We probably haven’t told you enough about “our” pizzeria. It’s in the Piazza Jacopone, which is right up the street from our house. We don’t have lunch there EVERY day, but embarrassingly close to it. For about $10 or $11 we can get a substantial, seriously yummy meal for all 6 of us, and they’re so nice up there! I excuse it by considering it another “interaction opportunity” for the kids.
The customers’ area is about 6 or 8 feet by maybe 12 feet, but there is a double cooler (large) taking up quite a bit of floor space. There is a counter about 5 feet long, where those who wish to may eat inside. Did you know that it’s absolutely NOT DONE to eat walking around or driving? So you eat at this miniscule counter cheek-by-jowl with the other patrons, or you go outside to the metal tables and chairs in the piazza. During their busy time, it’s a real crush of people.
The back part of the customers’ area is a glass case over a granite countertop. They sling these rather large (20” X 30”?) rectangular pans of pizza, which have different toppings across sections of the pizza. When you order, you tell them which section you want, and they start cutting it (with scissors), and you tell them when the piece is big enough. They weigh it, you pay an astonishingly small amount of money, and then have a luscious mouthful of airy, chewy crust with a slight saltiness and the brisk acidity of tomato (sometimes, depending on which you get).
I often have “melanzane” (eggplant), which comes with some really strong cheese sliced thinly on top – possibly a goat cheese? Anyway, it has no tomato or mozzarella. It’s simply: crust, eggplant, strong cheese. The eggplant cooks into this creamy puree, and with the ripe saltiness on top…divine. Another favorite is potato with sausage. It’s mashed potato (no tomato) and little blobs of sausage. No cheese.
On the wall are proudly displayed three certificates of commendation from the “Scuola Italiano Pizzaiola” saying that our friends are competent pizza makers. We happen to think that this is very cute. Did you know that there’s a certificate of competence to make pizza?
Tonight we went by after dinner, and I decided that it was time to try their “crepes” that they advertise. We were ready for dessert, and …how bad can that be? The lights were on in the shop, so we walked in and asked if they were still making crepes. Our buddy Massimo peeked out from the kitchen and said, “Sure.” So about 20 minutes later (I think he had to mix up some fresh batter), we were the proud owners of three crepes – filled with Nutella (Nutella is everywhere, including on pizzas). As we walked out of there at 9:45, I checked the business hours. Yup – they close at 9 – or, apparently, when the last customer has left.