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Better Than Blaze

June 26, 2019

Last night we were evicted from our home. Maybe evicted is the wrong word. We’re selling the house, and we had to vacate the premisses for a showing around dinner time. Certainly, things could be worse than being forced to go out to eat on on Tuesday night.

And really, things are much much worse for so many people these days. But we’re going to focus on something positive on the blog today.

With my son away at camp, the door was open for us to take a trip to Blaze, which Mrs. Fussy enjoys. Even that might be the wrong word. It’s just that she can get a lot of vegetables and a little bit of cheese on a bespoke pizza, and that’s appealing. What’s less appealing to her is the interminable wait in the line. For me, it’s the noise, filth, and chaos of the place. Well, that and the underwhelming quality of the pizza.

However, I was willing to go for her sake, since our son always vetoes Blaze as an option. But even though we had some time to kill, Mrs. Fussy still wasn’t thrilled about facing the line, and opened up the door for us to grab a light meal from Marisa’s Place instead.

That was a great call.

If you haven’t been to Marisa’s Place in awhile, you’re missing out. They have transformed the space in a strip mall on New Karner Road from a slice shop to a wine bar and sit down restaurant.

However, you can still order slices and have them brought to your table. The difference is that you can now enjoy your three dollar meatball slice and three dollar order of garlic knots with a glass of wine, in a clean and cozy setting. Silverware even comes rolled up in linen napkins. They don’t even use linen napkins at Lost & Found which is making some of the best food in Albany.

Maybe Marisa’s new setup is a little bit awkward.

Mostly because the place now looks so fancy, it feels strange simply ordering a slice of pizza, especially when there is a full menu as well. I’ve ordered Marisa’s greens and beans a couple of times in the past, and it’s huge. Really, I want everything to be smaller everywhere. That way I could perhaps have room for a cannoli after the meal.

Speaking of which, now Marisa’s has gelato which is made for them by hand by someone they know in Latham. And last night we ordered moderately enough to split an order of stracciatella between the three of us.

That too was huge. While the price was fair the volume, we didn’t really need $8 worth of dessert for the three of us who were full after our very modest meal. All we really wanted was a bite or two each. While I wouldn’t make the drive out to Marisa’s just for the gelato, it was a lovely option to close out dinner, and linger a bit more at the table.

All told, Little Miss Fussy had a slice of pepperoni pizza, Mrs Fussy and I split a broccoli and spinach roll, and we all shared an order of garlic knots. That’s about $15 worth of food. But with a glass of white wine, the large bowl of gelato, and a generous tip we walked out spending $40.

So I’m torn. I miss being able to swing into Marisa’s and have our $15 self-serve dinner with paper napkins under fluorescent lights. But I’m also glad to be able to have this delicious food in a relaxing setting, with wine, for those days when we need some kind of treat.

And as we sat in the peaceful, warmly lit, dining room, I was so glad we skipped the madness of Blaze. Sometimes you have to treat yourself. Even if that means a $40 outing to a gussied up pizza shop.

Should you go, just remember, slices are what you want. You may be tempted by the whole pies. That would be a mistake. Marisa’s pizza is absolutely better once it hits the oven for that second heating, to crisp the bottom, and transform it into the best version of a NY Style slice I’ve found in the Capital Region. And for all that is good and holy, order it a slice at a time. Slices are best while they are hot. As long as you’re paying for table service, make the most of it.

One of these days, I’d love to just hang out with a bottle or two of an Italian red, a few friends, and just drink wine and order slices. The stemware is delightful with long stems and large delicate bowls. And I love the juxtaposition of enjoying imported fine wine with street food.

Maybe we’ll get that chance before we head off to Michigan. But maybe not.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Renee permalink
    June 26, 2019 11:56 am

    I’m happy to drink wine and enjoy a few slices before you leave. I thought of emailing the old pizza gang and then forgot. I always end up ordering a specialty slice while V gets the straight up cheese. Her slice is always superior. I know better, but can’t resist! The new layout is so confusing, but I’m glad the food quality hasn’t changed.

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