How 'Bout Them Knockers: Nara Pizza & Oven

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Each week in 'Knockers' we order from a different delivery restaurant, assessing their efficiency and keeping a running score.

Nara Pizza & Oven
3716 Belt Line, Addison

Promised delivery time: 40 minutes
Actual delivery time: 27 minutes

Scoring summary:
Beating--nay, crushing--the promised delivery time: 23
Five minutes spent in limbo on the phone as they figured out if I was worthy of a delivery run: -8
Sense of uncertainty about delivery that lingered until knock on door: -5
Not knowing just who was making/delivering pizza: -3
All-American symbolism from a place named in Arabic: 50
Not as bad as expected pizza: 25

Total score: 82
(Nara fails to crack the Top 10--but doesn't fare badly)

Top Ten

See complete 2009 standings here

One of the reasons I can't stand most Oliver Stone films is his heavy-handed symbolism. You know, dancing Indians, flickering 1960s football crowd intrusions--I'm just not a fan of the obvious.

Maybe that's why the idea of a pie called the "American," which can be compared to a "supreme" pizza, from a place named after the Arabic word for "fire" is so amusing. What is Nara trying to say be labeling their supreme the American? Nothing obvious about it. Maybe nothing to it at all, since I ordered from a Farnatchi menu.

A couple months ago someone hooked at Farnatchi flyer to my doorknob. I finally got around to calling recently, but waited until near closing time. Being tired and extremely anxious for something to eat, the fact that I called Farnatchi but heard Nara on the other end of the line barely registered. I also heard "pizza," so who really cares?

But these Nara guys hardly seemed organized enough to take an order, much less deliver a fully baked pizza. "What's your address?" "Where is that?" "What's the nearest cross street?" "Um, let me see if we deliver there."

Hell, you guys--well, your predecessors--put the damn 'free delivery' ad on my door in the first place.

I heard them debating the issue over the barely muffled phone. Seems that with closing time a half hour away, they worried whether the driver could make it to my place and back. Not sure why this was such a contentious point. Perhaps they'd have to pay two or three minutes overtime if he returned after lights out. Or maybe they thought he'd run off with the profits on an $18 pie and live it up in the Bahamas. Couldn't say.

Finally they agreed to allow me to order a pizza. Nice of them, considering the complicated nature of my request. I asked about the American. "It's like a supreme," the guy said.

Good enough. America is supreme, according to the person from Arab fire.

Maybe that's just the way my mind works when I'm exhausted and hungry. I've been told it's a little off to start with, as well.

No matter: I put down the phone at 9:19. The driver knocked on my door 23 minutes later. Accounting for stop lights, he must have recorded spurts of 50 plus in the 30 zones of North Dallas--the kind of reckless behind-the-wheel behavior I respect.

Given all I'd been through in the 30 minutes before my pizza arrived--hunger pangs, an apparent change in ownership, having to negotiate--the American was a surprisingly decent pie: New York-ish crust supporting pepperoni, Canadian bacon, sausage loaded with cumin, three varieties of pepper...

Fittingly, the phrase "from your favorite pizza shop" was stamped on the box. Could be Farnatchi, could be Nara, could be whatever they decide to call themselves next time.

Oh, well. I'll order again sometime and find out.

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