EatDrinkJax.com: Talking about Joseph's Pizza with Susie Bateh and Sandra Bateh-Hanania
Talking about Joseph's Pizza with Susie Bateh and Sandra Bateh-Hanania
Address: 30 Ocean Blvd, Atlantic Beach, FL 32233
1. Tell us about Joseph's Pizza.
Joseph's Pizza is a family owned restaurant that's been around since 1956. We serve pizza and classic Italian dishes. We also have an in-store bakery that bakes bread daily for the restaurant and for take-out. Everything we serve is homemade from scratch and made without preservatives. That includes our sauces and salad dressings, which we also use in-house and have available for take-out.
We serve lunch and dinner with brunch added on the weekends.
2. Can you tell about your style of Italian cooking?
It's not just from one region although it is mostly done in the Southern Italian style which uses heartier sauces and meats. For example, we don't have a watery marinara sauce - ours is thicker. Northern sauces use a lot of olive oils and garlic and have a lighter taste, whereas Southern cooking uses more red sauces, meats and Alfredos. In addition to this we have an emphasis on crafting our dishes in house, by hand. For example, we hand roll our manicotti and cannelloni. Our lasagna is hand made too. We grind our meats fresh in-house and make our own Italian sausage and meatballs.
Home made lasagna
…do you sell your Italian sausage and meatballs to go as well?
We do, especially during the holidays. At Thanksgiving we get a lot of demand for our Italian sausage to use for stuffing.
3. Why did you decide to grind your own sausages?
Because they're delicious! Our sausages are fresh and we know what's in them - we know the type of beef, the type of pork. We've been making our sausages for over 50 years, so why change something that's working so well? We have people who drive through from the Carolinas every year on their way to the Keys who come by to pick up an order of our sausage. There's something about having the traditional, homemade stuff rather than store-bought processed food.
4. How would you describe your pizza? What makes it different from other pizza?
Our classic, Joseph's pizza crust is a nice, firm crust with more texture than a New York style pizza but less than a Chicago style pizza. You can order a 10-item Joseph's Special Pizza, which is one of our most popular, and eat a slice without having the slice flip on you. To get a crust like that we cook it for 30 minutes on stone. It's a slow cooked pizza.
5. Why do you slow cook your pizza?
We like our pizzas to cook in process, which means that everything cooks at the same time - the crust, the sauce and the toppings. This ensures that the vegetables are thoroughly and properly cooked while the crust is proofed. We start by cooking our pizza for 20 minutes in a pan in the oven, then we take it out and finish it for 10 minutes directly on the stone, which gives a really nice crunch to the crust.
We also have a gourmet style pizza which is thinner and very crispy. It uses a double baked crust. We bake the crust once, directly on the stone. We then take it out, add the toppings, and bake it again on the stone. This makes for a very crispy style crust that is also quite thin.
6. Which pizzas are the most popular?
Our traditional pizzas are.
7. And haven't you recently added a gluten-free pizza?
Yes, we've had it for almost two years now. We offer both gluten-free pizza and gluten-free pasta. We had customers who started asking us for a gluten-free offering. We searched around to find something that would represent the same high quality we have in everything else we make. We ultimately decided to have the pizza crusts made in a special facility that only makes gluten-free products. We use a lot of flour in our restaurant and bakery and we didn't want to contaminate any of the gluten-free items with the flour. We bring the crusts in frozen and bake the pizzas to order in a part of the oven reserved for gluten-free products. The pizzas are then sliced on a board that is just used for our gluten-free pizzas.
For the pasta we make each serving to order. When someone orders gluten-free pasta we ask for a few minutes extra and we'll boil their pasta fresh in a separate pot.
8. What's been the response to your gluten-free items?
It's been overwhelmingly positive. People really love the taste of the pizza crust. So many times gluten-free can taste like cardboard. Our customers are coming up to us all the time telling us how amazing our gluten-free crust is - it's tender and flavorful. We took a long time and went through a lot of tests to select the crust we use. The quality and taste are so important to us that we didn't want to rush out and get the first thing we could find. We're used to making everything ourselves and just because we chose to bring this in from outside we still felt it was important to have the same standards we'd have if we were making the crust ourselves. If customers don't like it, we don't want it.