What I Learned / Am Learning From (Writing About) Lola, or Taste the Fennel

I have a long way to go when doing foodie writing.  That Pizzeria Lola piece I wrote last night was a mess.  I left so much out.

I should have told you how the smoky flavor of the charred crust absolutely dances on your tongue.

I should have told you how the Iowan is basically comfort food on a pizza crust.  How the sweetness of the camelized onions balanced so nicely with the garlic, and how it was like your mother’s au gratin potatoes kicked up a notch or twelve.

I should have told you their home-ground sausage have just the right spice, and the toasted fennel seeds really bring out the flavor.

I should have told you that Lola serves Coca-Cola – C-O-L-A cola.  (OK.  That’s my one and only reference to the Kinks’ song.)

I should have told you my eight-year-old gave it a thumb’s up – and that’s saying something!

Unlike Pizzeria Lola, what I served was sub-par.  I apologize.

So, here is what I am gleaning from this (in)experience:

1. Hour #18 of a very long day may not be the best time to write, especially in unchartered territory.

2. Hour #18 of a very long day may not be the best time to post what I write, especially in unchartered territory.

3. Sloooooowwwww dooooowwwwwwnnnnn, Speed Racer.

4. Help the reader actually taste the food I write about, even if they have never tasted it.

5. Avoid coming across as too jazzed about my subject.  Basically I told everyone, “It’s really great!”  Heck, my eight-year-old could have done that.  (At least I avoided the word “very”.)

6.  Focus.  Balance.  Edit.

7. Refocus.  Rebalance.  Re-edit.

8. Repeat step seven.

9. Repeat step eight.

10.  Do not press “send” until you can taste the fennel seeds through your words, and feel the ambience of the music and the din of the conversations and the huge copper wood-fired oven in the center of the small, crowded dining space.

I will do better next time.

Lola… don’t change a thing.

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