Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Ways To Have Your Pizza

Plain Cheese - Look, I'm not immune to the charms of a hot, melty slice of cheese pizza after stumbling out of a bar at 2am desperately seeking something to soak up all the liquor, lest I spectacularly barf on the train heading home. I live in New York, after all, and the large, floppy, must-be-folded cheese slice is a symbol of said fair city much like the apple or the Statue of Liberty of that guy that hangs around Times Square in his underwear so the tourists can tell their friends back in Toledo or Waxahachie that The Big City is "full of some real wackos!" I get it, I really do, but also... come the fuck on with your boring-ass pizza! It's a complex, interesting world out there, kiddos... a world rife with greasy, bright red sausages and shockingly green chopped peppers and... heavens to Betsy, is that seasoned chicken on a pizza??? Why YES IT IS, and isn't it wonderful to be alive in a country where the toppings burst forth from the metaphorical Horn of Plenty like nails from a homemade pipe bomb?!?! I would also recommend some mushrooms, if you like that sort of thing.

Ham with Pineapple - Despite the above spewed rhetoric vis-a-vis your choices from a panoply of toppings, I must point out that there are some combinations that run crossways with the boundaries of human decency and shouldn't be considered by normal, well-adjusted people as viable options. Ham with Pineapple is once such topping combo and it's as hateful and ill-conceived as they come. I mean, it's pineapple! Sweet and vibrant, yes, and lovely in a fruit salad, but worse than having your eye gouged out with a rusty nail when combined with tomato sauce and hot cheese. And it's ham! A Christmas meat best served in slices next to some sort of festive, holiday casserole or perhaps eaten from a plastic bag late at night while standing in your parents kitchen drunk on egg nog. IT SHOULD NOT BE COMBINED WITH PINEAPPLE ON A PIZZA, AT ANY COST!!! Together, they're like Leopold & Loeb or Bonnie & Clyde or Loggins & Messina... a duo that causes only pain, sorrow, and death.

Pepperoni and Black Olive - Home. Or, I should say, home cooking. My mother... god love her, she's a saint... was never much of a kitchen whiz, particularly during my childhood. I mean, she wouldn't burn the house down or anything, and she could bust out a mean taco salad or banana pudding when pressed, but nonetheless... Martha Stewart be not proud. Thus, we were frequent customers of our local Domino's chain, to the point where their delivery number was actually on our speed dial (not kidding), occupying the spot right after the grandparents. Pepperoni and Black Olive pizza was and is my mother's favorite topping combination and even today it reminds me of Thursday nights at the Davis household, watching ER and arguing during commercial breaks about my lackluster performance in the early days of high school. You wouldn't think a slice of crappy, mass-produced pizza could stir up feelings of nostalgia for one's misspent youth, but hey... here we are.

Bacon with Extra Bacon - This tale is not my own, but it is one that must be told as it is truly the finest real-world example of Icarus flying too close to the Sun that I personally have ever heard. One night, during her college days, Girlfriend and some of her friends decided that they hated their hearts and wanted to punish them in a manner both cruel and delicious. So they ordered a pizza, topped with bacon, and then topped again with yet more bacon! It was, in fact, the bacon-iest pizza in all the land, perhaps even the bacon-iest thing to ever exist ever in the history of cured pork fried up and slapped upon other types of food. But sadly, woefully, the abundance of bacon proved to be mistake. It was too extreme. Too fatty... too salty... too much of a good thing, truly, and in the end, no one could finish an entire slice. To quoth Girlfriend herself, "It was like seeing god and going blind. It was TOO much bacon." They lay down on the floor, defeated, their feathers and melted wax strewn around them, beaten but wiser. The sun burns, my children, and the bacon... well, you really gotta take it easy with the bacon.

The Works - Fuck yes. The aforementioned Horn of Plenty? This is where you take that motherfucker and shake it all over a round slab of dough covered with sauce and cheese. Every vegetable in the world, every meat that's ever wandered the Earth... all of it combined in a symphony of flavor that makes the Boston Pops look like a bunch of old trannies shitting in a tuba. You literally cannot get any higher up Pizza Mountain than a properly prepared Works-style pie. It's the apex, the acme, the place where you plant your countries flag and scream out into the great, wide, delicious expanse, "This pizza... this is MINE and I am it's GOD!!!" Things can get a bit problematic if they've got the new guy on the line and he goes overboard with the green olives, say, or skimps on the onions like onions were made of solid gold or something, but whatever. It's mostly the best thing that will ever happen to you in the landscape of savory baked goods.


Blogger Bill From Gainesville said...

Dude you just wrote a post about Pizza that has now influenced me to actually BUY one. Your writing has moved me to ACTION and I am grateful, what a brilliant Idea to eat some PIZZA on a beautiful day....

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are three things I look for in a good pizza:

1. No vegetables.
2. Unless jalapenos are a vegetable... but since they're usually pickled when on a pizza, I'm thinking they've transcended their vegetableness and, therefore, still meet my "no vegetables" criteria.
3. Enough grease that it soaks through the bottom of the box.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

I'm a big fan of the works. It's never done me wrong.

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How sad is it that I've already heard the bacon-on-bacon story? I recognized it right away. Heard it lots of times. I mean, it's a good story and all, insofar as bacon stories go, but good grief... it has the makings, apparently, of a modern urban legend/cautionary tale.

Also, this entry made me really sad that I recently became a vegetarian.


2:48 PM  
Blogger Liöüx said...

I am going to but a pizza for dinner!

AND eat it.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Big Daddy said...

[[Sheepishly]] I love plain cheese pizza.

Don't get me wrong, I love me some toppings, but there are days when I need a greasy cheeze fix.

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best pizza joints in NYC?

I don't care what anyone says, jalapeno is a vegetable.

Also if you can find a pie with stewed tomatoes instead of paste, it takes any pie to a whole new level.

10:42 PM  
Blogger Subway Gal said...

Yes, I agree that Hawaiian pizza (pineapple and ham) souuuuuuunds disgusting, but have you ever tried it? DELICIOUS!

2:08 PM  

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