Monday, September 1, 2014

Acadiana's First True Neapolitan Pizza: Bread & Circus Provisions

Growing up, there was nothing better than knowing that pizza was for dinner. There may not be a food as lovely as pizza. Hot, gooey cheese. Smooth, sweet sauce. Warm crust. Either growing up made pizza lose its magic, or pizza has become less than stellar. Regardless of the cause, Chef Manny Augello of Bread & Circus Provisions has made a giant leap in improving the pizza scene in Lafayette. Drawing from his Sicilian roots, Chef Manny introduced the first authentic Neapolitan pizza to hit the Hub City. 

Think about every pizza you've ever eaten that has ridden shotgun in someone's Honda Civic. Sure, it may have tasted "good". It satisfied your hunger. It got you through those all night cram sessions. It made for a decent, cold breakfast. But those round things are not pizza.

Neapolitan pizza is a pie like no other. Originating from Naples, Italy, Neapolitan pizza is made from a few, fresh ingredients. A basic dough, fresh tomatoes, cheese and basil with a touch of olive oil. That's it. No stuffed crust. No overly topped, soggy pie. No pairing with cheesy bread. Just good, real pizza.

Much care goes into making a Neapolitan pizza. The dough is made from unbleached, untreated flour, yeast, purified bottled water and olive oil. This simple, yet delicious, dough is kneaded and flattened by hand. Without the use of an electric mixer or even a rolling pin, the chef is able to control the texture of the dough. 

The pizzas at Bread & Circus, once only available by the slice during late night dinners on Saturday night, are fresh and are a nod to classic Italian cuisine. I was hit with the aromatic scent of fresh basil when I opened the double glass doors that rainy Friday evening. Chef Manny was working with his back to the counter, forming dough by hand for possibly the pizza I was about to devour.

He walked the finished product out to me, opened one of the boxes and described the basic concept of the Neapolitan pizza to me. My eyes glazed over and I zoned out, fantasizing about each bite, wondering if I would be forever ruined, unable to enjoy any other pizza again. While driving home, I took every opportunity to sneak a peak at the steaming circle of sauce, cheese and toppings.

With two pizzas to choose from, it was hard to decide where to begin. We started with the more traditional of the two; sauce, cheese, basil and bacon.

The sweet, herb filled sauce complimented slightly charred basil. The ratio of each ingredient was perfectly arranged for flavor's sake. 

The second offering was topped with chorizo, Gorgonzola and pear. The sweet and spicy pairing of pear and Spanish sausage was amazing. This pizza hit so many taste receptors my mind was melting. Don't let the untraditional toppings scare you. Just take a bite and it will all make sense. Both pizzas held true to Chef Manny's philosophy that food should not be intimidating, but rather comforting and inviting.

Save yourself the three thousand dollar flight to Italy and order a pizza from Bread & Circus. These precious pizzas are limited in number and are only available Thursday-Saturday nights with pickup starting at 6:30pm. Selling out each night in the opening week, it is highly recommended to call in your order early to ensure your piece of the pie. 

Like Bread & Circus on Facebook for all menu offerings and the changing pizza menu. 

Bread & Circus Provisions
258 Bendel Rd

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