This post is a part of the What’s On My Plate series
Picture Courtesy: Kishore Amati
The only stop for New York style pizza in the state
There are times when that good old fashioned craving kicks in, you know the one, with the desire to call up and order in that particularly lazy meal made up of flatbread, with a layer of tomato sauce and cheese (and topped with some meat and veggies for good measure), which is then baked in an oven. The meal that is then delivered by that lad, clad in blue, to your doorstep. Yes, I am talking about pizza, and no, the commercial chains aren’t ‘where it’s at’ anymore. There was a time when those ‘brands’ were the only go to place that served the stuff, barring a few well-kept secrets in nooks and crannies of the eclectic tourist belt, that I have gone on to discover over time. Then came the few Italian ‘specialists’ (and some of them arguably are), that began serving wood-fired pizzas. This also captivated the attention, for it gave many the option of veering away from the ‘madding crowd’ of aforementioned chains, and their pizzas with bases thick enough to pass off as the long lost cousin of the Pillsbury Doughboy. After all, whoever wants to pay more dough, for more dough? However, putting a little twist on things that is intricate as a veer in the road in a Christopher Nolan movie, that is where Pizza Mia decided to step in.
Set in the heart (yet tucked away in a by-lane) of Miramar, Pizza Mia was the brainchild of Sunder Aaron, who plied his trade with Sony, a line of work far removed from the culinary kind. Yet, being removed from this line made him see things from a consumerist perspective and he’s brought to Goa the much sought-after, New York Style Pizza. Now straight off the bat, I will confess, that having eaten there fairly often, Pizza Mia isn’t a perfect replica of its good old fashioned NY counterpart. However, there are concessions that need to be made. Your produce, for instance plays a big part. It’s like trying to produce a fine scotch beyond Scottish borders, without the fine water of the highlands, and expecting it to turn out just the same. That being said, Goa (and India at large) needs to accept that this is, at least until someone can outdo the endeavour, as close to New York Style Pizza as it’s going to get.
Having said all of the above, let us initiate those that are in the realm of the unknown when it comes to pizza as to what the New York Style is all about. The first point that differentiates things is the crust. While it retains a certain crispness along its edge, the rest of the base remains pliant; so much so, that it can even be folded to make eating easier. In fact, this is often done because the sheer flexibility of the pie makes it unwieldy to eat flat. Another characteristic of the New York Style is that (true to its origins and the custom started by founder Antonio Totonno Pero in 1905) it is also served by the slice. This was originally undertaken as a means to allow people who could not afford to buy the whole pie, to still savour just a wee bit of gastronomic goodness. It is a tradition that I am proud to say Pizza Mia has decided to keep going, with certain variants of the pizzas on offer up for grabs by the slice. For those with larger appetites, the pizzas come in three sizes distinctly native to the New York Style: 13, 16, and 18 inches in diameter.
My personal favourites that I absolutely recommend trying are the bacon and onion (because what doesn’t taste better with bacon?), the pepperoni (which will always be an all-time favourite), the margherita (because with a book, the outdoor setting at Pizza Mia on a Sunday afternoon and a glass of white wine, life doesn’t get better), and one that I most recently discovered: the tuna (which is accompanied by caramelised onions).
Pizza Mia also works with an array of salads, but if you go to a pizzeria and then order a salad, that’s just disgraceful, isn’t it? However, having chastised a deviation, I recommend one too. Order the garlic knots. Why, you ask? Simply because you must. The rest you will discover in due course.
At the end of the day, Pizza Mia is part experience and part good food. With its bohemian yet chic décor, prompt and attentive service, its collaboration with (my favourite) organic gelato manufacturers, Cream Choc (a story for another day) and most importantly, superb pizza, there really nothing much left to say, except that I am now drooling and planning my next trip there already.
Pizza Mia is well-priced (if you're willing to pay Domino's rates, you have lost your right to complain) and is a place that is reminiscent of a boardwalk eatery.
Don't expect much from the salad section of the menu. The pizza, however is a very pleasant surprise.
The average cost of a meal for two (minus the libations) would be an approximate of ₹2,000 (at the time of publishing this review).
How to get there
Shop No:1, Ground Floor, Romirs Apartments, Panjim, Goa 403001
Food is a huge part of any culture and for me, chancing upon a good meal is synonymous with having a great day. The What’s On My Plate series of posts is where I discuss food, great places to eat, and anything gastronomically moving. This could be anything from a great place to eat, to an obscure kind of food, to an origin story. After all, there is no love like the love of eating.