Friday, March 21, 2008

It's Good Friday - Having Fish Are You?

So what did you give up for Lent? Does everyone realize that this is the earliest Easter will be in over a century? (I learned that when I went to church, something I have started doing again as my son prepares for his baptism next month.)

So during Lent, there is that whole no meat on Friday's thing. I use to try and observe this tradition. Finally I decided that I am surely going to Hell for other things that not eating meat on Fridays would only surely help me to get a better seat on the express train.

But remind me some day to tell you the story of my mother serving up scallops and tater tots to her children, who weren't sure about scallops, but liked tater tots. If you don't know what a tater tot is, it's a small cube of hash browned potatoes, about the same size as a scallop. And therein lay the issue. Or the time my mother served swordfish and later admitted she had served shark instead. Whatever.

So in addition to the above "fish" incidents, we had a fair amount of pizza growing up. I benefited from living on Long Island, where the pizza was thin and exquisite. There are times when Mrs. BA and I will visit the land of my youth and the first stop is the pizzeria and then the bagel store.

Good Neapolitan pizza is to die for. I have found a few places in the DC area that have it, but many are like pita bread with sauce on it - icky. And don't get me started on the express places. I used to be a pizza jockey for one of those places and it's never been my favorite.

I saw a posting some time ago (again my information guru,, which everybody better have in their readers by now), which pointed to this blog. You gotta love a blog about pizza that is called "Slice." So in this post, they listed all the different styles of pizza that you can get in the United States. It's a fairly comprehensive list.

So dear reader, best places for pizza? Let me know in case I come to visit. Favorite pizza? Toppings? And you, over there? Drop the ham and pineapple and slowly back away. Pizza has cheese, sauce, and maybe some sausage on it. "Designer pizza" is not worth it. Interesting for a diversion now and then, but not for when you want the greasy cheese pizza. Then you have to go here, or somewhere like it.

Then there's this place in Albany, New York. I have been known to drive an hour and a half for this pizza. It's that good. I used to think that Jesus Christ was in the kitchen making the pizza.

(See how I did that? I came full circle on this post. Starting with the church thing, talked about food and wrapped up with Jesus. There may be heavenly hope for me yet.)


ScottE. said...

Favorite Pizzas:
Famous Ray's, 6th Ave & 11th St, NYC
Frank & Pat's, College Ave, Appleton, WI
2 Amy's, Wisc. Ave, DC
Ella's, 9th St, DC
The Original Ledo's, Hwy 193, Adelphi, MD
Alerio's (pretty close to Ray's), Rt. 1, College Park, MD
Pizzeria Uno's, Ohio & Wabash, Chicago

I love great pizza...I even love good pizza. But bad pizza...KILLER! Of the ones I've listed, Ray's is the one I would travel for...and face plant in the middle of a solid slice of cheese! It doesn't need ANYTHING else. The Deep Dish is an experience I can't relive too often, but it's fun. Recently I made my own and it was FUN! You can find that experience in the recipe archive on my blog.

Locally...Ledo's is nice, but it's not a traditional pie. The crust is almost like a pie crust, more flakey, less doughy. 2 Amy's is pure and good...orignal pizza...little tomato, little cheese, little basil...brick, fire, ohhh. Ella's is an easier place to get into and more central for gathering with friends. Alerio's delivers to campus and we have it for lunch off and on and I'm always thrilled and it's as close as I can come to Ray's. Frank and Pat's...that's a hometown favorite...The stove is a gas stove that was shipped over from Italy many, many years ago. The crust is almost a cracker it's so thin and crispy. The sauce is full or oregano and red pepper. The pepperoni's are thick and skinny. I will think about pizza for the rest of the day!

Anonymous said...

We had macaroni and cheese on Fridays - not the boxed kind, scratch.

Is the casino a legitimate thing to give up for lent? My friend did but for the last several weeks has been asking me if she will go to Hell if she gives in and goes before Easter. I tell her, "Sorry, that's not my call."

So, we have plans to go to the casino on Sunday. I wonder if we go to Hell for going to the casino on Easter.

Sorry, I can't comment on pizza. I live in the midwest, and not Chicago.

Happy Easter to the BA family!


Anonymous said...

Nothing better than a Vinnie Pie in Pittsburgh! Thick and greasy with sausages the size of golf balls. The owner (Vinnie) makes them himself usually with a cigarette dangling from his lips...scattered ashes just lend to the taste of the pizza. Comes on a cardboard box wrapped in packing paper.

Sorry John but my WASPish heritage meant I never did the Lent thing. Friday's usually meant hamburgers!

Brave Astronaut said...

Scott - Now that you are a Chevron (I just made that up for us residents), you need to be introduced to the Italian Inn. It's up on 450 and it is a popular destination for pizza night at our house. And Ella's is some fine pizza, I will eat there whenever I'm in the neighborhood.

DD - Mac and Cheese is good, too. My mother's was killer. Place a couple of bets for me, too, OK?

Ed - I've had the Vinnie Pie (with you) and you're right, it is an experience.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, one more thing, I forgot. We had pizza the day we went to the National Cathedral, didn't we?

Unless I've lost my mind I remember it was good and in a cool neighborhood.


Brave Astronaut said...

That would be 2 Amys that Scott mentioned in his list of good pizza. Because it is.