Saturday, 1 September 2018

The downfall of a pizzeria

A very thick pizza (from Dr. Oetker's website)
Once upon a time, whilst living in the Netherlands, I saw pizzas as huge circular thickly cut sandwiches, with a topping that was usually varying from tasteful to acceptable. Since I am not really a dough-liking sort of person a pizzeria did not rank very high on my list of favourite restaurants. Until one day, in the vicinity of Avignon in France I discovered that when pizzas are made wafer-thin they could be very nice indeed. This held for most of the pizzas I ate in France. When we settled down in this part of Burgundy we quickly found a pizzeria that ranked high on the list of making the thinnest pizzas in the world.

A reasonably thin pizza (from Koopmans' website)
And even though the restaurant recently changed hands and recipes, the quality of the pizza bottoms stayed as it was.
However, at the beginning of this year "Le Loup Garou" closed down for a number of months, and we had no idea what was coming in its place. A boutique? A drugstore? A restaurant offering local specialities? Recently we found out. A new restaurant opened its doors, under the same name with a similar menu: "Le Loup Garou" ("The Werewolf") had risen from the dead!

The old Loup Garou
After the restaurant had been going for a couple of days (never try a new restaurant on its opening day, we have found out) we decided whether the chef could match his predecessor. All signs were pointing that way. The old oven had not been replaced; the machine that produced thin pizza bottoms was still there, in a word, provided they would produce decent toppings as well there was not much that could go wrong. At least that is what I thought. The pizza bottoms turned out to be hand shaped, and unrealistically thick with a very thick edge as well, and what was worse, the edge was toppingless. On top of that the topping of my pizza saumon was not a shadow of what the original "Loup Garou" offered….

The new Loup Garou
Something that had never happened to me happened here. The bottom was so thick and tough, that I could not cut it with the provided knife. After 6 attempts of cutting it the waitress brought me another, sharper knife, which cut marginally better. When I finally had a mouthful of pizza I needed more wine then there was in my glass to work it down. The result: after half a pizza, of which I had removed a 5 cm wide edge, I could not eat anymore. Despite all this (we had paid for it!) we took the other half, without the edges, home. As far as I'm concerned I am waiting for still another owner, and in the meantime I will be roughing it with the other pizzerias in Cluny….

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