In his book Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One's Looking), OkCupid cofounder Christian Rudder notes that the word "pizza" appears almost as high up on the list of frequently used words in dating profiles as the word "the." It's scientific proof: Humans fucking love pizza. Rudder's data reveals we love it regardless of our gender or ethnicity or sexual orientation.
But even pizza has its limits. It's terrific for dinner, and it's a fabulous cold breakfast, but pizza makes for problematic lunch fare. If you take a pizza break in the middle of the day, you're most likely going to spend the rest of your afternoon wishing you could nap off the ball of cheese and bread demanding your body's full attention. Pizza is only a smart lunchtime choice under two very strict conditions: You skipped breakfast (and probably even dinner the night before) and you're about to undertake some physical activity—preferably a long walk—to ward off the inevitable sleepiness.
I happened to land in the pizza zone during a lunchtime visit to the Central Library last week, so I visited probably my favorite pizza place in Seattle: Italian Family Pizza (1206 First Ave, 538-0040). You boring-ass snobs can brag about how nothing will ever compare to that one orgasmic slice you had once while high on beta blockers in the middle of Manhattan at 3 a.m., but those of us who don't waste our lives wondering where our youth went will be busy eating the excellent pizza at Italian Family.
I always mean to branch out to the white pie or the red pie, but I always wind up getting the classic small (11-inch) cheese pie ($9) with pepperoni and garlic ($1 per topping). My waiter, who resembled nothing so much as a sexy Fred Flintstone, took the order and delivered my meal while singing and dancing to the R&B soundtrack ("Automatic" by the Pointer Sisters, "No Thing on Me" by Curtis Mayfield).
The kitchen staff is boisterous and, yes, familial, and they own their occasional mistakes with a casual charm—on my visit, a faint burning smell emanated from the kitchen, accompanied by the sound of an oven door sliding open and a chef muttering, "So much for that fuckin' pizza." The waiter, at one point, changed the words of a song to "We are family/I got all my pizza with me," and everyone in the place had to laugh at the hokey fun of it all.
This is just ridiculously good pizza. There's not too much cheese, the sauce is spicy and rich, and the crust is just doughy enough to soak up all the grease without overpowering the rest of the pie. It's a huge meal that will leave you ecstatic; just make sure to plan your day around the ensuing blissed-out coma.