On the (long) way home from the Chancery, I stopped by Adriatico's in University Heights. I ate that pizza in college, and again when I was in the seminary (less often; we couldn't persuade them to deliver to Mount Washington!), and tonight I'm having it again after nine years' wait.
Oh! So good!
Now, I warn you; some reading this won't like it, because:
The sauce (in my opinion, the key to good pizza) is spicy;
The pepperonis are big enough to float on in a pool, and the sausage pieces are small asteroids;
They sprinkle Oregano all over the top.
In short, this has a lot of taste!
Anyway, I think it's the best pizza east of the Mill Creek Expressway (Trottas is best in the West)--but I'm open to persuasion.
If you go up there, Adriaticos has moved from its long-time Jefferson Avenue location (which still shows up via Google). It's now on West McMillan, close to the University (natch). They have a dining room now, and wow! What a selection of beers! (I had one while I waited.) The menu is pretty simple: pizza, pizza turnovers (called "zonis"), wings, etc. Whaddya expect? It's near a college campus!
But don't worry, it's not all college kids. When I came back from the lavatory, a man--about my age or younger, stopped me to ask a question. He was discussing with his son--who looked around 17--a passage in Genesis. We talked for a few minutes; I was able to give some answers I think. (See the advantage of wearing your clerics while out and about?) Not long after, my pizza was ready, and it was off for home. I thought I was going to be able to eat my pizza while listening to the ballgame; but, alas, the Reds were defeated earlier today! Swept! By the Brewers! O tempores! O mores!
Fair warning: if you go, expect parking problems. Adriatico's has a small parking lot, several lots beyond the restaurant; while there's a huge parking lot, next to the place, owned by someone else. Don't park there, I was warned on the phone; "he gets anal about it." I was able to park on the street, but that's always dicey up in Clifton Heights.
As I polish off another slice of pie, I think about:
> Saint Paul, who fought for our freedom to eat a pizza like this;
> Saint Thomas Aquinas, who reflected so profoundly on the intrinsic goodness of Creation, and how its infinite variations of goodness both serve to make God's goodness better known to us, and thus make us that much happier; and
> That day in the seminary when Father Rob Jack was explaining an aspect of the Trinity to us, and he chanced upon an illustration involving pizza, which delighted us all, most especially my beloved, and too-soon-departed, classmate, Father Dan Shuh. When I eat pizza, I often think of that day, and my classmate, who loved pizza, loved conviviality, and would have been good company to help me eat this one. Requiescat in pace.