I'm a foodie. I love all kinds of foods. But I take a lot of heat for showing so much favor to pizza and burgers. Guess the kid in me still exists. I think many lambaste me because they simply haven't searched out and enjoyed the same types of pizza and burgers I have. This is certainly true in England, where most foodies agree finding a great burger is like trying to find the golden ticket in a bar of chocolate. It simply doesn't happen very often. But I'm not English, I'm American. I was born in a country that worships and idolizes the burger. We've perfected it to an art that has now become a science. But this isn't a blog about burgers. So pray, let us move on.
If you've been to Pizzeria Trianon in Naples, as I have, you know what ultra-stupidly-brilliant pizza tastes like. And now you have another pizza joint to search out and find; Pizza Ae Oche in Santa Croce, Venice.
After four days of searching far and wide for Ae Oche we finally found it on our last day. With several hours to kill until our flight was leaving and an hour before our water bus (Alilaguna Blue Line) was set to depart we decided to give Ae Oche a try. This turned out not to be the best idea as lunch took quite a long time, apparently this is where all the local builders eat, and we had to literally run from Santa Croce to San Marco to catch the water bus.
Although my ribs ached with cramps and my wife nearly fell over from a combination of fullness and a stitch in her side, we do not regret eating at Ae Oche. It's a restaurant that normally would of been completely off my radar and had I seen it without knowing how special it was, thank you New York Times Travel Section, I would of just walked right past it. It screams chain-restaurant! And, as anyone who knows me can attest, I despise chain-restaurants. With the exception of Thomas Keller's growing Bouchon chain and Sullivan's Steakhouse, of course! My Mangiafuoco Pizza with Spicy Salami, Chili Peppers, Paprika, Tabasco Sauce and Rocket, which I added for an additional €1 was painfully delicious. As was my wife's Estiva Pizza with Rocket, Parmesan Cheese, Cherry-Tomatoes and her €1 addition of Onions.
Both pizzas were as good as anything we've ever eaten in a restaurant before. I still prefer our homemade pizza though. Which is basically just variations of this River Cottage recipe. Pizza Ae Oche is certainly worth risking getting lost for a few hours while you try to navigate the 117 islands and about 400 bridges that make up Venice. And it's relatively inexpensive, except for the bloody coperto that awaits you at every table in Italy... Grrrrrr!
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