September 06, 2009

Bon appetit - Pizza Pi and salad

Vegan pizza takeout from Pizza Pi in Seattle
We decided to do a dinner and movie night out. Actually, back in Wisconsin, we'd switched to movie and dinner, in an attempt to economize when movie prices started rising. We'd go to an inexpensive 4 o'clock show, and then out to eat. That seemed to work in Wisconsin, but apparently it doesn't work so well in Seattle. The 4 p.m. show we went to cost us $19. This was our first movie since moving here, and we picked a theater close to home that was showing the film I wanted to see - Julie & Julia. We almost walked past the Seven Gables theater because it looked like a large house on a residential street complete with a hefty set of front steps. My husband spotted the movie sign and up we went into a large house of sorts with a box office and theater and other lounging rooms. The place was old, and slightly decrepit, but "arty" in a very cool way, if you know what I mean. It was also packed, and we stumbled in the dark up the center steps of the theater to claim a couple of seats in the very back. My seat was not very comfortable - sprung springs and forward slanting, but I made due in the name of art. I mean, I can be as artsy as the next person. But still, trying to stay on the seat was sometimes competing for my attention with the film. There was another little thing - the screen. It was so small and far away. Plus, there were at least 10 previews (I'm not kidding), and I was very much missing our Sundance Theater in Madison.

We loved the film, and all the actors were terrific. My only complaint was that Julie Powell and her husband couldn't have possibly eaten all that butter and cream and not put on weight. "Julie" SAYS she gained weight but the tiny and adorable Amy Adams shows no outward signs. Meryl Streep was fabulous as Julia. I will have to rent some videos so I can watch the real Julia Child. I think I love her. The whole movie was wonderful.

We were feeling pretty good after this film but as we headed back to the car we saw tickets being placed on windshields. What? Did we overstay the two-hour limit? What? What? What? Yes, there was a ticket on our car, and it soon became clear why. There were multiple, stacked parking signs on the street - you know the kind - and we'd spent some time trying to decipher their meaning. We finally thought we'd got it worked out when we decided it was okay to park from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for two hours, except on Sunday. What we missed completely was the top sign that said "no parking AFTER 6 p.m." The ticket was for $44, making this the most expensive movie we've ever seen. As we drove away, I was wishing that the seat had at least been comfortable and the screen, bigger...

We went home to organize dinner because we didn't really have a set plan - the kind that involves reservations - and we were feeling a bit deflated after the ticket. No one really wanted to cook so I said I'd make a salad if he went out for a pizza. Going out for a vegan pizza isn't an option we've ever had before, so the novelty was kind of appealing. He went off to Pizza Pi to pick up the broccoli and mushroom pizza we ordered, and I went to see if there was anything left in the refrigerator to make into a salad. I've always wanted to be able to do this - order out for pizza like any normal family might. La-di-da.

Surprisingly elegant homemade salad from the dregs in the fridge
In the fridge was a bit of romaine, a few baby carrots, a small hunk of cucumber, baby beets, very soft yellow pear tomatoes on their final day of life and some leftover cashew-dill dressing I had made a few days before. This was not going to be a Julia-quality gourmet meal, but out of respect for her memory, I cut those veggies as carefully as I could. Elegant little strips of julienned beets and perfectly cut spears of cucumber. (The dressing, by the way, was made by blending cashews with water, olive oil, rice vinegar, sugar, dill, lemon, salt and possibly other stuff until it was creamy, smooth and delicious.)

The pizza surprised me at first because it never occurred to me that it wouldn't be whole wheat. It looked just like regular pizza from Pizza Pit except it was a little under-baked. It was a bit limp instead of crisp but the crust was nicely chewy and the toppings were fresh and good. Pizza Pi uses Teese for the cheese topping. We re-heated some slices in the microwave (yes, we have our first microwave in the rented house) and they improved greatly. It wasn't quite as good as homemade but it was good and I'm sure we'll be having it again. The salad was perfect.


  1. Oh my goodness--$19 for TWO tickets to a movie?! That is ridiculous! But I am glad you saw Julie and Julia--I saw it last weekend and loved it. I had the same reaction as you, though--there is NO way they could have eaten all of that without gaining weight! And she continued to be her little skinny self the whole time...yeah right!

    Isn't ordering vegan pizza a treat? I had family in town recently, and we ordered from Galactic Pizza (have you heard of them?)--they even delivered! It was so exciting :-)

    Your salad looks wonderful!


  2. If you are trying to make me want to come to Seattle, you are doing a darn good job, what with the calling-out-for-pizza, and the restaurants, and the chocolate factory! And you, of course!

    Roya and I saw Julie and Julia with my parents in RI and loved it also. I grew up on Julia Child, watching her with my mom, and I have such a soft spot in my heart for her. It was wonderful to see Meryl Streep not wreck it for me - just the opposite! I think she really nailed it, don't you? But yeah, the thought of all that butter.... yikes! It was funny to think that although I loved that movie, there was no way I would ever be making any of those recipes!

  3. Courtney,
    Well, I'm glad we're in agreement about the movie. I think when it comes out on video I'll rent it and watch again. And yes, ordering pizza is a real treat. Galactic delivers vegan pizza? Yikes.

    We're going on a chocolate factory tour tomorrow and I'm hoping they'll let me take pictures that will put you on the next plane!

    Meryl Streep was exhuding the essence of Julia Child. Nailed it indeed. She was fabulous. That first scene when she has her first French meal is priceless.

    I would never make those recipes either but it didn't stop me from loving the movie. There were a couple of scenes that made me a little squeamish (lobster? duck?) but it was all good. I'd like to read through a copy of the book, which I never have.

  4. We wanted to see that film yesterday but then we were running late and went to see Taking Woodstock instead. But it is still on my list.
    Oh yes, ordering a vegan pizza isn't an option here, too. I am glad you can to this now. Sounds like something special.

  5. That's so cool that you can order a pizza that's vegan! Looks delicious. Pizza and salad are always good and easy.

  6. Mihl,
    You should definitely see J&J - at least in my opinion. I'd like to see the Woodstock film, too.

    LK Sisters,
    There's all sorts of vegan food we can get here, but I still miss our old home. Though, pizza helps.

  7. you pizza looks so delicious!!
    you can save your money on pizza by using coupon at and buy one get one pizza free.

  8. Oh, boy, that was an expensive movie! I loved it too, and I want to see it again, in the comfort of my own home.

    Your salad looks very elegant. Homemade is always best!

  9. Liza,
    It's pretty hard to find coupons for vegan pizza.

    I want to see it again at home, too. But I sure wish I'd see it on a BIG, high quality screen the first time.

    I agree that homemade is best, but takeout has its charms!

  10. So sorry about the ticket! But your salad/pizza ALMOST made up for it. . . that dressing sounds heavenly. I also loved the movie and wanted to go out and rent her cooking shows after seeing it!

  11. Ricki,
    I think everyone must be renting the cooking shows. Can't get near them!

    The ticket was a disappointment, especially on top of the high admission price. Oh well. At least there was a pizza involved.


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