amount of time at Florida State, I have come up with some amazing options for everyone to enjoy that quintessential slice.

Of course, I have to start off my article with infamous Gaines Street Pies, located at 603 W Gaines St. What's not to love about late night hours and great food? This place has the PERFECT cheese pizza. The staff is always so nice and catering to my usual needs for plates, napkins, and of course red pepper packets. I enjoy that they offer an amazing vegan cheese, which makes getting pizza for the night more enjoyable for my vegan friends. All the toppings are fresh so don't be shy from loading that pie with lots of veggies or meats. Contrary to other pizza places in the area, this pizza is not soggy. My favorite pizza that's special to the restaurant would be the "White Album" pizza, with fresh mozzarella, tomato slices, sautéed onions, and lots of yummy basil- add some red pepper flakes and fresh ground black pepper and you got yourself a great pie.

Down the street from Gaines Street Pies is an amazing little coal-fired joint called Isabella's Pizzeria Napoletana, located at 799 W. Gaines Street. This pizza reminds me of the traditional Italian pie, with that coal-fired crust and the great array of gelato flavors made in-house. It's hard to find quality gelato at pizza places, take my word for it. The price range is a little bit higher here but I think you definitely pay for what you get, seen in the quality of ingredients they use. The menu is pretty dense so anyone can find something authentic and original for their taste buds. Go during lunch time and they have specials on personal pizzas and drink deals! I recommend the "Prosciutto Arugula" pizza highlighting Isabella's homemade mozzarella. That's amoré!

My next restaurant is nestled in the heart of CollegeTown, perfect for parent's weekend and special occasions. Get your camera skills and Instagram ready for Centrale Pizza Parm & Bar, located at 815 West Madison Street. This cute little pizzeria is the best restaurant to take pictures while sipping on your Frosé with friends. Centrale offers daily specials such as Mac and Cheese pizza, lobster ravioli, and even Bingo nights as well as mozzarella making classes! My favorite pizza from here is definitely the "Old School Square Cheese" pizza which has the most incredible, salty mozzarella you've ever tasted. TIP: On Thursday's the 12' Old School Square for $5 instead of $12! Another special pizza locals rave about is the "Caesar Milano" pie with fresh Caesar salad on a cheese pizza- say what...

Decent Pizza, located on 1026 N. Monroe Street, was the first pizza place I ever tried in Tallahassee while moving into my freshman year dorm (shoutout to Gilchrist). I love how they deliver because sometimes trying to get quality pizza entails picking it up via takeout. This place is more of a dive than the fancy CollegeTown spots I mentioned but this pizza is great. I enjoy the casual atmosphere here so you don't necessarily have to get all dressed up just to get some pizza. Decent Pizza offers cannolis for dessert and pizza by the slice, which is a huge plus for me to get a quick bite. My favorite pizza to get here is the traditional "Margherita" pizza with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, a little sauce and little shreds of basil!

IOLO Pizza, located on 2145 N. Monroe Street, is a newer spot that opened up in Tallahassee. They offer fresh ingredients that are locally-sourced and their pizzas are made in wood-burning ovens! I sometimes prefer this method over coal ovens because the crust can be overkilled and burnt so quickly. The atmosphere reminds me of Blaze due to its smaller size, but don't underestimate looks for the power of producing a great pizza. The cheese pizza here is relatively cheaper than other places and the portions are perfect!

The last place I'm about to mention is one of the most infamous pizzas in Tallahassee. Welcome to Gumby's Pizza located at 623 W Tennessee Street! This late-night spot has the most amazing breadsticks called "Pokey Sticks" which are pizza dough sticks baked with garlic butter and grated cheeses. Did you even go to Florida State if you've never had pokey sticks? The pizza is okay, better than Dominos but definitely not something I would recommend for a traditional, quality pizza. This is more of a true to heart Tallahassee spot that I love eating at 2 A.M. after hitting the Strip. TIP: look for the weekly deals they offer for pokey sticks!

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10 Things People Ask Me About My Brumotactillophobia

These are the questions that I always hear when someone finds out that I can't stand my food touching.

