Friday, March 11, 2011

Centro to Go-Go; Waxing nostalgic for Battani's

I like the pizzas at Centro. Baked in a coal-fired brick oven, with that crispy, chewy, smoky crust, topped with lovely, melted, fresh mozzarella. Centro filled the desire for a more urbane, hip pizza downtown long before Fong’s, Flour and Gusto hit the scene.

I will admit missing Battani’s, the old school pizza joint in Capital Square that closed last September. Fresh out of the oven, it was delish, especially the crust around the edges. But after sitting around for more than a few minutes, not so much. I would hit them up around closing time, snagging unsold slices on the cheap. I'd take them home, nuke ‘em, peel off and eat the cheese and toppings first, then nosh on the crust with generous doses of Tapatío hot sauce. Hot sauce at night, morning's delight.

But I digress from Centro.

One late November evening last year I ordered up The New Yorker for carryout. Fresh mozzarella, sliced meatballs, roasted red pepper, mushrooms and sauce; all these components are standouts in their own right. However, the pairing of meatballs with Centro's equally meaty mushrooms flooded my palate with a singular taste that overwhelmed the red pepper and the mozz.

It was like eating a one-ingredient pizza with extra on the solo topping. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Centro's thinly-sliced meatballs. At Old Chicago they thin-slice cooked link sausage on their pies for an equally desirable look and taste.

I would have liked a little less mushroom, or opted for a topping with more contrast: onion or perhaps roasted garlic. A little more red pepper would have been nice, but I'm biased being a whore for roasted red bell pepper.

Still, it’s a good pie. The next time I get a late night urge for Centro I think either George’s Favorite or a Pizza Siciliana may be in order though.

Centro on Urbanspoon Photo from the Picasa Web Album: Reviewed Foods

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