Yellow Boys, Beefmasters, Green Zebras-who knew an afternoon could be spent picking tomatoes? The boy and I shuffled from greenhouse to greenhouse, wondering which varieties had the best chance of surviving two dogs with noses for helpless vegetables. It was a harrowing process, and we decided to reward ourselves by gorging on pizza slathered with sauce made from everybody's favorite round red fruit (cherry Skittles not included).
We gambled on a gourmet pizza franchise in Meridian called Pier 49. Their Web site boasts "San Francisco sourdough" crust that makes people "fall in love with pizza again." I didn't realize I had fallen out of love with pizza, but I was willing to reaffirm my devotion. So we called in an order for Pier 49's sampler pie, called Something 4 Everyone. This jumbo meal includes three slices of four specialty pizzas: The Alcatraz (pepperoni, Italian sausage, ham, mushrooms, black olives, onions and green pepper), The 49er (full-coverage pepperoni), The Ghiradelli (smoked ham and pineapple) and we swapped out basic cheese for The Tourist Special (gouda, havarti, fontina, parmesan, romano and mozzarella with spinach-Alfredo sauce).
It wasn't long before we stepped from the noise of the highway into a pseudo-marina complete with wooden deck-posts and pictures of the Bay Area. Our pizza looked delicious, due in part to the amazing symmetry and balance of the toppings. I went for The Tourist first, and it made for one of the best cheese pizzas I've ever tasted. The crust had the distinct bite of sourdough and was uniformly crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Most of the time I discard as much of the crust as possible or order it extra thin, but Pier 49 has a crust worth eating. The other varieties had fresh, generous toppings and perfect cheese, but something seemed terribly wrong. Then it hit us-no tomato sauce! The whole pizza was covered with spinach-Alfredo and it just didn't have the same kick.
I have never sent anything back in my life, but the boy convinced me that it's OK to ask for what you want. We explained to the manager what had happened, and she immediately offered to make us a new pizza for free. And she let us keep the old one. I hope she doesn't mind, but we are still enjoying both of them.
-Erin Ryan and pizza are still together after all these years.