Gonna go out on a limb here and say that on average I’ve eaten pizza once per week for my entire life. Which means I’ve eaten pizza approximately 1,636 times. I am damn near approaching pizza connoisseur status!
But I must admit that my training does have its shortfalls. I have never eaten pizza in New York or Italy, but I have eaten it in Chicago plus almost all of the other twenty states I’ve visited. Likewise in Mexico and Puerto Rico (ate some surprisingly good pizza on Vieques).
While Chicago still makes my favorite pie of all time, it’s hard to eat true deep dish pizza on a regular basis. To begin with, I live in Houston and you can’t find passable Chicago-style pizza here. Furthermore, it’s super-filling and you leave the table feeling like there is a brick in your stomach. This is only necessary once or twice a year, you know?
While visiting Seattle we had the opportunity to eat at multiple Tom Douglas restaurants (Dahlia Bakery, Lola and Serious Pie). Seattle is one lucky town to have such a brilliant restaurateur in their midst. Of course, we had to try his pizza!
Serious Pie falls into the pizza category that I like to call “gourmet”. For those of you Houstonians – this is comparable to Dolce Vita. At Serious Pie the pizzas are cooked in a 600 degree stone-encased Applewood burning oven. Their meats are house-cured and their mozzarella is homemade. Each pizza seems to be a work of art demonstrating a perfect balance of flavors.
After a short wait, our group of six was seated at a table with two girls that were just finishing their food. This seems to be the norm and wasn’t an issue for us at all. We ordered a pitcher of beer and a carafe of wine to share and the pizza party began! Now, what to order?
The pizzas there are serious, but not seriously big. One can’t possibly fill up two people so you’re given the awesome opportunity to share. I was so happy to discover this and I’m sure my sigh of relief was audible throughout the restaurant. I couldn’t choose just one! Lucas and I negotiated back and forth until we decided to split the Cherry Bomb Pepper and Sweet Fennel Sausage Pizza along with the Guanciale, Soft Egg and Arugula Pizza.
Guanciale is an unsmoked Italian Bacon, apparently from the pig’s cheeks. I like pig’s cheeks. This was my favorite pizza because the soft egg created a light sauce while the wilted arugula provided the pizza with a little bit of bite. The crust was salted, which I found to be an excellent and surprising complement to the chewy, yet airy and cripsy crust.
The Cherry Bomb Pepper and Sweet Fennel Sausage Pizza was the table’s favorite. Of the five pizzas we ordered, three of them were the Cherry Bomb (ch ch ch ch ch ch cherry bomb!). Yep, I’m such a nerd. But look at it! This is a beautiful pizza, no?
The service was spot-on, but our waiter made one mistake that we couldn’t help but appreciate. Initially he brought out the wrong pizza. Instead of one of the three Cherry Bombs we were given the House Salumi, Walla Walla Onion and Sole de Sardegna (sheeps milk cheese) Pizza. The waiter left it at our table to munch on until they brought out the correct pizza. So we got to try three pizzas instead of two!
I would say this is one of the top three pizza joints I’ve been lucky enough to visit. Now, if anyone wants to fly me to New York or Italy I could happily call myself a “True Pizza Connoisseur”. Anyone? Anyone?