Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Adventure #68: Second

Second, exterior, afternoon

We made our way to one of our snazzy adventures tonight, to a place with $6 Fire Eagle (what?!) and chicken fried stuffed olives. That place was Second, an offshoot of Congress and Bar Congress (they share the same kitchen). So, for the second time in a row, Karin and her gentleman arrived before me, ordered an appetizer of chicken fried olives, and ate it, all before I arrived.

Now how was the pizza?

Black and Bleu

Meet our first pie, the Black and Bleu:  black truffle, bleu cheese, pork belly confit, dates, and red onion. Karin and I had both heard about this pie from other folks, including a vegetarian who substitutes portobello mushroom for the pork. 

My take? Hedonism on crust. For god's sake, you can add foie gras to this pizza. It'll cost you another $14 on top of the $16 this pie costs, but if you're living large, why not? Now that I'm bordering on classism, let's bring it back to the pizza. This thing is sweet (dates), savory (bleu cheese), salty (pork fat), crunchy (crust) and chewy (truffle) all at the same time. It's the opposite of subtle. It punches you in the face with flavor, but you keep coming back for more. 

Black and Bleu 2

Interlude: Brussels Sprouts.

Brussels Sprouts: vegetables with pork counts as pork

Because Karin arrived early and ate the chicken fried olives without me, I indulged myself with some brussels sprouts, featuring mint, feta, and bacon. They were great, but the real treat is that they reminded me of this wonderful Boondocks moment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Msdpcck_AdI&noredirect=1

So, if the Bacon and Bleu punched you in the face with flavor, how did our other pie, the Pomodoro, fare?


The Pomodoro was nearly a margherita in all but name. Simple ingredients: san marzanos, extra virgin olive oil, fresh mozzerella, and basil. As much as you would think that these simple pies would be hard to mess up, they're actually very hard to get right. 

This pizza missed the mark. Nothing stood out, it felt uninspired, the cheese was unimpressive, and the sauce was slightly off. Not bad, but to me it tasted more like a bolognese; I would want to eat it on pasta. Now, maybe we're spoiled by all the good simple pizzas out there (Pieous, with their homemade mozzarella, or Bufalina, with their nuanced sauce, both stick out here). That being said, we know an average pizza when we eat it. 

Pomodoro 2

Let's talk about crust. The crust on both of these pizzas was fantastic. It was QUITE crunchy, with a little bit of cheese either accidentally or purposefully sprinkled on and baked in. It wasn't what we've been seeing lately, and we really went for it.

Really crispy, really good

In summary, this was a mixed bag. The black and bleu is a hedonistic delight that is worth taking in with some cocktails when you feel snazzy and rich. We don't know much about our readers, but to us a $16 pizza with a few $9 cocktails adds up quick for these adventurers. The crust on both pizzas makes us feel like the other three pizzas on the menu could be great, but the Pomodoro makes us wary.

But the cocktails are great and I hear these olives are good:

Pimento cheese-stuffed olives of jealousy

Yes, I'm bitter I didn't get any.

- Ian

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