It was a rare, but hopefully becoming not so rare, Saturday night off, and I met up with some friends for pizza and a movie.
My friend Joe, who I worked with at the restaurant, has opened up a pizza place. It's called Joe Squared, but his name is Joe and he makes square pizzas. He originally wanted to open the place in Charles Village, but the building backed out at the last minute, and now his place is at North Avenue and Howard Street. It's been open for three weeks, and he's still waiting on his City Paper review, so I'll do my best to give him the Epiphany in Baltimore treatment.
Walking into the new pizza and beer joint Joe Squared, one doesn't quite know what to make of it. There's art on the walls. There's a small dance floor with a DJ in the front. Huge mirrors line the walls. Three TVs are tuned to sports stations. An unscuffed pool table sits near the back. Two bars line the walls.
And then you get it - Joe Squared is just a comfortable place to have a beer and a pizza in, with a little something for everyone. But mostly it's about the pizza. The group of eight of us got two smalls (a seafood lovers and a greek) and two mediums (a quattro formaggio and a meat lovers), but it was hard to choose - other varieties included the popular chicken and apple pizza, and the tuna melt pizza. As we waited, we sampled the six beers Joe has on tap, ranging in price from $3 for a Newcastle and $7 and $10 for the fancier Belgian beers he brings in.
The pizza arrived, and they were delicious, with a light, thin crust with a taste that didn't overpower the pizza, allowing the sauce and toppings to really come through. All the pizzas were really good, and I loved how you could choose from the side pieces - which were mostly crust - and the middle pizzas, which were mostly toppings. Our entire bill for eight people, all with beer and pizza, was $93.82. We left $120 and were on our way to the Charles, which is just a short three-block, well-lit walk.
Okay, so that restaurant review would never pass the muster of the City Paper. But that's why they get paid the big bucks. And that's what you get when I have only about five minutes to write a silly entry. But I would highly recommend this place. He's trying to spread the word but customers are coming in slowly. We were the only ones there. This would also be a pretty excellent place for a Happy Hour.
Speaking of which, we saw The Squid and the Whale. I loved it. Loved it. Again, as with Capote, it had its flaws, particularly an abrupt ending and a lack of resolution with one of the main characters. But this is the movie with the best performance of Jeff Daniels's career (I'd pick him over Hoffman for the Best Actor Oscar), and typically sexy work from Laura Linney. The kids were amazing. The writing and tone were very Wes Anderson, but a bit more grounded. It was really a great movie.
Afterwards, it was off for drinks at The Golden West. I'd never been there before, and it was totally not what I expected. But I still had an Irish coffee and a Guinness and went home. To find that Richard Pryor had died. He really lived a long time with all those health problems.
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