Pizzeria Crawl on Bleecker Part 3
I made eye contact with one of the guys behind the counter. He looked over at me, while still engaged in his conversation. I said “Slice of Cheese.” Without so much as a blink he slapped a hot slice of cheese pizza on the counter in front of me. It was as if he had a pizza oven under the counter that I couldn’t see and had his hand on the slice just waiting for me to come in and make the request. It was that fast. Was he the Pizza Nazi? I thought about saying something, but was afraid he might take it back just as fast. “No pizza for you!” You might think he was rude because it was so fast, but it wasn’t. He was just ready with that slice. I worried it wasn’t going to be hot enough, but didn’t dare question him!I took my slice over to the counter stand where the salt/pepper and herbs were sitting, or I should more appropriately say laying around. I hit my slice with a little oregano and some red pepper flakes. Things looked good here. It was still lightly raining outside. The conversation still rolled along behind me over at the counter. My pizza looked like the images seared into my memory. Oddly, the thing was indeed piping hot, just as it should be. Was this guy a magician turning so fast and pulling my slice out of the oven without me seeing it, or did he really have an oven hidden under the counter. I think he is the Pizza Nazi! Did he know I was coming? Maybe they caught word of my secret pizzeria crawl as news was spreading down the street from where I started? Suddenly, I was 10 years old! You know the feeling of Deja Vu? I think our sense of smell and taste is so strong that we can be easily transported in time when something makes that perfect connection to our memories. That first little triangular bite tells you everything. I smiled as the taste of the cheese and tomatoes and the classic New York Crust collided head on with my memories. I took a few more bites while I observed the little pizzeria. I noticed the rain again outside as I looked out through the foggy windows.
I then decided that I was finished here. My Valentine’s Day Pizzeria Crawl was coming to a close. I was totally fulfilled. I took my slice and decided to go out for a walk in the rain and try to bring back a little balance to the evening by working off a few of the calories I had acquired on my trip down the block on Bleecker Street that evening.
Again, I can’t wait to come back.
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Pizza Quest Info
Pizza Quest is a site dedicated to the exploration of artisanship in all forms, wherever we find it, but especially through the literal and metaphorical image of pizza. As we share our own quest for the perfect pizza we invite all of you to join us and share your journeys too. We have discovered that you never know what engaging roads and side paths will reveal themselves on this quest, but we do know that there are many kindred spirits out there, passionate artisans, doing all sorts of amazing things. These are the stories we want to discover, and we invite you to jump on the proverbial bus and join us on this, our never ending pizza quest.
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