Readjusting is a difficult process. I work best with momentum, and any change to that momentum requires overcoming. A serious change in setting tends to be the most difficult; returning to the way things were after oh, say, an extended trip abroad should be easier. Jetlag complicates the process, though; it always hits me hard.
This month, Pietro’s worked up the Frontside Grind: a pizza that starts with their traditional base, then is topped with fresh mozzarella, black olives, red onion, arugula, crushed red pepper flakes, and chicken. It’s rare to see a red sauce pie of the month, which suits me fine. I’m shy about tomatoes in any form, so I don’t suffer much from all the crazy sauces on these monthly pizzas. Pietro’s red sauce is excellent, though. It’s made with cheese, which tempers the tomato acidity nicely, and it tastes fresh and always compliments the toppings perfectly.
I rarely like black olives. On their own, I simply don’t like the way they taste. I could say the same about swiss cheese, though, and I love that on a sandwich. I have trouble with black olives even when they’re an ingredient; I find their flavor doesn’t blend into larger dishes well enough in general. Thus, I asked for my Frontside Grind to only have the olives on half the pizza, and I don’t regret it. When I’m eating a half and half personal pizza, I alternate halves with each slice. If I’m getting a pizza half and half, it’s because one half has something on it that would overwhelm me were it on the whole pizza. Jalapeños on half of a buffalo chicken pizza to temper the spice, for instance. Alternating halves allows me to enjoy the experience of a fully topped pizza without the pain of too much capsaicin. I used the same principle with my olives for this pizza and found it entirely palatable. I certainly liked the half without olives better, but in no way did they ruin the pizza. If you do like them, you’ll love this.
The rest of their toppings did their jobs splendidly. The cheese was not shredded, but in little discs with the other toppings filling in the gaps. I’m particular about chicken, and I loved every bite that gave me a piece. Between the construction and the flavors, the whole pizza had a sort of gourmet feel, without any of the complicated trappings of gourmet restaurants.
My beer this time around was the Blood Orange Whipped: fruited gose brewed with lactose before being conditioned on vanilla and blood orange puree. The best way I could describe it is as creamsicle beer. The orange flavor was very orange with hints of vanilla and wheaty beer underneath. It’s an incredibly thirst quenching beer, and at 4.7%, it’s relatively safe to have a couple with dinner.
Winter Storm Quinn swept through and blanketed my world with heavy snow, which is why I was unable to include the usual featured image with this article. It’s a serious change from the tropical vacation I just left behind. Posting, however, is a huge step toward maintaining my momentum across time zones and international borders.