Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Into the Boroughs: Harriet the Spy, Pizza Edition

Arugula and Parmesan Pizza -- Graziella's, Brooklyn, NY

As previously mentioned, Di Fara lost their privileges regarding having us rate their allegedly 5 star pizza with a poorly timed "oven malfunction."  Because by the time we arrived back at their subway station from Brighton Beach, the door to the place was STILL not open, and there was a line stretching halfway down the block.
Watching the Di Fara Metal Grates from the Safety of a Shaded Subway Platform
And heaven forbid we wait in any line whatsoever.  It is perhaps time for Di Fara to invest in a Disney World-esque FastPass system.
Your Wait Time Is....
Still in the mood for pizza, but without the patience to wait for one at the restaurant right in front of us, Ginger discovers that Graziella's, home of Ted Allen's chosen Best Thing I Ever Ate arugula and parmesan PIZZA, is a mere 15 minute walk from a Q-line stop.  Could this Brooklyn adventure be saved yet?

Yeah, probably not.  Remember, we are a crabby people.
And Plus, This is Our Life Philosophy
Vodka quickly secures us a reservation at Graziella's while we are en route, under the supposition that all pizza places in Brooklyn feature crowds with whom we won't want to deal.
OpenTable Reservations = Our Own Personal Version of a FastPass
Luckily for us, Graziella's is apparently not one of the chosen ones, as by the time we arrive for our 2:00pm hastily made reservation, we are two of five customers in the entire place.

Which is just the way we like it.
Empty Chairs and Empty Tables
We ask for a table on the roof deck, and not only because children under 12 aren't permitted up there ("Well, isn't that a lovely bonus").
Although If They Don't Trust Children to Not Fall Off the Roof, We're Not Sure They Should Trust Our Clumsy Selves
We are told to choose whatever table we like, and so we pick one under a shady umbrella... directly next to the roof deck's only other patron.
Said Table Also Features a Gigantic Pole in the Middle Which Prevents Us from Looking at Each Other
"Just call us Little Owl right now," Ginger mumbles, though in our defense, our choice seat is one of only two other tables featuring an umbrella, and either of them would have placed us within spitting distance of the other customer.  After all, she's the one who chose to sit in the middle of the roof, rather than in a dark corner, which is always our top choice.  So obviously, the fact that she will now have to listen to our inane conversation is HER fault.
Blame the Victim
First things first, we get ourselves two hefty glasses of wine, as it is now hours past our preferred day-drinking kickoff time.
Two Large Pours, Please, and Make It Snappy
While we peruse the menu, it becomes abundantly clear why there are so many tables open on the roof deck -- the place provides a front row seat to the loudest church sermon ever being broadcast from next door.  We manage to talk over the various blessings enough to order both the arugula and parmesan pizza, along with another pizza with caramelized onions and mushrooms.  ("Do we want small or large?" "There are only two of us -- you want to get two LARGE pizzas?!").
Good Thing We Didn't Go for the Larges....
Excuse Our Over-Consumption, Graziella's -- All We've Had to Eat Today is Stale Cake 
As we sip our wine, Ginger tries to regale Vodka about the injustice of the fact that there isn't a bread basket on our table, a rant Vodka is clearly not paying attention to.

"Sorry, I'm just taking notes," she finally explains.

"You say that as if that is a normal excuse in the real world," Ginger points out.  "You're like Harriet the Spy."
If Harriet Did Nothing But Eat and Drink All Day
Nearly before Vodka can jot down this gem of an exchange, our pizzas arrive, and we stare at the pile of fresh arugula skeptically.
What Is the Meaning of All of This GREENERY?
"You know, I really hate arugula," Vodka says.

"We should've ordered the arugula and parmesan pizza, hold the arugula," Ginger agrees.
Yes, Hi, Could Someone Come Serve Us? We Don't Know How to Slice This Thing
While Vodka takes at least three dozen photos of the proceedings, Ginger all but polishes off her first slice of Ted Allen's Best Thing I Ever Ate pick.
It's Scary That Ginger Is Actually the MORE Patient of the Two of Us
"Well?  How is it?" Vodka asks.

"Meh," Ginger responds with a shrug.  Before tasting her own, Vodka dumps some salt onto her slice ("You should live in Houston.  My mom says they salt Chinese food there."  "I salt Chinese food."). 
Let's Quadruple Our Daily Recommended Dose of Sodium, Shall We?
The pizza -- the pizza which we have traipsed over half of Brooklyn and to two different pizzerias in order to eat -- is good enough.  The arugula is blessedly rather muted in flavor, and the crust, while extremely thin, isn't crunchy (we hate crunchy crust).  In fact, the dough is somehow pita-like in texture, which is not a bad thing -- it is just rather... odd.
We're Going to Start a New Television Program Called 'Things We Ate That Were Fine'
We wolf down both pizzas, along with two glasses of wine each, at rapid-fire pace, undeterred even when a huge glob of cheese is found (by our own doing) floating in Vodka's chardonnay ("There is parmesan in my wine, of note").
A True Wine and Cheese Mash-Up
In truth, we are essentially so happy to be a) sitting, b) eating, and c) drinking, that we're rather jolly about the whole experience.
After All, They DID Give Us Carbs and Wine -- What More Should We Want?
And then the bill comes, and an 18% tip is pre-added in.
Is It Because We Made Them Walk Up and Down a Staircase?!
Um, is Fort Greene, Brooklyn, the new Times Square?!  What is the meaning of this madness?
Clearly, the Creepy Doll Who Hangs Out by the Cash Register Is Behind This
Now, would we have given an 18% tip or higher anyway?  Yes.  Believe it or not, as long as things don't come to major blows with the waitstaff, we are rather generous tippers.  But the principle of the fact that Graziella's would add this in preemptively has put us in a mood.

A mood that has resulted in our inability to do math.
How Ginger's Bill Looked for a Solid Ten Minutes
It seems that despite the fact that Graziella's has dictated what we should tip, when it comes down to signing our actual credit card bills, they have not deigned to do the addition for us.  And based on our current two-pizza-and-two-glasses-of-wine-in state, this happenstance has us flummoxed so completely that our respective second grade math teachers should be ashamed.
This Is Why We Majored in Food and Not Mathematics
We eventually manage to utilize our elementary school math skills and add up the totals before stumbling back down the stairs and out onto the sidewalks of Brooklyn, feelings of unwarranted accomplishment in our chests.

Or, as our friends at the church next door would say, "Glory, hallelujah!"

Graziella's Arugula and Parmesan Pizza: 3 stars


  1. Hi there! I really like the concept of this blog. I did always wonder how the items on "The Best Things I Ever Ate" really stacked up. I was hoping to reach you via email to ask a couple of questions. Would you mind letting me know where I could send you a note? Thank you!

  2. NotEvenNoon (at) gmail (dot) com