Like Superman with Kryptonite dentures, I can bare the burden no longer.
It is not without a great deal of hesitation that I relinquish this last great secret of mine.
The fear. The apprehension. Possible futures unleashed by my imagination unfold before me like the lyrics of some new Kelly Family album. The terror is overwhelming. Rides me like a dog. Will the whole sh*thouse go up in flames? Will they start using paper place mats? What am I doing? The doubt looming. The expectant regret enticing me forward with an icy, wretched digit.
Pizza and Indians. How could I ever have missed the connection? What void in my soul draws me to this place of places? This place of faces. Gluttony? Some sorry contrived belonging in a world that doesn't stop for me and my self-pity? Contact with some root I wish existed? Who knows?
Anyhoo, there is, along the the path of the otherwise useless #11 tram, a doorway leading into a pizza place called Baretta Pizza & Pasta. But it isn't just any regular Czech pizza joint. No, no. Here they make decent pies and name them after important deceased Native Americans.
I usually opt for the 'Spotted Bear' with garlic and some vaguely oceanic sardine mush. Delicious. Prices are low and they have a swell summer zahrada. They even deliver on a spiffy new scooter within forty-five minutes. They're still working on the draught beer.
Pizza, an American invention born of poverty and tomatoes. Baretta, an Italian pistol. Native America, a tragic saga I have no right to talk about, being swept under the carpet. The more I think about it, the more I want to cry or laugh. The irony is almost comical. It's okay to have dark skin as long as you got it from the sun or some street corner solarium. But, alas, where do I get off? Just who the hell do I think I am? -AB
Just a few years ago it was difficult to find a decent pizza in Prague.
Back then that crucial element, the crust, was often a pre-formed faux-dough which was then decorated with bottled ketchup, canned mushrooms and plasticky cheese. Microwaves completed the abomination.
Decent pizza baked in brick ovens is now easy to find within the formulaic but comfortable Italian-style restaurants that dot any neighborhood. But these European-type pizzas, while often yummy, sport a crust that has more in common with soda crackers than with bread, and a distinctly continental theory of cheese and sauce.
And to be fair, even though they're an evil megadeath corporate globalizing bomb-them-now canker sore, the Pizza Huts are coming back to town to serve the standard American-style slice, it's just you don't want to know where all that grease and cheese has been.
Now the most notable place to get a proper (if still not thick) crust with the full protocol of cheese gooing around chewy toppings above the right red sauce is a Nusle joint called Baretta, just off Náměstí Bratří Synků at Bělehradská 4.
It features a weird Native American motif, and in fact, if you catch one of the principles on a slow day, he might explain to you his version of the history of pizza (involving a traveling Italian and the indigenous people of the American Southwest).
It's up to you to decide if your leg's being pulled. But what's no joke is the free delivery and other unique mainstays, such as their going to the mat on the whole calzone scam.
Yes, Baretta Pizza & Pasta have outed calzones once and for all as nothing more than a pizza that fell over on itself, and offer any of their pizzas prepared as a kapsa, or pocket-style. For delivery call +420 774 246 366, and be aware the minimum is a 150Kč order, local area only, and don't expect English.
Reason to go: because pizza is a great Indian dish.-AZ
Baretta Pizza & Pasta, Bělehradská 4, 140 00 Praha 4, www.baretta.cz Tel: +420 261 215 622 Tram 11 or 18