Love at First Bite

Azzip Pizza

5225 Pearl Dr., 812-401-3572,

Little Zip: I chose a pizza base of fresh tossed 8” dough topped with Italian red pizza sauce, garlic butter, grilled chicken pieces, and melted provolone cheese. I then topped it with my choice of fresh veggies: tomatoes, spinach, chopped garlic, and the house sauce, Azzip Pesto.

First Impression: The atmosphere and menu design give this pizza joint a “college hangout” feel. Nineties tunes played from the speakers while I ordered in a six step process: Choose Your Size, Your Sauce, Your Meat, Your Cheese, Your Veggies, and Your Drink. The pie was amazingly fresh and crispy — and the perfect size to satisfy my hunger. I liked that I could be a little selfish and finally order a pizza that had everything I wanted on it — no compromises.

Repeat Worthy? Yes, over and over again. The drive from my East Side apartment isn’t even an issue.

Babel Bar & Restaurant

323 Main St., 812-431-9202,

Philly Roll: The Philly Roll is filled with fresh salmon, subtle avocado, cream cheese, and crunchy cucumber, topped with creamy Spicy Mayo sauce.

First Impression: I received great, friendly recommendations when ordering in this underground, Main Street sushi bar. The music chosen was of my liking, and the laid back atmosphere was just what I was looking for when meeting friends for lunch. The Philadelphia roll was simple, yet flavorful and is a must-try amongst the diverse menu.

Repeat Worthy? Definitely worth a night out after an IceMen game or concert. Check it out during the summer months to enjoy the outdoor patio.

Riviera Mexican Grill

10640 Highway 662, Newburgh, Ind., 812-490-9936,

Chimichanga: A giant flour tortilla is filled with flavorful grilled chicken mixed with spicy peppers, deep-fried to a golden brown, then topped with cheese salsa and served with fresh lettuce, sour cream, pico de gallo, guacamole, Mexican rice, and beans.

First Impression: This quaint family owned restaurant is the hidden gem of Newburgh, Ind. The décor is colorful and the welcoming atmosphere will have you feeling right at home. The food came out within 10 minutes of ordering, I never needed to ask for a drink refill, and my dinner tasted phenomenal — it is definitely in my favorite Mexican dishes.

Repeat Worthy? Yes, I’d like to try it for lunch. The menu also offers healthy, light options so I won’t feel so gluttonous next time.

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