I looked at Ray, my out-of-town guest who was joining us for our weekly pizza excursion, with skepticism. “Are you sure?” i asked. “I mean, the blog is about pizza…”
“Barbecue beef,” Ray reiterated. “With fries.”
I sighed, and glanced across the table at the Maestro, who shrugged.
Ray was in town because, at the beginning of the the week, a gaggle of friends had converged upon my apartment for my birthday party. I had subjected eleven brave souls to a two hour mashup of the Star Wars prequels, reasoning– credibly enough– that my friends are sufficiently smart and snarky to turn such a viewing into a Mystery Science Theater 3000-style snark-a-thon. And I am happy to report that my birthday wish in this regard was not frustrated: everyone was proportionally brutal toward Lucas’s cinematic abortions. Particularly the Maestro, who, I might add, stripped down to Darth Maul boxers upon arriving at the party.
(I did brand it as a pajama party, in fairness. But the Maestro sleeps in Darth Maul boxers like I sleep in Bernie Sanders briefs.)
(Which I do not.)
Getting to Pete’s was a bit of a chore this particular Friday. You guys may remember this day last week as the day Chicago emphatically lived up to its Windy City moniker, as illustrated by Dorothy Gale blowing by in her airborne house every now and then. The practical consequence of which was to knock out every goddamn stop light between my place and the restaurant, and casting some doubt onto the question of whether the place would have power even when we got there.
“The power’s on,” texted the Maestro, as Ray and I sat in a stationary line of cars just off of I-90. “Praise Pizza Jesus.”
I took a moment to ponder the logistics of a pizza-based diety, given that we weren’t moving in traffic anyway. I came to the conclusion that Pizza Jesus would be way cool, just as traffic started flowing again.
(Imagine it, people. We’d be looking at, like, Bruschetta Communion. Be like Paul, and get on board.)
“We’ve eaten our weight in fried calamari,” the Maestro declared as Ray and I arrived, having been delayed a half hour due to the traffic.
“Ew,” I replied.
“Look, they have a barbecue sandwich!” Ray enthused.
(I made that up. Ray doesn’t enthuse about anything. Except ballerinas.)
The pizza was perfectly serviceable thin crust veggie pizza, interestingly cut into triangles instead of squares. They went a bit light on the sauce, resulting in a pizza that felt a bit like veggies entwined with cheese atop a cracker, but what the hell, nothing wrong with that. I did need to take a moment to let the pizza cool down from nuclear-level hotness, but we’ll be charitable today and call that evidence of freshness. So very fresh, hot, cheesy pizza at Pete’s.
“When is the answer to that ever no?” I asked.
“You guys go kart?” Ray asked.
“Welcome to Chicago,” I said, heaving myself out of the booth. “Praise Pizza Jesus.”