Here's a place I found in my hometown. The wait for completion of my backyard pizza oven project was getting to me so my baby and I went out for pizza. I had heard of a place in town that served real wood-fired pizza but never gave it much thought. The world is full of posers. We showed up at a place that used to be a little mom & pop convenience store in my youth. Well, it changed. A four foot wall rings the outside of the building. Atop the wall sits various planters of herbs (free for the pickin'). Very inviting. Inside, I stopped and froze in place. Immediately I knew. I had been here before. The rustic no-nonsense interior and the huge, round mass of bricks comprising the wood burning oven beckoned. Come in. Either I stumbled onto the Star Trek Holodeck or the dude who runs this place built a replica of Pizzeria Bianco right here.
Like any geek, of course, I walked over to the oven. I like to think I'm somehow being pulled. Anyway, mouth agape, I'm staring at the oven. I start blathering about things in the non-sensical. But Chris Bardol, the owner, doesn't seem fazed. He understands because he is one of us. A real Pizza Geek. He gave me a quick tour. I'm handling the peels and gaping into the awesome WoodStone oven. Somehow sensibility took over and I returned to my table. After a short while, sensing I wouldn't bite and most of the foam around my mouth had dissipated, Chris came over to our table. I said "Dude, this place is cool, have you ever been to Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix? Confession. Chris said he was there about four years ago and like the rest of us, he drooled. He said he lurked around the counter and dreamed. I said, “Me too!” And I have video to prove it. We both agreed that Chris Bianco is a true gent and he seemed oblivious to the hoards of wide-eyed, mouth breathing pizza geeks which gather around his pizza counter, daily. Chris said he has been in the food industry for years and wanted something for his wonderful wife, Kristy, and himself...but what. Once inside Bianco's, he knew. Pizza!
They bought a place in his old neighborhood and voila!
Well... more like dream, plan, work, work, work.. figure out... plan some more... sweat sweat -cry & scream...work some more. And then, like magic...Voila!
Well folks, my baby ordered the firecracker appetizers (garlic salted fingers of blistered pizza dough which come with a roasted crucible of some kind of a hot sauce and goat cheese concoction. Mmmm!
Of course, the pizza. Two things about good pizza. First, in a wood burning joint you have to order a pizza margherita. To me and just about everyone else, this is a baseline. Next, how does it taste cold? In this case, I will never know about number two. You see, the knife and fork are just superfluous table weights. I am compelled to pick up the slice, fold it like you’re supposed to and eat it like the pizza gods intended. *Munch*Munch*Gulp. Gone.
Honestly, I have no need to travel to Phoenix for pizza.
Somehow, Chris Bardol, who used to be just like us, figured out how to get on the other side of the looking glass. He ain’t no poser.
This pizza is awesome. http://www.harborcountry-news.com/articles/2006/10/05/local_business/story21.txt