Update: We visited Pizza Surf Club this past Sunday and need to update our original post. First of all, drinks were hit or miss. The Mousse Juice was still great, but the Margaritas were either weak like water or had too much bite from cheap-tasting tequila. The food portion of the Pizza Surf Club was even more disappointing, with only square pies being brought around sporadically. And, while the pizza was okay, it certainly wasn’t up to the same standard as other Fortina pizza. We wondered where all that other great and fun food was that they put on display opening day. We were also a bit disappointed with the bar service. One bartender, in particular, was slow and came off as rude and unconcerned. At other times, we received the wrong drinks, getting a Margarita instead of a Motorino. Last of all, and certainly not under the control of Pizza Surf Club, but the whole deck had a college frat-party kind of vibe with people spilling drinks, sloppy drunk, and doing shots. We can’t say that we recommend going to Pizza Surf Club anymore, but we do still think that Fortina downstairs is great and worth a visit.
Cowabunga, dudes, Pizza Surf Club opened yesterday above Fortina and we’ve got some deets on the drinks, the food, and what to expect. Think of this as an add-on to our post that broke the news and our tips on what to order.
First of all, don’t get caught up in the riptide, walk up the stairs facing you when you enter Fortina, turn right, then climb up a second set of stairs. Hint: look for the bright neon graffiti stairwell, it’s pretty hard not to miss. Climb, observe the awesomeness of pizza graffiti, then you’re at Fortina’s rooftop deck AKA Pizza Surf Club. When you arrive, you’ll purchase some slick tix at $8 each (and the tip is built in). For the most part, 1 drink/food item = 1 ticket, so depending on how thirsty ya are or how hungry you be, purchase accordingly. You can always go back and buy more if you need to. 2 drink/food items include Mousse Juice, Motorino, Italian Ice, Prosecco and Popsicles, and funnel fries.
Once you got your pizza stubs (we made that term up, but it sooo works), head to the bar or one of the bar tables where you can just stand around and chill. When you want your drink, head to the bar and put your order in for wine, beer, or your choice of tiki-inspired cocktails. When you’re ready to nom away on some food, just have those tickets ready because servers will be coming ’round with items hot off the grill. Sometimes drinks will come around that way, too.
This just adds to the fun atmosphere of the Pizza Surf Club because you can just pick here and there all the while you’re drinking this and that. As for the vibe, it was fun and lively with a ton of 90s classics and reggae pumpin’ and bumpin’. Well, that’s about it, so let’s get down to the food and the drinks:
Blue Hawaiian. The coconut flavor is warm and inviting with a nice, juicy, citrusy kick. Will drink this puppy all damn day.
Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri. Yum. Nice strawberry flavor and so refreshing on a hot day. Not too sweet, either.
Miami Vice. Take the Strawberry Daiquiri and mix in the Pina Colada and you get the Miami Vice! It comes out creamy with that nice strawberry bite to it and just enough coconut undertone to make you feel like you really are in Miami.
Mousse Juice. Pampelmouse, grapefruit vodka. Yum, floral, and a subdued sweetness.
Margarita. Nice sweetness and sour taste. Get it also with the Coronita to blend both flavors in. Comes in a cute little pineapple (under the sea?).
Italian Ice. Comes in a bucket with a shovel. Nice lemony kick, just sweet enough, very refreshing. Being an adult has never been better.
Blackout Punch. Holy crap, people. Sherbet comes through nicely with a nice sweetness. Here’s what it’s made of: bottle of watermelon liquor, bottle of vodka, 2 cans of sprite, 1/2 gallon rainbow sherbet, and 4 cans of pineapple juice. This concoction actually got its name from the Fortina blackout brunch that quickly became ultra popular. And, after a few cups, we could see why.
Doritos Bag Tacos al Pastor. For presentation along, you need to order this dish. The Doritos stay at the bottom of the bag and are piled up with delicate and juicy pulled pork, cheese, onions, and cilantro It’s definitely a must order, especially if you’re a Doritos fiend.
Potato Fishstick. Nice crust with crispiness outside while still being moist inside. That’s no easy feat. Say fishstick 5x fast.
Grilled Sausage Patty. The provolone sausage patty had a nice fattiness to it and was rich from the cheese. The slaw on top (made with radicchio) cut into that fat, too, and added some fun plays of texture. Bringing it all together was a King’s Hawaiian roll that added a nice hint of sweetness.
Sloppy Joe. This was a nice Sloppy Joe with plenty of acidy tomato bite, a good hint of spice, and a cheesiness coming from a chunka cheddah. It was so good, in fact, that our server brought them around the entire Pizza Surf Club while singing the chorus of Sloppy Joe from “Lunch Lady Land” made famous by Adam Sandler and Chris Farley.
Corn Dog. Nice corn crust that was just thick enough and not dry like some corn dogs can be. The shallot flakes on top were crispy and crunchy and added a nice bite and texture to it all. Underneath those shallots was a spicy aioli that kicked things up a few notches with a definite heat. And, wouldn’t ya know it, the dog itself was excellent, popping with flavor. A definite must order.
Ceviche. While the fish was fresh and bright, it needed more salt and more of a citrus punch. With a little tweaking, this will be a great dish for spring and summer time to chill with.
Funnel Fries. An absolute winner in our books, the Funnel Fries were served with dribbles of Nutella sauce and Marscapone cheese. Ho.ly. Crap! You get that lovely taste of funnel cake/zeppole, that hazelnutty richness from the Nutella, and the creamy and slightly sour bite from the Marscapone. Tip: watch that powdered sugar, lol.
The crowd was fun and lively and seemed to react nicely to their first day of opening. Comment after comment was, “Oh, I’ll be here every week” and “This will be dangerous.” Chef and owner Christian Petroni who was manning the outdoor grill said that you could order a pizza or other food downstairs then bring it up if you want something bigger to eat. In addition to Chef Petroni, Chef Jared Falco was also on deck, helping to plate, serve, and cook. It was truly all hands on deck. And, coming soon, they shared that they would probably start serving Sicilian slices hot off the grill. You can also look forward to seeing Chef Petroni as a judge on more episodes of Chopped and even on Beat Bobby Flay.
So, for their first day of service, we have to say that service was lively and engaging. Yes, for the first hour, they were trying to work through issues such as the grill not firing up properly. But, they definitely hit their stride, and when they did, it was killer. We can forsee this becoming a great spot to hang out at and will make Fortina even more of an amazing powerhouse. But, with popularity, we’re also interested to see how the servers, bar staff, and chef manning the grill are able to keep up with demand. The ticketing system is perfect for this because there is no need for change, for keeping a tab, or even laying down tips. Very streamlined.
But, don’t just take our word for it: get your ass down to the Pizza Surf Club and just hang ten all day and night.
Disclaimer: Food and drinks were provided by Fortina, but this review and our thoughts are our own.
Pizza Surf Club (Above Fortina)
120 Washington Blvd,