East Bay View (a blog about several things)

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Pizzaiolo: Margheritaville

Fritto misto of artichoke, fennel & spring onion
Margherita pizza
Some strawberry pastry thing with OLIVE OIL GELATO~!

Two problems with dining with other people: (i) other people never want to go out; (ii) when they do want to grab a bite, they want to go to In-N-Out.* After too many attempts to get my friends to go anywhere better than "suprisingly not terrible", I decided to enter the world of semi-fine solo dining. So eager was I that I put on a buttoned shirt.

I needn't have bothered. The place was ostensibly casual, with plaster half-peeled off the walls to reveal brick and staff dressed any which way. The food had the same unsophisticated vibe, which didn't obscure how good it was. The aptly-salted fritto misto made me despair at my own attempts to cook those vegetables, until I realised while biting a remarkably tender artichoke heart that they were using much better ingredients than I ever have. The ingredients of the thin-crust pizza were similarly superb: I regret the praise I've lavished on, say, Zachary's tomatoes, because this was that much better. After the pizza I was stuffed, but since this was a meal of the decade contender, I couldn't forego a third course.

Two epiphanies while ordering dessert: (i) wow, this meal I'm loving doesn't have any meat in it; (ii) I could eat a so-called meal of the decade contender like this, if not every week, then every other week, without driving myself to bankruptcy. Either my carb-filled state or my dislike of epiphanies meant that I didn't really appreciate the pastry, but the OLIVE OIL GELATO~! lived up to the hype, less for the flavour than for the smoothness. As I waddled back north to throw balsa wood airplanes off the tenth floor of Evans Hall, I wondered where else I could get a meal this good at this price**.

5008 Telegraph @ 50th, Oakland

*Nothing against that fine chain, but c'mon.
**Besides at Cafe Bastille in Wellington, New Zealand.



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