Pizza Lab #3: Disco Fries Pizza
Pizza Lab is a fun theoretical column in which Meg A. and Erik S. explore their innermost passion for baking and eating pizzas. It exists purely for the sake of experimenting in the kitchen. It may not necessarily be cost-effective everytime, so don’t try this at home kids.
Meg A. and I are no strangers to the grotesque. Admittedly, some of our couples habits/mannerisms would probably disgust other people, so we’d like to think we’re well versed in the art of gross. One of the best and worst parts about being an adult is that you get a little more open minded though, when it comes to things which should be, and likely are awful. As you get older, certain things which sound repulsive in theory actually tend to be not bad when you give them a shot. Like portobello mushrooms, or alcohol, or going down on a human female. A few years ago at a diner, I was introduced to something which not only sounded disgusting, but even looked disgusting upon its being served. Of course, I speak of the underground delicacy, ‘disco fries’. Simply put, similar to the Canadian dish of ‘poutine’ disco fries are french fries served with melted cheese and gravy on top of them. Fortunately, one bite was enough to confirm that they were indeed delicious. Since then, I’ve been a devout fan of this heavenly meal. With the dawn of Pizza Lab, I knew that this was going to be something that would HAVE to take place.
Disco Fries Pizza
Erik S. So I was really excited for this pizza from the moment I came up with the idea. I really love Disco Fries. You’ve never actually had them though, right?
Meg A. I’ve never had disco fries, so this was really your thing. I just went with it.
Erik S. Admittedly I feel sorta bad that your first experience with them was a negative one.
Meg A. It wasn’t negative… it was…neutral.
Erik S. Well by comparison, it was negative. Like how if the first time you watched Jurassic Park it was on a 12″ television, or with a small child screaming in your ear.
Now, for anyone who has actually followed the first two Pizza Labs, you’ll know a recurring problem has been selecting a dough. Our first entry left us in tears as spreading the dough took upwards of 20 minutes, and the second experiment flat out resulted in us throwing away the first dough. Fortunately, this problem was remedied with the suggestion of purchasing a dough from the local pizzeria. And I use the phrase ‘local pizzeria’ figuratively, as anyone from Long Island will tell you that any given village has upwards of seventy-five pizzerias located within a five mile radius (and that’s low-balling it too). Either way, the dough was a delight to work with.
Erik S. I must commend your decision to buy a dough from a pizzeria this time.
Meg A. Best decision I’ve ever made. It was sooo much easier to knead out, and it tasted really good too.
Erik S. Yeah I pretty much saw you take it out of the box, turned around to get the french fries, and when I turned back around there was a pizza dough.
Meg A. If we weren’t together I’d attempt to date whoever makes that dough so I could have a free supply for future pizza labs.
Erik S. How frugal of you.
Meg A. And hey the gravy was on sale too!
Erik S. Everything’s coming up Meghan!
Next up, the most important aspect of disco fries, well, that would be the fries. For anyone curious as to what I recommend for them, you should go with Nathan’s fries. They possess a good crispness to potato-ness ratio, and are perfectly resilient for being covered in cheese and gravy, while still being chewable. Trust me, you don’t want to use overly crunchy ones. If you use crunchy french fries, you’re gonna have a bad time. BUT WAIT ERIK, THERE ARE NO NATHAN’S AROUND HERE. YOU’RE BEING MELODRAMATIC, IT’S NOT WORTH IT. Shut up, Nathan’s sells their famous fries at supermarkets everywhere in the frozen foods section now. Which is an interesting trend I’ve seen lately. Seems a lot of fast food chains with legendary fries are beginning to start selling them frozen now. Nathan’s, Checkers, Arby’s, they’ve all jumped on the frozen fry bandwagon. And basically we all win.
In place of sauce, since Pizza Lab’s abominations often trade the usual red sauce for an entire host of insane possibilities, gravy was poured over the bed of fries. The traditional cheese to throw onto disco fries is either American or mozzarella. So for a pizza, mozzarella was the easy choice. Additionally, since I’ve seen restaurants prepare their disco fries with bacon bits, we figured “Why the fuck not?”
