Come Back Strong

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Posted January 4, 2006 by Chow, Baby in Eats

Chow, Baby fell in with a bad crowd the other night, a group of so-called friends who forced it to use a lampshade as a chapeau and to dance on a tabletop that unfortunately turned out not to be load-bearing. Chow, Baby doesn’t recall what happened after that, but now it can’t find its Good & Plenty drawers. And BC Powder isn’t making a dent.

Advice abounds on what to feed a hangover: mild foods like eggs and bananas (which help break down toxins, but Chow, Baby can’t face the slime factor); spicy foods (as if Chow, Baby isn’t having enough digestive fun already, thank you); even sushi (certainly just thinking about raw fish right now is helping Chow, Baby get rid of everything left in its system). No, Chow, Baby’s stomach wants what it always wants: lots of starch, protein, and grease. It’s a good week – Chow, Baby’s hangovers hang on a long, long time – to hit some of the county’s newest gourmet pizzerias.

Rocco’s (5716 Locke Av.) is the wrong place to go if you’re not thinking clearly; too many choices. The wood-fired brick oven makes a thin, crisp pizza topped with any of seven housemade sauces and 37 fresh toppings – all the pizza basics, plus weirdies like grilled sirloin, fennel, and smoked shrimp (16″ starts at $11.99, toppings $1.50-2.50 each). Chow, Baby eschewed the specialty Clams Casino, which too aptly described its tummy state, and went for the Riviera: ricotta cheese sauce supporting prosciutto, artichokes, sun-dried tomato, and goat cheese (16″, $16.99), as comforting and exciting as a day on a nude beach. Take-out or delivery (to 76109 and 76116 only, however).

Campisi’s, a stalwart in Dallas for the past 60 years, has finally opened a Tarrant location (1298 W. Mansfield Hwy. at I-20, Kennedale). The ambiance – a tiny room filled with tvs and fluorescent lights – is nothing like the original Egyptian, but thank goodness the pizza is. A very thin oval pie (16″ by 12″, $10.50; toppings $1-2), loaded with crumbled housemade Italian sausage, fresh mushrooms, and sliced garlic, magically cured all of Chow, Baby’s physical and emotional problems. Sadly, Campisi’s “limited delivery area” does not include Chow, Baby’s house.

The handsome and charming Giancarlo Newsome has turned pizza into art at Gianni’s Gourmet Pizzeria (6300 Denton Hwy., Watauga). Here the attention to gourmet detail extends to the front of the house – the chic bistro-style room and the friendly service encourage eat-in, and Chow, Baby ate a lot. Gianni’s pizza crust is ultra-thin and his toppings ultra-sophisticated: The mozzarella is whole-milk and fresh; the mushrooms are portobello; the ham is prosciutto; and the “fresh verdura” (a lot of the menu words are Italian, so you know it’s authentic) includes whole-leaf basil, arugula, and cilantro (individual pie, $4; toppings $1).

From the specialty menu Chow, Baby chose the Bosco (“forest”), a pretty picture of mushrooms, walnuts, and provolone over an olio e aglio (“oil and garlic”) sauce, for only sie dollaros (“$6″). Beer, wine, cappuccino, antipasto, and dessert pizzas with a Nutella base are also reasonably priced. Giancarlo plans to start delivery service in February, but probably not to Villa della Chow, Baby. That’s OK; Chow, Baby is cured for now. But come next Jan. 1, there’s going to be a complaint filed if a driver from one of these primo pizzerias isn’t ringing Chow, Baby’s Eastside doorbell – no, tapping gently on the door – you know what, just leave the pie outside and tiptoe away.

Contact Chow, Baby at chowbaby@fwweekly.com.

 


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