Siena’s Pizza – Monticello, New York

We haven’t been to Siena’s Pizzeria in Monticello in over 5 plus years. It was always a hit or miss with the pizza. Some days it was good and others not so good. That is the main story for most of the pizzerias around us. I’m trying to get videos and feedback on all the local pizzerias in my area. We decided to give Siena another try while my brother was visiting.

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Siena’s Pizza Address: 321 Broadway, Monticello, NY 12701

Siena’s Pizza Hours: 

Tuesday11 AM–9 PM
Wednesday11 AM–9 PM
Thursday11 AM–9 PM
Friday11 AM–10 PM
Saturday11 AM–9 PM
Sunday12–9 PM

Siena’s Pizza Phone: (845) 791-7662

We got one plain cheese pizza and it looked nice and crispy from the top but when you look at the undercarriage there was no crunch or char. The cheese and sauce tasted okay but I just wish the dough had more crunch to it. You can see in the video I shared on Youtube.

Would you try this pizza based on the picture? Comment below if you would try pizza from Siena’s in Monticello, NY.

How To Use Expert Grill Charcoal Pizza Oven

After a few months of use, I’ve learned what not to do and how to use Expert Grill charcoal pizza oven. First, the pizza oven is easy to use and pretty lightweight if you remove the stone. So far, it has taken a lot of abuse from me and the fires I create. There is some paint chipping at the back of the oven, where you make the fire. This is probably from me accidentally throwing fuel on the metal and catching it on fire. Besides that, the stove still looks good, and the handle did not melt or fall apart.

Tips on How to Use Expert Grill Pizza Oven

After assembling the pizza oven, you want to clean it up and start your fire. I start my fires with charcoal and then build them up with a few small wood slices. I also left the charcoal outside in the rain a few times and used only wood to build a fire. No matter what you use, the fire will get hot and heat the oven. The highest temperature we’ve reached is 800F but we don’t want it hotter than 700F.

I like to cook my pizzas in the Expert Grill charcoal pizza oven once it reaches 600-700F. One thing I quickly learned is that the stone needs to get hot. While the oven temperature can promptly reach 700F, the stone requires a little more time to heat. Give the oven a good 15-20 minutes to heat up, making sure to keep loading the back with charcoal or wood. So while you work on slicing your veggies and prepping your dough, have someone else mend the fire.

After heating the pizza oven for 15-20 minutes or more, depending on your fire, you can place your pizza. Make sure that your pizza dough bottom doesn’t have too much flour. This will burn your pizza stone and won’t cook the bottom of the pizza either. Plus, who wants flour on their pizza?

After placing your pizza in the charcoal pizza oven, let it be for 30 seconds. If your fire is too hot, push the pizza towards the front so it doesn’t catch fire. Every 30 seconds or so, spin the pizza 1/4 way. Your pizza should be done to perfection in 2-3 minutes. Again, this depends on your oven temperature, pizza dough thickness, and the toppings you’ve added.

Once the pizza is done, place it on a surface where it can breathe from the bottom. We use a steel pizza pan screen, which we got for under $5 at Walmart. We’ve used it to make pizza in the electric oven, which helps cook the pizza more evenly. Give the pizza a minute or so to rest, cut it and enjoy it!

How NOT to Use Expert Pizza Oven

Some basic things not to do with your pizza oven are:

Placing the pizza in too soon – While no one likes to wait, you need to have patience and wait for the pizza oven to heat up. The pizza oven needs to heat up, and the pizza stone also needs time to retain the heat. A cold pizza stone will not cook your pizza from the bottom. Instead of perfectly cooked pizza, you can end up with raw dough and a white, soggy bottom.

Turning your pizza too soon – If you want to see that pizza dough rise and fill up with air, let it be. Leave the pizza dough to rise for at least 20-30 seconds before turning it. Turning the pizza too soon can prevent it from growing fully for an airy pizza. Instead, your pizza dough might end up chewier and dense.

