Friday, March 11, 2011


Our tastes can vary widely when it comes to dining. Gavin is consistently up for indiscriminate munching, while I tend to enjoy spicy and simple fare.  He likes things that swim like shrimp, I like things that wilt like spinach. That said, we always reach consensus on one thing, pizza.  While living in Istanbul we tried our fair share of take-away pizzas, but after several undercooked, overpriced, chewy, corn-topped attempts, we realized pizza would have to be saved for European holidays.  Within a few weeks of arriving in Saigon, we thought it was time to give delivery pizzas a try.  After a few unsuccessful experiences with bland squares of cardboard doused with tomato-based acid , we were told by the in-the-know peeps to give Scoozie a try.  Delighted we were by the crispy, thin crust and quality cheese.  Although the pie was a bit tepid and rubbery from its hour long sojourn through traffic, we could tell they knew what they were doing with a pizza and vowed to try Scoozie again.

We recently found ourselves at 6 Thai Van Lung in District 1 and were surprised to find both Scoozie's seating area and wood-burning oven outdoors: a strange outcropping of stools and well-dressed humans rising from the sidewalk in front of the Centro Cafe (the indoor eatery that serves salads and paninis).  We precariously placed ourselves on spindly stainless-steel stools situated around the copper-domed oven and serving bar.  I found looking up into the uncovered night sky a bit disconcerting and the setting strangely austere with its lack of umbrellas and decoration, so I chose to have a gander at a duo of hyper-aggressive cockroaches marching around the ground nearby.  I was waiting for dinner and they were waiting for an unwitting patron to sloppily drop them a choice morsel. (I then realized the awkwardly over-tall stools worked to my advantage as a natural buffer versus the insect hordes.)  The lack of single glasses of wine was a bit vexing,  but it forced us into a healthier choice and we ordered a bottle of San Pellegrino to accompany our meal.  After studying the extensive menu, we decided to go for one classic prosciutto pizza and one margarita covered in a forest of fresh arugula and shards of Parmesan cheese.
Our pizzas arrived, and we exclaimed joyfully at the feast before us!  We savored and enjoyed each bite of the piping hot, thin-crusted wonders.  Each isoscelian gem was oozing with just enough quality mozzarella and fresh tomato sauce to tempt our palates, but not clog our arteries.  The arugula added just enough bite to each slice without overwhelming our senses.  As we devoured our meal slice-by-slice, drizzling each bite with fresh chili oil, we fell into the heavenly confines of food ecstasy. The towering post-modern buildings, belching traffic, uncomfortable seats and looming roaches all drifted away as we were transported directly back to Piazza Maggiore.  Can you believe that we finished every last bite of our two large pizzas?  I can.

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