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Brumotactillophobia is the fear of food touching other food. Yes, it is weird, but I recently found out that I am not the only one with this disorder. As I can imagine, I am probably not the only sufferer who - when someone finds out about it - have heard these common questions:

1. Why can't you have your food touch?

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That reason is: I have no idea. For as long as I can remember, the thought of it all just disgusts me. I did do some research on this disorder, however, and found that it is actually a common and mild form of OCD. It mostly stems in children of a young age, because they typically feel as though their plate is the only thing that they can control.

2. You know that your food ends up in the same place, right?

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As a matter of fact, yes, I do. I know what happens to food after you eat it, and I don't care. It can go to the same place in the end, but it will get there separately.

3. What do you do at buffets or Thanksgiving?

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I do what everyone else does: I eat. Just because I separate my food, doesn't mean I am not eating what is there. If I happen to have to go back for seconds because I didn't have enough room on my first plate for everything, then I will.

4. Don't you put gravy on mashed potatoes?

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First of all, I love gravy and mashed potatoes. It doesn't weird me out because gravy is a sauce, and sauces go on your foods. It's like ketchup or other condiments.

5. What about foods like salads or casseroles?

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To answer, foods that belong together go together. I don't know why that is okay for me, but it is. For instance, Shepherd's Pie is meat and vegetables mixed together with mashed potatoes on top and cooked in the oven. If those ingredients were separated onto a plate as a meal, I wouldn't mix them, but the fact that they are already mixed as it's own food, then it is okay with me.

6. What makes it weird for you to mix your plate together?

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To be frank, I have no idea. Some sufferers have a thing for the textures, others with taste. Personally, I have yet to pinpoint what it is about it that freaks me out.

7. What happens if the juice from one food touches another?

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Nope. Not today. I will literally stop eating and just go hungry.

8. What happens if some of your food does touch?

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If this unfortunate event happens, I typically try to eat around the parts that have touched and throw the contaminated parts away.

9. Does this mean you're a picky eater?

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Absolutely not! I might be picky about the layout of my plate, but I am a true foodie. I can eat pretty much anything.

10. Is that the only eating quirk you have?

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On top of not liking my food touch, I also have to eat one item at a time, and it usually from least favorite to favorite. For example, say I had a plate with steak, potatoes, and broccoli on it. I would probably eat it in the order of all of the broccoli, all of the potatoes, and then the steak.

Yeah, it is all very weird, but I don't mind. I know there are others out there like me, so here's to all of the people who suffer from Brumotactillophobia.

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I'm A Meat-Eater Who Thinks That Vegetarianism Is The Way Forward

The philosophy of vegetarianism is not about animals, it's about humans.

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I'm a bad person, and I love my steak, and yes, I hate PETA, too.

Let me tell you that PETA kills animals and not for their own justified humane reasons. According to one man, they've kidnapped a dog. And their brand of promoting vegetarianism simply isn't the right way to go about it, for reasons I feel are unnecessary to explain.

But, they do have a point. I think they just do a terrible job of explaining those points. Arguments for vegetarianism are really not just "eating meat is evil," or "think about the mothers of the cows you're eating." No, going vegan or vegetarian is really a conversation about our deeply held social norms and the inconsistencies of the answers regarding the treatment of animals, humans included.

Back in 2014, an Indiana man murdered his ex-girlfriend and proceeded to cook her brain, heart, and lung. While the man was held in police custody, PETA sent acting Clark County Sheriff Meyer, a peculiar letter: provide him exclusively vegan meals. For some, this would be a punishment, "don't you dare take away my meat." But for others like the Sheriff, the letter "[was] an insult" — as if to equate animal meat-eating with human meat eating — and this is exactly the point that PETA makes. Eating human-meat is equivalent to eating non-human-animal-meat.

One instinctively would think that is a crazy proposal. Why? Well, it is just wrong to eat humans, no doubt about it. Why is it wrong to eat humans, though? I'm just as good as a source of protein and nutrients as you are. If we remove all constructed norms aside, you are fair game, like the cows on the fields are.

A little sidetrack: humans have eaten other humans in the past—and there was nothing wrong about it. Humans throughout society would eat other prisoners of war and the Aztecs systematically slaughtered humans to be sacrificed to the gods and eaten. What changed? Well, we developed a system where we could grow an abundance of food, a system where humans would be significantly less valuable as food and significantly more valuable as producers of food.

