Tag Archives: Pizza

The Twin Cities — Vacationing Up North

29 Sep

Life having settled back into some semblance of routine and normalcy, I’ve finally managed to get around to some important and oft-neglected tasks.  No ordinary tasks these, they’re the type that are intimidating to begin with and only get more so the longer you delay.  Things like reading a three-month-old and growing stack of New York Times magazines, rectifying my embarrassing ignorance of most things Guided By Voices by finally wading into the band’s massive (official) discography and, most relevant to this post, finally updating this blog with some of the growing backlog of things I have to write about.

Jumping in with both feet, I will attempt to tell the tale of my (and Tania’s) summer vacation.  Long before becoming an Ohioan, Tania lived up north in the Twin Cities.  And for as long as I’ve known her, I’ve heard about how great Minneapolis is (also: the Minnesota State Fair).  So, this year it was time to put those claims to the test.  We made plans for a road trip, with the added benefit of being able to stop and see lots of friends of mine from college. (Hi Adam, Kjerstin, Pat, Kate, Marty, Anna, and HBC!)

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Real Deep Dish — Now THIS is Chicago-style Pizza

16 Jun

The influence that family has had on my cooking and eating preferences has been no big secret.  As I’ve already established here on the blog, family recipes make up a significant portion of my go-to cooking repertoire.

It should therefore come as no surprise to learn then that with parents who spent significant time in Chicago, either growing up or going to school, that I’ve been influenced by the cuisine of that fine city.  And while there could perhaps be some debate about what one specific food item is most closely identified with the city (Italian beef? Chicago-style hot dogs?), no one would disagree if your pick was Chicago-style deep dish pizza.

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It certainly is mine.  I still remember my first encounter with pizza in Chicago.  While visiting my aunt in the suburbs, we had gone downtown for the day.  My folks led us to the original Gino’s East on Superior Street.  I can’t remember how old I was at the time, but what I do remember waiting in line for what seemed like forever.  And then we were led into a darkened space, with walls, tables, chairs—everything—covered in writing.  The idea that they encouraged you to write on anything your eye could see seemed so subversive to my young mind.

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Baking Steel — Not From Krypton, But Still Super

17 Feb

By now, the secret of the Baking Steel is not much of a secret.  The word is out that this project, started on Kickstarter by Andris Lagsdin after reading a review Nathan Myhrvold’s Modernist Cuisine: The Art & Science of Cooking, is the “most impressive home pizza product [J. Kenji Lopez-Alt at Serious Eats] ever tested.”  Pizza lovers everywhere are trading in their stones for these well-made (and really heavy) sheets of steal.

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I got mine for Christmas (thanks Tania!) and it has been an incredibly useful tool as I’ve begun to explore the world of bread baking.  As I try and try again with my bread baking, I’m learning more about cooking than I have in years. And as good (or bad) as some of the breads I’ve made are, I hadn’t put the baking steel to its real intended purpose: making pizza.

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Premier Pizza — Borgata Pizza Cafe

12 Jan

A few years ago, word began to spread of a new pizza place in town.  Located somewhere along the rather nondescript 161 corridor, it was said that this pizza transcended its unassuming surroundings.  Those in the know, well-versed in Columbus’s other pizza offerings, said that this pizza was special; that it stood out.  Eventually, the trickle became a flood, and it became accepted as common wisdom among a certain set that Borgata Pizza Café made some of the best pizza in town.

I don't know what too me so long to try this pizza! It tastes as great as it looks.

I don’t know what too me so long to try this pizza! It tastes as great as it looks.

Despite all that, despite the recommendations from numerous reliable sources, it took me years to finally make the trip myself.  Every time I thought about getting pizza, my thought was “Oh, that’s too far away.  Let’s just go to [closer pizza shop]. I mean, can the pizza really be that good?”  You know how, as you get older and wiser, you look back and think “If only I could go back in time and tell my younger self what I know now”?  That’s how I feel about my pre-Borgata self.

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Easy as (pizza) pie

2 Oct

There was once (and may still be for all I know) a frozen food commercial that proclaimed “when you have pizza on a bagel, you can have pizza any time.”  Now, I never understood why the frequency of pizza eating was dependent on it arriving via bagel.  And if you ask Tania, there is nothing about pizza in its traditional form that in any way prevents you from eating it whenever you want.

One of the reasons you can have pizza any time is that it’s incredibly easy. Of course, the easiest is always ordering delivery, something I admit to doing on a not infrequent basis.  But if you’re willing to put in a little bit of effort homemade pizza isn’t all that hard either.  It’s even easier, however, if you decide to start with a pre-made crust.  And here is where those bagel pizza people might be onto something: pizza crust doesn’t have to be traditional.

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