Sunday, March 21, 2010

Great Lake

There is a lot to say when talking about Great Lake. For those unfamiliar, Great Lake is an extremely small (12 seats that I could count) pizza storefront in Andersonville that is open Wed-Sat from 5:30pm-10:30pm. A husband-wife team runs the place and makes the food. Wait times can exceed two hours, even for pick ups. The menu features only 3 pizzas that rotate randomly (each cost ~$21). Even knowing these peculiarities, the buzz is that the pizza is some of the best in the country, using fresh and local ingredients. I was intrigued.

Trying to get a table for 3 on a Friday night at 7:30pm was quite foolish. Since we already parked and made the trip, we figured better to order take-out than nothing at all. The only problem is that they have their small oven planned out and that we could come back to pick up our one pie at 9:30pm, i.e. closing time.

Even with the wait, the price, the "service," and other "ways I wouldn't run my business," the pizza is good, scary good. I've read that some don't call it pizza because the crust is so uniquely tasty and there is not a lot of sauce or cheese (more like flat bread). We ordered the #1, most would call it a margherita (cheese, sauce and herbs). I think the local specialized ingredients shine through and taste fantastic. I also approve of the proportions, just the right amount of toppings for thin crust pizza. The crust, however, is the most interesting and delicious pizza crust I've ever had. The bottom stays firm and steady throughout the entire piece, while the actual crust is more like fresh baked bread topped with sea salt. I'm not sure how it's done, but even if I knew, I couldn't replicate the result.

Though the pizza was very tasty, I don't think I will be making the effort to have another slice. Quoting a friend of mind, "would I want to go home and eat it tonight? Absolutely." Will I go back, wait for hours, get treated like an alien and pay over $20 for pizza? Not likely. I can vouch for the quality and taste but all of the other intangibles turn me off (and I didn't even eat there). Check it out if you like the adventure and have lots of time and lots of patience. 

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