Define Neapolitan

Andrea from SPIN! invited us over to sample their menu the other day. It was my first visit, and maybe my last.

It wasn't bad pizza, it was very average pizza. We arrived around 11, and were the first people there for lunch. We met the owner, Gail Lozoff in the "ordering area", the area in the front of the restaurant where the menu hangs and people order at the register. You order your pizza and then move to your table to wait for it.

This procedure works fine at a deli where everyone is ordering individually, it doesn't work so well for pizza. People are picky about what they get on their pizza, everyone likes something different. As groups of folks file in the door, they must come to a collaborative decision on what they are going to order before sitting down. This is easy for some groups, and not so easy for most.

Does your group of six that has quickly decided what to order cut in front of the group of four that has not? There really isn't a formal line, just an area where groups sort of stand around and look at the menu.

By about 11:30 the confusion started. Groups are coming in the front door and the back door. Folks from the back door are going straight to the register bypassing those who came in the front door. Those from the front door are wondering if they should skip in front of the group of four in front of them who can't make a decision on a pizza.

Just let us sit down to order the pizza already!

I ordered the daily pizza special, four cheeses and mushroom. I added Italian sausage since Gail said they get it from Scimeca's. Terrence got the Pollo Arrosto E Chevre (chicken and goat cheese) pizza and Jim decided on the SPIN! sub and Minestrone soup.

The pizza came out on a stoneware plate as shown above. The crust was super thin and crisp but the pizza was cold. I wonder if the the stoneware plate cooled it off? Do they cook the pizza on the plate? Do they heat the plates before they put the pizza on them?

Before I'd taken a bite, Gail came over to see how we were doing. I noticed there wasn't any Italian sausage on my pizza and mentioned it to her. She said, "It really doesn't need sausage, it's a great pizza without it". It wasn't an excuse or apology for the lack of sausage, it was more like I was an idiot for messing with the perfect combination in the first place. That's not what I wanted to hear. I like meat on my pizza. She made no effort to correct the mistake.

I didn't know the definition of Neapolitan pizza until I went here today. After my visit to SPIN! I thought it meant thin, dry and cold, with very little topping. I really missed that Italian sausage now that I was facing a tiny bit of cold cheese and mushrooms on my pizza! Terrence's Pollo Arrosto E Chevre was better since it wasn't as dry, but the chicken, he said, was "tasteless". Jim said his sandwich was good although we thought it needed some vinegar and oil to help it along. The bread is made in-house but could use a crust. It was very fresh with a Wonder bun texture. The Minestrone reminded me of Chef Boyardee. I couldn't detect a hint of basil or oregano, it was way to safe, tasted mass produced. Jim liked it.

I could mention the antics of our over-shy, forgetful waitress but I have already made to many remarks about a truly unremarkable experience.

Tapas of New Places

I love Tapas. Unfortunately this article does not talk about any tapas. I just thought that it would be a good term to use in making a few local food observations. As I've stated earlier, I only like to create a formal review of a place after I have visited it a number of times. As I haven't sufficiently visited a number of places with future reviews in the works, I wanted to make a few food observations:

1) The Beer Kitchen in Westport is really good. The food is top notch. And they wisely abandoned their McCoy's brewed "BK Gold" house beer. Seriously, that crap tasted like cold piss. Well, piss that could eventually intoxicate you if you drank enough of it. But you get the point. On my last visit they were serving a McCoy's brewed Saison of sorts that was super yummy.

2) The Art of Pizza in Westport was not nearly as good as their Crossroad's sister. I'm not going to give them a formal review as I really hope that it was a case of me catching them on a bad day. P.S. Get your liquor license as eating pizza without beer sucks. Oh, and if you have gotten your license... why did you open a place without having one in place. I'm seriously gun-shy about going back in until I know if the place has beer yet. It's kind of bad form to walk out midway through ordering unless I want a extra topping of saliva the next time I'm there.

3) I am looking for a new "football food". You know, that speciality that you gobble why watching the Chiefs. I'm tired of the wings and the Rotel/cheese dip and the brats, etc. Help me out. I want something new.

4) I'm heading to Las Vegas this week. I'm looking forward to the gambling and the food. And I'm laying big money on Mizzou vs Kansas no matter what the spread is.


It's Veteran's Day!

Drive over to Linwood and Broadway or the Liberty Memorial today and thank a Vet! I did and it felt great!


Let's all sing along

Here are some truly horrible songs about cheese. # 3 made me want to crawl in a hole and die. I expect you to know the lyrics by next week. It'll be on the test. 1 2 3

Michael Ruhlman Had Something To Say

In this video Ruhlman talks about theories in the book Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, by Harvard Anthropologist Richard Wrangham. Very interesting stuff even if the style of shooting makes me dizzy!

Now get in the kitchen!