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A slice of the pie
by Turtle Jones
Pizzas. Most of us like them, some of us hate them. Some places and towns have many more than they should and some towns have none. I have found in California, we run the gammut of pizzas from Local, New York, California, frozen, and those cheap little ones you buy when you are all out of money and need to feed alot of people. So let's talk about some pizzas (and no, they aren't called pies, Michele).
turtle takes a shot.
I want to start off saying just cause I live in California, in way do I support or endorse these vile creations.
Applewood smoked bacon, grilled chicken and Mozzarella cheese, hearth-baked then topped with Roma tomatoes, chilled chopped lettuce tossed in mayonnaise and fresh sliced avocados.
Jesus. There is something so wrong with this. There is not much to say about this except "Who the hell made this crap?" And then shoot the first Chef who puts his hand up with a large caliber weapon. Mayonnaise on pizza? My. God.
This was a little better. Thick, chewy dough that took more water to get it down your throat than the actual pizza. The problem with these places is that people went in to socialize, more than to eat. Very laid back. Sometimes I just want to eat and not talk to anyone. Be alone in the corner and just wait for a pizza to come out. Tick tock tick tock. Just took too damn long to come out.
New York Pizzas.
Meh. Since I know Michele is going to bag on me, why bother?
Some of these are pretty good. Some can turn your shit white. The ones you want to stay away from are the 1.99 ones. No bueno. Tortinos, one of the worst brands on the market, does have a saving grace. Tortino's party rolls! Those little things have so many good uses other then eating. They are weapons and ashtrays. They can change the world. They can do anything.
These are the ones you get when you only have a few bucks and five people to feed. This is carboard, pure and simple. But, it's cheap. So, what the say? Muscle it back with a free two liter bottle of Coke they give you if you pick it up yourself.
and how can I forget the masterpizza.
The weird thing about this is the utter awesomeness of it. Norway? Pizza? Hell, dudes. This stuff is like mana from god. I have no idea why it is so good, but it is. "Pepe's" is the be end all of slices. Maybe it's the water they use. All I know is that's what we ate for six days. That's all we wanted. Telling you. "Pepe's" was a god send. -T
Pizza. God damn it. He wants to write about pizza. I’ve been on this South Beach diet for almost a month now and I have been craving a piece of pizza so bad that last night I dreamed I ate four large pies. And a Diet Coke.
I don’t know what Turtle can possibly say about pizza. He lives in California. You can’t get real pizza there. Hell, the place he goes to only sells slices til 4pm. What kind of shit is that? I never heard of a place that won’t sell you a slice. Californians. Weirdos.
Before I tell you about the perfect pizza, let’s get something straight. When I say “pizza” I am talking about the real thing. Not frozen. Not from some chain restaurant that has the word “California” in its name and puts things like pears on top of their pizza. Not some other chain that serves you jarred sauce and processed cheese stuff on a piece of cardboard. Pizza Hut? Not pizza. Dominoes? Not pizza? Papa John’s? That’s a laxative right there. Two slices of that and you will be on the toilet within ten minutes of digestion. If you had the garlic dipping sauce, better take a magazine in their with you. And some Lysol.
So what’s real pizza? Real, New York pizza? Well.
In my pizza fantasy....yes, I’ve had those. Especially recently. Not fantasies in the sexual sense. It’s not like I’m thinking of doing unnatural things with mozzarella cheese. It’s just food fantasy. This happens when you are on a diet. Maybe just to me. But it happens. Anyhow, in my pizza fantasy, I am ordering a slice. With a Coke. Let it be known, I rarely drink soda. I think carbonated drinks are evil. But with pizza, you have to have Coke. It’s just the way it is. It goes back to Saturday afternoons when I was about twelve or so, hanging out in Joey’s Pizzeria, watching Joey himself make the pies, Joe Cocker’s “The Letter” playing over and over again on the jukebox, the sounds of the pinball machine sometimes drowning out the music. We’d get the first pizza out of the oven every Saturday. 45 cents for a slice and Coke. God, I’m old.
Where was I? Oh yea. Fantasy. I order the slice and the soda. I wait. Watch the guys work the ovens. Watch the cranky old man flip the dough. I can smell every ingredient. The air is thick with marinara sauce and melting cheese. Two fat ladies in flour-stained aprons behind the counter talk in Italian. There’s a soccer game on the tv in the corner. Oven opens. Big wooden shovel type thing goes in. Pizza comes out. Oh, it’s sizzling. It’s perfect. My stomach does a rumble. I watch as Vinny moves the pizza from oven to metal tray. He spins the tray and as the pie turns, his pizza cutter flies and in five seconds there are eight perfect slices. My mouth waters. Vinny puts a piece of wax paper on a paper plate and shovels a slice onto that. Slides it down the counter toward me. Mangia, he says. I take the pizza over to my table. Stare at the condiments. Maybe a little garlic. A little red pepper. I lift the slice. Attempt the fold. Ahhh, it folds so easily, like a good pizza should. Crust thin enough to make the two corners meet when you fold it. The tip of the slice points down. It is weighed down by tons of cheese and grease. I hold the pizza over the wax paper and watch the grease drip down. Just a few drops so I can make sure this thing is done right. The grease looks good. I turn the slice around and hold it above my mouth. Let more of that grease drip into my mouth. The cheese is about to slide off the crust. I lower it. Take a small bite. As I pull the slice back, I have to use my fingers to separate the cheese from the pie. All stringy and greasy and perfect. One bite down and already I’m having a foodgasm. This, my friends, is the perfect pizza. Foldable. Greasy. Cheese that slides. I am having a moment. I am in pizza heaven.
I know if I look around, my reverie will be broken. There will be some woman patting down her slice with a napkin, soaking the grease up before she eats it. That right there is blasphemy, kids. Don’t ever let me see you do that. I have killed over that. Well, maybe not killed. But I got mad. Really mad. It’s like someone putting ketchup on a steak. It’s just not right and should be punishable by death.
I know if I look around more there will be someone eating a pizza that has pineapple on it. Someone else will be eating something they call pizza, but which is just a pile of lettuce and tomatoes on some cooked dough. Salad pizza? What the fuck, mate? That’s not pizza. That’s lettuce with bread. Someone else will be eating a slice that is covered in ground beef and sour cream and jalapeños. That’s not pizza, dude. That’s a fucking tostada. Call it what it is. What it isn’t, is pizza. I know what’s around me. A bunch of blasphemers who put fruit or ranch dressing on their pizza and think they are being avant garde. No. You are hijacking a perfectly good traditional food and turning into some fancy food trend.
So I don’t look around. I just eat my slice and stare at the mural on the wall. Naked statues and fountains and canals. Some fat guy with a mustache tossing dough in the air. My pizza is good. It is perfect. I wash it down with Coke and a smile. Nothing can ruin my pizza moment.
I hear someone order a pie. Pineapple and pears and goat cheese, oh my. I have to walk out. It’s too much to take. My perfect pizza moment is ruined!
As always, my fantasy ends with me getting screwed.
And yes, they are called pies. -M
So that’s our take on pizza. Tell us yours. Tell us about your favorite pizza place or the toppings you love or the chain pizza you hate. Let us know: How do you like your pie?