Turnpike Pizza, 6900 E. Greenlake Way N, Seattle
They’ve eaten at all the hippest restaurants in Seattle over the years. So maybe they would have tried again to get into Delancey that night, if it weren’t for the fact that just that day, Delancey had another mention in the Seattle Weekly, ensuring that the already staggering wait times wouldn’t be diminishing any time soon.
With a slightly shifting cast, Michael’s Wednesday night dinner group has been going strong since they graduated from law school in 1997. Some weeks more people show up, other weeks, fewer. They’ve eaten everywhere once, and they haven’t doubled back in years. I come along every now and then. Pragmatically, this week they settled on Turnpike Pizza, a new restaurant directly across the street from Greenlake.
Michael and I arrived first. We looked around the restaurant, which was shiny new, small and pleasant. In spite of lots of rain-streaked windows facing the lake, it was comfortably warm. A couple of guys were running the place-one of whom brought us a menu and explained our options, while the other continued to toss pizza crusts. Having made a few homemade pizzas, I am always fascinated and impressed by the sight of a pizza crust being expertly tossed. I was mesmerized as the dough floated in the air like a frisbee, coming down the exact size of the pizza pan.
The menu was straightforward–several pizza options, calzones, salads, and a modest list of beers and wines. Once everyone had arrived, we settled on two pizzas: The Turnpike (Marinara Sauce, Mozzarella, Meatballs, Parsley) and The Greenlake (Tomato Basil and Oregano Sauce, Mozzarella, Artichoke hearts, Garlic, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Topped with Pesto).
Piping hot and generously sized, these arrived quickly, and we dug in. The Turnpike pizza was simple and delicious, with just the right ratio of refreshingly non-sugary sauce to mozzarella. The meatballs were flattened into meaty eatability, and all of this made for a very satisfying pizza.
In spite of a few jokes about whether it is really wise to eat anything named The Greenlake, this pizza also proved to be delicious. I tend to be a thick crust fan, and often hand-tossed crusts turn out thin, crispy, even crackery. But the crust on our pizzas was really perfect. Thin but stretchy, chewy, and with a soft, thick edge I could happily have buttered and eaten plain. My verdict: Yum! And everyone got to go home with a leftover piece.