Aaaaand, we’re back! You thought this was gonna be a 6-post food blog that ghosted on both of our readers, didn’t you? Well, I’ve been out of town a lot lately, and I’m going out of town a lot again soon, so the Doc and I have our work cut out for us to cram as much pizza into our faces as possible in the little amount of time we have.
The problem is compounded by the Doc’s new Health Eating Lifestyle (which, if I have anything to say about it, will be very short-lived).
Anyway, I’ve been away from really good pizza for over a month now, and with the exception of one really good, authentic pizzeria on Miami Beach called Fratelli di Bufala (owned and run by Italians, and serving authentic Italian style pizza), it has been a pizza wasteland for the Maestro.
The Doc’s new diet (lifestyle?) necessitated that we try out a place that has slices instead of whole pies, so we chose My Pie Pizza on Damen near Ashland. It’s tucked away into a mini-mini-indentation that has a 7-11 and a nail salon (I think), and the wife and I passed by it twice before we saw it (The Doc passed by it at least once, if I recall). Inside it’s very tiny, and the pizza looked not that appetizing being in its little rotating window, but I grabbed my bootstraps and ordered a slice of thin crust sausage and (against my usual judgment) a deep dish pepperoni. That they had Sprecher Root Beer was a good sign.
The place itself is teeny tiny (the Doc has pics), with no tables, and maybe 5 bar stools near the window. But not every place can have free broken video games or animatronic robots, right? It’s about the pizza. And the gokarting.
Speaking of which, the previous evening the Doc and went karting for the first time in over a month. I had been practicing like a fiend in Miami on an outdoor track that was about twice as long as the track that we had been going on. I even sprung the money for some lessons, which I think helped me. See, the thing is, the Doc and I have been relentlessly debating for months now the proper karting technique when it comes to turns. ALL of the videos we’ve watched online talk about braking before the turn and accelerating out of the turn. But the best racers in Chicago never even tapped on the brakes. They might come off the gas a bit, but that was it.
The problem, as I realized in Miami, is that in Chicago, none of the straightaways are long enough to get enough speed to necessitate braking into a turn. In Miami, on the other hand, if you do not use your brake you will die. I spun out something fierce on my first lap around the track on Miami, so I really learned quickly where to brake, and how much to brake. The hard part was controlling the braking.
Needless to say, I got a lot of practice in Florida on a track where pros come on the weekend to train. Emerson Fittipaldi came by with his kids one day. No big deal.
so I think I got better at doing things, and when I came back to Chicago and the Doc and I went last Thursday, I had a new found confidence that I brought to my racing. I also had a snazzy new racing jump suit that I got for x-mas (pics someday. Maybe), and I discovered the beautiful art of using your ipod to listen to heart pounding NIN tunes. All in all my experiences and new accoutrements definitely augmented the fun factor with racing.
And, the Doc himself has also been practicing, and is slowly creeping up on my scores. He also has the honor of having completely wrecked two of their cars (I’ve only wrecked one. More on that below).
So when we went there and were racing people (most notably, the kid wonder Deric, who, we’ve simply got to get as a guest pizza/karting blogger on here sometime, ok, Doc?) we were keeping up, and even smoking some of them. I do not like being in pole position in the race, and prefer to actually be last. Like in every sport, I’m not racing against other people (except the Doc), I’m racing against myself. The other people are just in the way. And sometimes they’re really in the way.
As I said, the Doc and I held our own pretty well on the track, and as the evening went on it was just him and me for awhile. He got pretty cheesed early on in the evening when there was a local who would not. let. him. pass. Like at all. Rather than get into a flaming car pile up, he let the dude pass him. But this also inspired him to not let me pass. Like at all. So for the last two races it got a little violent.
I’m still faster than him, and I think I’ve got one of the crucial turns (the last one that leads into the first straightaway), better than him. But he was always in front of me. On the penultimate race, I crept up slowly behind him, and at first I thought he couldn’t tell that I was behind him, so I gave him a loving tap on his back bumper as a way to say “dude, move it.” But it quickly became apparent that he did know I was back there, and he was just not going to let me pass. At the antepenultimate hairpin, I made my move and tried to pass him, and he crashed right into my right side, threw me into the tires, and took off. For a few seconds I was sure that my ribs were broken. As the adrenaline wore off and the anger set in, I raced off in the last few laps to try to catch up to him. Eventually the car just completely died. Rotto. Guastato.
Luckily there were no broken or even bruised ribs. I think I was just stunned that the formerly mild-mannered Doc was now karting according to prison rules.
Fine. Game on.
During the last race, one of the dudes who worked there decided to try out car #9 which is supposedly really fast, but leaks gas like crazy. I believe the racing order was the Doc (#10), the dude (#9), and me (#3). Right off the bat, #9 caught up to the Doc and they got tangled in a passing/pissing war, which I utilized to my advantage to fly by both of them (“see ya, suckers!”). You can always tell how far ahead of someone you’re getting (or, how much you’re creeping up on them), by where they are vs. where you are on a certain part of the track. So for example, when catching up to the Doc on the first couple races, right after I made the first big turn, I could see him making the 3rd & 4th turns ahead of me, coming on to the second big straightaway. And each time we passed each other (me on the turn, him on the straightaway, he was a little further back on the straightaway, so I knew I was catching up to him. Similarly, as the race went on, he was further and further behind me, so I didn’t need to worry about him.
#9 on the other hand was right on my tail for almost the entire race. I think I had the faster car, but he knew how to take the turns better. So on the straightaways I would pull away from him, and then on some of the crucial turns I would drift just enough that he would catch right back up to me. Eventually I let him pass (BECAUSE I AM COURTEOUS LIKE THAT), fully expecting him to leave me in the dust, but I was able to stay on his tail until the very end, which was nice.
Again, I think I had the faster car and he was just the better racer. We’ll see next time if the car that I had destroyed (#7) has been repaired. Because that was the fastest car I’ve ever had.
Anyway, Pizza! Yes. For whatever reason, when my slices came out, I decided to start with the deep dish (which I normally don’t like anyway). But boy, oh boy, this was some of the most delicious pizza I had ever had in my life. The crust was absolutely perfect. the sauce was firm enough that it wasn’t slipping and sliding and gooing all over the plate, and the cheese bound everything into a nice hot little package. I actually could not believe how good it was. It almost made me mad. The thin crust was no slouch either, and I think that was mainly because of the quality of the sausage. Blown away by these slices, and still hungering for more, I ordered another thin crust, but with pepperoni.
Whether I was completely full, or whether it was the thick crust that had made the initial pepperoni slice amazing I could not tell you, dear reader. I can only tell you that that last slice wasn’t as good as the first two. But I’m willing to keep going back there, for sure. The root beer especially added to the experience. I always get root beer with my pizza if I can, but it’s usually Barq’s or A&W. Rarely do I get the treat of Sprecher’s.
Hopefully the Doc will eventually come to his sense, and we’ll be able to expand our horizons to ingest some serious pizza, but for now, I’m ok taking it by the slice.