after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Cochon: The Pizza that Ruined Pizza for g

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t says: Ok, yes, we’ve already been to Cochon for brunch multiple times (1 and 2). You’re tired of reading about it. I’m tired of writing about it. But this time was different. Every time we go, we tend to eat breakfast-y things. This time we went for lunch. It was a miserable Sunday, looking like it was going to rain at any moment, and g and I forgot to go grocery shopping, so there was no food in the house. We needed some … comfort … we needed some … pig.

4/2010, Sunday 2:30pm, Party of 2. Once again – no line. We made the opentable reservation only for the dining points – but we didn’t need it. The hostess/waitress recognized us. Might we be almost-regulars? We sat down, ordered some tea, and pondered the menu. I actually originally wanted pancakes, but decided, for the good of the blog, to try something new one last time. g was also game for this idea. We decided to try one pizza and one sandwich. Pulled pork shoulder sandwich, of course – why try anything else? Plus, we’ve been dying to try Percy Street BBQ, so this would give me a measuring stick when we go. For the pizza, g suggested tomato pie, but I vetoed it … unless she let me order a side of bacon. We compromised and got the “Flammenkuche”, a pizza featuring gruyere, carmelized onions, bacon, creme fraiche, and some kind of orange (in color, not flavor) sauce. What does “flammenkuche” mean? That waitress didn’t know, but suspects that the chef may have made it up. While I’m not sure I believe her, as Bistrot La Minette recently offered a dish by the same name, I totally dig her honesty. You know – I really hoped that the chef did just make it up.

The pulled pork sandwich was accompanied by a fennel slaw, pickled tomato, and french fries (with a few splatterings of hot sauce). The large mound of pork was nestled between two slices of brioche. Aha! The brioche! The object of much criticism from our last visit! And now I’d get the chance to taste it! The meat was fantastic. It was tender and juicy and shredded perfectly (the pieces weren’t too tiny, but they weren’t too big, either). The brioche bread was … interesting. You know – I can see why some people might not like it. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t think it was bad – at least – not for this sandwich. The bread is kind of dry and crumbly. It does soak up the flavor (and grease) from the pork, which I like. And when I bit into it, the bread’s texture rapidly disintegrates into crumbs which mixes evenly with the pork. I thought it was a very unique sandwich experience. BUT, as the main bread for a dish like Eggs Cochon, I can see how this could be a turn-off. I suspect in the sandwich, the brioche wasn’t a horrible mis-step, but definitely could be improved upon. Fortunately, it took a back seat to the pork, so all was well. The fennel slaw and pickle brought a nice lightness (some acid and some anise-flavor) to cut through the heavier, greasier pork. And the french fries were wonderful. I would have liked a slightly crispier fry, but g said those were among her most favorite fries, ever. I think she was just full of superlatives today …

g says: Oh hush, you know they were delish! Just because I like my fries different than you like yours doesn’t mean anything. Although, I may just have better taste… (haha!)

Now … the pizza …

g says: It was the best pizza ever.

t says: So, why don’t you write about how good it was?

g says: I did. “It was the best pizza ever.”

t says: Ok, so maybe g just doesn’t have the words to describe the pizza, but the woman knows what she loves. I liked it as well, but I’m not sure it’s the best pizza ever; I feel like it falls into the same category as Pepe’s Pizza – it was a super-delicious pizza-like “thing”. The crust hit just the right thickness between too-thin and too-thick. It also wasn’t too floppy/rubbery, either. The onions were sweet, and the cheese and bacon played so nicely with one another. I’m not sure what that orange sauce had in it, but it brightened up the pizza, giving it just a dash of whimsy for what would otherwise be a very “heavy” dish. But ultimately, it does lack tomato sauce or tomatoes, so it’s disqualified from the “best pizza” competition on a technicality in my book (g’s book is written differently). Ultimately, it makes me really want to try more of their breakfast pizzas.

g says: It’s true – that particular dish was balanced so delicately with salty, sweet, and smoky flavors (or flavours, as t would say). For this reason, and because the culinary stars aligned at that exact moment to give me the best pizza tasting experience possible, I decided right at that table something very important: pizza would be ruined for me. I just can’t look at it the same anymore – pizza is so pedestrian, so just pizza, now that I have tasted the glory of the flammenkuche. I fear that whenever I have a pie now, I will only be thinking of what it could be if it were made at Cochon with their bacon. ::looks in the air dreamily:: Sigh. (dramatic enough for you? I hear some of our readers really like drama…)

t says: Once again, we paid as much (g: actually, less I think) as we would have for one person during restaurant week. We were full for 8 hours. We’ll go back again and again.

cm says: Flammenkuche is not just at cochon, it is an option we saw at dock street brewery (great pizza there, i would recommend trying it, even k liked it
and she is not a pizza fan).

Written by afterdinnersneeze

11 May 2010 at 10:23am

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