So, one afternoon, the Food Pimp and I decided to go to the Bluefoot and have a couple of drinks - like the old times. So much like the old times, that I can't remember having the drinks, or if we met someone or not. But I do remember what we did after. We didn't have any food at home, as usual, and of course we didn't feel like cooking. So, we figured we would go to Lefty's for pizza, and also get to see our friend, Marin, who we had not seen in quite some time.
Lefty's is a Chicago style pizza joint. It's got Chicago decor all over and a couple TVs of course. It's small, it has a couple small tables inside, and a ledge against the window where you can sit on barstools, and it has most of the seating on the small patio. They have pizza for slices in the nonrefrigerated display, one of those old menu signs with the plastic letters that probably hasn't been altered in years.
So, we got there, and she was there along with her buddy Twin Star. Also, Marin's boyfriend works in the kitchen. So when we walked in, they all greeted us, which all the more felt like one of those Chicago style pizza places - not that I ever recall going to any of those the few times I've been to Chicage. So, we ordered pizza - pepperoni and mushroom. While we waited, Marin poured us some beers. But then, I thought, I was pretty hungry, so I made an executive decision and ordered a chicago dog too. I figured, we could eat it while we waited for the pizza, and I could put something in my stomach before the short but treacherous drive through the park, not that I was intoxicated or anything!
So, we were drinking our beer, and callou calay oh beautiful day, our Chicago dog appeared!
It looked delish. Here's my little spiel about hotdogs, Chicago, New York, whatever. So, let's address the casing. That characteristic "snap" that people talk about in a positive way - uh-uhn. No. Nope. Not my thing. I believe Nathan's hot dogs are the king of the snap. I don't like Nathan's. I remember going to Nathan's in the mall when I was in college and maybe later on in life. Each time I thought, maybe I'll like them now. Nope. Never. I could never participate in the annual 4th of July Hot Dog eating contest. I would puke after the first one. Hebrew Nationals are great. Love em. Ball Park are good, but they kind of bring a sadness to me. We call them stroke dogs because my parents had discovered them at Sam's the year prior to my mom's death. 7-11 quarter pound big bites are good. I'm not a foodie in that sense of the word that it has come to be known. I'm not very knowledgeable on a textbook level - definitely not like I used to be. But, I knows what I likes and I likes what I knows. And yeah, I go to 7-11 late at night and partake of a hot dog, and I thoroughly enjoy it if it's properly cooked on that hot dog roller grill . If you read this blog regularly, you know this about me. Anyway, 7-11 uses Oscar Meyer, which is a brand I haven't bought in the store since I was in college.
Back to the Chicago dog at hand. It was dragged through the garden - tomatoes, flourescent relish, chopped onions, pickle spear, sport peppers, mustard and celery salt. And it came with fries. When you get it to go, they bundle the dog and the fries all up in the deli paper together. It's so perfect like that. But we got it in a basket, and as you see, someone squirted ketchup, mustard and surely hot sauce too all over the fries. In this one context, the tomatoes are acceptable. Not usually though. On first bite, the FP mentioned the celery salt. It's such a distinct taste.
I have a dull palate. Between my first 10 inch Henkels chef knife I got at culinary school and my tastebuds, I'm not sure which would win at a sharpness contest. Neither.
Anyway, this is some dog. Quite a dog. We gobbled the shit out of it. I didn't finish my beer, but I don't feel like I have to!
So, we left and went home and had us some pizza. Not that deep dish shit. Although, I have had a few of Lefty's deep dish pizzas, and it's been good. Nothing like that horrible Uno restaurant. God, how I loathe that pizza. I mean, I used to eat it - we would go to Uno because it was everywhere in the Northeast, but whenever confronted with the deep dish pizza, I did not enjoy it. This Lefty's pizza, I did enjoy.
Thin crust. I love thin crust. And I love the square cut thin crust. Partially because it reminds me of the pizza place by our house growing up - J Burns.
We would walk or bike down to J Burns and order a pizza and play the tabletop Pac Man game. Or was it Ms Pac Man. Or wait, was it Space Invaders. Or did they have all three? Oh, the fond memories. I remember it like it was yesterday. No, really, I would have just as much trouble recalling yesterday's details. Life is just one big continuous landslide sometimes. It just keeps coming and coming at you, and you don't know when it's going to stop.
Lefty's Chicago Pizzeria
3448 30th St.
North Park, 92104