Pizzeria Luigi, San Diego, CA
My name is Tuna Toast and I'm a DDD addict.
No, DDD isn't some new drug or booze- it's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, AKA "Triple D" on the Food Network. I guess I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it, but damn if there isn't a more prime example of a mouthwatering show on television today. If Foodgawker and Tastespotting are food porn, then DDD is the Debbie Does Dallas of food. The fact that both have the same acronym isn't a coincidence, me thinks.
"That's just like jumbotron-mega-cheesy-oozy-woozy-delciousness that would taste good on my slipper!"
I'll admit that host Guy Fieri's "Guy-isms" (that's my word, not theirs) get a little grating at times. His favorites include, "This ain't my first rodeo," and "I've tasted plenty of (fill in the blank) and this rates as some of the best I've had. Seriously." However, the annoying ones are nicely balanced by ones that actually do make me laugh, like "Love, peace and taco grease" and, let's face it, Mr. Fieri is hardly the star of the show. Beautiful close-ups of thick bbq'd ribs, cheeseburgers oozing thousand island dressing and fried belly clams dipped in tartar sauce are the reason why people like me watch it every week. Talk about drool-inducing. Wowza.
The 'if-you-take-a-picture-of-me-I'll-kill-you' look. Luckily, I survived.
Part of the reason I'm so enamored of the show is because it focuses on foods that only rarely make it into my repertoire. In an alternate universe I could eat piles of onion rings, fried oyster po' boys and duck confit egg rolls on a daily basis and not have a care in the world, but alas, I currently reside in THIS universe and no amount of treadmilling would allow me to eat that way and not gain a few hundred pounds. So I watch, far away from the lovely smells undoubtedly wafting up from the well-seasoned grills and vats of gravy that appear on the show each week, and only dream of actually going to one of the places featured......until now!
Yes, my sister and I, after many, MANY conversations of one day hitting one of our favorite DDD places, finally had the chance last weekend when we took a short trip to San Diego. We'd seen Pizzeria Luigi on one episode and knew we wanted to try the New York-style, thin-crust pizzas. The fact that Luigi looks like an Italian movie star didn't hurt, either. After spending over three hours on the road, the last hour of it being stuck in traffic, we drove straight there to nosh before checking into our hotel.
The little shop looked exactly as it did on TV, but alas, Italian Stallion Luigi must have had the day off....*le sigh.* We looked over the pizzas displayed in the window and decided to share three slices- one plain cheese, an artichoke/marinara and an all-meat containing both sausage and pepperoni. The guy behind the counter quickly slid the three slices onto a pan, stuck it in the oven for what seemed like 30 seconds and handed us each slice on a separate plate. We were ready for our first, real-life DDD experience!
The verdict? To be totally honest, we felt we would have gotten a better representation of the famous pizza had we ordered a whole pie, made to order. Of course that's common sense, but since there were only two of us and we were in town for just two days, it didn't seem very practical. That said, the plain cheese was our hands-down favorite, and the tomato sauce on both that and the artichoke pizza was delicious. The meat slice was just ok- the bottom was warmed but they didn't keep it in the oven long enough to properly heat through the toppings. The crust on all three was crisp in the right places, with a nice chewy texture in the middle and a wonderful, yeasty flavor. Excellent dough, for sure.
I'm not sure when we'll be back in San Diego, but next time we'll definitely order an entire pizza. We were happy to finally fulfill one DDD dream, and although the list of DDD eateries is a long and storied one, I'm happy to have checked at least one location off my list. On to the next!
1137 25th St
San Diego, CA.