You might remember a 2004 documentary called Supersize Me in which writer-producer Morgan Spurlock explored the consequences on his health of a diet consisting solely of McDonald’s food for one month. Spurlock has nothing on Dan Janssen who as of 2019 had eaten almost nothing but pizza for nearly thirty years. That’s pizza for lunch and dinner every day of the year for just about three decades. Janssen is certainly no believer in the old adage that variety is the spice of life because the only spice with which he tops his pizza is oregano. Nor does variety extend to the type of pizza he enjoys. Every day he usually consumes one fourteen-inch cheese pizza for lunch and another for dinner.
Any dietary diversity he enjoys is through eating at different pizza restaurants–even chains, about which he declares “they’re all pretty bad, but I do frequent them. Pizza is like sex—even when it’s bad, it’s good.” Ironically, as a teenager Janssen became a vegetarian for “ethical reasons” but determined rather quickly that he didn’t like vegetables. A pizza diet seemed to make sense. Just as a diet of nothing but McDonald’s food for a month wreaked havoc on Morgan Spurlock’s health, Janssen’s pizza diet has given him diabetes and created low blood sugar issues.
In terms of pizza consumption, Dan Janssen is…well above average (putting it mildly). The average American eats an average of 46 slices of pizza per year, amounting to 23 pounds of pizza per year. Over a lifetime, the average American will eat 6,000 slices of pizza–or about what it would take Janssen just over a year to polish off. Janssen came to mind on our trip home as we were transporting our first-ever pizza from the aptly named Slice & Dice in far northwest Albuquerque. The aromas emanating from the backseat were driving me crazy…as in needing windshield wipers inside my truck cab crazy…as in Carly Simon “anticipation is makin me wait” crazy. Not only did those aromas make me behave like one of Pavlov’s dogs, it made me envious of Dan Janssen. Right then and there–even before tasting it–I swore I could eat 6,000 slices of Slice & Dice pizza. My truck had the alluring aroma of a fresh pizza just extricated from a high heat oven.
Slice & Dice has been making guests behave like Pavlov’s dogs since it launched in August, 2018. We envied guests who were fortunate enough to eat at the restaurant. They were able to quickly confirm what the enticing aromas were telling them–that Slice & Dice bakes one heckuva pizza. We, on-the-other-hand, had to transport our fourteen-inch pie 10.3 miles, a 25-minute excursion at posted speed limits. It was akin to being inches away from riches untold but not being able to grasp them. Why, we wondered, didn’t we move closer to this burgeoning quadrant of the city where other restaurants such as M’Tucci’s Moderno would be within walking distance.
Slice & Dice may be relatively new to the Duke City metropolitan area, but it’s got a pizza pie pedigree that goes back almost as long as the distance home felt. Owner Vic Briseno was raised in the family pizzeria, the Surf Shack in Grants, New Mexico, which, according to its website, “has been making killer pizza for 15 years.” The restaurant’s pedigree is subtitled “Board Game Pizzeria,” a homage to Vic Briseno’s other passion. Slice & Dice provides an extensive board game library that guests can choose from to enjoy while dining on family recipes.
There’s more than pizza on the menu though Dan Janssen would never get that far in reading the menu. He’d never, for example, notice that there are four sub-sandwiches on the menu as well as six specialty subs. Nor would Janssen even consider any of the four appetizers, not even the stuffed mushrooms (baked mushrooms with Italian sausage, onion, bell pepper and cream cheese topped with Parmesan). Thank goodness my Kim and I aren’t on an exclusive pizza diet. The stuffed mushrooms, six per order, are terrific. Each teacup sized mushroom cap will give you two- to three-bites of juiciness and flavor. In some ways, it’s like pizza within a mushroom with the added surprise twist of cream cheese.
We had barely set food into our home before attacking our pizza, the aptly named Full House (pepperoni, sausage, beef, mushrooms, onions and black olives). Anticipation may have made us wait, but that wait was rewarded with a pizza as good as the aromas had announced. The canvas for this circular masterpiece was a chewy “pan-style crust” about halfway between thin and thick. The meats are sheathed under a molten blanket of melting cheese with mushrooms and black olives on top. It’s a convergence of ingredients that really work well together. Contrary to my initial impressions, we couldn’t finish off but two slices each–a good thing it turns out because breakfast pizza is as good as lunch and dinner pizza. This is a pizza which earns its name of Full House.
It’s not likely we’ll ever adopt a diet as singularly focused as Dan Janssen, however, restaurants such as Slice & Dice are able to put that notion into our minds. That’s saying a lot.
Slice & Dice
5720 McMahon Blvd., N.W., Suite B
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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LATEST VISIT: 4 April 2020
# OF VISITS: 1
BEST BET: Stuffed Mushrooms, The Full House