Let’s date!

Pub date September 7, 2010
WriterL.E. Leone
SectionCheap Eats


CHEAP EATS While the Maze’s mom was fighting for her life, he sat and stood by her side, in San Diego, and talked to her, even though she couldn’t hear him, or respond.

Her coma was induced, more-or-less medically, according to the Maze, who went to med school. After seven days, they more-or-less medically weaned her back into life as we know it. Where you breathe, you know, air, and eat, you know, food, and go to the bathroom. When he left San Diego, she could do some of the above, plus take six steps.

Coincidentally, as misfortune would have it, for the two weeks the Maze was with his mom, the woman the Maze dates was also bedridden back home here, on account of broken legs and surgery and shit.

I gave her a lot of movies, and some lasagna, but that was about it. And I thought about her a lot, and the Maze’s mom, who was only in her 60s. And the Maze: how the women in his life were all down, but not for the count.

Nor did it escape my attention that I am, in many respects, a woman in the Maze’s life, so I was careful to look both ways before crossing streets, drive defensively, and wash my hands many times during a day. I might have even eaten more healthily, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Whatever the reason, I was very, very hungry when the Maze called me from the airport on Monday. Did I want to get something to eat?

"I do!" I said. I told him I’d been thinking all day about barbecue. This meant nothing to him, not because he’s cruel but because he knows me well. I might as well have said, "All day long my heart has been pumping blood through my veins and arteries."

Or: "Yep, I checked, and I still have hands!"

Since the Maze is one of many friends I suspect of being a closet vegetarian, we settled for pizza. At … Delfina Pizzeria. Finally!

Because I live on one side of it, and park on another, I have been walking past this place for years, often with my one-string water-jug-on-a-toilet-plunger bass, the smell of diapers all over me, or some other symbol of my not being able to eat there. And I have slowed down and stared. Not at the beautiful people who litter the sidewalk in front of Delfina, lunchtime and evenings. I have stared at their pizzas.

I think it’s cruel and unusual for establishments to serve food that looks and smells that damn good on narrow sidewalks with a lot of foot traffic in not entirely affluent neighborhoods.

I’ve seen me some pies with some pretty amazing things on them, like fried eggs, and I have fantasized about sitting down with some party of two or three and pretending like I know one of them. Or just grabbing a slice and flying. I’m pretty fast for an aging ex chicken farmer.

It’s not like Delfina’s out-of-reachably expensive, either. I think of it as a date place. I just don’t, as a rule, have dates. So when the Maze nixed my barbecue idea and suggested Delfina, if there wasn’t a line, I jumped on it.

Here was a special occasion. His mom was alive! He was coming home! I still had hands! And — and this is a big and — it was early enough that we wouldn’t have to wait in line. So there we had it, and you have it, everything stacked up so that at 6 p.m. on a Monday. I ate my first Delfina pizza.

It was good. As good as it always looked. And in spite of the fact that we didn’t get one of the meat ones, the Maze being a closet vegetarian. I think the pizza, with broccoli raab, olives, mozzarella, and hot peppers, was $14.50. Share-able, sure, but barely so. Put it this way: either one of us could have eaten the whole thing alone.

Plus salad plus drinks = yeah, not cheap eats. But damn good ‘uns. I can’t wait to have dates.


Mon. 5–10 p.m.; Tue.–Thu. 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m.;

Fri. 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.; Sat. noon–11 p.m.;

Sun. noon-10 p.m.

3611 18th St., S.F.

(415) 437-6800


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