Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gresham's Law of Pizza Relaxing?

by Tom Bozzo

One of those signs of a possible bottom of the Great Recession is that compared to (say) 9 months ago, a lot less of the time I spend worrying about the possible demise of beloved local small businesses is spent worrying about the one I work for.

Tops on the list of the hope-they're-thriving list is Pizza Brutta, our neighborhood outpost of the Madison Pizza Renaissance. Time was the city's pizza problem was that there was a lot of mediocre-to-bad pizza serving the large and quality-indifferent student and suburbanite-takeout markets. OK, there's still a lot of mediocre-to-bad pizza around. But with a Pizza Brutta around, making pies in the authentic Neapolitan style (with VPN certification) with market ingredients, the rest of them can be ignored.

I have a hard time imagining their cost structure. The big "fixed" investment is the wood-fired pizza oven. Was the build-out cheap or expensive? What are rents like on that stretch of Monroe St.? What's the margin on the microbrews on tap?

We recently hauled Nina Camic and the kids there for a one-of-us-is-still-blogging dinner.

The Caprese salad, with tomatoes from the Westside Community Market and house-made mozzarela:

The Caprino pizza (prosciutto, mushrooms, red onions, goat cheese, and arugula):

The Salsiccia pizza, my regular (house-made sausage, roasted onions, truffle oil):

Nina and Julia:
Nina and Julia

For some lily-gilding, Cafe Porta Alba, another VPN outlet late of downtown, is reappearing at Hilldale Mall while the Pizza Hut across the street appears to have closed. Madison readers, support good pizza!

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Looks good enough to make the trip out for! yum!
Fantastic food and wonderful company. And a return to blogging? Maybe? Yes!!!
I'm a Porta Alba fanatic! Check out my bf's review at
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