The Shil-Shul Diaries
The story begins in a cramped booth at the "faux" New York deli 'Noshville' in Nashville TN on a blustry day after thanksgiving November Friday day in 2008. In between my wife, Rachel, and my brother, Michael, I sat across from my "cooler than me" cousins Mark and Sarah, and Sarah's just as cool husband, Danny. Mark, who lives the awesome life being a lawyer living in San Francisco working for Facebook, with his only downfall being his SEVERE lactardation..which has never been medically or scientifically proven to exist in Mark.. Sarah and Danny are foodies from NYC who have tried every dive "chicken finger" hut and "curry on a stick" in the big city. Danny and Sarah had discussed that they were trying to go to as many places from Bobby Flay's 'Throwdown' show as they could, and that there was one in Nashville we had to try.....a place that I had never heard of in my 13 years of living there..I will get to that adventure later.
I got an idea from my cool cousins idea. An idea became a hobby. And the hobby became an obsession. And thus produced the list.....a world-famous spreadsheet...of every restaurant that has ever been featured on Food Network and Travel Channel....every restaurant from the famous shows like "Throwdown", "Man V. Food", "Man v. Food Nation", "Food Feuds", "Food Wars", "Best Thing I Ever Ate", and "Diners Drive-Ins and Dives" to the obscure "Best Food Ever", "Meat and Potatoes", and "101 Best Places to Chowdown", plus my additions of the restaurants of famous chefs and local places of legend. Names, cities, food they are famous for, and addresses. It was and still is an obsession. As of 9:24am on January 7th, 2015, THE LIST HAS 3,116 RESTAURANTS ON IT...WITH A FEW OVERLAPS HERE AND THERE. And then over Pastrami Eggs Benedict at Nate N' Al's Deli in Beverly Hills, Hannah and Andrew, our good friends, gave me the idea of the blog. Document every place I went. And thus, "The Shil-Shul Diaries" was born. I will log the places, the shows they are from, and what I had. So far, every place I have been has been amazing, except two, one being mediocre, and another being down right awful.
If there is a city you have been to, or are going to, or are from and want to know what from my list is in the city, send me a email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, January 4, 2016
From "Late Night Paradise"
2035 E North Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202
What they say: "Mac N' Cheese Pizza (20-inch dough topped with local mozzarella, boiled elbow macaroni noodles, and homemadecrème fraiche, along with shredded Wisconsin cheddar cheese); Barbecue Brisket & Tater Tots Pizza (topped with local mozzarella, disk-shaped tater tots, and 18-hour smoked beef brisket, drizzled with homemade barbecue sauce)"
Take a moment and think about this answer. What does the perfect pizza look like to you? What would be on it? No two people may have the same answer, nor should they, thats the beauty of food and the beauty of places like Ian's pizza. Pizza comes in many shapes, styles and sizes. Square, round, deep, thin, red sauce, white sauce, clams, veggies, cheese in the crust, hot dog in the crust. But Ian's pizza pushes what the "expectation" of how pizza is supposed to look and taste. to the maximum deliciosuness. Mac n Cheese, steak and fries, kung pao chicken, the options are endless and unexpected. Take a moment now and think about what the perfect pizza would look like to you. Thanks to Ian's, the possibilities and options destroy the barrier of what we know to be "traditional" with pizza making and open up a whole new universe of options.
What would your perfect pizza look and taste like? It may be Ian's next great concoction.