In this time of polarization and partisanship, I think we can peacefully unite over a general agreement: Ireland is not know as a prominent pizza super power. While I will not stand here and attempt to dethrone hard hitters such as Naples or Chicago, I would like to state for the record that Galway has some pretty good slices up its sleeve. In this week’s eating tour de force, it was all about the ‘za!
What I ate: ‘Hail Caesar’ Pizza – lemon chicken, pancetta, arugula, croutons, caesar dressing, parmesan.
Out of 363 restaurants, The Dough Bros ranks #4 on Trip Advisor’s Galway Restaurants list. When your neighborhood pizza joint ranks higher than a Michelin-starred venue, you officially set aside your already compromised dairy-free integrity. Abandon the ever iconic “let them eat cake.” I say – let them eat pizza!
The Dough Bros lives up to its “Fun Dining, Not Fine Dining” mantra. The restaurant pays homage to humble origins as a food truck with a life sized replica on the far wall. Forest green typeface on white tile share the Dough Bros House Rules – including my personal favorite “sing along to the tunes, go on, you know you want to.”But even the most amusing ambience would pale in comparison to the pizza. Attention to detail is what sets The Dough Bros on top. When life gives you lemons, make lemon chicken! The citrus undertone was a pleasant bite of brightness among heavy hitters such as thick pancetta and creamy dressing. The meal was a balancing act done right: the freshness of a classic caesar salad salad married with the satisfactory indulgence of pizza.
What I ate: Spinach & goat cheese slice and classic cheese slice.
Contrary to what my parents will tell you, I truly am a woman of simple happiness. All I need is my health and a slice of pizza the size of my head. Because I sleep until noon everyday and eat Pizza Napoli far too often, it is needless to say I am in high spirits. The pizza literally hangs off the side of the plate and requires a dangling, helicopter act to consume.
We are slowly being convinced that we essentially just crossed the ocean to the Irish rendition of Madison, Wisconsin: Must-see Saturday farmers market, a school set between bodies of water, state street equivalent lined with hopping bars, a city of friendly souls. Much like any loyal lover of Pizza Di Roma[nce] in Madison, my stomach is privy to the knowledge that is the spinach feta pizza. Galway’s rendition? Spinach and goat cheese. While it lacks the Grecian kick of PDR’s version, the goat cheese lends the pizza a degree of – to quote Presidential Inaugural Committee chairman, Tom Barrack -“soft sensuality.” After sneaking in for a bite four times in the past week, the staff now nods in recognition when we roll through. And they agree that the goat cheese slice is the greatest of all time – just last night they chuckled with approval: “The spinach is the best one.”
What I ate: BBQ chicken pizza slice feat. BBQ sauce, mozzarella, chicken & roasted peppers
Galway’s West End is the city center’s cool sibling. The short stroll across the bridge is deceptively simple: As you cross, you are suddenly aware of the dark, rushing water beneath you, threatening to swallow you in a cold gulp. But once you get past an existential crisis of sorts, the West End provides an eclectic scene complete with silent disco, kaleidoscope wall art and Vinnie’s.
The magic of Vinnie’s lies in its trickery. There are two separate storefronts housing twin shops – one dedicated to a the burger and fries fare, while the other spotlights pizza. After an unsuccessful first attempt at discovering the magic that is Vinnie’s pizza, we realized we would have to duck around back if we wanted to get our hands on a good slice. Similar to Maryland classic Ledo’s pizza, Vinnie’s slices come with four corners. However, you pull apart the giant square and find yourself with a little double trouble – perhaps a Vinnie’s trademark – with dual traditionally triangle pieces. But trust me when I say two is not nearly enough. There is an element of elusiveness to the pizza – an untouchable magic that can neither be described nor identified. Maybe it was the perfect cheese pull or the masterfully roasted peppers, but I would swim in the terrifying river itself if that is what it took to eat another slice.
New Energy & New Frontiers
As some of you may know, I have taken up dream interpreting as my newest endeavor. Just yesterday I headed to Amber, our local holistic shop housing crystals and incense galore, for something to bring greater focus to my dreams. The sales woman pointed me to some amethyst, used to grow personal connection to a higher spiritual plane. She reassured me not to worry about my recently mercurial dreams – a lunar eclipse in Leo would be happening Friday, bringing with it a new energy and a new opportunity to open one’s third. Wishing you all wild dreams of clarity and invigoration tonight! And in the morning, I will be trading fantasies of Galway pizza for Glasgow goodies as my travels take body, soul and stomach to Scotland.