lilly’s pizza: another score for downtown durham!

June 9, 2012

i take pizza very seriously.
some might consider it junk food; others college student-fare . . .

i consider it a staple and one of life’s great pleasures.

i grew up eating pizza close to once per week.  sometimes my father brought it home, likely as welcome relief on friday night for my mom, who diligently prepared healthy meals for the family the rest of the time*.  other times we went out for a family meal at bertucci’s [still fantasize about their delicious rolls!] or had lunch out at local favorite peace a pizza.

i realize that [usually] white carbs + cheese + sauce and a smattering of veggies doesn’t really comprise the ideal healthy dinner.  but it hasn’t killed any of us yet 🙂  and therefore i have no plans to oust this delicious and easy dinner from our menu.

when we moved to NC, it took several years before i discovered lilly’s, but the moment i took my first bite of their buddha pie [extra virgin olive oil, roasted garlic, organic baby spinach, sharp cheddar, organic roma tomatoes, organic zucchini, kalamata olives, parmesan, feta], i knew we had found it:  OUR pizza joint in NC.  unfortunately, lilly’s is in raleigh, which has always been a half hour drive for us, both from durham and chapel hill.

UNTIL NOW!!  i cannot tell you how excited i was when i found out that lilly’s was opening up a second location a block from our apartment.  i feel like we just won the pizza lottery — the only bittersweet part is that we’ll have about a year to enjoy it before we move away next summer!

testing the durham waters
the only question was:  would it be the same?  we went last night to find out!  as it turns out, the food is definitely the same [yay!!] and the atmosphere is a bit different, but probably better for us now that we are avec bébé.  

we ate outside, since it was sunny and beautiful, plus we had our massive BOB with us.  annabel chilled out, reclining in her car seat.  we split this [josh had a test the the next day or i would had ordered my own, since annabel got a pumped bottle last night afterwards!].  

we decided from the get-go that we are going to try to eat every pizza and salad on their menu before we move.  i don’t think this will be hard!

we went with their classic house salad [oversized bed of organic mixed greens, cremini mushrooms, organic baby carrots, organic roma tomatoes, monterey jack, roasted pecans & homemade croutons] + honey mustard dressing.  this was simple, but everything was fresh and crisp, and as usual the pizza-dough croutons were delicious.

for the pizza, we decided to start with the bottom of the menu with sir walter: porcini mushroom oil, prosciutto, smoked gouda, roasted garlic, cremini mushrooms, mozzarella, parmesan & oregano.  a lovely combination of flavors but in retrospect i wish the smoked gouda had been more prominent.  the prosciutto got nice and crispy and went really well with the mushrooms.  we ordered a medium pie which was plenty for our dinner, plus lunch today for me!

i am happy to say that it tasted like the lilly’s that i know and love in raleigh.  [thank goodness or i would have been really disappointed!].

the major difference between the two establishments so far is the atmosphere.  the raleigh location is a bit loud and rowdy — and can be a lot of fun if you’re in the right mood!  durham is much more low key, although that may just be because people are still discovering it.  the outdoor area is perfect for family-friendly dining but there were areas on the inside where kids would also fit in well.  there is a nice-sized bar, so i could see the action picking up later [we went early — at about 6 pm].

anyway, i’m very excited to have lilly’s in the neighborhood.  and even though this post reads like an ad, it’s definitely not.  i’m just obsessed.

* looking back, i think it’s notable that we never, EVER had a separate ‘kids dinner’.  when we were little, my sister and i ate what she made, bulgur / tofu / brown rice / broccoli and all — and [usually] liked it.  and i’m not planning on ever making one either!

thanks for your tips and tricks so far on yesterday’s post on attempting to balance work + baby.  it made me think of this post from 2010 in which i freak out after reading michelle au’s post where she waxes on [and poignantly so] about “trying to do two important jobs in parallel, and half-assing both of them.”

anyway.  i think i get it a little bit more now.  but i still remain hopeful that i will still LOVE my crazy and packed new life.



workout:  5 miles — 1 mi warmup @ 10 min/mi, 1.5 mi @ 9:13/mi, 1 mi @ 10:00/mi, 1.5m i @ 9:13/mi

dinner:  see above!

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