It’s finally warming up a bit here in MI. I didn’t wear a scarf and sweatshirt under my full-length down-comforter-slash-sleeping-bag-slash-coat today. But two weeks ago, this was hardly the case. I know it’s cold elsewhere, but really I’d never experienced temperatures like this. I woke up one morning to a bright blue, cloudless sky. It was so sunny and beautiful, I thought maybe I’d go for a walk! I checked the temp: -6. NEGATIVE SIX. Hm. Two hours later it had gotten up to 0. Zero degrees. It had gotten up to zero. No.
So when Mark asked me if I wanted to come downtown for dinner out (yay a chance to try a new restaurant) or stay in with pizza, it was a tough call, but not that tough: stay in please!
It was tempting to fall back on a pizza place we had already tried and knew we would be satisfied with, but we decided to branch out. The place we chose was called Pizza Pino….Pizza Pino, Pizza Pino, why is this name sticking in my head? I can just hear my dad enthusiastically shouting, “Pizza-Pino!” over and over again. Is there a Pizza Pino we used to go to? Long Island? New Mexico? I will do some research. With that memory in mind, I had a good feeling about Ann Arbor’s Pizza Pino.
I got a thin crust (I don’t know whether it’s a good or bad sign that a lot of places here have a range of crust choices from extra thin to Chicago and deep dish – which apparently are two distinct crust types….maybe I will make a Linnaeus System of Crust Classification. You know: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species. Although mine will be the Lowe System and have many fewer levels. The choice is good if you don’t like a particular crust-type, but can they really do all those crust-types well? TBD.) ANYWAY…..I got a thin crust pesto chicken pizza (you know I love a good chicken pesto), which involved pesto (obviously), tomatoes, chicken, spinach, mushrooms (that was a new and welcome twist), and mozzarella.
My gold standard for chicken pesto pizza is obviously Bagby in Baltimore as I have discussed many times over. I have also discovered that Pizza House here in Ann Arbor makes a good version, however I later uncovered that their extra thin crust is made on a tortilla, not an actual crust. I don’t know how I feel about this. On the one hand, I couldn’t tell when I first got the pizza. On the other hand, now that I know….I guess it doesn’t matter. Fine.
The pizza was delicious – just a little bit salty, with a stiff crust that held up the plethora of toppings. I’m a big fan. Whereas other “specialty” pizzas sometimes are more like flatbreads with just a sprinkle of cheese, this was a traditional pizza in the sense that it started with a good cheese pizza and added the toppings to that (although remember no tomato sauce, as this is replaced by slices of tomatoes). I also enjoyed the fact that the tomatoes were sliced and not diced since sometimes diced tomatoes feels more like salsa in your mouth. The sliced tomato is a more expected texture I guess.
I would definitely get this pizza again or try one of their other kinds. Oh, and by the way, I looked up Pizza Pino, and I found one in Paris, which is where I think my Pizza Pino memory developed on vacation as a kid when all my sister and I would eat was pizza and ice cream. Yum!