Thursday, November 16, 2006

Birthday Pie

When it came to Mike's birthday this year, he requested that I NOT spend anything on him because he was feeling old -- and old people don't spend money, I guess.

But whatever. As the birthday grew closer, his list of possible gifts grew. To the point where I was reminding him that he didn't want ANYthing to begin with, and at the rate he was going, we'd be putting Amazon on retainer.

Besides the usual book, DVD, and CD choices, Mike came up with something completely different -- pizza. Pizza is his and Ryan's favorite food and many a road trip has been made by our family in search of the perfect slice. Mike's birthdays usually revolve around going for pizza, so this didn't seem like that big of a request. Until he mentioned which pizza he wanted. He'd seen a show on the Food Network that spotlighted a place in Chicago -- that delivers deep dish pizza to your door!

He filled me in: It's the best deep dish pizza in Chicago. The place has been in business for forever. The sausage pie is unbelievable.

All right, already. I went online to buy it.

Well, guess what happens when the Food Network broadcasts two brothers on a road trip to Chicago and they use their Southern drawls to gush over the sausage pizza? THE ENTIRE COUNTRY TRIES TO BUY IT!

So, we were wait-listed three weeks on the deep dish pies.

Meanwhile, a new Uno Chicago Grill, formerly the user-friendly named Pizzeria Uno, just opened two minutes from our house. Ryan suggested we go there for Mike's birthday, but Mike was like, "We won't destroy our tastebuds on pedestrian deep dish pizza. We shall wait for the best this nation has to offer! Silence!"

A week after his birthday, the wondrous box appeared on our doorstep. The cardboard was pried open and we gaped at the miraculous frozen mist as it escaped from the package. Gently, ever so gently, did we lift the mesmerizing pies to the counter. We prepared the oven, prepared the table. And then... we feasted!

And can I just say, the disappointment was staggering.

Ryan kindly offered, "This pizza sucks."

Cara just left half her pizza sitting on the plate.

I didn't want to be mean, since it was Mike's special birthday pizza (obviously an Italian concept), so for once I kept my big mouth shut.

...We're lining up at Uno's this week.

Catherine Schetting Salfino

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