Thursday, May 25, 2006

Memphis Pizza Cafe

Memphis Pizza Café
2087 Madison
726-5343


In deciding to purchase our house, I freely admit that one of the deciding factors for me was having the Memphis Pizza Café literally outside my front door. I love to walk outside and get a nice big whiff of pizza cooking. I would eat at the Memphis Pizza Cafe every day if I could.

But I can't.

Warren hates the Memphis Pizza Café. (Funny, he didn’t hate it when he was trying to woo me seven years ago!) He claims the crust is too thin and the sauce is too--I don’t know--saucy, I guess. Oh and he often cites the canned mushrooms as a major offense.

However, when Warren leaves town for weeks on end to dig up artifacts in tick-infested forests, the boys (Satchel, 4, and Jiro, 2) and I eat a pizza once a week, at least. But we usually get it "to go". Although I love the pizza at the Memphis Pizza Café, I don’t love the service. I was a frequent complainer pre-kids, so I can only imagine how ornery I’d be now. So, I normally call my order in and have my mom watch Jiro as Satchel and I walk across the street to the “Pizza Store” to retrieve our delicious pies.

I have it down to a science and am almost always able to walk in just as our pizza is coming out of the oven. If we do arrive a bit early, Satchel props himself up on the one and only barstool at the counter and watches the guys (especially the one with the Mohawk) do their thing. If that gets dull then I give him a quarter with which to attack the gumball machine.

There are always plenty of families and small children eating at the Pizza Café. One night I saw three little girls all dressed in white quietly eating their pizza while their parents had a lengthy conversation. (It actually kind of scared me.) Last week, strangely buoyed by our visit to Sekisui, I decided to dine in with the monkeys. And my mom. (I wasn’t going to be outnumbered again!)

Oddly enough, we arrived to find that the Pizza cafe was almost completely empty. I can only assume that all of the happy families were either at BBQ Fest or somewhere else enjoying the warm weather. I had planned to sit on the patio, which is actually really nice, but again I worried that the patio might encourage the monkeys to run completely wild. Besides, I have many memories of sitting on the patio wondering when and if a server was going to notice me. So we sat in a booth in the non-smoking section about two feet from where they make the pizzas.

This probably wasn’t the best choice of seating since Satchel was inspired to do his usual climbing up on the stool to watch the pizza production. This wouldn’t have been a big deal, but Jiro was right on his heels and it only took a second for them to realize that they both weren’t going to fit on the stool. Their dispute didn’t last too long thanks to the allure of the gumball machine. As they both darted towards it, I noticed for the first time how unstable it was. Luckily I could reach it from my seat and was able to hold it steady while they got their ya-yas out.

I quickly placed our order with the waitress and was able to lure the monkeys into their seats with promises of ice cream for “good boys.” Soon the waitress brought some water (I can’t remember if they got Styrofoam or not) and crackers and they got to work on those. The mere sight of food prompted Jiro to fill up his diaper. He turned to me and said, “Poop.” Thankfully I had actually had the foresight to bring a diaper and wipes. However, having already been to the restroom once to wash everyone’s hands, I knew that there was no changing table. Or counter space. Or a floor I’d be willing to lay my child on. I briefly considered laying him out in an empty booth, but decided that after four (cumulative) years of changing diapers, I could probably do it while he stood up in a stall. I was right.

Our pizza came before I ever had a chance to stress and was delicious as always. The boys ate considerably less than they do when we eat it at home, probably due to the excitement of being in public. I briefly fretted that I wasn’t able to serve the pie with some broccoli like I do at home.

All in all, it was an enjoyable experience with good service and I can certainly see why so many families (presumably with children who wear white, sit still, and never poop in their diapers) eat there often.

The monkeys and I had pizza again last night, but we go it to go.

Memphis Pizza Cafe (Midtown) on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

RJA said...

This is the one place I've steered clear of with The Trio specifically due to the lousy service, but you've given me hope.

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