I love a good mystery, better yet if it involves food.
Twitter ran ablaze with the hash tag #hiddenpizza today and it piqued my curiosity. As it turned out, the buzz was created by this: Hidden Pizza. If you don’t like spoilers and want to hunt down this place yourself, this is where you get off the boat. Bye.
If you look into it, there’s some talk about it being a marketing scheme by Yellow Pages, and there are others who don’t seem all that into the idea or concept of the whole thing. And so on and so forth, and to be honest, I don’t really care. Is there food? That’s all I’m concerned about. Call me a pig, but at least I know where my priorities lie.
Here’s the deal: Find the restaurant and you’ll get a free pizza. The catch is, you can’t just rock up and order one. You have to find the restaurant the way they want you to (which is the yellow pages), give them a call (on a 1300 number) and place your order before heading over to the restaurant.
They will then text you the location of the restaurant, along with your code number (which is really your mobile number) and a whereis link to locate them. If you squint, you might be able to make out the location of the pizza joint. On that note, photos today are a record breaking bad. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Lighting was absolutely horrid but it really helped the atmosphere. Just didn’t make for good photography.
So I called, placed my order and drove over to Fitzroy. The pizza joint opens at 5.30pm (though the lines actually opened before then as I was able to place my order before 5.30pm) and I got there at 6.30pm only to be greeted by the nice long queue as shown above. One of the guys who worked there said that on Day 1, they had 240 orders ring through on the first hour itself. Pizza hut, eat your heart out.
The queue moved fairly quickly and as you get to the front, you will find yourself staring at the first of many video cameras. They get you to sign a release form that basically says yes, you are okay with them uploading your video to their website, youtube and where ever else it decides to go in the internet. Fairly standard stuff. Considering this pizza joint will be open for a full two weeks, that’s two weeks worth of videos. Really, I don’t think my 2 seconds of fame on that camera is going to matter all that much.
Once all the paperwork is out of the way, they show you where the actual pizzeria is: downstairs ; underground. The handsome lad who manned the door informed me that no photography was allowed downstairs, and to be honest with that crap lighting, you’d need to be a genius like Abstract Gourmet to get any decent photos. Or just don’t be a camera dork like me.
Source: Hidden Pizza
I really liked the underground decor, and it was made even more impressive by the fact that it was all made from recycled materials. Although I have to admit that my favourite was the plywood garbage bins. I’d use that over our standard plastic garbage bins any day. It was around the 20 minute mark before our pizzas got to us, but the time passed quickly in between marvelling at the wall of yellow pages, watching Tony Fazio at work baking pizzas, and being impressed by the video of the entire building process of the little underground pizza joint.
And so we sat down on the little seats with cushions covered in recycled billboard skins with our pizzas and home made lemonade in a jar. And this is where I attempted to take some really bad photos.
What you get: pizza in recycled paper bag.
Each pizza is about 10 inch in diameter, and is a single serve pizza. Because I had my housemate with me, I had the opportunity to try two different pizzas tonight. And surprisingly, I really liked both! Admittedly, I found the leg ham on the Capricciosa way too salty and it threw the taste balance of the pizza off somewhat. But it was definitely tasty and flavourful. But come on, it’s a Tony Fazio pizza. Can’t go wrong with that.
The lemonade came in little jars with the recipe printed on a label. I liked it so much I took it home. Were we allowed to take it home? I don’t know, the guys didn’t stop me so it must be okay.
Sadly, it seems that this joint is going to pack up and disappear in a puff of smoke after the 2 week period is over. So if you are in the area (or even if you aren’t! Go on, make the drive!), put the call in and get yourself some free pizza and lemonade.