Geoff the Ditch Cat loves hooman food. Perhaps because he lived in the drainage as a feral for his first five years, he developed a taste for it by digging through garbage cans and whatnot. Regardless, after he was trapped and snipped by benevolent cat herders (The Bride one of them), he self-tamed, charmed, and moved in with us and yearns for whatever we are eating, including, oddly, broccoli. However, by far, his favorite hooman food is pizza, and he’s quite excited about the new Greek pizza place that opened up in the former location of Be More Pacific.
Never had Greek pizza? Me neither. To tell the truth, I hadn’t even heard of Greek Pizza before Shortie’s Pizza + Grinders opened up in December (neither had Geoff). Invented by a Greek from Albania living in Connecticut, Greek pizza is distinguished by its crust, which is hand-pressed to fit a greased, shallow pan; proofed (rise) in the pan, and then baked with its applied toppings. Shortie’s, a side hustle from the good folks downstairs at District Kitchen, elevates the concept (and pizzas in general) with local ingredients and a chef’s touch.
Geoff and I have tried three of Shortie’s pizzas so far, all of them memorable. I’m generally a fan of thin-crust pizza with the notable exception of the heavenly Detroit-style of Via 313. Shortie’s Greek crust comes in between thin and thick but with the richness of a Detroiter. Using local, heirloom wheat gives Shortie’s version a rustic, earthy chew reminiscent of focaccia with a sheen of (local) aromatic olive oil. Geoff liked it.
The Pepp in Yo Step (red sauce and smoked pepperoni; $14) was a good introduction to the Greekiness, scientifically isolating one variable (the crust) to fully understand and appreciate it. Geoff liked it. We then graduated to the Forager (smoked gouda, fontina white sauce, rosemary, wild mushroom conserva, balsamic roasted onions, and pine nuts; $15). This is possibly the most beautiful pizza I’ve ever had and, indeed, looks like Adelina the Forest Fairy carefully foraged the toppings. I tend to lean toward traditional tops, but this was better than the impressive Pepp with a complex mix of flavors firing different parts of my tongue. Geoff liked it.
We ended our foray (for now) with the Twig & Branch (Texas olive oil, arugula, Texas goat cheese, prosciutto, sour cherry preserve, and umami chili oil; $16), another gorgeous pizza. The flavors focus on the cheese and ham with the sweet and sour of the cherry preserves gently tug-of-warring with the fire of the chili oil. Yep: Geoff liked it. We’ve yet to try the Grinders, hot and cold sandwiches on hoagies flown in from New Orleans ($10 to $16). Shorties also has a half dozen appetizers, half dozen salads, and half a half dozen desserts. They have an outside, second-floor eating area for the covid-wary (unclear if it’s cat friendly…).
Geoff the Ditch Cat is a feline of few meows, but he was a little concerned about a restaurant represented by a canine. But after explaining that Shortie’s was named in honor of the owners’ recently passed pooch, he gave Shorties two paws up. In Shorties, Geoff liked it.
I wrote this review for the Allandale Neighbor.
– meh [think twice]
* OK [it’ll get the job done]
** good [solid neighborhood joint]
*** damn good [we’ll definitely be back]
**** yippity-yikes that was amazeballs [fantastic; one of the best]
***** holy sh!t [transcendental; best of the best] each $ = $10; cost is based on a typical dinner entrée and appetizer (no drinks)
each $ = $10; cost is based on a typical dinner entrée and appetizer (no drinks)