Empire is one of those nearby places that I never think about. I'm not sure why, but I just don't. I was pretty excited when they first put the sign up indicating that they were opening, but that's before I started this site. Back then I used to get pizza from the same 2 or 3 places. Now I don't get to do that. But I didn't feel like driving to Boca today, and I'd never gotten a whole pie from Empire, so I figured it was time.
Empire is a strange place. You know about those New Yorkers. They've never bothered to add the Fort Lauderdale location to their web site; their web site is a misguided adventure with all sorts of useless information; as if people don't go to web sites just to get your hours and to see a menu. Of course when you don't even mention one of your locations on your web site, people may think you're out of business.
The have fairly loud music playing in the store; they have big plasma TVs with the menu on it. It's a bit different. The place is a pizzeria, but it's not a bad place to eat in.
Up front there's a display that is too small to display all of the slices available; When they first opened they had it loaded with specialty slices and people kept asking if they had regular pizza; so now they seemed to have realized that showing off their regular and sicilian pizza makes more sense. On my first visit I just had a regular slice.
The cheese was stuck to the bag so it got a bit messed up. The crust and cheese is just right while the sauce I can only describe as "different". I can't quite pinpoint it. Its not sugar or onion sweet, but sort of sweet. I couldn't decide if I like it or not.
On a subsequent visit, I ordered a 6" meatball parm sub, an old childhood favorite.
Again, the packaging messed up the cheese, which was just on the top of the sandwich. This is amateur hour; these guys don't know how to properly package their product to make it home in one piece.
The meatball sub was pretty good, except it was a bit short on cheese. Of course some of the cheese ended up on the foil, so maybe it was more before they wrapped it up. I give it a B.
And then finally I got the whole pie. My latest thing is ordering it with 1/2 sausage.
Empire PIzza 1/2 Sausage Pizza
My first impression of the pizza was that it looked pretty good; I tried to pull out a sausage slice and it just fell apart; like that first slice of cheesecake that you can never get out cleanly. The cheese just didn't want to stay on the pizza. The crust was done just right, but it seemed as if the top of the pie wasn't quite cooked enough. I wrangled the first slice out and pulled it together and I liked it. They use good sausage. This was worth saving.
I have this method I use for re-heating pizza; I usually get a pizza before I go out, have a slice out of the box and then eat the rest later when I return after a few hours. I add a bit of oregano and a whisper of granulated garlic, heat my oven to 220 degrees and heat a couple of slices at a time until the cheese looks just right (about 10 minutes). My method saved this pie, which was much better after I cooked it a bit more.
There seems to be some mechanical problem with the cheese they use here, as it doesn't seem to want to stick to the food. It tastes good, which is the most important thing.
Empire Pizza Loses a Sale , (03/07/2011)