Thursday, December 17, 2009

Café Nino

Although last night was a cheat night for me, all I could think about was curling up in a blanket and drinking something hot.  I was hungry at dinnertime, but the last thing I wanted to do was brave the horrible weather.  When John suggested pizza, I jumped at the opportunity and suggested we get a pie from Café Nino, only a few short blocks away from our apartment.  This is my 18th cheat and I am down 47 pounds.

In my humble opinion, I believe Café Nino is the best place to go in New Orleans if you want a delicious, New York-style pizza.  Nino Bongiorno, the owner, is at his restaurant almost every day and is pleased to regale you with stories of how to make the perfect pizza.  He once confided in me that the path to a perfect pie lies in fresh dough and an excellent sauce.  If you have those two ingredients down, your pizzas will be the talk of the town.  If you have ever eaten one of Nino’s pies, you will know he’s got the formula down pat.

From the warmth of our apartment, we called Café Nino and ordered a large pepperoni and mushroom pizza and we were told it would be ready in 15 minutes.  When ordering pizza from an authentic joint like Nino’s, I love to keep the pie simple.  I believe that too many toppings can rob you of the exquisite experience eating a perfect New York-style pizza can create.

When we picked up the pizza, I couldn’t help eyeing the other dishes available that night.  I have heard that the Chicken or Eggplant Parmigiana is fantastic and it certainly looked tasty.  Apparently, Nino also offers daily specials for less than $10 and every Friday he prepares steamed mussels and a fish special for all those folks observing Lent.  He also makes an incredible Philly Cheese Steak that he claims is the “one and only in the city.”

I paid with a check (Café Nino only accepts checks and cash) and we took our steaming hot pie home.  Sitting comfortably on our couch, we only devoured two slices each. I absolutely love the savory sauce Nino uses for his pies and the crust is always thin and tasty.

John and I were surprised by how full we felt after only two slices, but that’s Nino’s for you!  I realized after inhaling my pizza that I had forgotten a cheat must; I had no dessert!  I went into the kitchen and busted out some Hershey’s cocoa powder and whipped up two steaming mugs of hot chocolate, complete with Christmas tree-shaped marshmallows.  It was an excellent cheat and enjoyed completely in the warmth and comfort of my own home.  It doesn’t get better than that!

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