After Thanksgiving, I brought my mother back to Connecticut. After I pulled out and started the return trip home I had an idea. The road I take goes pretty close to a restaurant in Stratford. When I was a kid, the people running this place made the pizza that is my personal Pizza Cognition Theory pizza and are really the inspiration to the wood fired oven in the back yard. The obsession started there. The current restaurant is fancier than the original location. Pizzas are only to go which would be fine tonight.
I pulled over, looked up the number on the phone and ordered two pizzas. A cheese and one with bacon. My plan was to pick up the pizzas, then keep driving and stop in a VFW parking lot, eat and then continue on my way home. I got there and paid as the pizzas were coming out of the oven. The tops looked good and had that hypnotic cheese boil going on.
Off I went, basically adding no extra travel time to the trip. Perfect.
Well, the lights were all off at the VFW so I drove right past it in the dark. No worries, there was a gas station a little ways up. I'll eat in the lot there, and then run in for a drink.
The pizzas were so disappointing. Like, crushingly disappointing.
I've had the pizza in the back and considered it kind of a hollow shell of it's past. It was never bad pizza and there were always a few bites that brought back memories of pizzas from long ago. Not this time. The crust had nothing in common with the historic pie. It was under salted and under fermented. The sauce was flat. The flourish of was oregano missing and even the cheese melt was different. And the worst part, was that the bake was completely unbalanced. The top was done but the undercarriage of the crust was blond and missing any browning or char the old pizzas used to have.
I wonder if the new oven isn't as good. I'm tempted to try a pizza from the original location. The photos don't look promising, but you never know. It is a Brazilian-Italian place now. Interesting combo. But I think I'm done trying to relive my pizza memories here. If I return, it will be for something else on the menu....but probably still a pizza to go. There's always a little bit of hope left.
Also, while I'm whining here:
A Margherita pizza is a Margherita pizza. There is no such thing as a Margherita pizza with or without something. Been seeing things like a Margherita pizza with pepperoni or a Margherita pizza without basil. These are no longer Margherita pizzas.
Just like pouring a beer in a wine glass doesn't make it wine, roasting any cut of beef doesn't make that roast Prime Rib.