For lunch I had the opportunity to try a new Jacksonville restaurant, Al’s Pizza, and meet up with a Jacksonville food blogger, Devon, who blogs at Run, Sleep, Rinse, Repeat. When Devon first suggested Al’s, the name sounded to me like a pizza stand along the highway, but it is much more than that, which I discovered after a quick Google search.

Like any weight loss veteran, I perused the menu online  last night. I had decided on a salad because it didn’t look like pizza could be ordered by the slice, and personal pizzas can be a huge calorie bomb. I was a little sad, though, because I wanted to try a local pizza place.

I wasn’t to be disappointed, though — Al’s does sell pizza by the slice and even had a $1 cheese slice lunch special.

There was so much variety on the menu, and I could’ve eaten anything. Pizza, you see, is my weakness. It is the one food that can revert me back to the 300-pound girl who subsisted on starch and grease. Friday night is pizza night at my mom’s house, and whenever I’d go to visit on Saturday mornings, I’d immediately eat whatever leftovers there were — sometimes to the point of sickness. This happened as recently as last month. I love pizza, sometimes a little too much.

Pizza side story: I lived alone during the second semester of my junior year of college, the year when my weight hit its all-time high. One night, I heard a knock at the door and it was a pizza delivery man from Romeo’s, my favorite, but I hadn’t ordered a pizza. I opened the door and told him I didn’t order a pizza. Confused, the man looked at the slip and said, “Oh! Sorry. It’s downstairs. I’m just so used to coming here.”

I’ve gotten much better about my pizza habit since beginning my weight loss journey. I never, ever order a pizza when it’s just me, and I try to buy a frozen pizza only when I’ve been craving it for several days. I try to load up on veggie toppings when I do order pizza at a restaurant.

I wanted to try Al’s pizza but also make some healthy choices — we’re planning a day trip this weekend and I want to be able to indulge. I decided on a slice of cheese pizza and the house salad.

The fresh mozzarella on the house salad is amazing. Al’s Web site mentioned the fresh cheese, but I had no idea it would be so mind-blowingly good. The tomatoes were also excellent — fresh and tasty, which was surprising given the cold snap that wreaked havoc on Florida’s tomato crop this year.

The $1 cheese pizza was more than worth its price — a big, floppy, foldable slice of delicious.

One thing I’ve learned through weight loss: You can never go wrong with thin crust. Thicker crusts can add on so many calories, it’s unbelievable.

This pizza slice reminded me of the ones the girls on “Sex and the City” would eat on occasion, like after that awful dinner at Raw in Season Six.

(Sorry, I am in full-on SATC mode ever since the new trailer was released today! I cannot wait!)

Devon and I chatted over lunch about the food blogger world, her husband and my fiance and life in Florida. Devon is a native, so she had lots of insight for me.

Devon in full-on food blogger mode. We ordered the same thing — house salad, cheese slice and … the garlic pretzel.

I did not think any appetizer that cost 99 cents would be that giant. It is a round circle the size of a soft pretzel and would be perfect for two people, but we both ordered one. It was so good — garlicky, doughy and with dipping sauce. Basically, heaven. 😉 Unfortunately, the garlic pretzel put me over the edge from satiated to too full and I lazed around in a food coma all afternoon! At least now I know, and fiance and I won’t order two when we go there.

Are there any foods that you lack control with, like my pizza problem? Do you enjoy the food in moderation, or not at all?

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