When you think of good pizza, cities like New York and Chicago surely come to mind.
But Miami may soon become part of that conversation because of a "famous hidden place" called Mister01.
This Miami Beach pizzeria is home to the original star shaped pizza - the "Star Luca"- and is widely considered one of the best pizza joints in all of South Florida.
Word quickly got around that the pizza was as yummy as it was unique and so they recently they opened a second location in downtown Brickell.
The 'Star Luca' is the brain child of head chef and co-owner, Renato Viola, an Italian import who has won numerous international pizza competitions.
It was during one of those competitions that Viola came up with his famously shaped pizza. He knew he needed to make a simple yet unique design to get the judges attention.
A star-shaped, thin crust, ricotta stuffed pie was the final outcome. The "Star Luca" not only impressed the judges, but it also would have customers lining up at his American restaurant a few years later.
I knew I had to find something different. I wanted the judges to see and try something they never had before. This was the star pizza.
What makes the $15.90 "Star Luca" nothing short of heavenly is the combination of the flavors from the San Marzano sauce, the melted ricotta, mozzarella and spicy salami.
Viola's ships his flour from Italy resulting in a perfectly thin and crunchy crust. The San Marzano sauce is also imported from Italy and gives the pie a unique taste that keeps customers coming back.
Loyal customers travel from all over South Florida to get their "Star Luca" fix. Viola says he's got clients who frequently sit in two hours of traffic just to get their hands on his one-of-a-kind pies.
His team of chefs are making over 150 star pizzas every day in their new Brickell location alone.
"One of the compliments I like most is from Italian clients who say 'This pizza is better than a lot of pizzas that I've had in Italy.'"
Viola and his business partner originally named the joint Visa01 after the paperwork he needed to immigrate to the U.S. He got a Visa01 because of his exceptional abilities in kitchen.
Visa, the credit card company, didn't like that too much and sued. Now Miami's "famous hidden place" and home of the original star pizza has a new name but the same extraordinary menu options.
When we visited the Brickell location we noticed a few other eye catching offerings on the small menu besides the famous "Star Luca."
Viola recommended we try the Coffee Paolo, made with San Marzano sauce, blue cheese, honey, coffee and spicy salami.
Viola promised to make us his Nutella pizza next time. An offer that will not be turned down.