When I was feeling a little anxious and displaced about moving to a new town, my dad told me to do two things: Find somewhere to get a beer and find a good pizza place. Then you'll start to feel at home. I recently found the latter.
Yes, there is Lola's and Pies and Pints, but for a regular pie, I hadn't found my go-to. That is, until I wandered upon Graziano's. I had an interview in the evening at Taylor Books not too long ago, and as I was heading back to my car, I felt my tummy rumble. I looked around and realized I should've grabbed something from Taylor's, but right next to my car was this pizza joint that I hadn't tried yet.
After walking in completely dumbstruck - usually I try to research a new restaurant a LITTLE before trying it - I stared at the menu for a solid 10 minutes. They have some items prepped and on the counter, but you can also order. I got awkwardly flustered by the options and instead ordered a small pizza. With mushrooms.
I sat at a table and made small talk with a woman working. She had been there for quite some time and was folding pizza boxes. I was listening to some of her tales when a man from behind the counter handed me a box and told me to make sure I keep it level.
Also to note here - the folks working called me "hun." And I generally hate this because 1 - it's condescending or 2 - it's obnoxious. A small portion of people can pull of the 3rd option where it's this sweet, homey feel. These folks made me feel right at home. And that's something I'm desperately searching for in Charleston - this sense of belonging. But back to the main story here...
This is the best regular pizza I've had in Charleston, and I couldn't be more thrilled! The dough is not so thin that it rips and tears but not so thick that it overwhelms the flavor. It's thin, but not paper thin. I like it to be thin enough to act as a vehicle for the rest of the ingredients without falling victim to grease, sog or deconstruction.
The sauce has that very slight tang to it, rather than being watered down, and enough cheese to properly coat the top without masking the flavor. To top it off? A nice helping of salty shrooms. If you've read my blog, you know this is my preferred pie.
And in Charleston, this is my preferred pizza joint.
I've even had it delivered once already, for only a $1.50 charge (+ tip, of course), and it's just as delicious.
And and, it's nowhere near the grease levels for half the stuff Morgantown produces. Nuh-uh.