Northlake's Back! ???
Out of sheer boredom tonight, I revisited the scene of many a youthful indiscretion (but refrained from driving home on the Burke-Gilman trail). One of my many character flaws is that I tend to consider such places to be friends as much as restaurants.
Anyway, the last 20 or so times at Northlake Pizza--I'd say over 10 years--were beneath disappointing. The long, slow descent from stylistically good to meh to "Why am I doing this?" has been like one decade-long tooth extraction. Everything got progressively blander, soggier and sparser--yet more expensive. It had become, IMO, what my dad used to call a "clip joint".
Tonight, however, my tastebuds started The Wave before I was even witting. I spent the rest of the pie (half veggie for Wahine/half Combo for me) trying to identify what made this particular pizza... very good.
The crust was actually crisp (and with a little salt for a change), the sauce was richer and more garlic-ky, and both cheese and the other toppings had obviously been upgraded in quality by *at least* two notches. Even the table parmesan was better. The result, with minor exceptions, was as good as I remember NP's pies from the 1970s, when it had Piccolo's to keep it honest.
Have others noticed this upward quantum leap? If NP keeps this up, night-time users of Burke-Gilman should be *very* alert.
Northlake's been on my radar for many years but whenever I wanted to try it, something always got in the way. I finally made it there tonight and the experience was nearly religious.
We ordered the small Logger seeing that it was enough to feed 2 people. I was skeptical when they brought what looked like a tiny pie piled high with toppings. I was sure I was in for a floppy mess and couldn't understand why they didn't provide a spatula, just a couple of butter knives. Surprisingly, I was able to transfer the slice to my plate without any trouble. The solid, crunchy crust gave way to some tasty sauce and gooey cheese. I love it when you can't tell where the dough ends and the cheese begins (a la L&B). Cheese seemed to be of decent quality. Then the toppings. Fresh and crunchy chopped bell peppers and onions with olives chopped so fine they could be called a paste along with some ham and sausage. I finally understood the need for the oddly sturdy base. Ridiculously yummy. It was one of those pizzas you eat and think, 'this is something special.' i can usually eat quite a bit of pizza, but I was actually full after 2 seemingly small slices. My bf is a pretty big guy and he was full after 3. So we actually took home 3 slices. Crazy. It looked so small.
I can't wait to go back and try the combo and it's huge pile of mushrooms. Yay.
Ooh! Thanks for posting Kaleo about Northlake... used to love it through the 80's, when I went to UW and after, but certainly since the new century it stopped being good.
At first I thought my tastes had changed, but a dining companion one tims said the cheese seemed fake, and that was the last time I ate there.
Will have to go back. I used to just love their thicker pie; different than most in town.
will report my experience!