September 19, 2007

When the Moon Hits Your Eye …

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Like a big pizza pie, that’s amore. Stars starting to shine and too much wine aside, pizza is America’s favorite snack. Even lactose intolerant people think pizza is “worth it” (and you know how bad “it” can be for lac-tards.) You know the pizza bagels jingle? “Pizza in the morning / Pizza in the evening / Pizza at supper time” That pretty much sums up my whole pizza worldview. Side Note: what is the difference between the evening and supper time? Is this an implicit acknowledgement of an evening snack that comes after dinner? I think it is. I can’t wait to bite into this column, I’m not even going to wait for it to cool, I’m going to burn the roof of my mouth with molten cheese and be unable to taste food for the rest of the week. Join me!
Pizza is arguably one of the best snacks because you can order it at night, eat as much as you like, leave the remains on the counter, and in the morning, bam – instant breakfast. The cheese hardens to form an entirely new type of food. For some reason I can eat more cold pizza than I can hot pizza. But no matter how much I eat, I can always go for another slice, because plain pizza is what I call a “forever food.”
Forever foods vary from person to person. Mine include chili, French fries, pretzel bites from the movie theatre, mozzarella sticks and quesadillas. Expose me to any one of these entities and like a camel, I can get 3 days worth of sustenance in one sitting. I have eaten each of these foods until I was sick, and I will do it again.
The discussion of forever foods invariably begs the question, “Have you ever eaten an entire pizza pie in one sitting?” I personally have not, but I’m going to one day. You might think I’m getting a little too old for that. But I’ve got a completely valid reason to eat 8 slices of Za in one go. Because if I go to a little pizzeria named Pete & Elda’s in Neptune City, NJ I’ll get one of their sweet free t-shirts, and I’ll do nearly anything for a free restaurant t-shirt.
The quest to eat a full pie of pizza will often lead people down a dangerous path, a path that I myself have traveled far too many times. The path starts in the frozen foods isle, and ends with you pulling a frozen pizza out of your oven at home. A word on frozen pizza: It is not pizza. I don’t even fully recognize it as food. You can eat a whole pie of frozen pizza by your self, but you won’t get a free t-shirt and you will feel sorry for yourself. And lonely. Let’s not go there.
If you are going to buy frozen pizza, for the love of god, stay away from any form of meat topping. One look at a frozen “meatball” pizza made me a vegetarian … for one day. I now vow to never again buy any product that features lower than McDonalds-quality beef.
Which is not to say all meat-topping is bad! In fact, during high school I knew a kid with the nickname “Mr. Bacon.” This was because of the frequency he ate a bacon slice of pizza at our favorite joint. I looked up to Mr. Bacon, but unfortunately I never developed the nickname “Mr. One slice plain one slice of chicken with broccoli.”
Flash forward from high-school-nostalgia to the present. Of the two main pizza joints in C-town, I prefer College Town Pizza hands down. First of all, you can abbreviate it (I have CTP saved in my cell’s T9word.) Secondly, they have the best chicken and broccoli slice in Ithaca. Third, and most importantly, you can write on the walls there when you are drunk. Although recently the trend seems to have veered towards giant anime-like graffiti art, some classic CTP phrases still line the walls. Over my 21st birthday weekend I observed the following musings:
A classic ego-maniac/very flattering friend scribbled, “Alice Choo is the best.” The dirty-minded guy with incest issues scrawled, “Your sister and mother make a good threesome! Love Mike.” And the three people who signed their initials under “Pizza on the 31st” didn’t realize they were ten years late to the drawing on the walls party.
Well that’s all the time/space I have. Of the things I brainstormed I didn’t have time for the following. Matzah pizza, my favorite toppings, Papa John’s pizza dipping sauce, the retarded Brooklyn Vs. Chicago deep dish “debate” (BKLN forever!). I didn’t have time for my younger sister’s brand new “Breadless Pizza” Recipe: Egg whites, tomatoes, string cheese and garlic all fried up in a pan, (WHAT?! I have to try this), Deleted Scene from this column: I was originally going to start with the line “Pizza is so good, it would be in the last half-hour of a 6-hour VH1 countdown of greatest foods.” Also, pizza was the first word I ever spelled correctly.