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This pizza 'experience' worth the trip to Carmel

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One of the few things I remember from my undergraduate business studies is that if you want to succeed in retail or restaurant the most important rule is LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION. Some places try to save money on rent and move ahead with the mistaken concept that their product will attract the customer. Even with a superior product this strategy is risky. In our fickle society, convenience often wins over quality, thereby leaving the consumer to choose from a pool of mediocrity.

While I’m sure Pizzology’s storefront rent isn’t cheap, the amateur commercial real estate agent in me is quite sure some alternate storefront property in Carmel demands a price superior to this unassuming little strip mall at 131st Street and Hazel Dell Road. Tucked away in the corner of this little plaza is Pizzology, a place that boldly and successfully proves my business professor wrong.

Pizzology isn’t your average pizza joint. It’s more like a pizza experience. Voted 2007 Chef of the Year by Indianapolis Monthly, Neal Brown of the former gem, L’Explorateur, and his wife, Lindy, opened this venture serving Neapolitan craft pizza like the kind you would find in Naples, Italy. Their cheese and sausages are homemade, and their dough is made with wild yeast, spring water, and Caputo Pizzeria “00” flour. The pies are then baked in an 800-degree, wood-burning oven resulting in a crust that is extremely thin yet crisp and durable, and somehow light and airy all in the same pizza.

I’ve dined here twice, each time for lunch. I once made the feeble attempt to try to eat there during the dinner hour, but the crowd generated too long of a wait. My first visit included my wife, Amy, and our three children, along with my mother and her companion, both visiting from Florida, and my brother and niece, visiting from Illinois. We sampled a large portion of the menu with this crowd.

Upon entering the restaurant you are met with a beaming hostess and hip but clean-lined décor. To the right is a small, full-service bar, and a newly added screened porch for friendly weather dining. Near the back of this small restaurant is an open-concept kitchen, flanked by a counter and stools for patrons to sit, dine and watch the kitchen staff craft their magic. To the left is an additional dining area while lively but non-offensive music fills the entire establishment.

Amy ordered an Italian Chop Salad, consisting of romaine, prosciutto, Gorgonzola and tomatoes. Finished with a citronette dressing that stole the show, Amy gave this salad a rave review. Having sampled it, I concurred. A perplexing balance of citrus, oil, and vinegar flavors, this quality salad foreshadowed what was yet to come.

My mother ordered the daily risotto special. Not many restaurants have the guts to even offer risotto as it can be both tricky and time-consuming to prepare. This place not only offers risotto, but it offers a different variety daily. I admittedly do not remember what flavor they served that day, but I do remember it was cooked to perfection.

We ordered three pizzas, each with the remarkable crust discussed above and christened with quality ingredients. We had the homemade sausage pizza, laced with fennel, onion, fennel sausage, and roasted sweet peppers. Additionally, we had a Sicilian eggplant pizza with eggplant, mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, and capers. Lastly, the kids chose a homemade pepperoni pizza to complement their spaghetti and meatballs and buttered pasta.

The sausage was littered with fennel, the way Italian sausage should be. Put capers on anything and I’ll give it rave reviews, but I have a sneaking suspicion even without them the eggplant pizza would stand out.

Have you ever been to a pizza place that made its own pepperoni? ’Nuf said.

Tie all this in with the sugary sweet and loudly flavored San Marzano tomatoes and you will find this out-of-the-way place is worth the trip.

My second visit was a solo affair. The lunch special was a soft drink, soup or salad, and a personal Napoli pizza made of mozzarella cheese, those kick-&*$ tomatoes, and oregano. I ordered it and found consistently supreme quality, all for $7.63, including tax.

Pizzology uses local ingredients whenever possible. In addition to the staples, it offers craft beers from places like Indy’s own Sun King Brewery and the popular Mad Anthony brand from Fort Wayne. Lindy Brown is famous for her wine palate and is in fact a Certified Sommelier so trust the wine list, after court please.

Pizzology, 13190 Hazel Dell Parkway, Carmel; (317) 844-2550; www.pizzologyindy.com.•

____________

Fred Vaiana and Jennifer M. Lukemeyer practice at Voyles Zahn Paul Hogan & Merriman in Indianapolis, focusing in criminal defense. Vaiana is a 1992 graduate of the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Lukemeyer earned her J.D. from Southern Methodist University in 1994 and is active in the Indianapolis Bar Association, Indianapolis Inn of Courts, and the Teen Court Program. The opinions expressed in this column are those of the authors.

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  • Pepperoni
    Thanks for the very nice words. We are happy that you enjoyed Pizzology.

    Just wanted to clarify that while in the beginning, it was our intent to make our pepperoni, we found that we simply couldn't keep up with production. We have removed the inferences on all of our menus. Make no mistake, we are working on a way to keep up with demand, and hope to someday make ALL of our cured sausages, but for now, we are buying an extremely high quality product that we think tastes awesome!

    Just wanted to be honest about this.

    Thanks for your support of Pizzology, we are happy to have you.

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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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