Monday, October 18, 2010

Pizza Paradise: "This place is alright, but not where I want to end up after I suicide bomb a Pizza Hut."

On Friday I hung out and ate 7 slices of pizza with my fast friend Joe "Joe Porter" Porter. We have worked together at a few different jobs, and we played in a band together for a few years. He currently works at the same job I used to have (and may be trying to beg my way back to) and sings in the awesome band Marvin Berry & The New Sound (do you get the reference?) with my friend Danny Zaj and two guys I don't really know all that well. Joe does not really like eating a variety of foods. He's no Phil Chapman, but he doesn't exactly have the most diverse tastes. I can't think of the number of times I've seen him eat a plain chicken breast or plain deli turkey sandwich with no vegetables or condiments more times than I can count.

But with his simple taste comes insightful criticism. One time our old band was playing a show at some basement in New Brunswick, and afterwards, everyone was heading over to the Grease Trucks to get snacks. I asked Joe if he was going and he said, "NO WAY!" in this super pissed off voice. And I was like, "damn, alright, this must be some Jersey shit." and he was all, "The grease trucks are for little babies who can't decide on one thing to eat so they're just like, wah wah I want french fries wah wah I want falafel wah wah I want mozzarella sticks and then they just put it all on one sandwich and it's DISGUSTING." And while I don't agree necessarily, I kind of love the grease trucks, I do see his point and I am totally charmed by his angry and succinct way of expressing.

NEwayz. On to the pizza.

I tried to go to Pizza Paradise last week with my friend Tonie, but it was inexplicably closed. Maybe it is one of those weird places that isn't open on the weekends? There's really not much to say about the ambiance of this place. It's a pretty straight forward regular old pizzeria. Nothing ritzy, nothing exceptionally charming, just totally fine or whatever. According to a notable internet encyclopedia,
Paradise (Old East Iranian: pairidaeza) is a place in which existence is positive, harmonious and timeless . It is conceptually a counter-image of the miseries of human civilization, and in paradise there is only peace, prosperity, and happiness. Paradise is a place of contentment, but it is not necessarily a land of luxury and idleness. It is often used in the same context as that of utopia.
And I guess, to the word, that was kind of right on. I was having a sort of bummer day, and then seeing Joe Porter really pepped me up. We haven't really hung out on the regular since we worked together last, and even that was half as much hanging out as when we played music together. Because we are both grown ups and we have busy lives, we don't necessarily have all the idle time we did as young bummy punx to drink afternoon beers on the stoop and talk shit. So it was really nice to see Joe and being with him at Paradise Pizza, I did feel contentment. But it definitely wasn't a luxurious or idle contentment, since the only time we had found to see each other was for him to participate in a creative project I'm working on.

The pizza here was good. Joe really liked it. I didn't like it as much as he did, but it satisfied me. The cheese was excellent quality, with good elasticity and flavor. The sauce tasted a little can-y, but it wasn't bad at all. The dough and crust were EXCELLENT, cooked perfectly, salted perfectly, and as risen perfectly as the Great Pizzaola's one son, Jessie Crust, who was given as a gift unto us to rise overnight, and who is returned to his mother whenever a perfect slice is eaten. The crust itself was seriously so good. Prompting Joe to remark, "I wish you could buy just crusts. Like, I wish whenever anyone ordered pizza, the guy asked them if they wanted the crust or not, and if they didn't he could cut it off and fold the rest of their slice into some kind of gross pizza pocket, and then when I came in I could get just a little wax paper bag of crusts, like french fries." What a weirdo.


Pizza Paradise - $2.50
12 W 18th St (5th & 6th)
New York, NY 10011

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