You don’t need to close the pizza door – The pizza oven door comes off and should stay off when you’re cooking the pizza. It will release heat when you do this, but your pizza will be OK for two minutes. It will also make it easier to see the pizza rise and brown when you need to turn it.

Check your charcoal basket often– When it comes to charcoal pizza ovens or wood-burning pizza ovens, you need to ensure the fire keeps going. If the fire dies, the oven temperature will drop fast, and your pizza will not rise or cook evenly.

Best Veggie Pizza Toppings

Is there such a thing as the best veggie pizza toppings? Meh! But if you love vegetables or want to incorporate more veggies into your diet, adding them to your pizza sound like a good idea. While you can add any vegetable to a pizza pie, some don’t belong. Peas, for example, should not be put on a pizza. Peas and carrots on a pizza? Eww, who are you? Unless you make an empanada pizza, I don’t want to see peas and carrots on your pie.

If you want to spruce up your pizza, use toppings such as:

  • Mushrooms
  •  Peppers
  •  Olives
  •  Onions
  •  Zucchini
  •  Squash
  •  Eggplant
  •  Spinach
  •  Potatoes
  •  Broccoli
  •  Arugula
  •  Romain lettuce

If you add arugula or Romain lettuce to your pizza, do it at the end, when the pizza is finished. I love a good chicken Caesar slice or two. It makes me feel like I’m tricking my eyes into thinking I’m eating something healthy.

When it comes to choosing the best veggie pizza toppings, it all depends on your preferences. If you don’t love them, don’t add them. But you should be open-minded and try at least one veggie pie once in a blue moon. Slowly, I’m getting my veggie-hater to try a bite or two. He ever tried pineapple and sausage pizza! 

If you’re thinking broccoli, no way. Give it a shot! What about a mac and cheese pizza with broccoli? Or just broccoli and cheddar cheese! Maybe grill or sauté the broccoli first. I love Alfredo pasta with chicken and broccoli so why not make a pizza with those toppings as well. If eggplant parmesan is your jam, add it to your pizza! Have you tried spinach dip? How about a creamy spinach dip pie! Why not?

While nothing beats a nice plain cheese pie, adding a veggie or two once in a while wouldn’t hurt.

Cookies and Berries Pizza

When you think of pizza, I’m sure you never think ‘cookies and berries pizza would be good about now’. Well, you should! In our house, every pizza night ends with dessert pizza. While some people refuse to try or make a dessert pizza, we embrace it. I prefer pizza that is not too sweet while he prefers his dessert pizzas as sweet as they can get. We compromise by creating half pies and using what we have on hand.

Nutella pizza is great and all but cookies and berries pizza is something else! If you’ve never had berries with your warm, fresh out-of-the-oven cookies, you’re missing out! Now add pizza crust to the mix and a cold glass of your favorite milk and bam! Bedtime couldn’t be any sweeter after that.

Nutella and berries pizza taste great but it can be overly too sweet for me. I want to enjoy my dessert and eat as much of it as I can. If it’s too sweet, the dessert is ruined for me. My favorite dessert that the pizza chef in this house makes are Oreo and berries balls. He uses pizza dough to wrap the Oreos and berries in, then bakes them. Anyway, if you love chocolate chip cookies and berries, you need to make yourself this berries and cookies pizza!

Right Way to Eat Pizza

Is there really a wrong and right way to eat pizza? If you’re visiting America from Europe, you might be appalled by our food sizes and how we choose to eat our pies. As Americans, we get shocked when we see people choosing to eat their pizzas with forks and knives. What’s up with that?

The first time I went to a restaurant in Europe with my aunt and cousins, I ordered pizza. My cousin also ordered pizza and I thought it was weird. Why would we not share one large cheese pie? Well, there were no large cheese pie options. What you have is a personalized pie with an olive in the center, and ketchup squirted all over it for design, I guess? And of course you get your silverware to eat it with. After being shocked at how thin and white the pizza was, I proceeded to try and eat it. I grabbed one slice with my hand and ate it in three bites. My aunt and cousins were horrified! They asked me what I was doing and to stop! I need to use my fork and knife. As a New Yorker, I found this funny and weird. I laughed and continued to eat my pizza with my hands, embarrassing my family.

