On our last night as CPP’s we decided to hit up Almacen de Pizzas which I’m pretty sure we were both confusing with a non-chain pizzeria also located in Palermo but which eventually did not let us down. Quite the opposite. As we had already sat down and ordered a hefty bottle of Alamos Malbec by the time we noticed the “only available in certain stores” tag on some of the menu items, the lack of tiramisu on the otherwise very faux-Italian dessert list, and the clash between crappy radio music and the high-volumed match playing on the screen right behind our booth, we were dedicated to the place before we really looked around and, when we did, we did not expect a great meal. But we got one, or at least something pretty close to great. This is a chain pizzeria. It is a delivery pizzeria. It is kind of plastic. But there are creative stuff on the menu, the quality is not bad and the service is very good. It was much better than what we expected.
First of all, the pizza was GINORMOUS (making the also ginormous bottle of Malbec look like a nip). Yet it was thin and light enough so that even after finishing most of it (see last photo) we did not feel like lying down and dying in a ditch (like…say…after a single slice of Kentucky pizza). We got the “Almacen” which was 1/4 Napolitana, 1/4 ham and peppers, 1/4 brie and 1/4 asparagus and egg. The thin crust was perfectly crunchy both on the bottom and the sides and the toppings did not weigh it down or make it mushier than is required of a good pizza. All of the ingredients used were pretty decent, the cheeses interesting and flavorful, the veggies fresh, the proteins satisfying and in a generous amount. There could have been a tad more tomato sauce under that layer of cheese (which was not too thick…which is very rare in BsAs…) to add a bit of wetness and acidity but the slices were by no means to dry to need it on their own. A slice-by-slice breakdown follows:
Queso brie and arugula – simple but elegant, allowing the crunchy crust to really shine through. The brie was perfectly melted and gooey, but maintaining a bite in its white crust. The arugula was fresh and a bit wilted by the warm stuff and oil around it, melting into the cheese beautifully.
Napolitana – melted cheese, big juicy slices of tomato, plenty of green olives piled on top, sprinkled with dried basil. The crust was weighed down by the heavy tomato but I didn’t mind because the latter was fresh and moist and satisfying, and not overpowered by too much cheese.
Funky…I like it. Cooked asparagus chunks lain over a thin layer of cheese, clumps of salty, nutty parmesan ruffles here and there and a few halved quail eggs packing plenty of flavor and a sensationally soft mushy moisture from the bite-sized yolks (not overcooked, very important).
Salty folds of baked ham, a few slivers of roasted, slightly smokey red bell pepper weaving through them. Green olive slices adding a tang. Soft cheese providing a gooey blanket for the other ingredients to sink into. Crispy crust.
Not the best pizza I’ve had in BsAs but far from the worst. For a chain-delivery type place it was down-right impressive. Would definitely not cringe after opening the pizza box at a party and seeing this guy string back at me.