A month ago on this crazy trek I left off in Caballito, just past Parque Centenario, with deep debates on the merits of tasting the pizza from a second branch of a chain that I’d already tried. The final decision mine, I opted to just mention it, number it, and move on, sans nibbling. The couple of block stretch following Parque Centenario turns out to hold potential for pizza lovers, as I walked to the next turn off point and counted several pizzerias along the way. Now that I’m back in the pizza saddle, so to speak, let’s ride on.
(20) The first spot we encountered turned out to be difficult to check out. The major problem seems to be that despite posted lunch and dinner hours, they aren’t always open during them. Two tries, one on a weekend, one on a weekday, we found the place closed up – a true shame, because the view through the window of ¡Salute, Garibaldi!
, Angel Gallardo 774 was tantalizing, with a wood fired brick oven in plain view. Turns out, those are old hours, they’ve just not gotten around to changing the sign in the window (after nearly a year), their menus, their webpage, or anything else, to indicate they only open for lunch on Saturdays now. It was, however, worth the wait. Great, smoky crust, perfectly cooked in the wood-fired oven. Really good quality cheese. Pitted olives. Delicious, even slightly spicy, tomato sauce – it’s only a shame that they put it on at the end as a serving spoon scoop swirled in the center at the last moment of cooking. I’d just ask for extra sauce. Oh, and a minor negative, that they won’t make a pizza half and half except for their largest size.
(21) On the next block, a small cafe that looks sort of like it’s a lunchroom attached to a parking garage, Ale Café
at Angel Gallardo 848 didn’t exactly hold out a lot of hope. But, they offer plain mozzarella by the slice, so at least it wasn’t a big investment. And that’s a good thing, because the pizza was just odd. The dough was fine, if a bit flavorless, the cheese was way too oily, but the biggest letdown (is it a letdown if you have low expectations to begin with?) was the sauce – surprisingly plentiful, given the usual local penchant for a mere blush of it, the sauce here was, well, fruity and sweet. It tasted like they’d mixed canned tomatoes with some sort of syrup laden fruit cocktail. I suppose if you’re a fan of “Hawaiian” pizza, this might be one that you’d find interesting.
(22) At the corner, Café San Camilo
was awaiting at Angel Gallardo 894. Although a cafe with a diverse menu of various local foodstuffs, they billed pizza prominently on the windows, so I decided to give it a whirl. I was soloing this stretch of the trek, so I wasn’t overly thrilled with the prospect of only having a choice of either medium or large pizza, no individual sized or by the slice. It isn’t the cost, which at 30 some pesos and the current blue market rate means it was about a $3.25 pizza, but I knew I wasn’t going to finish it. I ordered half plain mozzarella for our competition, and, noted that they had a “vegetable” pizza, which turned out to be a great second half – chockful of onions, cabbage, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and olives. Add to that a nice zesty, garlicky sauce and pretty decent cheese, and this turned out to be a surprisingly good pizza. The only negative, while the crust was flavorful, it was slightly underdone and a little doughy in the middle – could have used about two to three more minutes in the oven.
(23) Oh, oh, oh. I don’t even know where to begin. I’d have to say it’s really rare in my life that I could take a bite or two out of a pizza and just want a bucket to upchuck into. Sabores de Pizza
, Dr. Honorio Pueyrredón 1101 at the corner of Gallardo. Barely cooked, still wet on the inside dough, cheese that was oozing an oil slick, virtually no tomato sauce and what there was of it tasted off, and on the non-plain side, the house special, the greasiest prosciutto and fat drenched arugula on one quarter imaginable, and how they managed to get just as much oil on the cooked ham and roasted pepper side I’ll never know. When I was in college there was a place on campus called the Cottage Inn, it was open 24 hours a day and delivered to the dorms – we used to joke that they cooked their pizzas by sticking them raw in the box and pouring a bucket of boiling oil over them. This was reminiscent. Oh, and the handful of barely chopped raw garlic strewn over the two ham quarters, and what must have been a solid tablespoon of salt over the whole thing, didn’t help. A bite or so out of each of the three different quarters and we shoved it away as an inedible mess. It also cost roughly 50% more than what pizzas of the same size on the rest of this journey have. [Has since closed]
(Sorry for the mixed tenses, numbers 20 and 23 were sampled with a companion along, 21 and 22 were solo ventures. A return to Ferreiro, at Angel Gallardo 1001 is slated for the future as they’re only open in the evenings.)