You would think that artichoke pizza would be sort of a failure, right? WRONG!
I recently received an email from one of my mom's colleagues, saying that we absolutely have to try out this place called Artichoke Pizza. Part of me laughed, because "artichoke" and pizza" do not belong in the same sentence. It's like saying you want some Broccoli Cake--it's just not appealing. However, I was ready to try anything.
So, on Saturday, my family and I took a trip downtown to the mysterious and daring Artichoke Pizza (Artichoke Basilles Pizzeria & Bar). It was small and not overly fancy, like a standard pizzeria, with brick-enlayed walls and a place that you can see the pizza being made. Instead of a regular pizzeria, this one had a maitre'd. We were shown to a small marble table with simple black chairs, and handed a simple menu each. There were several different types of pizza, heroes, entrees, and appetizers, including the--wait for it--Artichoke Pizza. After a few minutes of looking at the menu, the waitress arrived to take our orders. We ordered garlic bread with cheese to start, Dash ordered a classic margarita pizza, I ordered a Chicken Oreganata (it sounded good, but I really didn't know what it was), Dad ordered a meatball hero, and mom ordered the--by now dramatic music should play each time you hear this--Artichoke Pizza. (Dun dun duuuhhh...)
While we chatted and waited for our food, 50s and 60s music was playing, and I annoyed my brother by singing along to several of the songs. We noticed that there were artichoke cans, posters, and many other artichoke-themed accessories lining the walls.
Finally, the food arrived. The garlic bread was GOOOOOOD. Garlic bread + melted cheese on top = heaven. It seems like a truly classic combination, I'm surprised I didn't have it more. I've had garlic bread with cheese, but it's never been melted nor a prominent feature, but it was done really well. My Chicken Organata was really good, too. As it turns out, chicken organata is actually chicken breast with breadcrumbs on top, and puddled in lemon juice. I liked the chicken and breadcrumbs, but the bath of straight lemon was just a bit too much for my palette. It was good, nonetheless. Dash had his margarita pizza, and he was quick to share with everyone. Dad really enjoyed his hero. He didn't use words, exactly, but rather manly grunts every time he took a bite that was way to big for his mouth. Then came the--dramatic music--Artichoke Pizza. Mom took a bite, and her mouth dropped open.
"Kate," she said, "You have to try this."
And I did. It was amazing. It was cheesy, but not deep dish, like a gooey, soft, awesome kind of cheese. You could taste the artichoke, but it wasn't so strong that would be overpowering. In all, it was surprising, and amazing. I loved it.
Thank you to Scott Lavin for requesting Artichoke Pizza to my mom and me.
Here's to ooey, gooey, enjoyable surprises.