If you live in Sonoma County, either you rode your bike with Levi Leipheimer in the Gran Fondo this past Saturday, and it’s still all you want to talk about; or you didn’t, and you’re ready to cave in the skull of the next person who regales you with his or her war stories from the event. I count myself amongst the former, but empathize with the latter, so I’m just not going there, at least not in this forum (close friends and family, however, remain at risk, what with the post-ride buzz still in effect and inevitable further encouragement of the official results and pictures not yet posted) .
That being said, I’d like to take a brief moment out of my morning and yours to send a big PK shout-out to one particular local purveyor of food, Gran Fondo supporter, and all-around kick-ass pizza maker, Kashaya of Kashaya’s Brick Oven Pizza. There were lots of local eateries offering up sustenance to the calorie-deprived cyclist (check out the full list at BiteClub), but I only had one meal ticket, and suffice it to say, I wouldn’t have it any other way: Kashaya makes a chewy, perfectly-charred-but-not-burnt crust and tops it with a well-conceived combination of locally-grown goodies. I’m a pizza snob of the very highest order, and while we may not be talking about DiFara, Brooklyn is a very long drive, and Kashaya (along with Rosso and perhaps a few others) is an oasis in the largely barren pizza wasteland of my adopted home county.
So, knowing next to nothing about either Kashaya or her food (in point of fact, I still know next to nothing, although some useful reviews may be found here), I learned all I needed to from my first bite and this little anecdote: When I got to the order-window, they tragically had run out of dough, and Kashaya was nowhere in sight. Why? Because she had gone home, in the middle of the event, to knead more dough, by hand and to order, all to help me re-load my carbs. Now that is my kind of cook.