Maraisian Pizzatician Showdown

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Like the Showcase Showdown, locales in Paris try to guess the correct amount of chic and quaint without going over.

This is the second article in a TBE summer travel and leisure series titled “Omnibus Summer Guide #4080.”

As is his wont, TBE’s Eurabian Nights correspondent developed a theory of Paris after spending just a few short days there. It revolves around two concepts: Quaint and Chic. In order to be successful in Paris, so the theory goes, a given place, be it a restaurant, bar, park or neighborhood, must embody – must balance – quaintness and chicosity. Not necessarily in equal measure, but a chiquaint balance nonetheless. As a means of explicating his theory, TBE sent our correspondent to examine a few pizza pies in le Marais.

La Briciola (La Bric if you’re nasty) is modish yet whimsical. Located on a backish street in a semi-industrial space, the pizza is well-ingrediented and just a tad greasy, the better to wash down carafes of wine one will inevitably consume while waiting for a table. Also, one scoffs at the cheese plate at one’s own peril. Some readers might complain that La Bric leans a little chicward, to which TBE would reply that a certain chiciness is in fact the secret ingredient of good Parisian eateries. Because the general quaintness of Paris can at times be stifling, they must dial up the chic to counteract it.

The Pink Flamingo, on the other hand, is unrelentingly quaint. Their website has unnecessary flash animation. They offer diners pink balloons so the restaurant’s pizza deliverypeople can find them in whatever quaint location they choose to sit. Furthermore, the pizzas have quaintish names like the Che for the Cuban one, Obama for the Hawaiian one, etc. ad quaintfinitum. Don’t get TBE wrong, some of their pies aren’t bad. But the crust is a bit cardboardey (albeit organic cardboard), and one can’t help but think that had the owners spent a bit less time quaintalating their situation, as Puffy might say, and instead created the superior pizza-eating experience of which TBE believes them capable, they would have been more successful with the crucial TBE demographic. Also, Pink Flamingos was a pretty filthy movie, more choquant than chiquaint, as it were. Thinking about it while eating is a not recommended.

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