I am a weekend warrior when it comes to eating out. From Sunday night to Friday afternoon, 90% of the time, I eat food that I make. I bring food from home for lunch, and I
cook assemble my weeknight dinners. I do this for a number of reasons. One, my temperament. I view the workweek as a time of routine, schedules, desks, and screens. I cannot have fun in the same way when there is an alarm looming, a lunch to make, and a bedtime to adhere to. Like a four-year old needs routine, so do I. Gym, work, home, dinner, TV, bed. Repeat five times. Two, I’m on a budget. I cannot have fun eating out on the weekends if I have spent all my money during the week. The temperament thing also results in me not liking staying in on a Saturday night. That is what Tuesday nights are for. Saturday nights are for going out. (My brain is too old to retrain.) And so yes, by not going out during the week, I have (almost) enough fun money to eat all that I would like to on the weekends. Three, I watch my waistline. Like, a lot. I have always been body conscious, and so I am not immune to New York Skinny. I do work harder at the watching here than I ever have before, but I also eat out more than I ever have before. Not eating out during the week is part of how I exert effort into keeping my frame. I also have no problem eating boring, healthy food to save up for fun, calorific stuff. (A wonky after effect of Catholic school?) Four, both the neighbourhood I work in and the one I live in are relative downers in terms of good places to eat, so it is not like I am constantly tempted. This lack then makes it easier to keep to a budget and watch the calories. Circle of life.
Of course I make exceptions, but I’m stubborn, so they are rare. But there is that 10%. Since finding a decent and affordable sushi place near the office, dining out during the week has been mostly to eat maki rolls for lunch every week or so. Recently, however, the back of my mind reminded me that I have wanted to try the Roman-style pizza al taglio for lunch from nearby My Pie Pizzeria Romana.
I have wanted to try My Pie because I am obsessed with looking at pictures of a similar style of pizza from baker Gabriele Bonci’s slice joint in Rome, Pizzarium. The Instagram account of one of my favourite food writers, Katie Parla, is the source of my obsession as she often posts pictures of her Pizzarium slices. I also think that when Bonci came to New York in the last year or so, he paid a visit to My Pie and gave his seal of approval. At Pizzarium, Bonci places all manner of seasonal and colourful vegetables, cheeses, and meats atop a thin-ish square-shaped dough. From what I understand, al taglio slices are served as is (without reheating) and are cut to the size of your choice.
I did not walk into a US offshoot of Pizzarium, but the pizzas were enticing. Amidst all of My Pie’s promotion of sugar-free dough and use of part-skim mozzarella—two characteristics that do not concern me when it comes to pizza—there were a few slices I would decide between. The winner was the buffalo mozzarella slice, which was actually one long rectangle cut in two. Not a bad amount of food for the price. The tomatoes tasted fresh and the cheese was creamy, but it could have used maybe some basil, a heavier hand with the olive oil drizzle, and more salt. I ate it as is and would not have wanted it warm, given how nice fresh mozzarella can be when left alone. Because the dough is stretched thin, the square that had no outer crust was harder to eat and definitely required folding. Perhaps heating it would have made the bottom crisp. But as I was bringing it back to the office, it would have just steamed in the bag and gotten soggy, resulting in something worse altogether. I could go on right now about how a situation like that is exactly why I never get take out or order delivery, but I can save a discussion about my particularities on temperature and texture for another time. Sidenote: Just because I am becoming a less picky eater, does not mean I am less particular.
In any case, the slice was a nice break from my usual cottage cheese, but I was not transported to Rome via My Pie. I hope that Bonci did not actually give the thumbs up because that makes me wonder now about his pizza. Maybe it all got lost in translation and instead of telling them they were doing a “good job,” he actually said something like “nice try.” With a smirk.