The Agneshwar Family Pizza Club Visits Speedy Romeo
“Oh oh” were my first words I said to myself as I entered Speedy Romeo, LES. This was the first outing of our “Agneshwar Family Pizza Club” weekly adventure. We had decided to try a different pizza place each week or two and then rate and compare them. For a foodie family living in the pizza capital of the world, it seemed like a great family activity. So I wanted the first venture to be great. Not great, perfect. I don’t mean the pizza necessarily had to be out of this world. But the day 1 experience should be inviting and warm to my three-generation family.
But there I was smack dab in lower east side anti-trendiness: a dark and sparse bar surrounded by tables so tucked away you had to strain to see them. Siting at the bar among hip twenty-something’s, some in twos, some in ones, I contemplated nervously my 8-year-old twins and 80 something mom dropping in for a Friday night Battery Park City meets lower East Side outing. As if hearing my nerves, the host warned me sternly that our table would be held for 15 minutes only. I looked at my watch. 10 minutes had passed and my family wasn’t there. Patsy’s time?
But gradually the tide turned. I spotted a bowl of pickled chilies delivered to every diner for adding some zingy spice to the pizzas. At least my wife would be happy. Ice started to melt miraculously off the host as she ok-d my family arriving late. When we did sit down, the servers couldn’t have been pleasanter. Shirley Temples for my son and his friend. Unusual craft beer and wine for the grown-ups. They even had a children’s pie for God’s sake.
And then there was the pizza.
At first bite I looked at my wife, ana agneshwar, kind of like when you first look at the Manhattan Skyline or the Grand Canyon. Sublime. The Margarita had a crisp yet chewy crust that you could eat all by itself. Topping it was a fresh-tasting light sauce of tomatoes that was, well, summery, even in the middle of winter. I have too often been the victim of rubbery unsalted mozzarella clinging to a pie without melting. Nothing like that here. Mild, perfectly salted slices spread seamlessly into the sauce. And to top it off, a simple dusting of oregano and a slight spike of chili flakes.
The mushroom pizza had perhaps a tad too many shrooms but when you removed the crowd, the rest paired brilliantly with an underlying bechamel.
And the kids pizza? May every 8-year-old eat like this.
Stay tuned for Outing 2.