I love being a stay at home mom. Let me start with that. I really do. I love it, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Seriously. I wouldn’t have it any other way, and so please keep that in mind while I say what I’m about to say. Sometimes, being a SAHM can be one of the loneliest jobs ever. There, I said it…
According to a ReturnToNow.com article, I’m not alone in that feeling either. “Asked how many hours of adult interaction they got per week – not including their spouses – one in four stay-at-home moms said ZERO.… Nearly half (46 percent) said they spent an hour a week or less in the presence of other adults, and more than 80 percent said they spent less than five. The average amount of time spent interacting with other adults (including grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, mailmen, waving neighbors, and strangers at parks) was just under 3 hours per week.”
I can relate 100%. Aside from my husband, I have maybe 2 hours a week of adult interaction, and that’s limited to my son’s baseball games, Cub Scout meetings, and other random minute-long conversations here and there.
So a few months ago when Leeann, a friend/fellow 3rd-grade-parent, presented the idea on Facebook to start a book club, I was all OVER that. Heck yes, I was interested. Basically, it ended up being about 8-10 women from the area, all connected by Leeann. The first meeting was AWESOME. We met up at Captain Larry’s for food and drinks and book-talk. I had a blast, and besides giving me a book to read, and then discuss, it really provided me with a couple of hours out of the house, away from the kids and it was glorious.
The subsequent meetings have been an oasis in the month, a time where I get to interact with other women, talk books (sometimes), and mostly just laugh, learn and be together as a tribe of women, and it has become something I look forward to and truly enjoy.
This past week was our monthly book club meeting, and while I didn’t even read the book, let alone BUY the darn thing (Shh… Don’t tell), I still decided to attend because, well, I needed it. I needed to get out and be among other women.
This time, we met at local bar/pizza spot, Barfly’s, located at 620 E. Fort Ave, Baltimore, MD. Heck yeah! I’ve always wanted to go, but never for some reason have been. Basically, it’s a “hole-in-the-wall” on Fort Ave. here in South Baltimore, and draws an interesting crowd of whisk(e)y and pizza lovers alike.
Seriously, every inch of the display behind the bar is lined with beautiful golden bottles, over 250 bottles of hard-to-find bourbons, ryes, and Japanese whiskeys. It’s a dark-liquor paradise. But that’s not all they’re known for. Any time anyone asks for “the best pizza in Baltimore,” in the neighborhood groups on Facebook, Barfly’s is mentioned at LEAST 3497597435947 times.
And oh my gosh, I love pizza. I love it, and I seem to love it even more now that I’ve got a bun in the oven. I don’t crave it any more or less than I did before pregnancy, but pizza just TASTES better now. As you can imagine, I was beyond ecstatic that we had decided to gather there for our meeting.
Stepping through the absolutely unassuming and unpretentious entrance to the row-home-turned-bar, I knew I was in for a treat. Seriously. I knew I’d arrived. The crowd was electric but not rowdy, and it smelled amazing, not like a typical hole-in-the-wall bar. No. It smelled of PIZZA. GOOD pizza. I found my friends in the back at a 4-top table, and immediately after taking my seat, I couldn’t’ help but get down with the menu. I discovered that nothing at Barfly’s is frozen, everything’s scratch made and made to order. All of their rolls for sandwiches are made locally, and the pizza dough is made and portioned out daily.
Between reading about the pizza and other items, I learned it would just be 4 of us that evening, and I wasn’t the only one who sucked and didn’t read the book. Maybe I was the only one who didn’t read it AT ALL, but conversation was centered around everything else besides the book, and I was a-OK with that.
For drinks, my friends enjoyed a variety of wines and gimlets while I was treated with a delicious mock-tail in a mule cup, which made me feel very special. It was a delicious mixture of ginger beer, orange juice, grenadine and a splash of cranberry. Delicious.
For food, we started with a house salad to share, mixed greens, spinach, romaine, cucumbers, green peppers, tomatoes, red cabbage, onions, feta cheese, pepperoncinis and green & black olives, and at first, I was like, “Uhh is that even going to be enough salad for all 4 of us?” The short answer? Yes.
There was a TON of salad, and we all were able to have a nice amount. Plus, that salad dressing they have… Holy cow. It’s outstanding. Mouthwatering. Divine. It’s some kind of parmesan vinaigrette or something, and I can see where the pet name the regulars came up with, “liquid crack” comes from. It’s insane. I didn’t get a photo of it, because I was starving, and… life.
For dinner, we each ordered our own pizzas, as they’re 10” and I guess you could call that shareable, none of us wanted to share. I love these people. I decided to build my own pizza rather than go with one of the 14 or so signature pies. I started with the cheese pizza base, and added hot peppers and basil, but sadly I learned they were out of basil. I subbed in onions and we were in business.
After a short wait, our pizzas were presented to us atop a tower of disposable plates, and I couldn’t wait to dig in. They were beautiful, and smelled diabolically good. Without any pretense, we started in on our first slices, and the consensus? STUNNING. Outrageously packed with flavor and texture, each bite enticing us into the next.
I think my favorite thing outside of the WHOLE THING ENTIRELY would have to be the crust. I mean, the sauce was a flavor punch in the face, the cheese was so creamy and was the perfect amount, and the toppings were fresh and perfect.
But the CRUST. Somehow, while the outside part was tall and puffy, the vessel for the sauce, cheese and toppings was thin and crispy. The textures of this pizza were all over the place in the best way and all I want right now is more. Days later, I just want another.
OMGGGGGG!!!! I TOTALLY FORGOT I HAVE LEFTOVERS!!! Sweet. And guess what? This pizza heats up amazingly well…
Anyway, this pizza is legit, and there’s a reason everyone talks about this place not just in terms of being the best bourbon bar in Baltimore, which is something they were voted as being in 2016, but for their fantastic pizza.
Oh and before I go, let me leave you with a pro tip: Dip your pizza crust into that perfection that is salad dressing for a taste sensation that is positively amazing. You’re welcome.