Not for Nuthin’, But the Pizza’s Good!
According to GQ, Rhode Island can lay claim to 2 of the 25 best pizza’s in the U S of A (hat tip ProJo). Number 5 overall was the Spinach-and-Mushroom Pizza at Bobby and Timmy’s while #18 was the Grilled Pizza with Roasted Eggplant at Al Forno. Overall, Providence ranked #5 on the list of Top Ten Pizza Cities. The writer, Alan Richman, encountered his share of annoyances along the way:
Overaccessorizing was far from the worst problem I encountered. There is a dark side to the triumph of the American pie.
Pizza has become the gourmet food of the recession, and the men who create these pies consider themselves artists—narcissistic, reclusive artists, at that. I’ve told you about Margherita DOC. These eccentrics specialize in Pizza OCD, bringing obsessive-compulsive disorders to the once simple business of making pies.
They often refuse to take reservations, thus guaranteeing themselves long lines of worshippers. Their primary weirdness, however, is preparing not quite enough dough for the day ahead so they might turn away the last few desperate customers. Even if they are doing this to ensure freshness, as they claim, they could rely on a practice perfected in modern times that would enable them to never run out of dough—it’s known as refrigeration. Or they could prepare more than enough, but that would create the possibility that a ball or two of the dough that they love more than their customers would have to be thrown out.
These guys find multiple ways of being annoying. At Pizzeria Bianco, a friend and I ordered four pies that we shared with the people who had stood in line with us for more than an hour. Still hungry, I tried to order a fifth, but I was cut off like a roaring drunk in an American Legion hall, told that I had reached my limit. At a pizzeria (I do not recommend) in Chicago, I was informed when I called that I had to order ahead of time, although there is no menu on the restaurant Web site and the lady on the telephone refused to tell me what pies were available. Pizzerias now inhabit a space once occupied by snooty French restaurants, and they are smug, too. One pizzeria in Brooklyn (I do not recommend) lets you know that its pork is sustainable, its beef grass-fed, its eggs organic, and its grease converted into biofuel. (If only as much attention had been given to crusts.)
Note that #2 on his list was a “plain pie” (sauce, cheese and a little basil) made in Brooklyn. When done right, a simple pie can still be the best.