what's the first thing you'd eat when back home?
Three weeks of travel can feel like a month or more when you are constantly on the move in a country as big as China. From Beijing to Guanzhou to Xian to Chongqing to Chengdu to Giulin to Shanghai to Macau to Hong Kong (not necessarily in that order) and wherever else we journeyed through, it was definitely interesting. I'd actually been to China some 13 years ago and the biggest differences I saw this time around less bikes more scooters, big crowds at the famous sites and smog, smog, smog. I don't even remember that being an issue back then. It really is as bad as folks talk about. It wasn't really brown, more of a grey haze over the big cities. Kind of like what we get in SF with fog.
If you been following the blog, you've see the food isn't always the best--something that hadn't changed! Though, I did try harder to find good things this time around instead of giving up and going to an Outback Steakhouse in Beijing. Yes, I did that. You try eating nothing but rice and bok choy morning, noon and night for 2 weeks and see what that drives you to. As I've noted, baked sweets town was better, not great, but better. Still, it is good to be back in town with food I can (mostly) count on.
Two days back and the SO and I are still a minor bit jet-lagged. Sort of a mild lethargy that makes one not want to do anything, including cook. As we wallow upon the couch mesmerized by the crap on TV and trolling through the social media we were denied in China, the only option is to just order delivery. You can get pretty much anything delivered in this town, the joys of new food tech-ups. I half jokingly say "let's get Chinese!" But it only garners a stare of derision. Seriously though, we've been gone three weeks and what do you think we are going to order?! Pizza! Of course.
And not just any pizza, but we are going all in for Goat Hill Pizza, that San Francisco sourdough crust favorite since 1975, according to their website. Normally we don't order from them as it can take a little extra time to get and doesn't exactly fit our "feed me now" mantra. But on this day, we are taking things casual and will wait an extra 15 to 20 minutes for it.
Right at somewhere just under an hour from the order time, it arrives. Sausage, mushroom and red onion. We just wanted to go basic and not all fancy toppings for our re-entry into food for fat Americans. I like Goat Hill's pizza and have even reviewed it before, thus this isn't really a review of the pizza, more of the re-acquaintance of food in general.
Opening the box releases a cloud of steam that wafts through your nostrils with familiar smells of garlic, oregano and toasted bread. A melange of aromas that is both welcoming and comforting. And yes, I do put pizza in the pantheon of comfort food along with mac and cheese and chicken soup. Particularly for those of us who grew up with parents that worked late and ordered in and ate out frequently. It was always a crowd pleaser and something we could all agree on.
One bite into the crunchy crust and melty cheese is like a flashback to a time gone by when everyone ate at the same table for a change, whether it was at home or the pizza place. A relaxing taste of our childhood where everything seemed a lot more fun, especially through the haze of current memory. Pizza is just one of those things that hasn't really changed much over the years but has remained as popular today as it has always been. Some sauce, some cheese, some meat on some bread--voila-pizza!
We nestle in with our slices and vow not to eat the whole pie in one sitting and end up failing miserably. But when all is said and done, we crash into the sudden wave of drowsiness from jet-lag and carb overload and just let it carry us away to sleep and dreams of tasty food. Ah, it's good to be home. Now where are we going next?