Monday, September 3, 2012

What happened that night

Maxie's Pizza Bar & Grill
3003 N. Charles St.

We may never really know what happened at Maxie's on the night of August 8th. I certainly don't, because I was stuck in traffic on I-95. Various accounts survive, however, which offer us insight into the kind of pizza that people ate on that night, and whether it was good. On the internet, Maxie's calls itself, "Baltimore Charles Village Best Pizzeria Bar and Grill." What does this claim mean? Isn't it the only Pizzeria Bar and Grill in Charles Village? There seem to be many stipulations. Based on eyewitness testimony we may reconstruct certain aspects of the Maxie's experience.

The most complete testimony comes from Sara Tomko, who offers the following:
"My first experience at Maxie’s Pizza & Bar would be described as mediocre. I liked the basement bar with its clubhouse vibe and would return for the happy hour (1/2 prices bottles!) but would not dine in. The restaurant side was typical pizza parlor with hard plastic booths, which gives you no reason to stay any longer than to finish your slice. The pizza looked really appealing. I was dazzled by all the specialty slices. I ordered the Greek based on a friend’s recommendation and my inner frat boy gravitated to the chicken parm pizza. I started with the Greek, which was hard to navigate, being overloaded with toppings (shredded iceberg lettuce, kalamata olives, tomato slices, onion, feta cheese). With every bite, toppings tumbled to the table and floor and distracted me from enjoying what little taste the slice had to offer. The crust was on the thick side and chewy but couldn’t support the weight of the entire country of Greece, the hot lettuce was a turn off and the slice lacked flavor overall. I turned to the chicken parm for redemption but it tasted burnt. The chicken was dry, the cheese and sauce was nothing special and couldn’t save the dry, burnt chicken. I didn’t finish my slice, it was that bad. I would kill this at 2am with little food options but never again if I had the choice. I learned an important lesson: never listen to my friends or inner frat boy again!"

Sara's story is one of glossy surfaces, flashy toppings, and flavor disappointment. Others present that night concur, but see no redeeming qualities that would bring them back to Maxie's. When asked about his experience on the night of the 8th, Dan replied, "That meeting never happened." Pressed to confront his memories of Maxie's pizza, he managed to whisper, "So many toppings, so little flavor..." before breaking down in tears and running from the room.

Bonnie was also present at Maxie's. She reflected upon their pizza with equanimity: it is only by-the-slice college take-out pizza, she was only stopping by because she was hungry and in the neighborhood, etc. Even so, she found it unremarkable at best. Perhaps it had been on display all day, and lost any advantages that freshness could have offered.

Because this sample of Maxie's pizza only included by-the-slice offerings, it will be necessary for Pizza Club to evaluate a fresh-out-of-the-oven pizza at a future date, in the hope that this will be a significant improvement. Based on our most current witness testimony and forensic reconstructions, however, we do not recommend purchasing their slices unless you are substantially inebriated and/or just don't care.

2/8 for by-the-slice pizza

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