A couple of Saturdays ago I was checking out my Facebook new feed when I noticed that there’s was Free Pizza Party happening at one of my favorite places to get pizza in St. Pete, Tour de Pizza. I did a little searching on the page and saw that it was actually a Goodbye Party for the owner, Matt McClellan. I panicked and called him up on the phone right away. My mind was put at ease when I heard he wasn’t closing down the shop or selling it.
Matt told me that he and his wife are moving to her hometown in Brazil for 6 months. They’re expecting their first child, a girl, at the end of June and they want to be with her family. It’s also a chance to test the strength of Tour De Pizza and it’s staff. If the restaurant can continue to grow while Matt is away (though still active in running the business), then he will work with two investors to open up two more Tour De Pizzas in Miami and Orlando. Awesome!
I’m not sure how the restaurant will fair without Matt’s undeniable charm and warm heart. His staff is often friendly, but it’s hard to find genuine and passionate as Matt McClellan. He trusts his team, though and knows they’ll make him proud. Plus you can still reach him in Brazil anytime you want. Just stop by pizza shop and Skype with him via their laptop at the front of the house. His username is tourdepizza1.
So back to the party. I grabbed Wesley and went to the pizza party. They gave Wesley a ball of pizza dough to play with while he waited for his pizza, which he promptly tried to eat. He also had fun playing with the toy register and pretend pizza at the little table at the back of the restaurant. I love that they have this little area for kids, very thoughtful and not available at any other restaurant I know of. I especially appreciate this after seeing this story on Bay News 9 about Cappy’s Pizza in Tampa.
I was pleasantly surprised to see a couple that I had met at Cappy’s Pizza (St. Pete). I think we all agreed that we like TDP better than Wood-Fire Pizza and Cappy’s. They highly recommended I try a slice of the “Something Delicious” pizza, a Mikey original. He’s been at TDP since it opened 4 years ago and he’ll be running the show day to day while Matt is busy playing with his baby girl on the beach (it’s going to be rough I’m sure ). I loved this pizza! It has Buffalo chicken, bacon (also coated Buffalo sauce), fresh green peppers and Mandarin oranges. I never would’ve thought of putting oranges on a pizza, let alone with Buffalo sauce, but it definitely works. I loved the combination of spicy and sweet and the peppers give it a nice little crunch.
I also put in an order for a large Johnny Pizza, which has sausage, peppers and meatballs (sliced) on it. It definitely was not my favorite pizza from them. I guess it was just a little boring compared to their PEAR-sciutto pizza and other fun combinations. You’ve gotta try one of their specialty pizzas if you go. Eat pepperoni and sausage on your frozen pizza at home. I think I’ll try their Greek Pizza next time. My friend Matt, another local blogger, says it’s his favorite. He’s the who recommended Tour De Pizza to me in the first place.
Make sure you like Tour De Pizza on Facebook to keep up with their specials, some are weekly and others are spontaneous. However, all the prices are fair and there’s no need to wait for a discount.