Say Cheese

6 Dec

Cheese-zilla

Perhaps the best thing about doing a lot of vegetarian home-cooking is feeling less guilty about smothering everything in cheese.

Everyone has their condiment of choice growing up. Maybe you slathered dreaded green things on your plate with ketchup or mustard? I buried everything in a layer of grated Parmesan. That being said, you can understand the tragedy of living most of my adult life devoid of good pizza. Cheese and bread-lovers, Florida isn’t really a pizza pride type of place (with the exception of some nice work being done on South Beach) and when you move to L.A. they have this nonsense they call “California” pizza. Which means, of course, NOT real pizza. I’m not into nouveau toppings… so keep the caramelized, stuffed whatever whatever to yourself. (One exception–the fried egg pizza at Cube–how I love thee.)

After a particularly long and trying day looking at apartments we couldn’t afford, my boyfriend and I found ourselves in Palo Alto looking for something to eat. We had an assortment of healthy choices (probably lots of “California pizzas”), all packed with hungry patrons. Then, we passed by some serious pizza heaven. This pie looked like it weighed as much as a bulldog . It sat on it’s own elevated serving dish. And as it was sliced, strings of cheese and toppings cascaded from the knife.

“Here. We’re eating here.”

Abandon your diet at the door, folks. In fact, wear your Stanford sweatpants, and get some serious deep dish at Patxi’s. I promise I’ll still try Zachary’s, everyone, but I had to share this stomach-stuffing experience. There are salads on the menu, though I don’t know who comes to a pizza joint looking for a salad, but the interesting thing is that Patxi’s menu is full of sustainably-raised toppings and options for the dietarily-restricted. While the crusts range from thin to double-deep, the choice is obvious, no one in the restaurant is nibbling thin crust.  A double deep takes about 40 minutes to cook but you can call ahead and pick one up half baked to finish at home. And when the server tells you your pie will feed two or three people, he/she means two or three HUNGRY people or perhaps four ordinary people.

From where my boyfriend and I were seated, we could see a line of honey in bear-shaped containers and before I could point out the absence of dessert (not surprising at a pizza place) our waiter suggested we try some honey on the crispy ends of crust. The result is reminiscent of a graham cracker. Yum.

A worthy pie. In California no less.

"After"

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