85% of Lygon Street are tourist traps.
The other 10% exist for locals to feel smug about themselves for being ‘in the know’.
(The remaining 5% is the twilight zone, which you have absolutely no idea how they are still open for business.)
The D.O.C. folks sit at that little divider between the 85% and 10%.
The pizza place itself has become a tourist attraction. The pizza is good, but I can’t get over the poor sound insulation and the rude service. Plus that one time they got my take away order wrong, and then tried to hard sell me on the wrong order.
Reading the last paragraph, I realised I’m one of those white people that complains about Chinese restaurant. See, here’s my defence - I have no expectation in a Chinese restaurant.
In fact, this is the proof that subtle racisms (or soft power as the PC white people put it) exists:
Charge $20 for a spaghetti aglio e olio, no one bats an eye lid; $20 for seafood chow mien? The whole world loses their mind.
Anyway, I’m not here to talk about D.O.C. Pizza; I want to talk about D.O.C. Espresso, the toned-down canteen around the corner that serves everything but pizza, which is actually in the 10%.
There’s a kitchen in the corner that fits three guys at most. They cook your pasta, they prepare your ciabatta, prepare your cheese board, they run to the grocery store next door when stock runs out.
This is simply a place that tries to work like a family business if they were a family business in Italy. But with a bit of taste, since they spent all that money on uniforms and branding.
Now, whether if it’s up to standard, well, ask any Italian, and they will say the best food is being prepared by their nonnas, and frankly I see that as being unfair.
Chika and I find it better and refined compared to the ‘left side’ of Lygon Street where they will whack 500g of pasta on your plate with pre-made sauce. You can spend less and get more lasagna across the street, but then you’ll just be the 85% - a tourist.
How should I put this, D.O.C. Espresso is sandwiched between Brunetti, the super money-grabbing establishment, and the little and unreachable nonna shops your Italian friends claims to be authentic.
It is casual and suave at the same time.
Strip away the benefit-cost analysis, it is the pasta / ciabatta restaurant Lygon deserves.
Just don’t complain about the price.
Or rude Italians.
They come with the package.