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Bounty in the Wilderness

27 May 2009

Picazzo’s Gourmet Pizza and Salads

105 W Florence BlvdCasa GrandeAZ

 

One out of four internet reviews that I saw at tripadvisor.com was a shellacking; the other three were 5-star reviews.  So I decided to check it out, warily – it’s easy to destroy a salad without even trying, and pizza can be so ordinary.

Wow.

First, a “small” Greek salad ($8.75) with a homemade balsamic dressing.  There being offered three sizes of every salad on the menu, I assumed the small version would be the size of a side salad at, say, K-Bob’s.  Nope:  it came in a segregated heap on two nested plates, easily 8″ tall at the peak, with sliced cukes at one end and sliced Romas on the other, red onions layered over the top of a handful of feta and enough olives to notice.  The larger plate was for mixing it all up (it comes with a small set of plastic tongs, standard).

The dressing was already worked into the leaf lettuce, unobtrusively, assertive but nicely balanced; not too tangy, not too sweet, but always lurking.  It never lacked, never drubbed, never overpowered, and left only the faintest trace on the plate.  And the leaf lettuce was perfect:  fresh, tender, with not a single, low-rank shred of pale rib to be found.  (Look, I’ve eternally had it with sub-par lettuce, so I actually kept combing through the heap with my fork, looking for just one rib piece…in vain.)  This was easily the best Greek salad I can recall, and I’ve eaten a lot of ’em.  Verdict:  larger than I had a right to expect, and flawless.

Next was a 12″ pizza with a pesto base, artichoke hearts, feta, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, and loads of freshly chopped basil.  The crust was beautiful, slightly crunchy, yeasty, tender, and sturdy enough.  (The shellacking one reviewer gave was primarily a result of soggy crust; alas, every cook has his bad days, I guess.  But not in this case.)  It’s almost impossible to add too much fresh basil; it was lovely.  After such a large salad, this pizza was too much food; perhaps I was suffering from feta and pine-nut overload, too, for I stopped after five of six slices, thinking the pine nuts and feta had just taken over.  But that was not the pizza’s fault; I had no business asking my taste buds to endure such a relentless assault.  The first three slices were simply fantastic, hot, flavorful, and if I had been dining with my bride and she had selected a marinara-based pizza so we could swap and share, I would not have gotten to this point.

Overall:  it’s expensive, but well worth saving the day’s per diem.

qb

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ben permalink
    28 May 2009 3:31 pm

    qb,

    A question: Why are you not on Facebook? Your thoughts on travel and such would be warmly received.

    Cordially,
    Ben

  2. 29 May 2009 7:59 am

    /chuckle

    Ben, I gave Facebook an honest try earlier this year, but for the life of me, I found it utterly useless; so I deactivated my account. My Twitter experiment lasted less than a week. If these networking sites have a redeeming value, I just can’t see it!

    No offense intended; maybe at heart I *am* a Luddite, after all.

    qb

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