I’m glad to report that I successfully achieved my Pizza Month goal of eating nothing but pizza for the entire month of April. I already addressed some of the biggest issues early on in the month, but I figured it’d be worth taking a look back to share a few thoughts and answer some of the most common questions I’m asked about the experience. It’s also a good excuse to make some lists.
First of all: no, I’m not sick of pizza. It helps to understand that I eat a lot of pizza anyway; it isn’t uncommon for me to eat pizza everyday for a week at a time. This doesn’t mean that the whole endeavor wasn’t hard though. On the contrary, it was much harder than I expected. Consider, for instance, the following situations (all of which happened to me during the month):
- You attend a business lunch, but end up having to order nothing and watch every one else eat because the restaurant doesn’t serve pizza. This of course also involves trying not to come across as a total dick while you explain to everyone why you’re not eating with them.
- It is the warmest, most beautiful day of the year in New York City and you can’t eat an ice cream cone.
- You are on Martha’s Vineyard for an extended trip and end up needing to scrape the bottom of the local pizzeria barrel in order to fulfill your daily quota for new pizza.
- While on Martha’s Vineyard, you are staying for a week with your boss, whose wife is the editor of a magazine that focuses on local food. You can’t eat their undoubtedly delicious home-cooked meals or act on recommendations for the best local restaurants (unless they serve pizza).
- You attend a catered dinner with tons of amazing food that is also free, but you can only eat an undercooked pizza which you picked up beforehand.
I could go on, but you get the general idea.
To only cite difficult situations would be unfair, though. I had many outstanding experiences throughout the month which probably wouldn’t have taken place if I were eating a normal diet. For example:
- Doing an interview for the local news which would be re-broadcast on stations around North America
- Appearing in the news in other forms around the country, including interviews for the Chicago Tribune and a conservative fundamentalist right-wing talk radio show in Alabama (?!)
- Visiting 18 pizzerias that I have never been to before in my life, many of which were a pleasant surprise
- Hearing or reading feedback from people who thought my plan was entertaining, admirable, stupid, or otherwise thought-provoking
- Losing 2 pounds (yes, I lost weight)
- Having an easy conversation topic to fill awkward silences
- Receiving an e-mail from a girl I’d never met, asking if I wanted to go on a pizza date with her
Since writing about every single slice I ate all month would take forever, I will instead name some superlatives, yearbook style:
- Pre-gamer – Pizza I ate the night before Pizza Month started to get psyched up: Patsy’s Pizzeria in East Harlem, Manhattan
- Hidden Gem – Previously unexplored pizza I wished I had known about earlier: Bacci & Abracci in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
- Letdown – Most disappointing pizza based on the amount I expected to enjoy it and the amount I actually enjoyed it: Pulino’s Bar & Pizzeria in Lower East Side, Manhattan
- Surprisingly Good – Most impressive pizza based on the amount I expected to enjoy it and the amount I actually enjoyed it: a Vegan Macaroni & Ground “Beef” slice from Vinnie’s Pizzeria in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
- Healthiest – Pizza which probably provided the most nutrients I was missing out on elsewhere: a Dell’ortolano pie from Acqua Santa in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
- Worst – Pizza I enjoyed the least: Vox Populi in Back Bay, Boston
- Best – Pizza I enjoyed the most: a tough call, but I’m gonna go with the Greenpointer pie from Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
- Out with a fizzle – last pizza I ate during pizza month (also the runner up for pizza I enjoyed the least): Fresh Pasta Shoppe in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
On May 1st, after eating nothing but pizza for an entire month, these are the first 3 things I ate (in order):
- a single sunflower seed
- a slice of cold leftover pizza
- a sandwich with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and olive oil
In conclusion, I’m glad I went through with this year’s Pizza Month challenge, but I’m not sure I’ll do it again next year. I might return to the same challenge from previous years, to eat one slice every day from at least one different pizzeria every day. Another option I’ve considered which might be interesting is to eat from at least one pizzeria I’ve never been to in my life at least once a day. We’ll see…