I’ve been Rabe-d!: February at Argilla

I’m all for trying new things.  I love the opportunity to eat exotic cuts of meat like lengua (tongue) or tripe (stomach).  At a rest stop in Tanzania, all there was for a snack were deep fried fish heads, and they were delicious (if a little unappealing to look at).  The meat in a fish’s cheeks is some of the best.

That being said, I’m much less keen on new vegetables.  I joke that I’m allergic to chlorophyll (the green pigment plants use just about everywhere), but it’s simply that I dislike many of the flavors found in plants.

This month’s pizza is the Kool Rabe, pronounced with an “ah” sound.  Pietros’ pizza chefs wp-15180572957771292066413.jpgstart with an olive oil base before adding mozzarella, chopped fresh garlic, sausage, sundried tomato, and broccoli rabe.  It came out smelling delicious: aromas of garlic and olive oil trailing behind the bartender as he brought it my way.  Visually, the pizza was stunning; sundried tomato and broccoli rabe contrasting each other brilliantly on a cheesy white background, crispy brown bubbles on the crust I knew would be perfectly crispy.

All the mechanics of this pizza were on point, as I’ve come to expect from Pietro’s.  For me, though, there was too much rabe and not enough sausage.  Greens tend to be bitter, and despite my love for beer, I prefer bitter to be cut with another, more pleasant flavor.  I made it through half my personal pizza before picking the majority of the green stuff off.  I was left with a less unique, less pretty, but more palatable (for me) pizza that I deeply enjoyed.

Please don’t misunderstand: I’m telling you about my experience with the pizza, which heavily involves my opinion.  Despite my apparent dislike for broccoli rabe, I highly recommend you try the Kool Rabe, and when you do, don’t modify it (unless you’ve an allergy to attend).  Particularly if you tend to like vegetables, this might be the pizza made just for you.

For beer this time around, it was my pleasure to enjoy a glass of Plume ad Fieg, an 8% ABV Belgian Dark Strong.  Very dark—almost opaque—ruby red in color, it’s brewed with fruity esters of plum, fig, raisin, banana, and tart dried cherries.  Fruitcake gets a bad rep; this beer tasted like a delicious banana bread that also happened to include some other fruits.  If it weren’t eight percent (and one of the first things I’d done that day), I’d have definitely had another and not been near getting tired of it.

Honestly, it’s about time I had some pizza that wasn’t straight up my alley.  Taste is, by its nature, subjective, and the world would be (dare I say) rather bland if everyone agreed on what tastes good.  Veggie lovers unite, and go enjoy the hell out of the Kool Rabe.  I, however, will be ordering meat lover’s until next month.

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