Late Night Scene: Gotham Pizza

There's a scene in an early Sex and the City episode (yeah, I went there) where a guy frequents a particular restaurant with a girl he's embarrassed to date because he knows no one will see them there. If anyone could use a similar place in Houston for a late weekend bite, look no further than Midtown's Gotham Pizza (2204 Louisiana). When we showed up an hour before close, not only was there not a soul in the place, but the two employees look surprised to see anyone walk in the door.

The menu says the pizza is "Sicilian-style," which I always thought meant a thicker crust, but here it means a pie that is large, thinnish but not crispy and foldable, with a doughy crust. I would actually describe it as "Brooklyn-style," but whatever. We ordered it half sausage-and-mushroom and half alfredo with spinach, garlic and artichoke hearts, a combination I was surprised and pleased that the kitchen could work with, considering the mixed sauces.

Before it came, we dove into the appetizer combo plate, filled with buffalo wings (tasty), mozzarella sticks (average) and something called fried ravioli. These four disks had almost impenetrably hard shells, like a fortune cookie times ten, with a bite or two of bland ricotta as the prize inside. They would be great as skipping stones, but I wouldn't recommend trying to eat them. The pizza arrived and was okay -- not great, but decent. The alfredo side was almost too sweet and a little heavy on the artichokes; I prefered the slices with the traditional toppings, which seemed to be in better balance. The best part was the perfectly cooked crust, though it didn't have that charred bitterness that advanced pizza fans crave.

Three or four Midtown-y, baseball cap-clad guys came in to pick up orders while we were here, but only one other group sat down, a couple in their early twenties clearly having a casual night -- she in a gray T-shirt and jeans, he in a T-shirt and pajama pants. That's okay, dude. No one will ever know.

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