The dish…on just one dish!
Sometimes, even with food, it takes a good friend’s words to shake some sense into you. With pizza, I’ve gotten into this “specialty pie” rut where I basically order whatever pre-concocted pie the establishment has dreamt up.
I do this all the time at my beloved Vino’s, a place that I believe is serving up the best pizza in Little Rock. Far too often I step up to the plate and order the Vino’s Special, a pie covered with just about every topping imaginable.
Included in the topping mix are those vile, chopped green olives. Why, Vino’s, why? Is there anything more disgusting than the green olive? I say no. Despite this, the Vino’s Special is always satisfying.
Back to that good friend.
Last week, while standing in line waiting to order, I turned to Michael Roberts of Arkansas Foodies and said, “I’m just not up for the Vino’s Special tonight.” He looked at me and said, “Just build your own pie then.” Translation: “You jackass, you know people still choose their own toppings, don’t you?”
Moments later, I ordered a large pizza with half cheese (for the kids) and half Italian sausage, onions, and mushrooms. What came out was as close to pizza perfection as one’s going to find in Little Rock. The crust was slightly thicker than usual, but had that perfect chewiness that I always associate with a good Vino’s pizza. The toppings were plentiful and tasty, but a tad unevenly distributed around my half of the pizza (a slight imperfection). Incorporating a subtly flavored Italian sausage was also a brilliant move. The meat didn’t overpower the other toppings, which at times can happen. Also, props to the chef for utilizing the “ground and scattered” method for meat distribution. This allows for each bite to include a slight bit of meat with the veggies.
A couple slices of Vino’s pizza and a Six Bridges beer is about as good as it gets in our town. And it won’t put a tremendous dent in your wallet. A 16-inch, 3-topping pizza costs $16.25. Compare that to Damgoode Pies, which charges $20 for a 14-inch, 3-topping pizza.
I shudder to think what Mellow Mushroom charges.
That’s a post for another day.