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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hey Everybody It's Pizza Time!

DNA travels for the program at which he works. Part of the ritual of travel is to find a good pizza joint wherever he goes. A couple of weeks back, he went to Minneapolis, had a nice reunion with Max, Pat, and Suanne, and then made it back to the hotel. DNA asked the locals where a good pizza place was, and they recommended Carbone's Pizza.

The menu had some good pictures which reminded DNA of LaRoma's Pizza, which is possibly the best pizza ever made, a restaurant which has long since went the way of all pizza joints which were used to launder money.

Wait...you haven't heard of LaRoma's? You weren't in Carbondale during the too few years it was open? You never tasted the deceptively simple perfection of either the thin or the stuffed LaRoma's pie? DNA is sorry for you. DNA was lucky enough to be here when it was here, and some days, the memory of LaRoma's Pizza is the only thing that keeps all the inhumanity he wallows in worth enduring...

Carbone's Pizza had a thin, but not crunchy crust, with lots of cheese cooked to the perfect golden brown. The sauce was a nice mix of spicy, tomato-y, sweet and tangy. It was a circle cut in squares. In other words, it met all of the criteria of the LaRoma's Pizza Nirvana Quotient (LPNQ). Only one pizza has ever score a 100% on the LPNQ. That's a LaRoma's extra large pepperoni. You didn't have to specify a crust, because the extra large was only thin. It came with two 32 ounce cokes, served with pellet ice, which, if you didn't know, is the only way to drink a coke. It was perfection. Well, the pie Carbone's delivered rated about a 91%, and is as close as DNA has gotten to LaRoma's since LaRoma's went out of business. It was a worthwhile trip.


DNA also traveled to Buffalo, New York. Again, on one free evening, DNA talked to the locals, and was recommended Picasso's Pizza. The hotel staff gave DNA a menu, and DNA was faced with two choices: DeNiro's or Picasso's. A heavy-set, pizza lovin' girl behind the counter said between the two, she would go for Picasso's. DNA ordered a large extra cheese.

Now that looked somewhat promising, but when DNA opened it up and had a few slices, he concluded that unfortunately, the heavy-set girl at the counter appreciated quantity over quality. If this was "Western New York's Premier Pizzeria," as the box proclaimed, DNA could understand how chicken wings dunked in hot sauce was the quisine for which the area was known. Picasso's was certainly a step above Little Caesar's, but just a baby step up.

DNA should have suspected that Picasso's was going to be generic, when none of the menu items played up on the obvious art motif: You know, the box should have said something like, "Picasso's Pizza: A Work Of Art!" or on the menu, it should have had a section of specialty pizzas called the "Blue Period" or something like that. Instead, generic. DNA wishes he would have tried DeNiro's. Next time. Next time.

DNA also traveled to Chicago, and stayed with Mr. Kamikaze and his family. Here is an action shot of Mr. Kamikaze:

Every time DNA has traveled for his work, he has ended up crashing on Mr. Kamikaze's couch. But before that happens, we order pizza. DNA doesn't remember the name of the pizza place we ordered from this time, but it rocked. Mr. Kamikaze agrees that the LPNQ is the measuring stick by which pizzas are judged. This pizza probably earned an 85% on the LPNQ. DNA is on his way back up to Chicago next week. There will be a pizza joint or two in his future.

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