Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Best Pizza

Pizza has played an important role in my life. Not, perhaps, as much as it has in the life of this girl:

But an important role, nonetheless.

Sure, you say, we all love pizza, but I'm not talking about just loving pizza. I'm talking about pizza being an integral part of the biggest days of my life.

When I got engaged, I proposed to Sweetie on our regular Thursday night at her apartment, back when we used to play chess, then watch TV, and the loser had to clean up while the winner -- using that term loosely, given the prize -- got to watch "Veronica's Closet." And for a pizza tie-in to that, here's Dan Finnerty, who is credited as "pizza guy" on that show:

Which is not how pizza played into the engagement. How it played into it was, after we got engaged (which I did cleverly by tying it into the chess game: I'd start the game by holding a pawn in each hand and then having Sweetie pick one to see who went first. This time, I had the ring in one hand. Smart, right?)(People still ask me, what if she picked the other hand? I have no answer for that. I never thought about what would happen if she did that.) And then she got the ring (because she picked the right hand) and we were engaged, and we celebrated by ordering... Pizza!

Your interest is waning. Here's another picture:

And while you look at that, let me warn you. Do NOT go to Google and type in "hot girls with pizza." I don't know how those sites come up, but it's certainly not what I expected from that search.

Then, we got married. We had an hors d'oeuvres reception, and as you know, the bride and groom very rarely get to actually eat at the reception. So when we left the reception to begin our honeymoon, we celebrated our first night as a married couple, in the honeymoon sweet at the Holiday Inn, by ... eating pizza.

And so it goes. A big event in our lives is followed by ordering pizza. Any significant occasion is met with a pizza. Last year, when I had to have back surgery and couldn't eat for 24 hours before, the last thing I ate was pizza. We've had Valentine pizzas made, we've given them as gift certificates. I don't doubt that when the twins are born, we will order a pizza. I may bring it with me to the delivery room.

So I am uniquely qualified to weigh in on The Best Pizza. (I am, in my opinion, uniquely qualified to weigh in on The Best Of Everything. That's why I run this site. But Pizza is a particular qualification.) And I am here to tell you that The Best Pizza is, simply, Rocky Rococo's sausage pizza.

That's it. No fanfare. Just that one. It's got the great crust with Rocky's sort-of-sweet flavor. It's got big thick chunks of sausage. It's got melty, congealed, thick cheese. It's square. You can hold it in your hand and it won't slop off. And, perhaps most importantly for a pizza, it holds up as a leftover. That's significant because the only thing better than fresh pizza is leftover pizza that's been put in the fridge overnight. I deliberately over-order or over-make pizza simply to have leftovers, and then I get up early the next day to get to them before The Boy does. The leftover-quality is where Rocky's really puts themselves ahead of everyone else, because, man, does it ever hold up. Pizza Hut and frozen pizzas get soggy or the crust dries out. Papa John's? Don't make me laugh; the cheese falls apart. But Rocky's! The night before, you had a piping hot steamy slice of pizza dripping with sauce and juice and the cheese was stringy, just the way it should be. The next day? The cheese has insulated the crust, which has retained its flavor and shape and solidity perfectly. The sausage juice and sauce have hardened up and support the sausage, oh, man, I'm getting hungry just typing this. Look at it:

I've got to go, or I'm going to try to take a bite out of my monitor.

No comments: