Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Off the Map: It's Our Trip to the Big City!

Roasted Chanterelles Truffle Cheese Pizza -- Serious Pie, Seattle, WA
Serious Pie

It seems as though Tom Douglas is to Seattle what Jose Garces is to Philadelphia and Jose Andres is to Washington, DC.  At least, that’s what we’re hoping, as Best Thing I Ever Ate is compelling us to go to three of his restaurants, all within moments of each other.

This Best Be Better Than the Crab Cake, Cause Vodka's Not in the Mood for Any More Funny Business
After a not-so-successful foray to Dahlia Lounge, Vodka, Chianti, and Chianti's two friends walk down the block to Serious Pie to indulge in some roasted chanterelle truffle cheese pizza, as recommended by Tyler Florence on the PIZZA episode of the show.  
Please Note the Period at the End of the Title. It Proves Just How Serious They Are
We are led to our (communal) table, and Vodka rolls her eyes to the ceiling instantly.

"Ugh, communal," she mumbles.  "It's like Chicago all over again."

Chianti and friends are not nearly as put off by this effort to force the customers into socialization, and we set about ordering a bottle of wine.

"Do they have chianti?" Chianti (predictably) pipes up.

"Why is that wine even your favorite?" Vodka asks.  "Is it the cheapest?"

Chianti pretends to be offended by this sentiment just long enough to confirm that yes, it most likely is the most frugal of the reds, and we order a bottle of the stuff to split.  

Dollar Store Wine
Then, in a fit of overconsumption, we order three pizzas: 2 of the mushroom and truffle cheese variety, and 1 with Penn Cove clams, house pancetta, and chilies.  
Another Telling Scene from Overeaters Anonymous
Additionally, everyone but the so-called "vegetarian," Chianti, is swayed by the waitress's description of the day's special, the bone marrow.
Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Bones, Knees and Bones
When said marrow arrives, an older gentleman at the next table witnesses Vodka taking pictures of the enterprise, and he moseys over to offer his services as our photographer.  Agreeing to this gesture quickly proves to be the worst decision ever made, as, after what has to be at least 12 minutes and a plethora of failed camera flashes, we have yet to secure a single picture with the four of us in the same frame.  As we virtually beg him to please give up the fight and hand back the camera, he calls out, with no shred of irony, "It's your trip to the big city, huh?"

Oh, for the love....

It's Like Being Told We Look Like We're from Milwaukee All Over Again!
At this point, Vodka tenses every muscle in her body in an effort not to tackle him so she can go back to being the culinary Ansel Adams, and when he eventually hands back the camera, we finally resume our meal.
And By "Resume Our Meal," We Mean "Vodka Resumes Taking Pictures of It"
Being Vodka's first experience with bone marrow, she finds it quite lovely, if difficult to consume.  Admittedly, part of her appeal with the stuff centers around the fact that Serious Pie has provided piles of flavored salt with which we can season the marrow, and Vodka has never met a salt she didn't like.
Really, Vodka's Not So Hard to Please: Just Put Salt on EVERYTHING
Moving onto the pizza, the clam variety is interesting in its uniqueness.  Topped with a hearty portion of clam meat, a hint of pancetta, and a large smattering of parmesan cheese, the crust is just pliable and chewy enough to bring the whole thing together.  Overall, the clam pizza is a delightful surprise.
We Like Anything Smothered in Cheese
Pop-Up Crust
While the Best Thing I Ever Ate truffle pizza is an epic disappointment.

As previously mentioned, Chianti has a rather large obsession with all truffle flavors, so drool is practically escaping from the corners of her lips by the time she places the first slice in her mouth.

"Well?" Vodka asks.


Silence, as we know, is never a good sign.

When It Comes to Food Judgments, Silence Is NOT Golden
Vodka takes her own taste and declares in a matter of seconds, "Salt.  We need some major salt over here."  
Hurry, It's an Emergency
Indeed, the pizza, while certainly not bad, is bland in the extreme.  Somehow, the combination of mushroom, cheese, truffle, and bread -- all ingredients that we adore -- add up to a completely underwhelming pizza.  
The Classic "Good on Paper" Pizza
The crust and dough itself is thinner and crisper than its clam counterpart, and similar in consistency and look to the pizzettes at Socca in Chicago.  The mushrooms may have been better executed had they been cut into smaller pieces, and the whole thing is sorely lacking in cheese.  Unlike the more-than-visible parmesan on the clam version, this pizza's cheese seems to have melted away into neverland. 
Dear Oodles of Cheese, Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

So after two visits to his establishments, Tom Douglas is falling squarely into the "mediocre" category of Vodka's mind -- a circumstance that is disappointing considering, after all, that it's her "trip to the big city" of Seattle.

Serious Pie's Roasted Chanterelles Truffle Cheese Pizza: 3 stars

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