Tuesday, January 06, 2009


This evening, the kitchen still being in a moderate state of disarray owing to the just-completed installation of a hardwood floor in our dining room, we elected to order in a pizza.

There’s a place a half-mile away that offers up a reasonable New York-style pie, which means that the occasional pizza dinner is an acceptable option. I gotta have my New York pizza: No other will do.

Specifically, I’m a New York Neapolitan pizza guy. That’s the round pie with the thin, chewy crust. To me, the rectangular Sicilian pie is a non-starter, with too high a crust-to-cheese ratio.

Other regions have their own take on the pizza. None of ’em impress me worth a shit.

New England used to be a pizza desert. Going to Vermont used to be an exercise in Pizza Frustration. The pies were always bland, flavorless... like tomato soup on a Ritz cracker. Feh. Years later, when we moved to Connecticut, things were better, but only marginally. All the pizza joints seemed to be owned by Greeks - weird! - and they would typically make a round pie which they would then cut into square slices. Euclid would’ve gagged.

Some of the oldest pizza places in America are in Connecticut. Many of them still call their product “apizza” (pronounced “abeetz”), the way it was when first introduced to this country. But I’m not a big fan. Too much gooshy tomato glop; not enough cheese.

When I moved to Texas for the first time, back in 1974, I was horrified to learn that virtually the only pizza available was from fast-food places like Pizza Hut and Pizza Inn. Horrible, horrible. Eventually, a few oases of Decent ’Za revealed themselves: Antonio’s Flying Pizza on Hillcroft, and Napoli’s on Memorial Drive, out near Dairy-Ashford. Napoli’s was the Real Thing, a perfect New York pie... and their spaghetti with marinara sauce was the best I have ever had. Real marinara, with a solid peppery bite to it.

Chicago? Some people love those ridiculous thick pies, but not me. Eating a deep dish pizza is a little like eating a monster turducken made with a quail stuffed into a chicken stuffed into a duck stuffed into a turkey stuffed into an emu stuffed into an ostrich. Too much fucking protein!

Not for me.

Give me a New York pie any time... hot out of the oven, nice and floppy so the oily cheese slides off into your lap and burns hell out of your Crotchly Area. Let the rim be a chewy, crunchy dark brown, and let the pie have the perfect balance of doughy base, tomato, and cheese.

That’s what’s for dinner... and SWMBO’s lunch tomorrow, I’ll wager.

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