Cauliflower Alley

GustoObeyTheClaw

For years, and even decades (oh boy…) I have spent time at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, MD, that it will always be a part of my childhood, a part of my youth, and a part of something that I don’t always think about when I’m in the vicinity.

However, earlier this week I was back again and the reasons don’t matter.  I was just there.  No, not that bad kind of there where you just exist and you’re mediocre, or average.  I’m talking about a place in time where everything felt ok.  I was one with the universe and the universe was on with me.  It’s one with you too.

Many shopping centers, malls, strip malls, and the like have gone through necessary renovations to keep up with the times and evolution.  It’s that progress and that sometimes gives the illusion of well, progress.  It’s that more things change, the more they stay constant and maybe even, just there.

Something told me to go to this place where I spent many times ‘hanging out’ (aka sitting around doing nothing) and being a kid.  I still feel like a kid at times.  And being a kid means…

That food court has evolved while everything else around it looked the same.  In a way, I like that.  It’s the old sentimental in me.  I’m good with change (sometimes, that’s my own issues at play) but I find such endearing charm in things looking like they will always be the same.  This is a mall I’m talking about mind you, yes I could be referring to anything, maybe I am.

I liked what the food court has become.  You have your staples, you have your local food operations, and you have some places I had never heard of.

Gusto

That brings us to Gusto (here are their locations, their story, and of course the food), which makes all their food with love, and the farm fresh ingredients that we’ve grown accustomed or at least are becoming more aware of.

Because of the location, fast is the name of the game, and I went with two pies and got  creative with the differences.

GustoObeyTheClaw2

First is their current season item, the Obey The Claw.

I’m not going to explain how I thought about everything on this pie, that would be too much.  There’s so much going on here, and I would be lying if I told you I could taste everything.  Yet, nothing is too in your face or crammed down your throat.

GustoObeyTheClawClose

The crab meat itself is tasty, and the various vegetables all look so beautiful, yet everything feels like they complement the other. It’s understated in a way that I didn’t expect.  Maybe that’s the point.  The thin whole grain crust is a a nice touch.  I really enjoyed this thing and took my time, never felt full, and felt good.

GustoWildShroom

You may have heard about cauliflower based pizza crusts becoming more predominant, as we continue to look for ways to eat right and more health conscious.   For the Wild Shroom pizza I went said crust and it was different, it was distinct, and at the same time it felt satisfying.

There’s an art to heating a crust, and there’s an art to a lot of things.  I’ve had cauliflower crusts before but in such small doses, that I can’t compare one to the other.  All I can say here is that it worked with the mushrooms, arugula, and goat cheese.  I don’t know if the crust could have been heated differently or this is how it was supposed to be.  But no need to quibble, I had fun.   For a couple extra dollars, this was a fun experience.

GustoMenu

At $9 a pie ($2 extra for cauliflower and gluten free) it may feel pricey, but I understand with the location and what we’re supporting.  I’m all for supporting it and I highly recommend a trip to Gusto if there’s one near you.

GustoPizzaToGo

You can just sense that more stores are coming and we’re going to be hearing and seeing a lot more from them.

Beautiful.

Peace Be With You

Ideen

South Street Style

Philadelphia is one of my favorite cities.  And whenever I get the opportunity visit, I savor it.   I don’t live that far away, so I will not take the proximity for granted.   So what better say to show love for this town, then to talk about their pizzas.

Of course  they’re known for their cheese steaks but I will be talking about slices and pies from the City of Brotherly Love, periodically.   And hey, maybe I’ll throw in a chicken or regular cheese steak pizza or two for good measure

Speaking of love.  Whenever I’m in this great city, I feel it.  There is a passion that resonates with their sports team, their culture, and their history. The energy and the commotion is there.  And it’s the good kind.   So how does it translate into offering number one?

LorenzoSign

Since I was there later in the evening.  Not much was open.  But thankfully I made my way to Lorenzo and Sons on beautiful South Street.

It had been quite a number of years since I visited. I was not aware until doing some research, that the joint closed down for a fire and re-opened.

LorenzoSlice

At the time I went they were only doing cheese slices. So I grabbed one and it was salty, greasy, and at the time of night it was, just right.

There is nothing sexy or over-the-top about this pizza. But I enjoyed it.  It’s not the best slice I’ve ever had, but I doubt that’s their intent. I would definitely feast on this during the day or in the late evening.

The cheese was saltier than other similar jumbo slice offerings or pizzas in general. However, that’s just more of an observation than a complaint.

The thin crust was heated appropriately  And for me, when it comes to super slices, I folded mine in half. I’ve always loved doing that And knowing this was about midnight, I wouldn’t be too upset if the crust was cooked too much or too little.  I was satisfied with my slice.

LorenzoInsideSign

The atmosphere and vibration of the crowd waiting in line was very positive.

There are of course bars and entertainment all around the neighborhood, which spills into late night grubbing.   My order was only $3.50 and that’s a reasonable price for what you get.   There are no chairs but there’s enough room to stand and eat if you’d like.  But pretty much everyone orders, gets the jumbo slice, and then goes about their business.

This was on a Tuesday and it was significantly busy.

It was dark or I would have grabbed a photo of the mural of the owner’s father that encompasses the building.  It’s a beautiful image.  I will have to go back during the day and update this post, with that image, when I can.  It’s superb.

I feel great about my first foray of this wonderful city and can’t wait to do it again.

Thanks so much.

Best,

Ideen