Because a pizza this good is worth the drive…

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PRINTED WITH THE PERMISSION OF THE ALPINE AVALANCHE http://www.alpineavalanche.com

On Saturday, my husband and I had a list of things to do in Alpine that included stops at two of the hardware supplies stores and lunch. After our last errand, I casually asked (over the sound of my growling stomach) if we had much fuel in the tank. We had plenty. “Good! Let’s go eat lunch at Big Bend Pizza!” I didn’t have to suggest it twice.

We discovered Big Bend Pizza in Marathon about a year and a half ago. We love trying new places – and we love pizza – so it drew us in like a magnet. Susan Spears makes a pizza that keeps us coming back. A really great pizza will be worth the miles you drive down a beautiful West Texas highway on your way to get it. Actually, the drive itself is worth it – the pizza just made it even better.

Pizza was first introduced by the Greeks – it was a flatbread with a little olive oil and some herbs on it, nothing like the pizzas we know today. An Italian queen, who had grown tired of the French cuisine she’d been eating, visited the Pizzeria Brandi in Naples, one fateful day back in 1889. The Pizzaiolo (pizza maker) Rafaele Esposito made a pizza for Queen Margherita that contained the three colors of the new Italian flag – tomato for red, mozzarella cheese for white, and green basil leaves. We know this pizza as Margherita pizza today. Thank you, Queen Margherita.

Around the globe, five billion pizzas are sold each year, and Saturday night is considered the most popular night for pizza. I think any night is a good night for great pizza.

While some reports say that pepperoni is the most preferred topping for pizza in the U.S. (around 2.51 million pounds are sold each year – that’s a lot of pepperoni), I prefer Canadian bacon and pineapple, with some jalapenos tossed on before it goes in the oven. At Big Bend Pizza, that’s the Hawaiian with Jalapenos.

Pizzaiola Susan is a one-woman force in her kitchen. Even though I called in our order, she had three pizzas ahead of us for other people that have discovered her. She moved to Marathon from Midland about five years ago and has been cooking her pizzas for about two years. She’s open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until 8 p.m., and is at 900 E. Hwy. 90 in Marathon. Her phone number is (432)386-8883, and her menu is listed on Yelp.

Take an afternoon drive down to Marathon for a pizza – you won’t be disappointed. Just please, be more patient than me and let it cool before eating your first slice.

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