Slice Quotidienne: Pizza at the Eiffel Tower Snack Shop
Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.
Bonjour, mesdames et messieurs. What can I tell you about the pizza in the Eiffel Tower snack shop that you can't already guess for yourself? Unlike most of the food I ate while in France recently (which seems to have at least a certain level of deliciousness by default), it was thoroughly mediocre. And overpriced, of course.
Billed on the menu as "pizza margarita," it's a thick, dry wedge of crust topped with a thin layer of sauce and mozzarella that has a certain je ne sais quoi—perhaps reminiscent of overcooked school-lunch cheese?
Basil, whether applied pre- or post-bake, is standard on all Margherita pizzas I've had. It's inexplicably absent on this wedge. A single, sad olive seems to have taken its place instead. The thick slice of tomato was of good quality, though. So there's that.
I'm not going to say it didn't hit the spot. After dealing with a rainbow coalition of asshat tourists from all nations at the top,* I was happy to get something in l'estomac back down on the second level. (Les Buffets de la Tour Eiffel appear on the first and second levels and in the plaza where you buy your tickets [€13.40 to go to the top; €4.70 to climb the stairs to the second level only]).
* Let me tell you, practically every country in the world has reached parity with the U.S. in the export of Loud, Annoying, Stupid Tourists.
In all the research and asking around before our trip, most internet resources and friends said "Don't waste your time with pizza." My advice here is the same. To most American palates, the sandwiches at the Eiffel Tower snack kiosks can be perfectly serviceable, if not beacons of gastronomic awesomeness.
But I don't want to be completely whiny. You're not at the Eiffel Tower to eat (well, maybe at Jules Verne), you're there for the amazing view of the City of Lights, hopefully with your special squeeze, and hopefully as the sun sinks below the horizon, shedding its warm glow across the skyline.
If you want pizza, mes amis, try Italy. If you want spectacular views from a tower that still stands perpendicular to the ground, Paris is your game.