As a countdown to the Best of Broward Palm Beach 2011, coming in June, Clean Plate Charlie is serving up a hundred of our favorite dishes in South Florida. Send your own nominations to Deirdra.Funcheon@BrowardPalmBeach.com.
No. 5: "The Basic" from Pizzeria Oceano
"Pizza is theCheers
rerun of the food world," my friend once told me as we were sampling a slice at Pizzeria Oceano. I paused for a minute to consider the comment before he explained. "Ninety percent of both are completely average. Satisfactory."
I crinkled my brow a bit, but then realized he was right. Most of the time, both Cheers and pizza are just OK; something I'd watch -- or eat -- if nothing else better was available.
"So what about the other 10 percent?" I asked, eager to hear the rest of his analogy.
"Well, you've got five percent that's just plain awful."
I nodded in
agreement as I picked up a thin slice from the tray in front of us.
"And about four percent of it," he continued, "is pretty darn good." As he spoke, I
maneuvered the slice towards my mouth, amazed that the end didn't flop
over like most pizza slices do. Instead, it stood straight up like a
flag in the wind.
"You're missing the last one percent," I told him just before I took a bite.
"That last one percent?" he asked rhetorically. As I took a bite of the cracker-thin slice, he held up his finger. My teeth cut through the
crisp crust, doughy-sweet yet rigid. Then through the strata of
house-made mozzarella and tart-sweet tomato sauce, which clung to my
lips as I chewed. It was wonderful.
"That last one percent is pure magic," he finished, looking completely self-assured.
I wiped the sauce from my face and smiled. I couldn't have agreed more.
201 E. Ocean Ave., Lantana
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.