Thursday, September 10, 2015

Pizza Time At Luna Bella -- Crisp Crust, Fresh Toppings, And All-The-Parmesan A Kid Could Eat

Luna Bella's pizza -- with parmesan topper
When the woman leaned over and busted me as HowChow, she said it was the Parmesan cheese that had given us away.

Luna Bella is a long-established Columbia restaurant, and I figured that Lil' Chow and I could slip inside on a weeknight.  Luna Bella does a full Italian menu from salads to fish, pastas to chicken parm, but I've always gone for pizza.  That was the choice that I gave Lil' Chow as we stepped from the parking lot into the Hickory Ridge village center -- "Chicken or pizza?"

He went pizza, so I'll see next time if he'll explore yucca fries and Peruvian chicken.

Lil' Chow got his own kid's-size pie.  I went with a vegetable stromboli.  I wanted the bite of provolone instead of mozzarella, and I wanted veggies over meatballs because I lack the discipline to eat only half.

I really recommend Luna Bella, especially because the Hickory Ridge village center lets you hang out after dinner near the fountain or run a toddler around with a cup of chocolate ice cream from Meadows Frozen Custard.  Amid a white-table-cloth joint full of adults, the Luna Bella folks treated me and Lil' Chow perfectly -- immediate ordering, quick delivery, and really nice food.

Our crusts had the crispness that you get from a wood-fired oven.  I think it's a step above most pizza around Howard County, even if it isn't a match for the charred crust and specialized ingredients on a Facci pie.  I saw several salads that looked delicious, and folks next to us had a calamari appetizer that made me wonder if I could get Lil's Chow to eat fried squid.

My stroboli came stuffed with squash, mushrooms and onions.  I dipped up the entire side of marinara.  Lil' Chow's pizza worked for me, but he felt that it didn't have enough cheese.  By which I  mean, that he removed the mozzarella and replaced it with shredded Parmesan.  Two deliveries.

That was when the woman at the next table asked if I wrote the blog.  She said she had suspected, but become convinced when she saw Lil' Chow's love of cheese.  The recent Facci post had discussed Lil' Chow's all-you-can-eat love for Parmesan.  Plus, we're a matching pair of middle-aged white guy and two-year-old Korean immigrant.  I laughed and fessed up.

Next time, I'm going to sit outside and try Luna Bella's meats.  They put sausage and pepperoni right at the front of the list of ingredients you can add to a calzone.  I'll promise myself to save half for lunch, and I'll go full glutton with sausage, pepperoni and caramelized onions.  But then, there are also meatballs . . . . .

Has anyone had Luna Bella's sandwiches?  I hadn't realized that they did sandwiches, but their menu on-line talks about some heavy-duty options like a meatball hoagie, a chicken parm sub, and a chicken cheese steak.  I love them all.  But I only want exceptional because a bad chicken parm sub would be a softball in your stomach.  I'm included to try Luna Bella's sandwiches one day for lunch.


wondergirl said...

Try their Eggplant Parmesan - it's a real standout! (though I haven't tried it as a sandwich)
p.s. Glad you're back and congrats on The new addition to your family. I love reading about your adventures and tips, especially as I navigate the sometimes cringe-worthy world of dining out with an 18 month old!

Anonymous said...

Our picky toddler loves fried calamari...lil chow would love it. Also we recently took our family to Tomato Palace...their pies were surprisingly good!!!

Avram said...

I always get the chicken Luna Bella and have never been disappointed. I figure if a dish is named for the place it has to be good.

bmorecupcake said...

Too funny. You are really easy to spot now, no doubt.

Amber F. said...

Luna Bella's penne bolognese is so so super good.

Anonymous said...

We used to go to Luna Bella about once a month. Last time we went, we were told that they only take reservations and they did not have a waiting list. The girl was very snooty and condescending and acted as if we should have known that they only took folks with reservations. Too many other places, won't be going back.

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