And the Beet Goes On

Readers respond to our love letter to 'beetza.'

"Hi Laura, you don't know me. My name is Vince. Put that in your column: Vince, not just 'V,'" said the not altogether friendly voice on my answering machine. Vince didn't just want me to print his name, though; he wanted me to write that the pizza at Piecora's on Capitol Hill is as good as—or better yet, better than—New York Pizza Place's, which I praised here two weeks ago. "I read what you wrote about that beet pizza," said Vince, "and I demand that before you write anything else about New York–style pizza, you go to Piecora's." Well jeez, Vince. You demand? Besides, aren't we kind of circumventing the point here? Beetza (not, dear "V," merely "beet pizza") isn't necessarily about a deep, burning need to experience New York–style pizza in Seattle. But fine, Vince demands that the N.Y.C.-ness of Piecora's pizza is absolute, and I hadn't been there since before the Kingdome was demolished, so I went. Vince is right in that Piecora's makes pies with a medium density crust; just a little chewy, just a little like a loaf of Wonder bread. And their sauce doesn't get in the way of the toppings. Slices are hefty and foldable, acting as funnels for the orange-colored oil juice that, yes, absolutely evokes street pizza, subway stations, and summer heat. I still think the stuff up near Northgate is better, though. That crust has a great crunch, and moreover, it's nuanced; more than just a bland, squishy cheese carrier, you get the flour and the yeast. You get each of the simple, whole ingredients. It doesn't matter to me what city it's aping, it's just really good. And as far as responses go, I liked the e-mail that Janice sent me best, anyway. It was an excerpt from the Washington Post in which Cafe Atlantico (D.C.) chef Katsuya Fukushima recommends using my beloved beets in mojitos. He says to crush and combine mint, limes, and a tablespoon and a half of sugar in a tumbler, fill the glass with ice, and add a quarter cup of white rum and a tablespoon and a half of beet puree. Shake vigorously, then fill the glass with lemon-lime soda. Behold the Beetjito. Put that in your column, Vince. SPEAKING OF COCKTAILS, you can get good ones out at Lottie's Lounge in Columbia City, formerly the nearly departed Lottie Motts Coffee Shop. Longtime Seattle nightlife curator Tia Matthies (former co-owner of the OK Hotel, current partner in the Rendezvous) stepped in to help give the space new life. Meanwhile, out in Ballard, her husband Steve Freeborn (also late of the OK Hotel and currently of the Rendezvous) is hard at work with his partners setting up Hazlewood, a smallish cocktail lounge in the space that was most recently a coffee shop called Fast Eddie's. Hazlewood partner Andrew Church, familiar in Seattle music circles as bassist Drew Church of Droo Church, says the reference isn't a direct one to Nancy Sinatra's friend Lee. Between you and me, however, I'm going to go right on believing that it is. Ben Shepherd, who played bass in Soundgarden, is also a partner. Hazlewood should be open in about a month. On the other end of town, O2 is open in the original Ovio Bistro space. A friend says their mojitos (not beetjitos—yet!) are fabulous, and while the menu is smaller than Ovio's, it also seems more focused—but that's before the mojitos kick in. Piecora's, 1401 E. Madison St., 206-322-9411, Lottie's Lounge, 4900 Rainier Ave. S., 206-725-0519. 02, 3247 California Ave. S.W., 206-937-3202.

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