Opening the door is tough, ‘cause it’s the kind that fights against you when there’s even the slightest breeze.

You grab the handle harder, really give ‘er, and fwoomp it opens, and you’re met with this enveloping warmth that folds you right inside.

It’s a small joint. Maybe about 15 seats total and they’re all taken. But you’re not there to stay. You’re there to grab the goods and get going.

You gingerly step towards the back, sidestepping that one linebacker-esque man whose chair is turned out from his table. It doesn’t take much to be in the way in here.

Behind a small partition at the back is the kitchen. It’s half the size of the restaurant, though you wouldn’t know it by all the action happening back there. The ebb and flow of black-t-shirted kitchen staff seems pretty well-rehearsed.

There’s a reason this place is near-impossible to get a seat in. There’s a reason you’re here in a snowstorm just to pick up.

It’s pizza.


A rectangular pie, made from a dough whose ancestry runs deep in the branches of the focaccia family. Airy, soft, delicate, but with enough chew to rev the engines. Dusted with parmesan before it hits the pan, so you get the crunchy tang of a crust on your first bite. First cheese, then sauce, then toppings: drop peppers that burst upon toothy impact, or smoky thick-cut bacon that sizzles out of the oven, or if you’re feeling extra risky – pineapple, for that sweet n’ sour edge that people give you weird stares for.

In the restaurant, the warmth and the smell of fresher than fresh pies is the pick-me-up you’d been hoping for after a long, arduous week of stress, gloom and general blahs.

The guy behind the back counter asks your name for the order. You give it, plus your method of payment. You eye the human pizza-making machines beyond, wondering which pies you’ll be taking home.

Transaction complete. Standard-issue thank yous and farewells exchanged. In your arms now are two hot cardboard boxes. Each one home to your newest, greatest treasures.

Back to the stiff, heavy door, you give it a shoulder and fwoomp – back into the snow you go.

It’s not until you carefully edge back into the passenger seat of your idling car that you glance at the bill. There’s only one pizza marked up.

Lucky you.

The second one’s free.

Love, February