A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Local Pizza


I am overjoyed to have a local pizza joint, the kind where we walk in and the waitress waves cheerfully and then ambles over to our table with a pitcher of the correct beer. Any deviation from our routine is cause for comment: once I placed a to-go order, and when Lawson went to pick it up she said "You're early, and your pizza's too small." (Usually we arrive late enough that we are the last people there and the waitress starts mopping with Pine-Sol as we are finishing our pitcher.)

About a year ago we decided to try every pizza in town. We've had some accomplices in the quest, most notably Ken and Melanie, but we haven't been very methodical and still have a long way to go. And much of the time when we want to go out for pizza, we go to our local place. It's less than two miles away and has excellent ambience: plastic checkered tablecloths, comfortable booths, wrestling on the TV, friendly pregnant teenagers, and assorted townie customers in camouflage hats and TapouT T-shirts.

It does not have the world's greatest pizza. We can make much fancier and more delicious pizzas at home. It's not New York-style or Sicilian or anything identifiably regional...it might be slightly Greek, but not intensely so. It's not super-thin cracker-style Southern crust. It's not soft bland pizza chain crust. But it has a few things going for it:
  • It is HOT. It comes to the table steaming and crispy and perfect, with no delay between oven and us.
  • The crust is crisp and airy such that its flavor doesn't much matter. The flavor is above average but not impressive in any way. But the texture is just right. It's also retrievable, in that a few minutes in the toaster oven the next day will return the crust to almost its original state.
  • The sauce is subtle and balanced and not applied too heavily.
  • The ingredients are applied with the proper hand. If we order four toppings, slightly less of each topping is used than if we order three toppings. There is never a glut of Genoa salami or mushrooms or cheese or anything else -- they are applied thoughtfully.


I wish we had more perfect local markets and eateries.

1 comment:

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