Micucci's

Micucci’s Pizza

Micucci's Italian Grocery on UrbanspoonHow can something called “The Slab” taste so sweet? Maybe it was the weather. I had never been in before and was unabashedly charmed by the India Street market. Perhaps I was hallucinating and high on premature spring temperatures, but I felt as if I had been there before, adding chick peas and Pellegrino to my basket. Up the stairs to the right, I found baker’s shelves stacked with freshly made imperfect squares, and without further ado, boxed one up, paid and hightailed it home. If you haven’t had Micucci’s pizza, we are living in parallel realities. I am different than I was before.

There is something so sublime about this pizza, unlike any I have had known. Thick as the name implies, but not at all heavy; the dough of the crust is soft and airy. Sauce that is fruitsome yet not cloying. And a cheese layer that inspires the best of us to employ a lighter hand when slinging mozarella. Each component has integrity and complements the whole. Each bite invites the one that follows, until the inevitable end. Also, in case you had not gleaned from the name, it is enormous. Our ruffian technique was to rip the giant slice in two and eat standing up in the kitchen.

My favorite pizza in the world resides, not on storied Wooster Street, but at Modern Apizza on State Street, a dirty stretch of road below I-91 in New Haven. My favorite pie in this good old town is white with spinach, garlic and lemon wedges, served on a gleaming dais above red-checked plastic cloth. It is nothing like The Slab. But now that The Slab exists my heart has been opened just a little wider. I am a better person for it: more accepting, compassionate, loving and chubbier. Thanks be to Micucci’s for making life in Portland more beautiful, but most of you already knew that. If only they had Foxon Park soda.

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Comments

  1. Malcolm says

    I couldn’t resist adding my two cents to this. While I enjoyed Micucci’s very much, I found the sauce overly sweet, and the dough almost TOO pillowy and soft. It doesn’t fall strictly into my lineup of favorite pizzas in town, but when evaluated as its own animal, is still pretty spectacular.

  2. Marleen says

    Exactly, Malcolm, the Slab should not be thought of as pizza. The gorgeous Luna Bread dough has no relationship to the normal pizza crust. The Slab for me is more like using great bread to scoop up the rest of my spaghetti sauce when the spaghetti is gone — and that’s just fine. The Slab is hands down my favorite food item in Portland, and its uniqueness (pillowy dough, oddly sweet sauce, minimalist cheese, generous olive oil) has become a defining feature of Portland for me (along with Soakology, but let’s not digress.) Next time you’re at Micucci’s take home the Luna Bread. Its pillowy goodness is great dipped in olive oil or used as a base for the meat and cheese from Micucci’s deli.

    • Malcolm says

      That’s a very, very good way of decribing it, Marleen. It’s like that final swipe of bread through the remains of an excellent pasta course, except it’s not one last bite. It goes on and on, and it’s delicious.

      (Also, Jillian is 100% in love with Soakology.)

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