July 2, 2022

From Gerald R. Lucas

Cassano’s Pizza King for the Win

The Big 60 with my sample slice missing.

Dad was right: Cassano’s makes damn good pizza. I know we had pizza last night, but when Dad makes a food recommendation, I tend to listen. Luckily, no one objected when I decided to order “The Big 60” from Cassano’s last night about 22:00. I drove to the restaurant to pick it up, and I could not resist sampling the pie even before I got to the car. The crust crunched like a cracker as I bit into it; I tasted pepperoni, an excellent cheese blend, and a sweetish sauce. All pretty dang perfect. I knew that would be my best piece, and I was right, though I had plenty more. This was the perfect end to a good day.

I woke up early and had some coffee made with the Keurig. Man, that little machine is convenient and makes a decent cup of coffee, but the packaging waste seems profound. This got me thinking of the Spinn machine that I saw the other day, so I read and watched a few reviews. As they are all really good, emphasizing the Keurig convenience without the waste, I think I’ll begin saving my pennies. Maybe I can save up in time for Xmas this year. I like the all-in-one approach of the machine and the fact that it seems to take all the guesswork out of brewing. We’ve had the Breville espresso machine for a while now, and I have quit using it. I am never pleased with the final product. It may be my fault, but I use fresh beans and grind them as needed with my excellent Rancilio grinder; I pay attention to the grind and fill the portafilter just right. I never get good crema, and the coffee is always bitter. Something’s not right. Anyway, with a Spinn, I can ditch all the coffee accoutrements that crowd my space: the big espresso machine, grinder, Chemex, french press, coffee bean canister. Yeah, I’m ready to try something new.

I took an enjoyable run through a local park. It was mostly trails which I had not done in a while, and the terrain was pretty hilly. I managed to run about three miles and walked through the neighborhoods on the way back. Many of the houses reminded me of the working-class home my mom’s parents owned in Delhi in west Cincinnati. They are modest, mostly brick, and angular, each on its tidy parcel of land. In fact, our AirBnB is one of them. These are all updated in established, family-friendly neighborhoods that I envy a little bit. Sidewalks abound, and people were using them. These streets encourage walking and outdoor activities, with larger and busier streets bordering them. I remember walking to Graeter’s from my Aunt Gail’s house after dinner almost every night on our summer visits to Cincinnati back in the seventies. And later we did just that, after taking Henry to Orchardly Park, a busy local playground in the neighborhood. Even though I’ve never been here before, this area of Dayton feels familiar.

After ice cream, we walked back and watched the evening bring out the fireflies. Spencer and Lisced were sitting outside when we made it back, and we wound down the mild summer evening on and around the small porch. That is until I got hungry.