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Nothing quite awakens your jaded taste buds like sinking your teeth into a giant slice of pizza. And when ‘giant’ translates into so large, it is de rigueur to fold it down the middle to eat, mine remain profusely thankful.
A bunch of recently launched restaurants are doing the noble job of introducing the city to the authentic New York-style pizza. Available by the pie or by the slice, these pizzas are the perfect synthesis of a buttery crust, melting cheese, flavourful sauces and a smattering of creative toppings.
Largo Pizzeria, a pint-sized pizzeria that has opened up in two locations, offers hand-tossed pies in three sizes – 16, 18 and 20 inches. Thanks to an open kitchen, you can watch your food transform from a pile of dough to a delicious, thin-crust pizza. The light-as-air base is at once crisp and chewy, and laden with minimal toppings to retain the crunch. The menu is short but well thought out. Try the fiery peppy peppers one or the ‘belly driven’ with Cajun, rosemary and jerk chicken – scrumptious!
Bubsterr’s, a cosy cubbyhole in Kalyani Nagar, prepares each order by the slice in the dimensions of a 20-inch pizza. The crust here is relatively thicker and the toppings generous and versatile – from cheese, salsa and a handful of crushed nachos in the Tex-Mex to a ‘choriz-za’ with spicy pork sausage and sweet cinnamon-glazed apples. New Yorkers in Hinjawadi cuts up its pizza slice into bite-sized pieces and piles it with desi elements such as ‘Punjabi kukkad’ and paneer tikka in the ‘Indiano’.
The newly opened Chicago Pizza serves 18-inch pizzas with gooey, pliable crusts. Popular choices on the menu here include a one-of-its-kind pizza loaded with juicy mutton sausages and another that combines the salty flavours of pepperoni with the piquancy of jalapeños. Baked & Wired, a delivery service in Viman Nagar, with their humongous 28-inch thin-crust portions, dishes out (by far) the largest pies in Pune. Since your plate comes loaded with 16 slices, you can try up to six different topping combinations in one pie. I would recommend the lemon chicken with slow-marinated thyme, which is mellow and easy on the palate and the three-cheese with watercress, with its blend of bubbling, rich and creamy cheeses – pure sin.
Follow Mrunmayi @moonogamy