Erik S. Normally I use Nathan’s fries when I make disco fries, but in this case I think it contributed to the overall mediocrity of the pizza.
Meg A. Part of the problem was it was too chewy and heavy. I think I might have preferred thinner fries.
Erik S. Part of what makes Nathan’s fries Nathan’s fries is that they’re heavy and chewy. But yeah, I think the Nathan’s fries made it a bit too potato-y, which in combination with the dough ended up being a bit meh. Hey if you’re lookin’ for carbs though, this is the pizza for you.
Meg A. True. If I ever run a marathon (which, check for pigs flying), I’d eat that pizza for carbo-loading. It was too late after baking it, but we ended up needing a lot more gravy than we had… Basically this pizza had everything going against it…
Erik S. In theory it should have been great though. Then again, in theory Season 3 of The Walking Dead should have been great.
As implied in the above comments, the combination of dough and thick fries resulted in a very starchy pizza which was borderline oppressive. Yes, I used the word oppressive to describe a pizza. That’s how thick and doughy this thing was. It oppressed my mouth with its high carbohydrate count. Surprisingly, not even the bacon and cheese and gravy could counter this. Which is a shame because those three things are all pretty delicious on their own, and combine pretty well together, hence why disco fries are delicious. But it just wasn’t enough here.
Meg A. Ultimately I think we put too much faith in the bacon. Like, we didn’t salt the fries because we thought the bacon would be salty enough… That added to the blandness.
Erik S. It’s true. From the get go my mother remarked “This bacon sucks. It ain’t salty enough.”If anything this pizza teaches us a lesson in respecting our elders.
Meg A. Yep. Always listen to your mother.
Erik S. Also I hope my mother doesn’t read this, since that sentence would technically imply I’m calling her an elder.
Meg A. Overall, the pizza wasn’t BAD, it was just meh.
Erik S. There was nothing offensive about it, it just didn’t work the way we were expecting.
Meg A. If anyone out there wants to try making their own, I definitely recommend using thick cut bacon. Not the flimsy lingerie bacon we had. Also, I’m kind of surprised bacon lingerie isn’t a thing…
Erik S. Welp, I know what search term people are gonna be finding this article with…
Meg A. You’re welcome.
Also this demonstrates the important lesson of purchasing good-quality bacon. For pizzas, and in general I guess. It also gives me an excuse to look up bacon lingerie, which surprise, surprise, is a thing. I mean, was anyone expecting it not to be? We live in a society which has yet to realize bacon culture and jokes, as a phenomenon, hasn’t been amusing since Green Day was actually a punk band. All joking aside, bacon is a fantastic flavor to enhance your dish with, but only when it’s of decent-enough quality. In this case, we bet it all and lost. The pizza wasn’t repulsive, but it had literally nothing going for it. Part of this might’ve been the fact the dough was fairly thicker than we’re used to. Still though, disco fries have a very distinct, very delicious flavor, and it just wasn’t here. It was drowned out like a newborn baby in a swimming pool. Any attempts to give the pizza some hint of a taste by adding more gravy were futile. Nothing could help this poor dish. If the plethora of bacon and cheese on this pie weren’t distinguishable, you know it wasn’t particularly appetizing. Still, it looks good. And it doesn’t taste bad. It just… doesn’t taste. At all.
Erik S. Anyhoo, as I mentioned at the time, the pizza wasn’t bad, it was just that the dough got in the way of it being good disco fries, and the fries got in the way of it being a good cheesy, bacon pizza.
Meg A. So it ended up just being a mediocre bastard child of our imaginations. The outcome here was disco fries are awesome, and pizza is awesome, but they gain nothing by being combined.
Erik S. Sorta like boobs and pesto sauce. Boobs are great, and pesto is great. But I don’t see much merit in licking pesto off of a pair of boobs. Unless they like their boobs smelling like garlic and cheese.
Meg A. Well…the beholder of said boobs might enjoy it…
Erik S. Haha, gross.
Meg A. To each their own.
Erik S. Annnd amazingly Pizza Lab has now managed to become filthy and weird three posts in. And I’m okay with that.
Meg A. Pizza Lab/Midnight Snack crossover?
Erik S. Only time will tell.