Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Adventure #59: Spartan Pizza (Redux)

Spartan Pizza, how long it has been! We visited Spartan when they were one location, far down south next to the Red Shed tavern. They remain there, but have also expanded into a food trailer court on East Sixth. How does their fare fare these days?

We sampled two pies! Let's talk about this one first.

The Medusa: Roasted garlic spread, caramelized onion, bacon, blue cheese

No sauce, just spread. This pie, just right. Meaty meaty bacon leads the way here. It's more chewy than crispy, but not in a bad way. I think crispier bacon wouldn't work well with the crust here. With the soft onions and chunks of blue cheese, the experience is mouthful after mouthful of chewy taste explosion. I know that chewy is a derogatory term to some, but really, I don't mean it that way! This pizza is delicious.

And so is this guy:

The Cyclops: Tomato sauce, pepperoni, white onion, feta cheese.

One interesting thing about Spartan Pizza is the way they approach sauce. If it's going to help the pizza, use it. If something else (like a garlic spread) would work better, use that. It's this flavor combo-centric approach that makes this place special.

The Cyclops utilizes that tomato sauce to add a mild element against the white onion. The white onion is there to contrast its crunch with the soft chunks of feta cheese, and the pepperoni is there to chill and let the savory out. It's a simple arrangement that showcases every ingredient.

Speaking of other ingredients, let's talk about the Garlic Cheese Sticks:

True garlic, true cheese, and the same crust from the pizza that provides a solid backing for all flavors. These are some of the most well formed cheese sticks in town, and they come with a big cup of marinara. Three years ago, almost to the day, we wrote this about the marinara here:
Marinara, my friends. Marinara. The small ramekin of marinara may be the greatest investment of 50 cents you can make in your life. We took turns just smelling the container after opening the lid. It turned a stick of burnt pizza crust into a delicacy, covered in herbs and a sweet and tangy tomato acidity. We loved it.
Still true.

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