June 9, 2010

BEST Pizza

From extraordinarily delicious to gone, in about ten minutes:
The crust is SO thin, it's a wonder there's any support for all of the scrumptious toppings. Known as Baffetto's pizza on the menu, this variety features decadently thinly sliced mushroom, artichokes, onions, Italian sausage, red peppers, and, of course, the signature egg. It's made with only the freshest of ingredients, of course, which is a factor as important as the thinness of the crust. Of all of the things I miss from Europe and my time in Italy, this specific pizza is at the top of the list. Make a point to enjoy it yourself.

On the whole egg thing: The egg is dropped right smack-dab in the middle of the pizza. I believe it gets cracked over top as soon as the pizza emerges from the oven (which, by the way, it's only in for about five minutes) and then the egg cooks on its own from the heat of the pizza itself. Now, I'm a scrambled-egg girl (lightly golden brown, none of this runny nonsense) or sometimes I'll mix things up with an omlet...I wasn't particularly thrilled to see to see this half-baked "thing" running all the way around my pizza before deciding on a good spot to settle down and ooze over my toppings. At first I avoided it completely. But...believe it or not, it adds a strange richness to the flavor of the pizza that's actually quite nice. So nice that I went back for more, and more, and more...of all the pizza that I've ever had, I have to say this is really hands down the best. In the world.

Where you can enjoy this yourself:

Pizzeria da Baffetto
114 Via del Governo Vecchio
Rome, Italy

A few important things to note about this restaurant: One...it's cheap. Which is great!! Two...it's conveniently just around the corner from Piazza Navona. Three...hmm. I don't think I can - or want to - put this gently. Never in my life have I been treated as horribly by the staff as I was, repeatedly, here. One night, the owner - and I'm not exaggerating here - stood there and yelled at me in angry Italian for a solid three or four minutes because I dared to show up at his restaurant by myself. Yup, that's it - I decided to go out solo one evening, arrived when they opened up (and there was no crowd), and was insulted, called names, and in general belittled until he decided to throw me in the back table by the kitchen. If their pizza wasn't so darn good, I would have walked right out and never, ever looked back (and if they were in the States, he would have been fired from his own business by the time I got through). It's actually really frustrating how good their food is, given how abominable their service is.

Also be aware that it's not uncommon to place your order and not see your waiter for an hour - or two (he won't stop by to reassure you, he doesn't really care about you at all). The key to avoiding this is to get there when they open and have an early dinner. The Frigidarium gelateria, right next door, is one of my favorites in all of Rome (more on them later!). It's a great stop after pizza at Baffetto's - and they'll seem like the nicest people in the world there if you go right afterward.

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