When I hear the word pizza, immediately I begin thinking –tasting even- rich marinara, pepperoni, sweet roasted peppers, the pungent bitterness of black olives. And there is the tearing of the teeth into a chewy but somehow crisp crust to consider…
Unlike some foods that require a season (think chili and hearty soups), pizza works any time of day, any time of year. It is divine hot from the oven or cold from the fridge the next morning (if it survives that long once home) with a glass of iced milk. It is as wanted and craved in the summer, as spring, winter, or fall.
This past April, I met with a new friend, Lindsey King to discuss her most recent trip to New York City. We opted for Greek salads instead of the hearty seven pound pizza Mater’s is famous for –she was being good, I just followed suit. But my eyes glazed over as a hearty Field Hand pizza was delivered to a table nearby. Lindsey recognized the look, laughed and proceeded to clue me in on a pizza place in Birmingham, Alabama I needed to try – SLICE!
So, the following weekend another dear friend and I headed to Slice Pizza & Brew, located at 725 29th Street South, Birmingham. The web site boasts local ingredients, hand tossed dough, a stone oven and a selection of both Italian and Mediterranean sides as well as an opulent selection of craft and import beers. I could not wait!
Alabama Craft on Draft! The Birmingham Brewing companies include: Avondale, Cahaba, Good People and TrimTab.
Hands-down the favorite beer sampled was Brew Stooges Hot Chocolate Porter! Easily, I could substitute it for food. *It was the darkest brew they had…
The first pizza ordered was the Rockefeller! It came loaded with crispy fried Gulf oysters, caramelized onions, nice sized chunks of bacon lardons, fresh spinach, mushrooms, and shaved parmesan! Although it wasn’t the pizza I’d had in mind, it was amazingly delicious –the oysters were perfectly crisp and fresh. Not having eaten all day, this one was quickly inhaled.
The second pizza selected was The Lakeview. It was delivered to the table laden with braised beef short ribs, caramelized onion, roasted tomatoes, pungent asiago, arugula, red onion and horseradish sauce.
I’m not sure what it was about the mix of ingredients on this pizza, but it wasn’t large enough. I wanted MORE even when my stomach couldn’t possibly handle it. There was just something about the sauce and the arugula that made the whole thing deliciously difficult to describe –a little bitter, a little heat with a touch of smoke…incredible!
While pizza is not seasonal, the menu at Slice is…but our waiter reassured us that if something we like disappears, it is not forever!
I am ready for another visit –the only problem is I can’t make up my mind which pizza I want most!!
ELIZABETH MOZLEY MCGRADY
We Share the Same Sky, a memoir
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