MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters · Instagram 
Friday, August 1, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 64.0° F  Light Rain
Collapse Photo Bar

Pizza Brutta going downhill, or just a bad lunch?

Grocery stores, recipes, cook books, CSAs, farmers' markets, organic, local, processed, corporate. It's a smorgabord!

Pizza Brutta going downhill, or just a bad lunch?

Postby hecky » Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:48 pm

I used to think the pizza here was pretty great. Today -- more than char, I'd have to say leaning toward fully burnt crust, almost no basil on the margherita pizza... and the dining room was overrun with children, it was like eating at a nursery school as their nannies or parents just let them scream and run around. I will think twice before heading back here... not before bedtime for the peanut set anyway. Anybody else experience this, or did I just hit it on a bad day?
hecky
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2002 1:06 pm
Location: The Square

Re: Pizza Brutta going downhill, or just a bad lunch?

Postby TheBookPolice » Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:50 pm

I think maybe they've run into some staffing problems, but that's totally anecdotal. I haven't seen a major decline; their pizza is still quite good, though I've always preferred Cafe Porta Alba.
TheBookPolice
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 8360
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 1:09 pm
Location: The mystical Far East

Re: Pizza Brutta going downhill, or just a bad lunch?

Postby Uncle_Leaver » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:03 pm

Never had a bad lunch there. Ever. And I'd call myself a regular. Hope this was just an anomaly.
Uncle_Leaver
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 677
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:58 pm

Re: Pizza Brutta going downhill, or just a bad lunch?

Postby HOMOsapien » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:11 pm

I ate there once. Nice place, nice food. I'd go back.
HOMOsapien
 

Re: Pizza Brutta going downhill, or just a bad lunch?

Postby depinmad » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:46 pm

i too prefer porta alba, though i pine for their old location.
depinmad
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2062
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:17 am

Re: Pizza Brutta going downhill, or just a bad lunch?

Postby mrak » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:24 pm

I'm not a frequent customer, but I was there a couple of weeks ago and it was as good as ever.

So I'll guess (and hope) you just caught them on an off day.
mrak
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2393
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 2:26 pm

Re: Pizza Brutta going downhill, or just a bad lunch?

Postby jjoyce » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:21 pm

Don't take this the wrong way, but did you happen to mention the condition of your pizza to the guy working the oven? I mean, he's standing right there. I get the impression the guy who runs that place, and is often seen greeting regular customers by name and chatting with them while he works, would rather bake you a new pie than have you leave unsatisfied.

Brutta is sometimes pretty loud (hell, I've contributed to the din a few times), but it's a cheerful spot that appears to be a legit neighborhood gathering place. Sometimes that means kids. Sometimes it means high school kids. Sometimes big families. I like it.
jjoyce
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 12168
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 4:48 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: Pizza Brutta going downhill, or just a bad lunch?

Postby TAsunder » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:18 pm

There are often kids running amok at Brutta. I don't think that's unusual for the place. Not common at CPA in my experience. If that sort of thing bugs you, then Brutta is not the place for you.

I'm curious what people who prefer CPA to Brutta order at each. My experience has been that the actual red sauces at CPA are overly bland, but their white pizzas are better than Brutta's white pizzas, and their pizza cooking method is marginally superior when done properly. A decent red sauce is pretty easy to make, so I'm not sure what gives with the CPA sauce. Anyway, since I love marinara and margherita pizzas I prefer Brutta.
TAsunder
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2001 1:21 pm
Location: Near East Side, Madison

Re: Pizza Brutta going downhill, or just a bad lunch?

Postby depinmad » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:29 pm

well the cpa red sauce is exactly what keeps me coming back. so, there's that.
depinmad
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2062
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:17 am

Re: Pizza Brutta going downhill, or just a bad lunch?

Postby TAsunder » Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:50 pm

Just did a little reading on this after my post. According to the napoletana standards, the "sauce" on a margherita is supposed to be nothing more than just pressed, peeled tomato and a bit of salt. The marinara would have the same plus oregano.

They use canned San Marzano tomatoes. Those tomatoes are pretty bland if you eat them alone - at least, compared to an in-season heirloom that you can get from the market. Any sauce I've ever made worth its weight has more than just some tomatoes and salt. If they are following the napoletana standards, then I guess their tomato base would, by definition, be pretty bland.
TAsunder
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2001 1:21 pm
Location: Near East Side, Madison

Re: Pizza Brutta going downhill, or just a bad lunch?

Postby depinmad » Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:51 pm

pretty delicious.
depinmad
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2062
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:17 am

Re: Pizza Brutta going downhill, or just a bad lunch?

Postby TAsunder » Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:55 pm

Good news for you then: you could make a vat of the sauce at home for less than $10 and it would last you at least 6 months. Here's how:

Step 1 - Go to costco
Step 2 - Buy giant cans of san marzano
Step 3 - Back home, empty the cans out into a big vat
Step 4 - Press the tomatoes
Step 5 - Add salt
Step 6 - Cook

The dough is cheap to make as well. I don't know how often you go there, but I would guess that you could stop going for a year, use the saved money to buy a pizza oven, and make it at home for less than $1 a pizza.
TAsunder
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2001 1:21 pm
Location: Near East Side, Madison

Re: Pizza Brutta going downhill, or just a bad lunch?

Postby depinmad » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:04 pm

wow. you got me there. thanks for the tip, 'sunder.
depinmad
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2062
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:17 am

Re: Pizza Brutta going downhill, or just a bad lunch?

Postby fennel » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:38 pm

TAsunder wrote:Good news for you then: you could make a vat of the sauce at home for less than $10 and it would last you at least 6 months. Here's how: ...

Step 1 - Go to the [local Farmer's market]
...
Step 4 - Press the tomatoes
Step 5 - Add salt
Step 6 - Cook

The dough is cheap to make as well ...


(Edited for "local" context, though San Marzano tomatoes packaged in Italy should – at least – be free of bisphenol-A.)

Hooray for the do-it-better/do-it-yourself heads-up! I don't know about the oven thing, though. I suppose there may be a few enterprising folks who could modify a good non-commercial-quality oven to accommodate high-temperature pizza-making, but I expect it will take more than a few refractory bricks.

But there's nothing like working with real, fresh tomatoes – whether you use them immediately or put them up for later use.
fennel
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3125
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:24 pm
Location: Inside the Green Zone, Madison

Re: Pizza Brutta going downhill, or just a bad lunch?

Postby TheBookPolice » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:57 pm

The fine folks at La Fortuna will teach you how to build your own oven, should you wish it.

It's a different breed of culinarian that pooh-poohs San Marzano tomatoes. Certainly not toeing the line, for better or worse.
TheBookPolice
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 8360
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 1:09 pm
Location: The mystical Far East

Next

Return to Cooking & Food issues

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar