Earlier this week, we received a postcard in the mail announcing the arrival of a new restaurant in town. Oh goodie! It’s another pizza joint…how many does that make now? Ummm…seven! Yes! That makes seven, count ’em, S-E-V-E-N pizza restaurants in a tiny little city that is only 4.464 sq miles.
But the size of my town is not what I want to discuss. Actually it was something on the 6″ x 9″ postcard that I read – the menu! For starters…yes, I do mean the appetizers…the cost for these little lovelies was $9. Now, I don’t know anything about the size or quantity, but $9 for a little bit of tuna on a bed of breadcrumbs seems a bit steep.
Let’s skip to the pasta…for a plate of spaghetti…they are charging $14!!! Oh! I’m sorry…I should probably mention that the spaghetti is actually homemade and cut using a chitarra (pronounced KEY-tarra). What’s a chitarra you might ask? It’s a wooden contraption that looks a little bit like a harp, except that it’s double-sided with strings that are set close on one side, farther apart on the other. In then center of the device is a slanted board, designed to allow the cut pasta to slide off easily once it’s been cut by the strings. Whatever happened to the good ol’ days when pasta from a box was good enough? I though I was living high off the hog when I bought some Barilla and a jar of Newman’s Own Pasta Sauce! Seriously folks…a simple pasta dish with some bacon bits, tomato and an egg yolk on top does not equate to a $14 pricetag! I can make the same thing using my own pasta maker, or better yet, some pasta in a bag.
I could go on and one about their $15 chicken legs, but I can’t bring myself to go there or the $6 for some crushed potatoes (aka mashed potatoes) for which I am now rolling my eyes and saying “Are you kidding me!”) What I am really steamed about is the cost of their, ahem, pizza. Charging $14 for a Pizza Margharita is outrageous! I can make the same thing for a fraction of the cost. I can and I have. It’s not that hard. I have a secret and it’s very cost effective.
I start with a very inexpensive frozen pizza and doctor it up. I add cheese (lots of it!) including several varieties like Asiago, Romano, Mozzarella and some of that delicious and yummy Cheddar. But before that, I slice up and layer lots of my own home-grown tomatoes. Sometimes, when I am in the mood, I will add other ingredients like green peppers, black olives, mushrooms and even sausage. But when I want a Pizza Margharita it’s all about my tomatoes, cheese and fresh basil from my herb garden. I can guarantee that it doesn’t cost $14 per person. In fact, it costs about $1.50 per person. Now if I want to add a glass of wine like Rodney Strong’s 2009 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, the cost rises to about $6 per person; which is two-thirds the cost of the same said wine on the new local pizzeria’s menu. (BTW…Rodney Strong is literally right down the street from me…I can get their wine for really cheap right from their tasting room!)
Not a Margharita, but still yummy!
Hmmm…I guess I have proved my point once again. While it may be great to go out to dinner from time to time, in the long run, it’s cheaper and easier to eat at home. I can set my own, private ambiance, and enjoy a great meal for about $12. I can get it under $10 if I chose a less expensive bottle of wine or some other beverage.
So will I be a patron of this restaurant…probably not. Besides the high prices and the ability to order take out, they don’t delivery. Plus the location does not have any convenient parking, and is on a super busy street corner.
Wishing you moments filled with delicious and yummy goodness!
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