Whilst running errands with Maribou last night, we happened to drive past a new little pizza place in the middle of a pizza desert. Pie 5.
My first comment was something to the effect of “MAN IT IS SO UNFAIR THAT THEY WAITED UNTIL I WAS ON MY DIET TO OPEN” or something to that effect. It could have been just vowels. Maribou saved the day by pointing out that her birthday was just around the corner and, seriously, this could be our birthday cheat meal.
This was the most wonderful idea that I have ever heard.
So we walk in and it’s exactly like Chipotle/Qdoba/Garbanzo’s and any other fast-casual place. A cheerful tattooed person with giant ear gauges asks what kind of crust we want, what kind of sauce, what kind of cheese, what kind of toppings, and we build our pizza by pointing at the various toppings and then they put the pie in the giant centerpiece of the store: the little pizza oven about the size of a Toyota Yaris. They put the pie in the one end, then pass you off to the next person whose job it is to figure out what you want on your salad and/or breadsticks and/or slice of cookie-pie. Then you get down to the register and pay and, by the time the transaction is done, they start telling you that your pizza will be there in just a minute and then you can put the fresh chopped basil(!) on the pizza or the parm or the pepper.
The downside: we got out of there spending about $30. Not unthinkable for dinner but there’s a part of me that thinks “$30 for fast casual?” and mumbles something about eating and getting a glass of wine for that much money.
That said: the pizza was really, really good. The salad was fresh. The cookie may not have been good but it was a cheat meal cookie so it melted in my mouth and gave me a shot of endorphins anyway.
What I find most interesting about the whole experience is the little dinky car-sized pizza oven. The thing that makes or breaks fast casual is the fact that you’re getting a sit-down quality meal in about 5 minutes, start to finish. The only way to make a sit-down quality pizza in five minutes? It requires a technical marvel.
And we have achieved it.
What a time to be alive.
Anyway, this weekend the weather people tell me will be… snowy? But it was 70 degrees today! Well, earlier, people were gossiping about how Denver was going to get 40 inches. Wunderground says only about half a foot.
WHICH MEANS THAT THIS IS THE BIG ONE, PEOPLE
So, tomorrow night, we’ve got to hit the grocery stores and the drug store and, yes, the wine store and dig in for a wild weekend.
To be followed by a workweek where it’s in the 70’s again.
So… what’s on your docket?
(Photo is “Footrace finish line, 1925” from the Seattle Municipal Archives, used under a creative commons license)