Honestly, I had no idea a place like Havre de Grace existed, until I moved to the area several years back. What have I been missing? Now I look forward with eagerness and anticipation each time I make the 20 minute drive. Sometimes on the way back from Philadelphia or further up north, I’ll purposely make a stop just to look around and enjoy the view. It’s breathtaking.
The main streets and nearby neighborhoods are something out of a movie set. It’s peaceful but then eerily quiet at times. I may be understating this fact a bit. I’ve been in the vicinity and have been the only one in the area. It may sound creepy but I find solace in making this town all my own, for a few minutes. Those moments are to be cherished and are so few and far between. We all get them periodically whether we notice them or not.
What on Earth does this have to do with pizza? Well you know every great neighborhood needs a great pizza place. I only wish La Cucina would have delivered. No, I don’t mean actual food delivery, even though that van out there looks fun. I mean on having great slices.
This is a review of two visits that I’ll combine into one. The first was around the holidays and the most recent was last week.
I’m my own worst enemy. I had such high expectations that only set me up for disappointment and heartbreak. Maybe I’m getting carried away with the latter, but maybe you know what i mean.
First and foremost, its a sit-down restaurant that is quaint and cozy on the inside. But they do have slices to go and that’s what we’re talking about here. I just wish they had more variety. That’s more my fault for setting expectations than anything else. But isn’t that good to have lofty ones from time-to-time.
For my first, I got a cheese slice and a white broccoli, mainly because that’s all they had. There was no elaborate display of pizzas which I’m fine with. But they only had those two. You could add toppings to the cheese but I felt like I wasn’t in a place of wonders like the town outside. It looked pathetic.
That’s as harsh a criticism as I’ve given in sometime. The carry-out area seemed lifeless. The staff just seemed to be there. I get it. Not everyone can be happy-go-lucky all of the time. The bottom line is…
The slices tasted alright and that’s being kind. The NY Style Crust wasn’t cooked the best. It felt forced and rushed. There as no feeling behind it. It was good enough to eat but that’s not always enough. The tomato sauce dominated too much of the cheese. The white broccoli tasted old and stale.
I did get a free calendar, so that was fun!
My second visit showed some improvements, but showed me that round one might not have been an aberration.
Luckily, white spinach was on the display case and I jumped right on it. It was eons better than last time but still something was off kilter. Same goes for the cheese. Maybe it’s my professional camera but these photos seemed to display a shinier and more uplifting looking pizza. Maybe there was a little more effort and soul put into this one? That’s just my observation.
I’m my own emotional roller-coaster. I wanted this place to badly mirror the tranquility and beauty that the town outside projects. And maybe it does to many of the locals and visitors. I just didn’t get that experience. Perhaps I was trying too hard.
I love family restaurants and only wish this place the best. It looks like it’s going to be a staple of the town for years to come.
By no means am I giving up on La Cucina. Next time I’ll grab a seat and see if things have turned the corner. I’m overly-sentimental, I’m cheesy (whoops), and I romanticize the most simplest of things. But that’s the fun of this. I want this restaurant to match the charm of this beautiful city. Maybe the third time’s the…