As people who avoid Andheri for religious reasons, there was an initial gnashing of teeth when this article was first proposed. But once we collectively realised that the only way to maintain our barely existent credibility was to include the North into our conversations from time to time, we gave in to the pressure and finally went to try 1441 pizza. And we were pleasantly surprised.
There’s a lot to like about 1441 pizza; they have murals on the walls to make you feel like you’re in Italy, and a wood fired oven to remind you you’re still in Andheri. For just Rs. 99 you get all the Coke your insurance plan can handle and all the weird elevator Jazz music your heart can desire.
We sampled three different items on the menu, the Smokey Cheese Dough Balls (Rs.295), which were just balls of dough and cheese, and frankly quite bland, a vegetarian Gourmet Pizza (because vegetarians are an integral part of society), and a non-vegetarian Gourmet Pizza (because we’re men). There’s a counter at which you can choose from innumerable toppings, and don’t be ashamed if you don’t know what half of them are (even if you do this for a friggin’ living, Derrick). Once you’ve picked what you like, they slide it masterfully into the oven.
The gourmet pizzas are what put 1441 Pizzeria on the map, and we can understand why. You get to choose your own toppings, which are laid out on a freshly tossed pizza base and slid into the oven right in front of you. It’s an experience beyond the cold, calculating, dynamics of eating at a restaurant chain. The base is phenomenal, partly because they get their flour straight from Italy, and the system where you get to pick your own toppings is incredible because it makes you feel like you had some part in making your meal, when really all you’ve done is ask for more cheese.
The vegetarian pizza we made had green chillies, mushrooms, garlic, basil and sun dried tomatoes, and was genuinely brilliant. The non-vegetarian one had chillies, mushrooms, salami, sausage, mutton kebabs, fish, and just about every other meat they had; it was (rather surprisingly) significantly less impressive; but that’s on us.
TBR Insight: Since they offer unlimited toppings we normally wouldn’t say this, but the key to winning at 1441 pizza is to keep it simple. They take great care to make a delicious pizza as authentically as they can, and adding too much to the trifecta of the crisp base, fresh sauce and stretchy cheese only serves to dilute any of the authenticity it had in the first place. Plus, unless you think ‘barbecue mutton’ and chicken salami are ‘gourmet’ toppings (they’re not) you’ll be more than happy with a vegetarian pizza, they’re that good.
Now about the fish topping; yes it exists (for some reason), yes they will dissuade you from trying it, yes we tried it anyway, yes we regret it, no you shouldn’t try it, and yes, it’s still better than pineapple.