Was it good? Yes. Was it the best pizza I ever had? Not even close, but it was different. Did I try to use the fork and knife? Eventually, but it didn’t last too long. If you’re coming from America to Europe, would you use a knife and fork to eat pizza? If you don’t, some people might think of you as uncultured and uncivilized.

How to Eat Pizza the Right Way

According to the world, or something like that, the right way to eat pizza is to use a fork and knife. You should start from the center triangle part and eat your way towards the crust. Eating pizza with a fork and knife will help you eat slower, chew your food, and enjoy the pizza more. It will also allow the pizza to cool off better and not fall over your face or burn your mouth.

I feel like for personal pies, Neapolitan pies and deep dish pizza, using a fork and knife will help you eat the pizza. Especially if you are in Europe. If your pizza has a lot of toppings and soft cheese, the fork will help you grab a little bit of everything in one bite. But if you ordered a large New York cheese pie, then baby use your hands! Grab the slice, maybe fold it in half or flip the triangle half towards the crust! This way the cheese won’t burn your mouth. This also helps the cheese stay on the slice, especially if it’s a piping hot slice!

Do you think that there is a wrong and right way to eat pizza? Do you have a special way of eating pizza or just rely on your hands and mouth to do the work? As long as you eat pizza during National Pizza Month, I don’t care if you use a fork or your hands.

October is National Pizza Month

October is the month where we fall in love with autumn leaves but another reason why we should love it is because it’s National Pizza Month! The whole month of October, in America, we celebrate the incredible, delicious, and perfect thing called pizza! While some of us believe that every day is a good day for pizza, others might enjoy it more in October. If you’re not one for pizza, well maybe in October you will give it another try, or two or three. Pizza goes well with a variety of beer, and wine, for those excited for Octoberfest.

How did October become the month for pizza? It all started in a little town called Santa Claus, Indiana. A pizzeria owner was looking for a magazine that would help him become more successful. When he found nothing out there that was helpful, he decided to make his own. In October of 1984, Gerry Durnell released his first Pizza Today issue and the rest was history. Well, he proposed that October be the national pizza month because of this reason, and someone else probably said; Sure! Then, the rest was history.

Celebrating National Pizza Month

How do you celebrate pizza month? October should be a month to celebrate pizza and try as many different slices and pies your heart and stomach desire. This is the month you should go wild and step outside of your comfort zone. Maybe try a pepperoni slice, a veggie slice, heck try a white slice or a tomato slice, maybe even a chicken and broccoli slice. Is the broccoli too much? This is the month where pizzeria shops might also have a special on their pies or slices and give free pizza. Some pizza restaurants might do a charity event, a giveaway, or a theme party, so be on the lookout for those as well. Heck, ask your local pizza spots what they will be doing or inspire them to do a pizza giveaway once a week for the month!

What will you be doing for National Pizza Month? Are you going to try new pizza or make some new pies? We will be whipping up new pizzas at home and trying a few different pizza shops. With so many pizzerias, the choices are endless and we will definitely need more than a month.

Best Pizza TV Shows

If you’re looking to get inspired and make better pizza, you need to enjoy a variety of pizza TV shows. Over the years there have been countless of television shows that showcase pizza and inspire us to try more pizza. Today, there are even more shows that get out juices floating and make us say; why didn’t I think of that? If you’re looking for the best pizza TV shows to binge watch, try the following:

Chef’s Table: Pizza

Netflix comes up with shows left and right but this one is a must watch. In this mini series you will get to meet a number of chefs from around the world and learn how they started their pizza addiction. From using the best and freshest ingredients to adding edible flowers to their pizzas, you’ll see it all.

