You expect nothing less than sheer perfection in food from Rick Mahan, the owner and chef of Waterboy Restaurant in Midtown Sacramento, and his new restaurant, OneSpeed Pizza in East Sacramento, does not disappoint.
This is truly a neighborhood experience. For one thing, it's difficult to find parking at 48th and Folsom, so you're better off walking or arriving on your bike. As the imprint on the glass window says: OneSpeed Pizza. Bikes. Love. There is a chalkboard at the entrance displaying a message. Yesterday afternoon it advertised a Monte Cristo, probably one of the most fattening yet mouthwatering treats a human being can enjoy.
Since I've lost a lot of weight and want to keep it off, I passed on the Monte Cristo. But just the thought of salty ham and melting cheese continues to linger in my mind.
The heart of the menu is pizza. Not just any pizza, but a variety of choices, each prepared with fresh, local ingredients such as spinach and roasted peppers or arugula and caramelized onions. You can see the pizza oven in the center of the photo, which produces a slightly charred but tasty crust on the pizza.
I started off with an Old Soul latte, from a coffee business co-owned by one of my clients, Jason Griest. My husband stuck with water, served from what appeared to be a refillable bottle. He knew what he wanted: pizza with OneSpeed's housemade sausage. I had a more difficult time deciding what I wanted because it wasn't pizza. The choices are basically big plates or small plates, many of which are salads.
I chose the Bitter Greens salad, prepared with arugula, endive, Asian pears, blue cheese, walnuts and balsamico. You know, I like pronouncing the word: arugula. The accent is on the second syllable, and it makes me feel like a cartoon character to let it roll off my lips. I get a mental image of a bike horn blowing up in my face.
But I also wanted to try the daily soup. It was black bean. I imagine the beans were smashed and simmered before adding more beans because the integrity of the beans were intact. The soup was topped by a dollop of sour cream. A bit salty but delightful. When the waiter spotted my empty bowl, he asked if he could take it away -- like, what was I going to do with an empty bowl? Pick it up and lick it? The thought did occur to me. It was that good.
Overall, the food was exceptional, but the service was very slow. We arrived about 12:30 and didn't leave until 2:15. It took forever to get our table cleared and the check. However, I devoured every morsel that was placed in front of me, including part of my husband's most delicious sausage pizza. He was a bit annoyed that I continued to check my BlackBerry as it buzzed through lunch, sending emails that said I was at lunch and would get back to the callers later. I thought I was being considerate by not answering my cell. Ah, such is the life of a Sacramento short sale agent.
OneSpeed Pizza. Bikes. Love.
4818 Folsom Boulevard
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner
Home delivery by bicycle available Tuesday through Sunday nights.
Photos: Elizabeth Weintraub