I love words. I love food. Today I'm using my words to blog about, you guessed it... FOOD.
I generally despise eating in restaurants by myself. There is something inherently sad about one person sitting at a table dressed for two or more eating a silent, solitary meal. I take a book and use it as a shield. "See? I'm not alone. I have all these imaginary people keeping me company." Somehow that's worse. I've taken to photographing my meals with my cell phone and sending the text pics back home. "See? I'm not alone. I'm digitally sharing my meal." Yeah, not much better. This trip I took my meals in my hotel suite. Lonely yes but privately alone is preferable to publicly so.
On this, my last night in Washington D.C., I decided to venture out to a restuarant. I'm so glad I did. Pizzeria Paradiso on Dupont Circle (http://www.eatyourpizza.com/) offered not just a wonderful meal in a warm friendly setting but I even got a show.
The place was packed at 6:30 on a Thursday night, full of couples making sweet, families sneaking out on a school night and professionals looking to relax after a hard day. I was asked if I wanted to wait ten to fifteen minutes for a table by a friendly young man that greeted me immediately or if I wanted to sit at the back counter. I took the counter, I was alone and I was hungry. The counter faces the kitchen which is completely exposed and centered around an enormous wood oven. I had my back to everyone else.
That was fine with me cause this is where the magic happened. Three men and one woman barely spoke but churned out excellent food in a symphony of practiced movement. In a thirty second lull two of the cooks scraped and brushed clean the oven, the third prepared orders while the forth rolled dough. Seconds later seven pizzas, fresh from scratch and made to order slid inside. Minutes later they were being served sizzling hot to their tables.
It was the first time I'd ever eaten alone in a restaurant and didn't mind. Nor did I crack the book I'd brought. Pizzeria Paradiso
I watched my pizza go into and out of an oven where I could see not only the flames from the wood burning inside but the thermostat that clearly read 574 degrees before it was brought the six feet to where I sat. And yes I scalded the roof of my mouth. :) Still worth it.