Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pizzarium

After a splendid (although seemingly never-ending) tour of the Vatican and St. Peter's Basilica, I was starving and more importantly, exactly where I wanted to be: just blocks from the relatively new and highly acclaimed Pizzarium-


Hey look, there's a fellow PSU alum, just like me! Clearly this place has made waves all the way across the ocean, it's no longer a neighborhood secret here. This may have something to do with the fact that it was visited by one of the snarkiest, most rad food gurus around, Anthony Bourdain in an episode of The Layover.


Founded by Gabriele Bonci (who's cartoonish character is seen above) a few years back, the man is a master of two things in my book: baking great crust + bread, and executing well-balanced toppings with top notch quality.



Pizza here, like any to-go joints in Roma, is 'al Taglio' or literally 'by the cut.' If you have no idea why, it's pretty simple: you point to the kind of pizza you're jonesin' for to the homeboy or homegirl behind the counter...


...you show with your hands how much you want, then they cut the pie accordingly... (yes, those are just regular household scissors)


...they throw that jawn on a scale and weigh it...


...then toss it in the oven for the obligatory reheat! By the way, check out how badass these homies are (don't act like you're not impressed with that beard). I wish I had taken a photo inside to show just how tiny this space is- it's just big enough to allow about 8-10 customers in at a time, which is why there was such a line outside.


Bonci claims to have invented over 1,500 different topping combinations which blows my mind for two reasons: with such quality ingredients at their disposal, Italians are typically such traditionalists with their toppings; and also- 1,500 different topping combinations? Seriously, that's crazy. I grabbed a couple different cuts and a suppli and arancini and got the hell out of that cramped situation to enjoy my loot near the Vatican.


First up I snagged a classic cheese/Margherita. This featured low-moisture mozz, tomatoes, and some pre-oven basil. An instant classic with plenty of flavor, you can't go wrong here.


Up next was a simple white pie which consisted of ricotta, caramelized onions and arugula. Look at the hole structure on that thing! I could have camped out inside that crumb, holy schnikies! 


Lastly we have red pie with buffalo mozzarella, which ended up being my favorite of the trio. Despite the fact that the cheese coagulated by the time I got to the second slice, I wolfed it anyway. Again, check out how fluffy this dough is-


After all was said and done (or so I thought), I chased it all with a suppli and arancini- 


For the unfamiliar, these are essentially deep fried rice balls with egg, tomato and other fillings:



Woof. Afterward I hopped on the subway back to my hotel and promptly passed out. How else was I going to make room for dinner?

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