November 16th, 2010

Star Pizza: Gastronomic Heaven

In 8 Words: Wood, Sculpture, Tomato, Random, Indulgence, Fresh, Golden, Cheese

Sometimes after a night of indulgence and poor decision making, the only cure is to simply keep those behaviors on board for another day or so. Sure generously partaking in delicious scotch and craft beer have their consequences the next morning. Or do they? If we never leave the crazy ship to venture back to reality, who’s to say that reality actually exists? Let’s say we trade those vices mentioned above for the universal crowd pleaser: Pizza. Star Pizza. And lots of it. By surrounding ourselves with this delicious treat, enjoying every delicately prepared topping, it’s as if we’re telling the world, “No, we’re not ready for you yet, you may sit in the waiting room and read about Bieberfever. We’ll have nothing of it.”


It’s this sound logic that has forced our hand towards an early dinner on this Sunday afternoon. I rally Paul and Tea to my cause meeting no resistance. Leaving my living room cave to venture into the great outdoors, I find my car and drive for the Star. It’s not long before I spot the large brushed metal sculpture that features the establishment’s prominent neon sign. The parking lot is neither crowded nor empty, as I easily find a space out front. As I enter past the patio, I walk through the double doors, the to-go, shirts and desserts counter housed just to my right. I wait patiently as the smells of fresh dough, tomato sauce and garlic hit my nostrils. A hostess greets me to inquire how many seats I’ll be needing. I take a second to gather my thoughts, kicking my mouth out of its salivating state to answer the question properly. “Eight be the magic number.” I reply in Pirate speak. Pirate speak, seriously?


She leads me down the long corridor, the aged wood creaking beneath our feet with each step. I am directed towards a cluster of three tables in a smaller room to the left—rotten luck as it is merely partitioned off from the kitchen. The smells are much stronger and the sight of food does nothing to help my gluttonous appetite. I sigh as I sit, all too aware of the fact that it’s more than likely another 30 minutes before I can eat. The waiter comes, “What would you like to drink? Beer?” No, thanks, I had today’s rations last night. Water, please.” Just as he leaves, the rest of my companions arrive. We exchange greetings, all looking similarly lethargic in the halogen lights of Star Pizza. Not another topic comes up as we decide quickly and efficiently that we’ll be having a couple Caesar salads, the Starburst Pizza, and the Chicken Alfredo Pizza.

Once the order is in, conversation turns toward the tales of a night gone wrong right. The stories unfurl with disbelief as some of us begin remembering more than we’d like others to recall. Downing water like it’s the most essential ingredient our bodies need, I finish my glass. I look around, hoping to lock eyes with the waiter. Scanning carefully around the room, I finally take notice of the random cluster of things that hang on the walls. What is that? Einstein? Some ancient blueprints of an altar? Houston paraphernalia. Yeah okay, that makes sense. The other 60% I can’t speak for. Maybe I should get up and read the fine print. No.


Just as the wall artifacts begin to overwhelm my brain our food arrives. The steam rushes our senses as the smells of alfredo sauce, bell peppers, Italiain sausage, onions, plentiful helpings of mozzarella, and golden crust dominate the air. In situations like this the senses of sight and smell clearly trump that of touch. We all grab a slice—250 degree temperatures be damned. We eat, savoring every bite, knowing that after this delicious indulgence it’ll be back to healthier, if not smarter decisions. Once again one sense battles another, in this case taste routes smell. I sit back having reached my sufficiency. The others in this rag tag group also slow their eating as their brains begin sending messages of satiation.


We agree on splitting the bill equally as the clock strikes seven. The waiter gathers our cards and cash, charging us our allotted amounts with surprising speed. Impressive. We slide our chairs back collectively with a choir of squeaks and groans as the legs scratch the floor as they’ve done countless times before. We leave Star Pizza, the last stop on our journey from great to good, weekend to week, heavens to reality.


Where -  77 Harvard (Heights and Washington) (View Map) or 2111 Norfolk (Shepherd) (View Map)
What – The finest pizza I’ve had South of I-10
Wear – Whatever Toppings You Choose
How Much – No more than any national chain. You’re money’s better spent here though.
Hours – Monday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Tuesday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.,Wednesday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
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— Richard


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