1115 W 36th St
The ley lines underneath Hampden are shifting this year, bringing a new alignment of magnetic and spiritual forces, new vistas of astral energy, cheese plates, taxidermied badgers. I suspect that Woodberry Kitchen has obtained a chunk of Stonehenge and they are hiding it in their labyrinth deep under TV Hill, where it radiates ancient hexes.
Is it any accident that pizza stones are also made out of stone? What would a pizza cooked on a piece of Stonehenge taste like, and would it confer godlike mystical knowledge upon the eater? Keep your eye on Woodberry's Winter 2014 menu to find out.
The powers-that-be are summoning these occult forces for a reason, namely, Paulie Gee's is soon to open in Hampden, upsetting the equilibrium of Baltimore's pizza ecosystem with its Brooklyn star power. Stirrings from Joe Squared in the south and Iggie's to the east suggest a pending clash of the pizza titans, during which one of two things will happen: Baltimore will be destroyed in an inferno of mozzarella, or we will reap the benefits of free-market competition. The free market will also eventually destroy us BTW. But until then, it allows us to enjoy at least four different kinds of really good pizza.
These are troubling, perplexing times. How much longer can I afford to live in my neighborhood? Isn't it great that Walmart gives people jobs? I mean, I can't unionize either and I just spent four years in grad school. For shelter from the storm of late capitalism, we highly recommend The Arthouse, newly opened on the Avenue in Hampden.
None of us could remember going inside this storefront back when it was an art gallery. They've renovated very nicely, with warm-colored walls, tin ceiling, and a nice layout of bar and table seating. Go to the back and sit near the brick oven's roaring fire, order one of the Baltimore beers on tap, and drink until you are warm and rosy-faced and untroubled, at least for a while.
The pizza here is promising on a technical level; they have really nailed the crust, which is the most important thing. It's crispy on the outside and pillowy on the inside with appropriate chewiness. Toppings come and go; specialty pies are like high-premium stock options fluctuating wildly in the night. The point is that this was a really good Pizza Club meeting. We had fun and enjoyed each other's company.
|duck confit pizza|
|escargot on pizza|
Mick observed that the Arthouse seems to be "very topping-oriented," striving for new and interesting combinations which can overwhelm a pie. Their pizza dough is great, so there's time for them to figure the rest out. Someone will always be enticed to order a duck confit pie just to see what it is, but does that strategy have enduring value? We crave excitement and variety, as though the world isn't varied and terrifying enough. Order the cheese pizza and you will be satisfied, and drink an extra beer with the money you save.
Rating: 6/8 slices
|Evan feels hope for the future|