Thursday, December 07, 2006

God, I Ate A Lot of Pizza. Plus pancakes later.

Pizza Metro: (East Ukrainian Village / Wicker Park) Chicago
1707 W. Division St.

Pizza Metro (photo: Rose G.).jpg

Pizza Metro (photo: Rose G.)_2.jpg

Pizza Metro (photo: Rose G.)_3.jpg

Pizza Metro (photo: Rose G.)_4.jpg

My pal Rose and I were going to go to Oysy Sushi in the South Loop tonight before Conscious Choice's celebration at Funky Buddha Lounge, but pizza overcame me. Plus, I can't imagine Oysy giving us a whole raw potato to go with a potato pizza. I think we chose wisely this time. We ordered a full size ("whole sheet") pizza that's said to serve 4 to 6: potato rosemary with onion, extra sauce and no cheese. The extra sauce is key, and it doesn't make their crust soggy. I sipped a 250 mL bottle of San Pellegrino and Rose took on the brand's Limonata. "Refreshment in a bottle," it has sugar instead of corn syrup, she said. Later, she snapped photos of the bottles embracing. But they were just friends.

We chatted about sweets -how there's a little shop on Columbus in San Francisco called XOX Truffles that makes up incredibly rich vegan truffles, and how Rose's Simran Bakehouse is due to make vegan ginger cookies this weekend. When the pizza came, it looked large and lovely, especially with its red sauce against the green plastic cutting board they served it on. I asked our server across the counter, do most people order the big pizza (instead of the half sheet or a slice) for just two people? The place is long and narrow with ripped stools and a counter down the middle, a few tables and chairs across from it, and ranges and ovens behind it. "No, not really," she said while probably smiling, but she told me she's seen two people eat one. Jerseys hang on the side wall and an "It's great to be Italian" banner hangs on the back wall. It's perfect, especially considering Rose was telling me later how she knit her scarf on the train in Italy.

Rose asked me to put the Parmesan cheese shaker out of her sight: I'm trying to be vegan, she said. We loaded our square slices up with dried pepper flakes, and in the spirit of potatoes as Rose pointed out, salt and pepper. Rose snapped off shots trying to capture our excitement. Oh, this is a lot of peppers, but I like it, she told me. I dumped peppers on my slice like mad. A little too many, I thought. But then Rose reassured me: that's going to be a good one. There was still a lot of pizza left and we weren't as hungry as when we walked in. Rose told me, I really don't want to eat this whole pizza, but it's just sitting here. Rose snapped more photos as I helped. "The only thing keeping from me overeating right now is taking photos," she told me. She got excited about a large mixer's paddle hanging about the range, "you know what that goes to?" A huge Hobart (a large, restaurant mixer, perhaps one with a 20 quart capacity). "I want one." Back to the pizza, we finally came to terms. I told Rose, "we are going to eat all this," and she told me "I know. It's sick," and laughed. I loaded my next slice with hot pepper flakes and felt like I couldn't get enought of them. My mouth didn't yet feel like Madonna's Burning Up. Rose liked the pepper, too: "I can't stop. I don't want to stop." But we were going to have a few slices left to take away.

We asked how many potatoes it took to make our pizza; perhaps three or four? Just one or two, they said, but we were still imaginging more. A man behind the counter went to bring us a whole potato and put it on the counter aside our pizza. It was a rather large one. It seemed more plausable now that it took just one to cover our entire pizza.

I ran out of room on the sheet Rose had given me to take notes for this blog. Luckily, she told me she had more. Quickly, I exclaimed, asking for another. I felt my head full of all the magic of Pizza Metro and didn't want to loose any of it. We remembered Rose emailing me earlier asking if it'd be OK if she didn't bring the camera, and me saying it would be. As Rose kidded, I don't know what we would have done. "Sat in silence," she joked. The wondeful aroma lingered.

We stopped off to upload the photos. Then, we were riding in a cab to Funky Buddha, I got a call from a pal at Chicagoland Bicycle Federation as part of their year end appeal phone drive. I'm a big fan of advocating so I donated. I kidded myself that the dontation would offset my cab usage tonight. At the Buddha, we met up with some others and together checked out a couple of books depicting trendy outrageous street fashion in Japan: Shoichi Aoki's Fruits and Fresh Fruits. These make me want to redo my wardrobe.

Hunger Pancakes

Rose's pal Jen dropped me at home and her, Rose and I made up some quick pancakes to quench our not-so-late-night hunger. Rose and I guessed the measurements and Jen assured me that we really can't mess up pancakes. We quickly mixed up a bit (maybe two tablespoons) of chestnut flour from Green City Market, maybe 1/2 cup oat flour, maybe 1/2 cup wheat flour, a small handful of sugar, maybe 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, a couple splashes of peanut oil and enough soy milk to make this pour like pancakes. I poured the batter on a hot cast iron pan on low with enough hot peanut oil to give the bottom of the pan a high gloss. The batter made 4 pancakes, using more oil each time to make the pancake sizzle. When the pancake looked dry in the middle, I flipped it. In a small pan, Jen mixed maple syrup and cashew/macadamian nut butter before we heated it. The pancakes were thin and crispy on the edges and the syrup was creamy. It was all quite a wonderful nighttime snack with some new pals.

Chris at Pizza Metro (photo: Rose G.)_2.jpg

Pizza Metro (photo: Rose G.)_6.jpg

Rose's Dollar Bill Ring (Photo: Chris).jpg

Rose's Dollar Bill Ring (Photo: Chris)_2.jpg

photos: Rose G. and Chris B.


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