Sunday, November 30, 2008

You are what you bake

I come from a family of fantastic cooks (some self-taught and others classically trained) and while I have them to thank for my well-tempered palette, I am lucky that there are no pre-requisites (in talent or craft) to enjoy food. I enjoy cooking, but I have to eat out a lot (for work and fun) and mostly cook simple meals, a flan here and there, and the occasional elaborate omelet from my Farmer's Market finds. The HomeMade Pizza Company, a Chicago-based company that makes and delivers fresh, unbaked pizzas and cookies with all-natural ingredients recently opened their first DC outpost. I couldn't resist the opportunity to entertain in the middle of the week, have my pie and eat it too.

I invited some friends over. Three medium pies and two salads had been delivered a few hours before (smack in the middle of their two-hour delivery window, as agreed). Though everything had to be refrigerated, the packaging was minimal and did not overwhelm my refrigerator. Each pie was individually wrapped, and came with clear instructions, pre-cut parchment paper, and a cardboard base that doubled as a tray for transport (this is by far the best feature of the packaging, spades above your standard supermarket brand).

Each pie was baked for 15 minutes on the parchement provided. It needed to be placed on the middle rack of my small stove, so I baked them one at a time.

In the meantime, we worked on the salads: Pear and Blue Cheese with a Balsamic dressing and a Cobb with Creamy Gorgonzola. The pear was crisp, with a distinct acidic note that went very well with the creaminess of the crumble blue cheese and the spiced walnuts, on top of mixed greens. The Cobb was standard issue (avocado, bacon, tomatoes, hard-boiled egg, blue cheese on top of romaine), with the kick of chives and the lushness that you cannot find in a salad bar or bagged greens, even premium ones.

We sampled three pizzas, which was more than enough for the 5 of us. All the pizzas had the same thin crust (a good balance between thick enough to hold the ingredients and thin enough not to overwhelm with starch) and sauce, all fresh tomato and none of the chemical aftertaste of chain-delivery places. They were also remarkably easy to cut, considering I did not have a pizza cutter handy - my standard chef's knife did the trick, and I cut them on top of the cardboard disc. The Miesian, pictured, was my favorite: Roma Tomato, roasted garlic and fresh basil. You could actually see the garlic, and it provided the pizza with a great kick. The BLT will make you reconsider bacon on pizzas - getting premium bacon fresh out of the oven gives you the sizzle without the copious amounts of grease. We all enjoyed the Georgia (chicken sausage, poblano peppers and ricotta cheese), but I've always been weary of ricotta on pizza, even if it is as good cheese as this. The overall taste was milder than something with poblanos ought to be, but it would be perfect for people who enjoy softer seasonings.

Fresh made for you by others: just like home.

HomeMade Pizza Company
4857 Massachusetts Ave. NW

HomeMade Pizza Company on Urbanspoon


The Humble Gourmand said...

Great detail in your review. I've been meaning to try this place for a couple of weeks - definitely inspired now.

Christina said...

Wow, I'd seen this place on a trip this summer to Chicago, and am excited to hear that it's made its way to D.C.

Thanks for the post! I recently started a food blog that touches on food in D.C.: Culinspiration. Check it out sometime :-)

Christina said...
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