Tuesday, May 20, 2008

White Pizza vs. Red @ Tarrantino's

After Broad Appetit, we were still fantasizing about the food we didn't get around to trying, particularly the pizza slices from Tarrantino's. You'd think we were on withdrawal from a good NY slice (cuz, we are). As soon as I got home from work, I volunteered to pick up a pie so we could spend the evening chilling out with dinner on the couch.

A brief glance at the paper menu we picked up on Sunday had us torn: White or red? Hmmmm... Why not both? Although I love to economize (and order in bulk: the largest possible cheese pizza and eat the rest for breakfast and lunch), being fickle means we pay more for variety. Nonetheless, we got complete satisfaction; and maybe a little gluttony. (Tarrant's phone number: 225-0035, location 1 W. Broad St. at Foushee)

Karen's plate.
First off, I'll spare you a description of the pizzeria, cuz I touched on it in my previous post and another blogger beat me to the punch (although I had this piece conceived, photographed, and partially written before Brie hit "submit"). The two pizzas in their little boxes filled my car with the most amazing smell. I almost crashed from the intoxicating aroma. If I'd been breathalyzed for pizzaholicness, I'd have blown a 2.3 from the contact high alone. The white variety is the "bianca" by the way.

My plate, with my favorite beer and my only Penzey's purchase:
a shaker for crushed red pepper.

These red and a white pizzas are essentially the same. Bread topped with cheese and the difference being a layer of X in between. In this case it was a non-stingy portion of tangy marinara on the red and a garlic ricotta combo mingling together on the white. We were really glad that we ordered both varieties, because that one layer makes these two experiences very different. The red sauce will bring you back, without a doubt. And that white delivers a garlickiness that will make you swoon. As you can see, I put the hot peppers on half of my slices, and left the others as the control group. The results were predictable: I like spicy food.

So, let's talk about the commonalities: crust and cheese.

By ordering small pies, I screwed myself. You can't expect thin and crispy crust if you don't order a size that's big enough to get stretched out. So, both were slightly doughy, but not doughy like pizza from a place that shouldn't be serving pizza (most everywhere in the Fan), but doughy like small pizzas tend to be. Regardless, the bottom was scalded in just the right way and the rim was perfectly chewy. Baking soda and yeast were evident in each bite. I'd say that a New Yorker would think twice before complaining about this crust (and then boast about home anyways, cuz that's how they defend against Richmond's charm). The cheese was stringy on the red and firm on the white; in both cases above par, but not as notable as the other elements (no biggie, here).

All in all, my hunch is that the best way to enjoy Tarrantino's is to dine in with enough people to split a large pie (although carry-out is ready in 15 minutes). That way, you'll get the true crust experience, piping hot, and you can enjoy the classically rigid pizzeria booth with parm and pepper shakers at the ready. However, before ordering, ask if they sell pizza by the slice. They don't, yet. But, it's only a matter of time as passers by will be drawn in by the heavenly garlic smell. That is, if Richmond can muster enough downtown activity to warrant having pizzas pre-made and ready. Time will tell.

After overeating...


  1. that looks like me after a good pizza fest, pacifier and all!!

    Nice post, I am always looking for good pizza, as we are limited to only a few non chain restaurants on Southside. We'll have to check it out.

    see ya

  2. The bianca sounds bomb. :) I am totally going to have to try it. :)

  3. Brie, you will not regret it. I am stil dreaming about that pizza.

  4. Do they have a menu on-line? I can't seem to find one. This sounds like someone we want to include in our pizza rotation (8 1/2 won't miss us every now and then...)

  5. Jephy4:03 PM

    pardon me for being dumb, but is tarrantinos the same as tarrants? does tarrants turn into a pizza parlor at night or something?

    please help me out.

  6. Tarrant's openned a spot in the back with it's own entrance and called it Tarrantino's. They're connected, though. You can walk from dining room to dining room, but the pizzeria is really a different vibe. Go see it and try to resist ordering something.


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