Caliente Gives Us A Groupon Win!

Achievement: #29. 10 More Groupons

Hey girl, did you know there’s a new hot pizza spot in Bloomfield? Yeah girl, and get this: it’s got a full bar. And a spacious sit-down dining area. Oh, and it’s crazy cheap and crazy good. Yeah girl, really.

In the event that you aren’t obsessively reading my Facebook or Twitter, you might not be aware that we’ve been hard at work on completing Achievement #100 (Finish the Driveway), so that we are freed up to complete Achievement #78 (Re-Do Our Back Patio). Oh, and then the hope is that having a nice backyard will inspire us to complete Achivement #84 (Host a Game Night).

While you’ll get alllll the dirty details on this endeavour in a few weeks once the gravel people come in (I’m sure there’s a better word for it than ‘gravel people’), suffice to say that in this ridiculous Pittsburgh summer heat (highs of 95 degrees – where am I, the Valley again??), we’ve been hard at work shoveling, raking, and carting around dirt in the backyard to make things presentable. Since I’m a total nerd for numbers, I’ve been wearing my heart rate monitor from while we’re working, and we’re torching like 500+ calories an hour out there!

Which is how we found ourselves in a position to indulge on pizza and pizza-like fare on Sunday night. And what do you know, we had a GroupOn for Caliente, Bloomfield’s hip new pizza joint!

Caliente is not your average Bloomfield pizza place. They’ve got a huge, nice dining room (with big tables to accommodate even the largest groups of rowdy hipster Yinzers), and they’ve got a full bar. But all this fanciness doesn’t increase the cost of your dinner – our GroupOn was for $25 worth of food, and it took us some effort to get to that price without being total pigs.

(Okay, maybe we were *kind of* pigs. But we earned it with all that yard work!)

First things first, get this little plate of garlic toast. It’s 99 cents! You can’t say no to 99 cent garlic toast! Crispy, buttery, and dotted with parmesan cheese… So good.

We also checked out their ‘crab poppers’. These are like jalapeno poppers, but with crab meat inside as well. I’m not big on the jalapeno poppers, so I was kind of ‘meh’ about these, but Michael loooooves jalapeno poppers, and he was crazy for this basket.

Have you ever been to a pizza place and found yourself wishing they had ‘pizza tapas’? Like you couldn’t narrow it down to what you wanted to try, so you just wished you could try everything? We kind of did that. But it was worth it. These buffalo fries were awesome (not too spicy, but the seasoning was spot-on), and the cheese sticks were so gooey and crispy.

Before the real-deal pizza arrived, I had to try the Italian hoagie. Italian hoagies are probably my favorite sandwich of all time (portabella mushroom sandwiches excepted, since those are nearly impossible to find), and I find myself to be a harsh critic of Italian hoagies as a result. This was just right: the bun was thick and crusty, and the meat and cheese was hot and juicy, but not overpoweringly greasy. Nice touch of onions, tomato, and lettuce. I would definitely get this one again.

And then, the main course arrived. Oh. Wow. We opted for one of their ‘gourmet’ pizzas, although they have all the traditional options as well. It was a tough call between the seafood pizza and the spinach and chicken, but we ultimately decided on the latter. Totally worth it: those tomatoes were fresh as can be, and the onions and spinach were applied in just the right amounts. Best of all, they got that tricky formula of a perfect crust right. For me, the best pizza crust is not-too-thick in the area where the toppings are, but bubbles up in a crispy, doughy breadstick-like pile at the end of the pizza. This was exactly that. (It helped that we had some ranch dressing leftover from the cheese sticks, because I am totally a ‘crust dipper’ kind of broad.)

We have to give credit to the chefs, who brought out this massive amount of food in just over ten minutes after we placed the order, and to our waitress/bartender Barb, who managed the whole crazy-crowded bar, plus nearly-full dining area without missing a beat. This place was hopping on a Sunday night, but we were in, fed, and out in under an hour.

We haven’t tried their delivery yet but we will – I’ve heard great things about their speed in having the food at your doorstep. You can’t beat the price (even the drinks are reasonable – $4 each for mid-range mixed drinks), and your tummy will thank you (and thank you again the next day when you heat up your leftovers for lunch). Caliente is open late every night (and delivering up until 1am every night but Sunday!).

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