Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Little Star Pizza


Oh Little Star. I feel like this place has such a cult following, and with the no reservations/cash only, it can be quite a feat to eat there in an effective manner (yes, I am one of those women who can never manage to have cash on me and I only take $20 at a time out the of ATM). I crave Little Star at times but I usually end up leaving there a bit dissatisfied. I know that there will be people who completely disagree with me, and it could be that I ate too much garlic bread before dinner (which wasn't as good as I remember. Either it was different or my memory is off). I think that the crust is too oily or buttery. I am not sure what they use in the cornmeal crust, but it is too rich for my taste.

And the pizza itself, well, there was a funny mix-up when we ordered. My table of 5 ordered a large deep dish half Little Star (which is veggies and stuff) and half cheese with olives and mushrooms. Now my friend Allyson was very clear with the waitress about the olives. She asked if they were black olives because she doesn't like any other kind on her pizza (I actually completely agree).
So we get our pizza (after the requisite too long Little Star wait) and Ally takes a bite. She instantly knows that these are Kalamata olives and not normal black, pizza olives. I taste it, her fiance tastes it, we are all in agreement, both on the type of olives that have landed on our pizza and the fact that Kalamata olives are really way too strong for pizza and overpower all other flavors.

Waitress gets flagged down and comes back over.

Ally- Um, we ordered black olives on our pizza and these are actually Kalamata olives
Waitress- Hmmm, I put that on the order, let me go talk to the kitchen.
(Waitress returns)
Waitress- The kitchen said that they put black olives on your pizza.
(She then looks at the pizza and sees the black colored olive)
Waitress- See, those are black olives.
Me- Actually, they are Kalamata olives.
Waitress- But they are black.
Me- Yeah, they are black in color but a different kind of olive than a "black olive."
Waitress- Well that is the only kind of olive we offer.

Ally switched pieces with her fiance and then we launched into a discussion about olives and definitions. I said that while a Kalamata olive is black in color, most people who know about food know the difference between a black olive that you always get in some funny, 70s looking can, and Greek Kalamata olives that almost always have pits, are a much more oval shape, and have a distinct taste. And we decided that if you are in the food business, and if you work at a restaurant that pretty much just serves pizza with a dozen or so different toppings, it would be best to know the attributes of each of these options. And then our discussion veered into the territory of food descriptions. I said that the term "black olive" would confuse someone who doesn't know much about olives, because, yes, technically Kalamatas are black. But I said that this is like saying that Romaine lettuce is a "dark leafy green." Technically Romaine may appear to have the qualities "dark," "leafy," and "green," but when one discusses dark leafy greens they mean kale, spinach, swiss chard, collard greens, or mustard greens.

Our dining experience was not completely harmed from the unnecessary appearance of the dastardly Kalamata, we still had the Little Star side of the pizza, and wine of course. I guess we all take for granted what we know about food. I think it was just recently I was out to eat and someone was asking me what a pistou is. I remember when I was younger asking my parents about all the different components of a menu, so I am hoping that I can be an educational help to my friends and family when they need it now. And there are plenty of words that I am still missing (I did just buy the New Food Lover's Companion by Sharon Tyler Herbst. I plan on reading it cover to cover and then educating the 3 people who read my blog about all I have learned!)

1 comment:

Katie said...

they weren't kalamata, they were nicoise.
we were looking for American black olives, that are canned. oh well.
my favorite part was when the waitress said "aren't kalamata olives green?"