The Pizza Phenomenon

Papa Del’s Pizza!

“One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do….“*

This has been my attitude towards consuming pizza since I began to eat it. It’s been one of my favorite foods since I was a child. I always thought it was so strange when I would see people who could eat ONE slice of pizza at a meal and claim to be satisfied. Granted, it depends on the size of the slice and if you live in New York City, one slice can certainly be the equivalent of two. But let’s say one is eating thin crust. I mean, come on. Like Imo’s from St. Louis and Monical’s from Central Illinois, a person simply can not be satisfied with one slice of thin crust. They’re cut into small squares and are designed to be eaten in larger quantities. Even Domino’s has capitalized on doing this.

Between that and the other non-New York slices, I just find it dumbfounding that people exist who can merely pick at pizza or take one and say, “I’m good.” Forreal?

Then I moved to Illinois, home of Chicago style pizza. I’d had this style before, if you count it when one frequents the chain called UNO’s. In Champaign-Urbana, there is a Chicago style place called Papa Del’s. There is one close by to my office and it’s very convenient to go and pick up a slice during the day.

Well. I am a changed woman.

I can actually consume one slice of this pizza and be totally satisfied. I never thought it would happen. I guess that’s why there’s that ‘never say never’ phrase. Oh, I can eat two or more slices, but for a quick and portion controlled lunch, it’s not exactly the best decision when one is working. The slices are thick and hearty with plenty of robust tomato sauce; even one topping suffices and I’m a multiple topping kind of gal.

I must congratulate the universe (or just those who invented Chicago style pizza, perhaps) because in all my decades of pizza consumption, I have never been able to stay away from eating multiple slices. And with this satisfying type of pizza, I don’t need to. I will say this, though – if you do not like thick crust, don’t bother. Then this won’t work for you if you’re similar to me regarding the “can’t have just one slice” thing. Thick lovers need only apply.

A nice side benny: I don’t feel like a piece of garbage when I’m finished because I’ve kept the portion reasonable and I take my time eating it. It’s….actually incredibly satisfying. And at the end of the day, I get to say I had pizza for lunch. It’s win-win-win. (The Office reference, for those of you familiar.)

There is hope for me yet as I go along with this portion control business. Win.

*Lyric from Harry Nilsson’s song “One”
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