Saturday, November 19, 2011

Aruba Edition: Tale of the Pie - Casa Tua Pizzeria

On our last night in Aruba, Spicy and I decided to take Saucy Jr. and our friend Veggie Barcelona (she has not approved this name, but we want to protect her identity so I am taking a bit of a liberty here) over to Casa Tua Pizzeria for a bite to eat. Hilariously enough, this was the same day that we ate at Tomato Charlie's. So we had two meals consisting of pizza in one day.

But in case you have not noticed, we really like pizza. This was not a problem. Only thing is, we almost did not make it to our meal.

As we were walking to the place, Saucy Jr. started to fall asleep. At this point, we were presented with a dilemma. We could either wake him up so he could eat or we could let him fall off to sleep and we could enjoy our meal in relative silence. Usually, this would be a no-brainer. If a kid wants to sleep, you let him sleep. However, on the trip, Saucy Jr. had an odd tendency to fall asleep every time we were about to eat. So to this point on our trip, he had pretty much been living off a diet of Animal Crackers and lollipops. Not good for a kid I am basically depending on to become a professional basketball player. We made the choice to wake him up so he could have real food. This was a mistake of epic proportions. As soon as he was roused, he began bellowing at high volume about his need for an immediate "pocksickle" (this is Baby for "lollipop"). This tantrum continued for a good ten minutes. There was screaming. Crying. Stomping of feet. Lying prostrate on the ground praying to the God of Lollipops. And that was just me. It was ugly business.

In any event, once he calmed down to a tolerable degree, he was given his pre-meal lollipop. From there, he had some occasional outbursts that caused him to have to leave the table, but he was able to chill out enough to allow us to have a decent supper. As I have stated, on this evening, we were dining with Veggie Barcelona, a friend of ours who is a vegetarian. Out of respect for her dietary choices, we elected to go full-on vegetarian on this night. For an appetizer, we went with the Insalata di Pomodoro, Aglio e Basilico, which is a very fancy way to say "a salad with lettuce, tomato, oil, and vinegar." It was pretty straight-forward, but I remember thinking that the dressing was pretty flavorful. A refreshing change of pace. After filling ourselves up on - and making sure to continuously ply Saucy Jr. with - bread that cost something like $1.50 per basket (I do consider making people pay for bread at an Italian restaurant a violation, but it was a small price to pay and it came with a very interesting spicy olive oil), we waited for the pies we ordered.

The first pie was a Margarita, which of course consists of cheese, tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil. I do remember the crust being quite malleable and it was certainly the right texture. The pie itself was not incredibly flavorful, but then again I don't believe you should expect spicy zing from a Margarita pie. While it did not blow me away, I did eat something like four or five slices so no real complaints here (OK, could have had more sauce, but I would say that about just about any pie I consume). The second pie, selected by Veggie Barcelona (Spicy was out entertaining Saucy Jr. when we chose the pies), was the Tre Formaggi, a pizza with tomato sauce, blue cheese, gouda, and mozzarella. Now I am not a big fan of exotic cheeses. They just scare me. But I did have one slice of this pie and I have to say it was probably the more distinctive-tasting selection. Something about the blue cheese (I think; again, not an expert) just popped right out. Spicy and Veggie, they of the more developed dairy palettes, both raved about this pie. So it gets a major thumbs up.

A quick word about the service: I thought it was pretty excellent. As Spicy so astutely noted in her review of Tomato Charlie's, the servers on this island are very laid back. They can disappear on you for ten minutes at a time. But the guy we had at Casa Tua was pretty much omnipresent. He kept our water glasses filled. He kept checking to see if we wanted more of the chilled red wine in which we indulged (the answer, after enduring Little Man's horrid outburst, was always "Yes"). He got us our check in a timely fashion. Good work by him.

Speaking of that check, we asked for it while Veggie Barcelona circled the perimeter of the establishment with Saucy Jr. in his stroller. We got it, paid it, and prepared to get our stuff together. Right then, Veggie returned with a slumbering Saucy Jr. Then, rain commenced. Then, we saw our waiter from the night before out on the town. We took it as a sign.

More drinks were requested. Conversations were rekindled. Laughs were shared. Just another in a series of wonderful evenings under the Aruba moonlight.

Pros: Malleable, fine textured, thin crust; Tre Formaggi slice had a distinctive pop; service
Cons: Little light on sauce; sauce was a bit light on flavor; bread charge is wack

Casa Tua Pizzeria
Arawak Garden
J.E. Irausquin Blvd. 370
Palm Beach

The Pizza Project
Just a nibble:
Single slice:
The full pie:

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