Second-best pizza in the world available at A.J. Barile’s Chicago Pizza in Yucaipa

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A.J. Barile’s Chicago Pizza has done it again!

In 2010 and 2011, Chef Paul Duran took first place in the western U.S. traditional pizza division during the International Pizza Challenge at the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas.

This year, it was Al Piser’s 18-year-old daughter, Joleen, who took home the award.

Joleen won first place in the western U.S. non-traditional pizza division during this year’s challenge, held last week.

During the finals, she took second overall.

This is her first year of competition.
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La Verne’s Charlie’s Italian Cafe gets Kitchen Nightmares airdate

Followers of this blog might remember back in October of last year when La Verne restaurant Charlie’s Italian Cafe was overhauled as part of the Chef Gordon Ramsay’s Fox reality show, Kitchen Nightmares.

Ramsay and his crew worked with restaurant staff for a week (and beyond) to root out any problems in the restaurant’s operations in an attempt to revive it.

The intensive week culminated in a dinner service featuring a trimmed-down menu and a remodeled dining area. Dine 909 was invited to be a part of this special dinner.

The transformation process was captured on tape for airing at a later date.

We now have that date: 8 p.m., February 17 on Fox.

The restaurant will be closed that day so that the staff can enjoy the premiere with a private event.

Explains Charlie’s owner Tatiana Leiva, “I’m excited for the episode to air and to finally relive the experience I went through. I want people to see the passion I have for my restaurant and understand why I have been able to fall in love with the food and ambiance all over again. It was a necessary journey I will never regret and I hope I can make Chef Ramsay proud!”

If you want to prepare for the episode, you can experience Charlie’s for yourself.

The restaurant, 2445 Foothill Blvd., is open from 5 to 9 p.m. nightly except Mondays. Call the restaurant at 909-392-3734 for reservations.

You can watch previous episodes of Fox’s Kitchen Nightmares by clicking here.

Update: The episode is available here for Hulu Plus subscribers and will available for all later this week. It’ll also be available on Fox’s website here (although you can unlock it now by entering your cable/satellite subscription info).

Dine 909′s adventures in (un)reality television

Surreal.

That’s the best word I can use to describe it.

To be sitting in a smallish restaurant in a nondescript strip mall in La Verne.

And having camera crews roaming the restaurant, and Chef Gordon Ramsay running in and out of the kitchen and through the dining area.

Yes — the Chef Gordon Ramsay — the notoriously short-tempered British culinary and television star.

The dinner took place at Charlie’s Italian Cafe on the final day of filming for Ramsay’s Fox reality show, Kitchen Nightmares.
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Cici’s Pizza finally coming to Corona

Last month, I wrote about the opening of the Corona Cici’s Pizza getting a last-minute delay.

Well, delay no more! The Corona Cici’s will open at 11 a.m. on Monday (September 26).

The first 100 customers to purchase an adult buffet will receive a free buffet every month for a year.

Also, the company is distributing hundreds of wallets around town that contain coupons for a free buffet, a $5.49 value.

The new Cici’s Pizza is at 591 McKinley St., Suite 103, formerly home to a Pizza Factory.

And to think at one time I was bemoaning the fact that, despite heavily advertising in the area, there were no locations locally, and now we’ll have three.

Cici’s
Pizza currently has locations in Chino Hills (4200 Chino Hills Parkway,
Suite 890) and Murrieta (29910 Murrieta Hot Springs Road, Suite S).

How the Gourmet Pizza Shoppe got its Groupon

Dine 909 favorite the Gourmet Pizza Shoppe is offering a fantastic deal via Groupon.

Two can dine on a three-course meal for only $14, which is usually up to a $35.27 value.

Here’s what you get for your $14:

  • Any 12-inch pizza (up to a $22.49 value)
  • Any salad for two (up to a $9.29 value)
  • One small appetizer, excluding the sampler plate, buffalo wings, or cheese bread (up to a $3.49 value)

Seriously, this is a great deal. However, it was posted several days ago and there is a “limited time remaining.” So, in other words, it could disappear at any time.

The deal is good at either the Redlands and Yucaipa locations. You’ll select which one at the time of purchase. Once you buy, you’ve got until March 19, 2012, to redeem.

Click here to get in on the deal.

Update: I warned you the deal was fleeting. It’s dead, Jim!

Third I.E. Cici’s Pizza to land in Corona…at some point

Well, I was all set to write about the grand opening next week of the Corona Cici’s Pizza and that the first 100 customers to purchase an adult buffet would receive a free buffet every month for a year, but…

I received an email this afternoon letting us know that the grand opening date was to be determined.

When it does open, Cici’s Pizza will be at 591 McKinley St., Suite 103, formerly home to a Pizza Factory.

Cici’s Pizza currently has locations in Chino Hills (4200 Chino Hills Parkway, Suite 890) and Murrieta (29910 Murrieta Hot Springs Road, Suite S).

AJ Barile’s Chicago Pizza wins again

AJ Barile’s Chicago Pizza has done it again!

The Yucaipa restaurant has taken first place in the Western U.S. at last month’s International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas.

This is the second year in a row they’ve taken home the prize.

The winning “traditional” pizza entry this year was Paulie’s Pesto.

Dine 909 congratulates AJ Barile’s Chicago Pizza and Chef Paul Duran!

AJ Barile’s Chicago Pizza is at 32693 Yucaipa Blvd., Yucaipa.

62 years? That’s a lot of pizzas!

John Weeks’ column of a few days ago told of Tony Trozera’s talk at the January meeting of the San Bernardino Historical and Pioneer Society.

Trozera, along with his mother and brother, founded The Mug in San Bernardino way back 1948. It’s still in business today.

It’s an interesting glimpse into the history of one of San Bernardino’s landmark restaurants.

Click here to read John’s column.

The Mug is (still) at 1588 W. Highland Ave.

Two Guys helps out

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And yes, that is proper English.

Since Monday, the Italian restaurant has been raising funds for the victims of the recent Highland flooding.

You’ve still got today (January 9) and tomorrow (January 10) to do your part.

There are several ways you can help:

  • Pay $10 for a food certificate worth $20. Half of your $10 will be donated.
  • Give any size donation and receive a $5 off coupon.
  • Dine there on Monday, when 10% of all sales will be donated.

Two Guys Pizza and Pasta is at 2566 E. Highland Ave., Highland.

Gourmet Pizza Shoppes: New year, new day

Come 2011, there’ll be more to love at the Gourmet Pizza Shoppes in Redlands and Yucaipa/Calimesa.

16.67% more, actually.

That’s because the Dine 909 Favorite will be open seven days a week.

The Redlands store had traditionally been closed on Mondays, while the Yucaipa/Calimesa location was closed on Tuesdays.

Well…no more!

Both stores will be closed Friday and Saturday during the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s.

Gourmet Pizza Shoppes are at 120 E. State St., in Redlands and at 13661 Calimesa Blvd. in Yucaipa.