Agriculture gave us a choice other than eating humans, and we chose the better option, not eating humans. Still, that doesn't tell us why it's wrong to eat humans. It's wrong to eat other humans because you are my equal. All humans are equal. Whether you're a male or female, gay or straight, immigrant or citizen, tall or short, old or young, and the list goes on. There's no difference, no one is more superior or less inferior.

But, let me make a distinction here. Equality doesn't mean everyone should be treated the same way, that would be absurd. Have you ever heard about a movement campaigning for the right of a man to get an abortion? No, but maybe you would want to campaign for a man's right to additional paternity leave. Equality means equal consideration, meaning that women should have the right to choose what they want to do with their bodies, as this gives consideration to the fact that women have a womb, while men don't.

So, why shouldn't I eat you? Because eating you means that I think that you have some feature that allows me to slaughter, cook, and consume you. This certain feature means that you are less deserving of not being eaten and cooked and consumed. This feature might be your skin color, or hair texture, or your accent. And if you think that no rational human would consider those features as contenders of being eaten and cooked and consumed, think again.

White slaveholder Americans never ate their slaves, not on a widespread reported basis at least. But the white slaveholder did think the slaves had a certain feature that justified their enslavement and brutal punishment. Here are the features to be a slave: you must have dark skin, curly hair, and a non-settler accent. These features are the qualifications to be a slave, and the definition of being a slave means that I do not have to treat you like a human. And when it did come to life-or-death situations, these features did lead white slaveholders to eat their slaves, first.

The Civil Rights and Feminist movements showed the world why being an African-American or an American woman why they are just as human as the white American male. You cannot pick features x, y, and z and have those features explain why those disqualify one from being treated equally.

Why don't we choose intelligence as a feature for superiority? That means the world would be enslaved to Neil deGrasse Tyson. But why Neil deGrasse Tyson as a standard, specifically? Couldn't we choose another standard of intelligence, say the IQ of Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking? We cannot decisively draw a line to say, "this is superior" and "this is not". When the white slaveholder was trying to decide what made a slave, it was rather difficult to draw the line saying "you must be this dark to qualify as a slave." Indeed, "colored" and "not-colored" proved to be a difficult distinction. Some states passed one-drop of African blood laws... meaning of course, that every single living human on earth qualifies to be a slave.

Which is why it is questionable when we tell ourselves that we are "superior" to non-human animals. The reason we can eat non-human animals is apparently because we have features x, y, and z which non-human animals do not. We tell ourselves that we're more intelligent and that we can think rationally. Well, dolphins got echolocation, and we don't. I think they're more superior since we've only developed sonar technologies in the last century, while they've had that for 40 million years. Bats aren't blind, but they can see better in the dark, and some species can even detect ultraviolet light — while we can't. For whatever single feature we try to come up with to make the argument why we are superior, there will be another feature telling us we aren't.

If we can't find any feature that makes us objectively more superior, then non-human animals are equal to human animals, a case made by Australian philosopher Peter Singer's "All Animals Are Equal." What is that uniting factor, that all animals share, that can render all animals (including humans) equal? All animals feel pain. It doesn't matter to what degree they feel pain, but all animals feel pain, and would not want to feel pain. If we have a duty to spare an African-American from the brutality of slavery, then we have a duty to spare the chicken from a life of incarceration and torture.

I still eat meat, and yes, I have tried to stop eating meat. But it is so hard. We have the option to abandon meat because we have the 21st-century resources to abandon meat unlike the days of Aztec cannibalism. That is why I say, "I'm a bad person," and it is alright to say that. And I mean that, not in the sinister "I ate my mom for breakfast" kind of way, but rather as a type of acknowledgment. It is an acknowledgment that I eat meat because culture and norms say that meat tastes good, just like the culture and norms of the past said that slavery was alright because they are not humans, or that women can't vote because their place is in the kitchen.

We probably won't stop eating meat in this century. But the conversations about vegetarianism are conversations about the way our society treats its animals — as where George Orwell's pigs modify the features, "all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

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