Restaurant Review: Alexander’s Gourmet Market & Pizza Kitchen, Mt. Dora

While cruising down the streets of downtown Mt. Dora, my girlfriend and I happened upon Alexander’s Gourmet Market & Pizza Kitchen (no URL), on the second floor of the Renaissance building on 411 N. Donnelly Street. Walking up the stairs, Alexander’s is on the left and when you walk inside, it really is just a kitchen in the back with a work area for preparing dishes and a wood countertop in between.

We stood outside and looked at a couple small, three fold paper menus. New York style pizza and wraps were among the offerings. One of the owners, T.J., invited us inside. We wandered inside. On either wall an open air refrigerator with some cold, firm cheeses and speciality deserts such as cannoli, both vanilla and chocolate. Also available included were tiramisu, both almond and coffee flavored. Behind us was another small room with several display racks housing various Italian food items such as pestos, marinated peppers, garlic, and flavored chocolates. Frank Sinatra played in the background, although hard to hear from the noise of the two refrigerators.

My girlfriend ordered a wrap. I watched T.J. prepare it. While working he explained Alexander’s has only been open for a month and he’s still adjusting to the flows of people at various times in downtown Mt. Dora. The wrap was tasty, exclaimed my girlfriend, and included marinated peppers, squash, and tomatoes, with a tomato pesto, in a spinach wrap. It was tangy and came with a few handfuls of chicken flavored chips.

Once the wrap was complete, I ordered my usual New York style cheese pizza, a 10″ size. T.J. explained that he makes his tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes and likes to allow for the dough to rest around eight hours. He tossed my pie, twirled it around, then flattened it out on a wood spatula. He added some sauce, cheese from the outside in, and sprinkled on some basil and what looked to be parmesan cheese. Finally, he placed the pie in the oven for around ten minutes.

After a time and some chat with T.J., some call-ins to Alexander’s, and several walk-ins, my pie was ready. We ate at the counter and my girlfriend had fetched me a Pepsi and herself a water. I am generally not a Pepsi product person, but I prefer a soda with my pie over none at all.

Hot out of the oven and a word of caution from T.J., I let my pizza cool for a moment. Finally, I sampled a slice. It was, in a word: impressive. The home made tomato sauce was especially excellent and gave the pizza a distinctive, mildly spicey, and delicious flavor. The cheese was a splendid, unintrustive compliment, with some basil clearly sprinked on top. T.J. commented that the batch of tomato sauce he used was a little thick, which led to the cheese falling off and apologized. Nevertheless, I finished the whole pizza without incident.

The prices were quite reasonable, especially for downtown Mt. Dora, and Alexander’s accepts credit for orders over $5.

If you’re in Mt. Dora shopping and looking for a nice place to grab a pie, I’d definitely recommend stopping by Alexander’s. While there’s not much in the way of seating available, Mt. Dora’s a nice place to stroll around and find a bench to eat on, if that’s your deal. Or you can eat at the counter at Alexender’s if there’s room.

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