Monday, January 25, 2010. A Peculiar Day. Pizza Man. Mary Leigh decided that she could miss her first period in school, supposing that many of her classmates also were suffering from a Saints hangover. I had the opposite problem. I got up much too early--around five-thirty--and couldn't get back to sleep. I got right to work and kept going almost until radio time at four in the afternoon, only getting up for coffee. I was so much in the zone that I had to stop and think about what day of the week it was. I was disappointed to realize it wasn't Sunday.
I must have looked hungry. Mary Ann said she'd join me for lunch, but that she was positive Mary Leigh would want to go out to dinner after the radio show. Yes, I'll wait until then. But, in fact, Mary Leigh didn't wait for me to get off the air and ate dinner at La Carreta. So did MA. When I signed off, ML was settled in for the evening, her hair wrapped in a towel (I think I see Mary Leigh more often with this turban than without), her laptop on her lap.
Mary Ann took pity on me a second time, saying she'd come with me to dinner even though she would not be eating what would be her second one. (Why not?) She still wanted to get involved in the choice of venue, though. (Why?) After down-thumbing a few possibilities, she agreed to Pizza Man. I haven't been there in awhile. I wonder how the new Mellow Mushroom is affecting their business, given that both pizzerias have a sort of heavy-seventies quality about them.
One corner of the dining room at Pizza Man in Covington. Clockwise from bottom left: the famous old jukebox; two of the dozens of pieces of pizza-box art; a smiling sun made out of painted pizza dough; a gigantic framed, assembled jigsaw puzzle.
Pizza Man wasn't very busy. But it's Monday. A couple who we know from Eat Club dinners was at an adjacent table, and we joked around with them while waiting for the house salad. That pile is a marvel of simplicity. The lettuce is iceberg all the way. The dressing is an oil-and-vinegar Italian, with enough garlic and red pepper to make it impossible to stop eating, even though even the small version tests the appetite.
I was free to get my preferred pizza for a change. That's "The Board," so called because for many years its ingredients were listed on an advertising board out by the highway. No tomato sauce; herbal olive oil instead. Fresh spinach, onions, garlic, feta cheese, mozzarella, and capicola (spicy Italian ham). The fresh spinach usually releases so much water as the pizza bakes that the crust comes out soggy. But the flavor is so good I ignore that issue. Anywhere else it would be a serious problem. Tonight, by some miracle, the crust was perfect, a little burned around the edges (I like that).
Mary Ann ate a slice. And took a swig of my Abita Amber. "I wonder how many calories in an Abita beer?" she asked. Is there any subject less interesting than the details of someone else's diet?
Pizza Man's dining room is decorated with drawings executed by a regular customer on the lids of pizza boxes. The overwhelming theme in the current batch is the Saints. Of course.
Pizza Man Of Covington. Covington: 1248 Collins Blvd. (US 190) 985-892-9874. Pizza.
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