Pizzalchik 

...then the other.

When asked to review Pizzalchik, I was hesitant. I couldn't get past the name, which stands for PIZZa, sALad and CHIcKen. I'm nothing if not dedicated to my job, though, so I rounded up the Beast (my 4-year old niece), the Skater (one of my two teenaged nephews) and my sister-in-law, the Schoolteacher. We went to experience Pizzalchik for better or worse.

There were only three tables and a couple of barstools making up all Pizzalchik's indoor seating, making for a cozy dining experience. There wasn't room for any more seating or there wouldn't be room for the GIANT 6,000-pound hearth oven, in which everything is cooked. Even the Beast was quiet for once as she stared into its flaming maw. Owner/chef Brad Breakell greeted us and proudly described the freshness of pizza toppings like pepperoni, shrimp, smoked turkey, capers, zucchini, cashews, and oh so much more, all lovingly arranged on a hand-spun thin crust. He detailed the garlic, mushrooms and seasonings that go into the roasted chicken, talked about the freshness of the salad ingredients and showed us a display of beautiful cheesecake.

We selected pepperoni pizza for the Beast, one with mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes and house-marinated artichoke hearts to share, a shrimp on cold Asian noodles salad for me, tossed green salad for the Schoolteacher and a quarter chicken and Caesar salad for the Skater. We did have to wait awhile because everything was cooked to order, but once the food arrived, I was in a kind of taste bud euphoria. The dressing on my salad was tangy and a perfect complement to the noodles and big, skewered shrimp. The pizza was crispy and every ingredient was ideally balanced against the next. The Skater reluctantly let me taste his chicken and it was so tender we almost fought over the juicy remains. The Schoolteacher's salad had kiwi, cucumber, marinated onion and a gorgeous edible flower.

While not inexpensive, the food was worth every brand-new buffalo nickel they charge. On the way home, the Schoolteacher and I compared notes on everyone we were going to tell about Pizzalchik. With all of that delicious, fresh food, the Breakells can name the place any damn thing they want. I will go back. And I suggest you get yourself there, too. I've already made a lot of phone calls.

-Amy Atkins wanted to bring the Quail, but it interfered with his secret government mission.

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