Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Super Bowl Sunday

For the most part, I just don't care about football. I do know enough about the game to almost run the recent football category on Jeopardy. The purple people eaters one would have gone by me. If I was forced to pick a team, I think it would be nice for the Bills to be competitive again, but that is probably more because I like Buffalo more than I like football. What we had done in the past was take the kids out to a nicer than usual restaurant (if you go back to 2012, there was illness, a kitchen remodel and store bought pizza shells - not my proudest moment). For those with young kids, it's perfect. The restaurant is happy for the business, the kids get a nicer than Moe's/burger joint/Friendly's/diner type experience and because the place is empty, if your 3 year old gets a little loud, no one is around to care. Now my kids are old enough that I can take them anywhere without worrying about their behavior. Finding them something they'd be willing to eat might be the harder issue. This summer we took a cruise and they tried some things in the main dining room on the boat that they probably wouldn't have tried in a restaurant on land. And the reason for that was the safety net of the buffet upstairs. If they tried something new and hated it, there was always something they would like at the buffet. For the most part, they did well. I only had to have two dinners once or twice. But back to Super Sunday.

The meal this Super Bowl Sunday was very enjoyable. The four of us had a really good time. There was only one flaw in the meal. It was the cheese pizza one of my kids ordered.

If I wasn't a pizza obsessive, none of this would bother me. The pizza wouldn't have detracted anything from the meal. It would have been just a kid's pizza.  No one left the restaurant hungry. The pizza was gone when left, although that is probably because I was going a little overboard tasting the crust. I didn't take a picture because we were out having a good time, I prefer to keep a phone away from the table and I didn't want to announce "pizza freak" to the waitstaff. I didn't realize I'd be thinking about this pizza steadily for a full day and with 20/20 hindsight, I regret not taking the photo. So with all that said and remembering we had a very nice evening, let's start bitching about the pizza.

1. I didn't really check the layout of the kitchen but I believe the pizza is made in a different area than the rest of the menu. I bet if the head chef saw this particular pizza, it would have become a snack for the waitstaff and another pizza would have been made and served. If I pulled that pizza out of my oven, I would not have served it. Hell, just from looking at the shape, I might not have bothered to top it with sauce and cheese. Dough is cheap. I'm guessing there was less than 25 cents worth of ingredients in that dough ball before it was topped. Probably wouldn't have been the end of the world to start over.

2. The bake was completely unbalanced.  The rim of the crust was pale and under cooked. The shape was not round, which can be OK. I'm pretty sure this was meant to be round. And a bigger diameter. If this dough ball was stretched rounder and bigger, the big dough crust rim would have been smaller, less dense and might have properly baked.

3. I liked the sauce.

4. Whoever made the pizza needs to get better at launching a pizza. The peel had to have been coated with a lot of flour to leave that much raw flour on the undercarriage of the pizza. Try a sprinkling of rice flour on the peel instead of that much extra bench flour. .

Well, I feel a little better. The appetizer we had was lovely. Three entrees were nice too. Some shrimp were cooked beautifully. Service was attentive and friendly. If I lived closer, I would want to be a regular customer. I suggested the possibility of having the upcoming family Birthday Dinner here. Unfortunately I think it's just a little too far away from home. But the pizza, that needs some work. Maybe just more experience.

Later this week, my wife and I will have been a couple for 26 years. While she and I were critiquing this pizza at the restaurant she commented that she was surprised how quickly she became a pizza snob.

Back off. She's with me.