Best In Dough

Hulu can’t just watch Netflix have a pizza show, they make sure to release their own. If you’re looking for a show where three amateur pizza makers and chefs compete to see who can make the better pie, this show is for you. This show not only inspires you to go and make more pizza, it will also make you hungry. Be sure to have your pie ready while you watch this pizza TV show.

The Pizza Show

This show started in 2016 and shows Frank Pinello, a pizza and bar owner, traveling near and far, eating a variety of pizzas. He talks to the pizzaiolos while enjoying their delicious, mouth-watering pies. Now that’s a job I want to sign up for! You can watch this show online and Roku.

Really Dough?

In this show, friends Scott and Mark travel and try anything claiming it’s a pizza. From pizza doughnuts to lasagna pizza, to calzone pizzas, the choices are endless. You can enjoy three seasons of this show, and decide for yourself if something is pizza or just a pizza-wannabe.

Do you watch any of the above pizza TV shows? Which one is your favorite? Are there any other pizza shows we should be watching? Let us know in the comments below.

12th Annual NYC Pizza Run

Did you know that there is an annual NYC pizza run in Brooklyn every year, for the past 12 years? Well, now we all know about it. A pizza fan let us know about this amazing 5K pizza run, which we had no idea about. We were going to sign up but the tickets are all sold out. Go figure! When it comes to anything relating to pizza, it will sell out in a flash.

NYC Pizza Run started 12 years ago. In this 5K challenge, participants get to run and eat 2 slices of pizza along the way. I mean, does it get better than that? This 3.1 mile run also benefits Juvenile Diabetes Research. Half of the proceeds will go to research and improving the lives of children with Type 1 diabetes. We will definitely mark this in our calendar for next year, since we missed the sign up for this year.

The registration was $39.02 per person and includes the taxes. With the fee you get an official NYC Pizza Run t-shirt, get to enjoy 2 slices of pizza, a custom race bib, a pizza gift bag, and a free drink at the NYC Pizza Run afterparty. If you joined the race, let us know how you did and how you liked it. And of course, let us know how the two slices of pizza were.

If you want to join the NYC Pizza Run race or watch it, go to:

Fort Greene Park 320 Myrtle Ave Brooklyn, NY 11205

The race will be held on Sunday, September 25th, 2022 at 11:00 AM.

NJ Pizza Run

If you missed signing up for the NYC Pizza Run, you can join the “Pizza the Trail” 5K – Jersey Shore. This even will be held on November at 9:30 AM at:

Allaire State Park
4265 Atlantic Ave, Wall Township, NJ

The fee to enter the race is $32.74, which includes taxes. One this trail you get to enjoy nature, woods, and a slice of pizza. Every participant gets to take a pizza medal home. Some of the proceeds will go towards breast cancer research for men and women.

Testing out Free Pizza Poker Tournament Game

I want to try something new to see if our members enjoy the idea of a pizza poker tournament. I found a website where I can host free online poker games. There is a max of 10 people right now allowed to play on this free poker-playing website. You don’t need to register on the website to play. You need to pick your username and enter the free pizza tournament. The first-place winner will win one free pie from their local pizzeria. You tell us which pizza restaurant you order from, and we will pay for that order!

Does this sound like something people would be interested in? We would need to be online at the same time to play a pizza poker tournament. Right now, I can only host ten people at a time. So this will be first come, first serve to enter the free poker tournament for your chance to win free PIZZA!

Comment under the comments section to enter.

I will email the first 10 comments to see what time is best to start the game. If someone is not available to play, then I will move to the next person in the comments list until we have 10 people online at the same time to play for the FREE PIZZA prize.

The images below is just a quick example I tested with friends to see how it works. We will get a full report below of all the players, hands and who won the free pizza =)

First Batch of Pizzas Made with ExpertGrill Charcoal Pizza Oven

First batch of pizzas made with ExpertGrill charcoal pizza oven from Walmart. This was the best money I have spent in a long time. We can quickly make pizzas, in 3 to 5 minutes when the fire is at temp. Which is your favorite pizza below? Stay tuned for more pizza creations with the ExpertGrill Charcoal Pizza Oven