Argilla Brewing Company (Newark, DE)

This month, for the first time, since beginning my monthly series on Pietro’s Pizzas of the Month, I showed up for my pizza before they’d decided what they’d be featuring this month.   I’m sure with the gathering Spring, those responsible were too caught up in the warmth and new color surrounding them.  Naturally, I can’t hold it against them one bit, late as I am in posting this very article.  Additionally, it gave me the opportunity to order whatever I wanted from their actual menu.

I’d arrived in the mood for pizza, though, so I didn’t stray far from my usual fare, choosing instead to relish my last meal at Argilla for a while.  After tearing my eyes away from their buffalo chicken pie, I settled upon “The Freddie,” their Brewers’ Guild pie and the winner of their Brewers’ Night Pizza contest.  Built upon a garlic and lemon infused extra virgin olive oil base with grated mozzarella, this pie comes piled with roasted garlic, bacon, sausage, onion, arugula, and fresh basil.

I’m always surprised by lemon as a flavor in dishes.  For whatever reason, it simply isn’t snapchat-227425942826603008409829977.jpgsomething I was exposed to before I started blogging full time.  More surprising is a flavor I’m used to sticking out blending nicely with the rest of a dish.  The sour of it balanced the richness brought by the bacon and sausage.  Plenty of arugula topped my little pizza, and it provided a crunchy, slightly bitter element that added complexity to the flavors and textures of this pie.  My only qualms were thus: there was just a bit much arugula for my tastes (a problem easily solved), and the toasted garlic was whole cloves.  They tasted fine, if a bit strong; my problem was with what they did once I bit down on them.  There are few foods that I enjoy which turn instantly to mush once they’re in my mouth, and those are closer to mush on my fork than these garlic cloves were on the slice.  In no way did they kill the pizza for me, but nothing’s perfect, and it’s my job to tell you what I found.  In the end, I wound up taking my remaining slices home.  There’s just so much to this pizza that it filled me up.  Regulars may notice that this isn’t a thing I generally suffer from.

Perhaps it was because I drank my beer too quickly.  I know I’ve written about Argilla’s “Special Menu” before, a heavily dry-hopped, delicious sour ale made with Citra Mosaic and Falconer’s Flight hops.  Sours are a strange class of beers.  They’re not different enough in construction to deserve a totally different name like cider, wine, or mead, but in many ways they drink more like one of those than other beers.  If you’ve never tried one before, I highly recommend the Dogfish Head SeaQuench Ale. I wish I could tell you to head down to Argilla and get yourself some Special Menu, but part of the reason I ordered it was because the beer list said it was kicking soon.  Regrettably, I can make no promises you’ll still be able to find it, but have absolute confidence it’ll be back around, especially with the warmest part of the year still ahead of us.

It’s bittersweet to relocate like this.  It will be strange to post about something other than Argilla at Pietro’s when the first week of May rolls around.  Sure, I’ll be surrounded by a whole new city full of food and fun to write about, but there’s such comfort in routine that it’s always hard to leave behind.  Next week, one last Delaware article, and then Burlington, VT.


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