Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Adventure #51: Al Forno Pies and Slices

I am always excited when Ian finds a pizzeria in a neighborhood where I thought I knew them all.  Al Forno is at Parmer and McNeil, right next to Little Woodrow's (a pretty nice neighborhood bar/hangout spot).  Unfortunately I did not come away with much of an impression of this place or the pizza; its location is the most memorable thing about Al Forno. 

We got the Big Mama which comes with Chicago meatballs, pepperoni, red onion, marinated tomatoes, and garlic.  The toppings were all delicious though there was some contention at the table on whether the meatballs had enough flavor.  I fell on the side of liking the meatballs though they were overwhelmed by the pepperoni.  I like garlic on a pizza and am happy when a place makes use of it (we had garlic bread as well which out-shined the pizza).  The marinated tomatoes were like big chunks of heaven.  The cheese and sauce were also pretty good though I can't remember us discussing them at the table (which is unusual).

Where this pie really failed to impress was the crust.  It was tasteless and the outer third of it was too hard for me to enjoy.  Whether this was a result of overcooking or the proofing of the dough, I don't know.  I left all of the bones on the plate though Ian seemed to enjoy dipping his in the leftover pizza sauce and said he enjoyed the crunch.  I am not a New York Style pizza connoisseur, so I don't know if this is representative (it didn't remind me of Home Slice), but the crust wasn't enjoyable to me, it didn't add anything to the pie.

If you're going to be hanging out at Little Woodrow's and you're hungry Al Forno is a fair pie, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get here.  If you are into New York Style pizza I'd love to hear your theory on what the crust should be like.


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