Saturday, May 24, 2014

NO PIZZA FOR YOU! A totally "Bizzarro" experience.

My mother-in-law came to visit the last time Alex was out of town for work.

I love having her here; she's great company and very hands-on with the kids -- FREE TIME!!! Even if it's only for 10 minutes at the end of the day while she happily takes over bath time duty. Sometimes, 10 minutes can feel like a freaking eternity in mom life. Daddy had already been gone for a week and we still had another to go, so I was especially grateful for this visit. I believe my response was a very enthusiastic, "YES!!! PLEASE DO!" when she texted me about possibly coming down to see us, depending on her work schedule. Military spouses, single parents, I applaud you.

On Grandma's last day here, we headed to the beach for a little sun and sand before grabbing dinner at Bizzarro's, a popular New York style pizzeria. I've heard tons of good things about Bizzarro's not only from the locals, but from anyone who has ever been in the area -- My husband's half-brother's now ex-girlfriend was raving about it the last time I saw her. We've lived in Melbourne going on two and a half years now (does that make us locals???), so I was eager to finally try this place out. 

THE Original Bizzarro Famous New York Pizza, or TOBFNYP for short? There are several around town, but rumor has it that there was some sort of family feud so they all have slight variations in name now, i.e. "The Original Bizzarro Famous New York Pizza," "Bizzarro's Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria," "Bizzarro Pizza Co," "Bizzarro Pizza Express," and "Bizzarro Pizza". I think that's all of them... What everybody failed to tell us, though, was that this is a straight up "Soup Nazi" kind of experience.

TOBFNYP is located on a busy street corner of the Indiatlantic with lines almost always out the door, hardly enough room for two people abreast upon entry and at the counter (difficult with kids) and very little seating in the "dining room" and out on the patio.

My mother-in-law waited in line while McKenna, Kendall and I looked for a table; there was nothing, so we were going to order a whole pie and get it to go. Mistakes 1 and 2. It is unwritten protocol that you come here to order by the slice from the case, or call ahead. We placed our order for a large half cheese-half black olives pizza and when my mother-in-law pulled out her debit card to pay, Mr. Mustache behind the counter screamed at her, "CASH ONLY! CASH ONLY! ATM IN THE BACK!". Mistake 3. So, she made her way through a few disgruntled, hungry and impatient customers a tap-tap-tapping their toes to the ATM in the back where she paid five dollars to use her own money and then made her way back up to the counter with cash.

"DRINKS!" Or, in other words, "what would you like to drink?" As we stepped out of the way with our $2 bottled waters instead of the cups of ice water that we had asked for, I spotted an open table. My mother-in-law went back to the counter to change our order from carryout to dining in.

Mistake 4. 

"10 minutes," he hissed. We made our way to our table outside with tails tucked between our legs and avoiding eye contact with both employees and patrons alike because it was painfully obvious that we were noobs! It was then that I noticed the "CASH ONL" sign on the exit door to the patio. 

Watching everybody come and go with their little slices of heaven, we finally mustered up enough courage to ask the server about our food, as it had been well over 10 minutes. This seemed to inconvenience him immensely.

"You ordered to go?" Server Guy asked when he came back from checking on our order.

"Yes, but we changed it to dining in since we found a table. We told him that," my mother-in-law explained politely.

Server Guy huffs and puffs away, throws open the door to the restaurant and hollers, "They want to eat here now!" I just laughed; I was actually living the Soup Nazi experience!

"It's on the oven. 10 minutes." Obviously, we were being punished. I imagined our uncooked half cheese-half black olives pizza sitting on top of the oven just inches away from a gross dusty ceiling.

We finally get our food; I wasn't sure if we were supposed to grab our own plates, napkins and utensils from inside or if that was Server Guy's job, but I just wanted to eat our food and get the heck out of there. I bravely made it in and out without being spotted, we quickly ate and then left. Whew!

So, is it good pizza? Eh, a lot on the greasy side for me, but apparently this is "as close as you're going to get to true New York style pizza around here"... New York style attitude and all, sheesh. Honestly, I'd rather skip the anxiety and grab a 5 dollar Hot-N-Ready around the corner at Little Caesar's! Pizza's pizza, man. 

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