Big Al's Bites: Transcendental pizza

It’s funny how something seemingly insignificant can change your outlook on life. My wife and I were cruising around Salt Lake City in the familiar dinnertime haze, that phenomenon where you’re hungry but don’t want to cook/pay for food. It’s quite a dilemma; anyone who has suffered through it will agree with me. We continue to drive until we come upon what looks like a less-than-impressive pizzeria off of 400 South. Hunger and boredom took their toll, and deciding that even bad pizza was better than most of our options, we branched out.

The cute yellow sign and juxtaposition to Jamba Juice didn’t promise Italian excellence, but, enticed by the offer of something different, my wife dragged me into what looked more like a boutique than a pizza shop.

As we walked through the doors, we were met with an unexpected amount of class. The walls were a distinct charcoal, with maps of the world and chic modern menus hanging around the restaurant. The menu was simple, not boasting any incredibly complex pizzas; blissfully, there was no barbecue chicken pizza, slightly resurrecting my expectations, but rather simple classics. My wife, the less adventuresome of the couple, settled on a standard five-cheese pepperoni, and I was about to do something similar when a special caught my eye.

Written in Sharpie on a roughly cut piece of butcher paper was the Capra, an intriguing blend of garlic-infused olive oil, goat cheese, fresh basil leaves, red onion, sweet sausage and . . . could I be reading cherries? Yes, tart cherries. Cherries! On pizza! What an idea. All other items were eclipsed, and I ordered the Capra from a distinctly Italian-looking chef, answering back in a heavy accent. I sat, hoping that the Capra would be half as good as it sounded, but knowing it was a tall order to fill.

But boy, did it fill the order.

Simply put, the Capra was one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had. The tartness of the cherries against the sweetness of the sausage, the fresh basil floating against the rich goat cheese, all served on what you could have convinced me was a crust made by the Pizza God himself, amounted to an unforgettable experience. Thinking it was a fluke, I tried my wife’s relatively boring pepperoni pizza, and it was just as good.

But pizza this good isn’t just good. It’s transcendent. It’s enough to make me wonder what else I’ve been passing up. We had passed that pizza place dozens of times, and I had dismissed it as a cross between Domino’s and a Relief Society function (the sign was really cutesy; it could pass as a centerpiece), only to be proven wrong.

So what I take away from this is not only will I be going back to Pizzeria Limone incessantly, but also that we shouldn’t pass up on things based on preconceived notions. For all you know, you just passed up cherries on pizza. And what a tragedy that would be.

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