Even though Andrew's birthday isn't for a couple of days, we went out for his birthday dinner yesterday. Birthday dinners are a tradition in Andrew's family but Grandpa is leaving for Germany on Sunday (which means that both of our grandpas will be in Germany!) and we have a Ghana reunion party to go to on Monday. Friday night just worked.
Andrew chose to go to Terra Mia, of course. It's an Italian restaurant and the food is so authentic it's like a little slice of Italy landed in Orem. The owner is from Napoli and he imported his oven from Napoli as well, so the pizza is the real thing. I was shocked to find a bunch of bad reviews of the place on Yelp.
All I can say is that those who gave it bad reviews must have never been to Italy.
I have to admit that I was a little disappointed in my first real Italian pizza, too. We spent nine days in Italy on our honeymoon and ate pizza every single day. Actually, my first slice of pizza was in Ciampino, at a little pizza shack by the train station on our way to Rome. I got potato pizza and it was fabulous—we just got a couple of slices to go. My next pizza, though, was a regular margarita and I wasn't all that impressed, though Andrew was in pure culinary bliss.
My complaints were the same as the reviewers on Yelp: it was too big to be a "personal" pizza, the sauce was thin and watery, the crust came out charred in places, and what was up with the handful of basil leaves they threw on top?!
At first I thought it was, perhaps, a fluke. Maybe it was just that restaurant that had lame pizza and the next one we'd go to would be normal. After nine days of pizza, pizza, and more pizza, I realized that that was just how pizza was done in Italy—from Rome to Venice and beyond.
What was funny was that you could order "American" pizza at some places—and on that you'd get corn and hot dogs as toppings. *gag*
There's also a pizza popular in Italy that comes topped with mussels (still in their shell (*gag* again)).
Our Americanized version of pizza is as close to nailing Italian pizza as Italy is to getting "American" pizza. We do it all wrong but we like what we do, so I guess it's alright. I can't even imagine the outcry we'd have if someone tried to open an authentic Chinese restaurant in Orem—mmmmm...chicken leg soup! *gag*
Anyway, Andrew is always up for authentic Italian food, so we headed to Terra Mia for his birthday dinner and who should we run into but Katharine, Todd, and Kayl. It was like a spontaneous birthday party!
The girls were so excited to see their cousin!
Andrew got the diavola pizza, which has spicy salami on it.
He said it was perfect—memories of sitting in Italian cafes flooded back to him the minute he took a bite.
Our waiter, who speaks Italian impeccably but is actually from Costa Rica, offered to take a picture for us.
Don't we make a pretty group?
When we got home the girls were so excited to get ready for bed that they didn't even fight about having to clean up their room. Grandma brought home some new pyjamas for them and they couldn't wait to try them on!
These little girls are so cute and funny! They make me smile.