I and my boyfriend love pizza. Used to get it all the time in the UK - eat in, take away, order home.
Most of it was great, some was decent, one was more like a quiche – that was entirely my fault (Why did I order pizza from an Indian place? I wonder…)
We tried to do the same thing in Slovakia – it is so convenient to order food home, right? You don’t have to spend your time and energy cooking if you are just crammed with work or too tired.
There is definitely not lack of places to order pizza online, and looking from a tram window I have a feeling there is a pizza delivery place on every corner. It is also easy to order, and the delivery men are generally friendly and timely. The problem is the pizza itself. Most of the time we received something extremely greasy, salty mostly covered in Bambino (cream cheese in a tube) or some smoked cheese (which wouldn’t be my first choice for a pizza topping due to its strong taste) and of course loads of garlic. As for the pastry there were many different variations, some of them more or less resembled pizza dough, but most of the time I had the feeling the chef has not eaten a real pizza in his life, let alone made one. (At the same time I think many of them are great at making Langoš.)
Deciding that we won’t let any prejudices spoil a good pizza night we gave all of them a fair chance to convince us we found our new favourite pizza delivery.
Well, mostly I ended with insatiable thirst after so much salt, grease and garlic and both of us with uneasy stomachs until the next day (probably for the same reason).
That is when we decided – no more ordering, we’ll venture into the neighbourhood to find a good local pizza place.
Much to our happiness, a pub just under our windows expanded on their offer of bar snacks and snails (really snails), and started making pizza. We were of course eager to try it. Our experience was really unexpected.
We got seated and waited just 15 mins to order drinks, which was amazing for this place, because usually after 15 mins of waiting at the table we go to the bar to place the order and then wait 15 mins to get our beers.
Then we tried to order pizzas – we chose one called Vega and another with chicken (I don’t remember the name). The waitress took our order, but came back 5 mins later to inform us they cannot make the chicken one (ran out of chicken, I reckon), so we said- all right, we’ll just have the other one. Looking back I am more than happy they didn’t have the initiative to suggest we chose a different one instead.
Anyway, our pizza arrives, waitress hands us a cup containing one set of cutlery, wrapped in one serviette and leaves before we have time to say, we would both actually like to eat the pizza. Such a thing as a sharing plate would be definitely too much to ask for.
For the next 10 minutes we try to get her attention, but finally we do manage to ask her to bring us another set of cutlery.
She nods yes, but since no cutlery arrives in the next 10 minutes we decide to go ahead and eat with our hands, the one plate between us and I take a pack of tissues out of my purse since, you know – the pizza was quite greasy and garlicky…
Our biggest surprise comes next. Pizza Vega was supposed to contain tomato, bell pepper, ham, mozzarella, onion, tomato salsa and “baranie rohy.” (baranie rohy are about 10cm long narrow pickled peppers, they are not chilli peppers, since they are not really spicy, their taste is more sourish. As a garnish you would normally eat just a couple of them- I would say maximum of 5 due to their quite distinct taste). Our pizza contained all the ingredients above – except for the bell pepper. I think the thought behind this was – who needs a bell pepper anyway, when we give them a whole lot of baranie rohy instead. They were just taken out of their jar, where they were resting peacefully (I imagine) and dropped by a handful on top of our pizza after it was out of the oven. I am not exaggerating, but they were about 9 of them, in full length, still cold from the fridge, dripping with excess vinegar water.
We ate the pizza anyway, since we were starving, removed baranie rohy on the plate as soon as we made space and I munched on some of them, just for a fair measure, while my boyfriend did not experiment with the cold pickled sour stuff on the side of his pizza.
Halfway through our meal the waitress came with a second set of cutlery giving us the “why did I even bother” look when she saw we are already eating the dish anyway. (We were still really grateful for the 2nd serviette)…
As I really hate to be unpleasant I would have just eaten the pizza and never came back, but while taking our plate the waitress asked us if we enjoyed the meal.
-“We quite enjoyed it”, I said, “but since you ask I have to tell you the baranie rohy were completely cold, just put on the pizza after it was done.”
-“Yes, that’s how it’s served!” The waitress informed me and looked at me pitying the person who clearly doesn’t know the ways of the world.
-“Well maybe here it is”, I stood my grounds, “but everywhere else they just chop some up and put them on the pizza before it enters the oven.”
- “And you think that would have been better?” Asks the waitress, patiently, as if speaking to her favourite idiot child.
- “I just think it is really, really worse this way “– I point to the cold, vinegar dripping leftovers on our plate...
Safe to say, I truly offended our waitress, since she ignored us from then on, although we still managed to sneakily order another round of beers from her colleague.
Since this blog post was written, we discovered several great pizza places in Bratislava and Nitra, and will be happy to share the knowledge with you. Just leave a comment below if you’d like to know more, or have your favourite pizza place story to share :)