I went to a lovely barbeque over the weekend. The host had gotten up early in the morning to smoke ribs and pork shoulder, which he then threw on the grill for hours and hours til the meat was tender and falling off the bone. There were fancy burgers made with parsley, onion, garlic, red pepper, and, if memory serves correctly, feta. There were nice sausages and platters of veggies. There were coolers and coolers full of good beer. Someone had brought some homemade strawberry cordial. I was introduced to Disaronno and orange juice, which may just be my new favorite cocktail.
You'd think that with all that food we'd have been satisfied but sometime after ten, the dozen of us left on the porch started to get restless.
"We still have coals, if someone wants to make a run for Whole Foods, pick up some more sausages or something," said the host.
"Whole Foods closed ten minutes ago," Marc said glumly.
We debated going to the Giant, which was further, but dismissed it.
"I'll get the menu for Mt. Washington Pizza and Subs," the host finally said, and disappeared inside.
"Aww, good choice," said Marc.
I used to work in Mt. Washington, and I would occasionally order samosas from them for lunch. They have probably some of the best Indian food I've ever gotten from a takeout joint. But I wasn't in the mood for Indian.
"All I want," I said, fishing in my pocket for the few dollars I'd brought with me, "all I want in the whole world right now is mozzarella sticks."
Forty five minutes later two pizzas and a box of mozzarella sticks arrived at the door. I dove into my box greedily. The sticks were standard fare, probably from the same sysco freezer as everyone else's. They were greasy and chewy and somewhat soggy- in other words, perfect. But the dipping sauce really set them apart. What appeared to be watery marinara was in fact a tomato based sauce infused with spices. I thought I identified curry, cumin and corriander, but I was hoovering them too quickly to do a thorough analysis. When I was done at least two people started dipping their crusts into what was left of the sauce. It was that good.
Glutted on cheese, I looked around at what other people were eating.
"What kind of pizza is that?" I asked.
"Chicken tikka," someone responded. "It's good."
"There's shrimp tikka too," someone piped up.
Well, I had to have a small slice.
The chicken tikka on the pizza was perfectly moist and flavorful, and the sauce was closer to a masala than traditional pizza sauce. I've eaten in other takeout joints that tried to marry eastern flavors with pizza- the falafel pizza at Kyro comes to mind- with far less success. But this pizza was perfect. The flavors and spices melted into the cheese and crust to form a perfectly, addictively savory treat.
I stood there looking at the shrimp tikka pizza. It looked delicious, but even I have my limits. I'll try it next time.