Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Pizza Madness!

This is yet another commentary tinged with a healthy bit of mixed emotion. First off, as you may have noticed, I love to eat. You all like to travel, like to drive your nice cars, like to read self-serving blogs like this. I LOVE to eat. It's very personal, this eating thing. Among us who live-to-eat as opposed to the vast, unimaginative eat-to-live crowd, pizza is a very personal thing. Here in Portland there really aren't too many places to get a good, authentic 'za groove going. Maybe only two. Some swear by Ken's Artisan Pizza, some are slavish devotees of Apizza Scholls. I count myself among the latter. Ken (of Ken's Pizza) is one of the nicest people in town, and a crazy talented baker (his walnut bread is insane!), but when it comes to pizza that has me drooling into my pillow as I dream about it, Apizza is the deal.
Interior of pizza heaven

This is where the mixed emotion part rolls in. At Apizza there is always a wait. I'm good with that, especially as w lives only a short three blocks away, so it's easy to wait at home with a glass of our favorite beverage, then check in. Then there is the pizza itself: Perfectly crisp, thin crust, lightly topped with a limited list of toppings. Here you have it their way or beat it. Which I'm also fine fact I really respect that kind of attitude. Especially when they are cool with doing 1/2 and 1/2 pizzas.
Last night we popped in and sat at the bar...very choice seats. We ordered a couple of refreshing malted beverages, and ordered their superb seasonal salad. Then the pizza arrived...tonight we were all over a 1/2 of their margherita with spicy capicollo sausage and a 1/2 of their awesome tartufo bianco, which is a basic cheese pie drizzled with white truffle oil.
Soooo good! Their pizzas are almost always steaming discs of edible perfection. The crust is perfectly chewy and yeasty, blackened spots on the bottom adding crunch and flavor, the toppings are first rate and their tomato sauce rocks. Everything is really, really good. But then.....mixed emotion time....
There are times when we've wanted to go and don't plan ahead and maybe show up about 8:30 or so, which should be fine because they are theoretically open until 9:30. But it has happened more than once when we've walked up and the sign says:"Closed- out of dough". This isn't an occasional happens quite frequently. Hey guys, I respect the attitude inside, worship at the altar that is your pizza oven, can't wait for rosé season to pop a few bottles with your pies, but for christ sake, you know you're going to be rocking every night. Make more dough!! I feel for the poor schleps who drive in from the 'burbs, arrive hungry at 8:45 and get shut out. Of course, when one lives in the 'burbs one should expect certain penalties. Taking into account their unfortunate choice of real estate, even those people should be able to get their pizza groove on if they arrive before the posted closing time.
Given that, I'm a slut for Apizza pizza, and I'll keep going back. I'll even take the occasional punch in the stomach when that fucking "out of dough" sign is on the door, 'cause the bottom line is their pies kick every other pizza to the curb. Damn my appetite!

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