|by Meg Zimbeck||Food + Drink, Europe, France, Paris||24|
My love for this quirky outfit lies dormant during the cold months, then gushes anew when the weather is warm enough to eat outside. There is a dining room at the Pink Flamingo to serve you during the dark months, but the real draw is their delivery along the banks of the Canal Saint Martin.
On summer evenings, both sides of this curving canal are lined with lively picnic parties. I used to bring my own basket, but haven't done that once since discovering "the Pink." And judging by the number of balloons that are dotting the banks these days, I'm not alone.
So what's with the balloon? Well, they give you one in exchange for your order, then use it to locate your group for delivery. There's something very cheery about walking in the footsteps of Amélie with a helium balloon tied to your wrist. While devouring a pizza, stand next to the footbridge from which the heroine of Amélie skipped her stones.
Kooky names and inventive combos are part of the program at the Pink. "La Basquiat" is topped with gorgonzola, fig, and cured ham from the Auvergne. "Le Che" features marinated Cuban pork and fried plantains. "La Dante" is surprisingly tame with fresh basil, fresh tomatoes, and mozzarella. Whatever the topping, you can be assured of a thin crust made with organic flour and sel de Guérande (fancy salt).
Prices range from €10.50–16 ($14–22) and each pizza can easily feed two. Bottles of wine (with plastic cups for takeaway) range from about €13–20 ($18–25), but you could save money with a cheaper bottle from the Franprix grocery along the Canal (108 quai de Jemmapes).
The artists of IVY Paris have long been hosting their "hipnics" with Pink Flamingo pizza. French guide Le Fooding loves it, too, even though they think the name sounds like a strip parlor. Food blogger Adrian Moore is a fan of the "Ho Chi Ming" pizza (chicken, shrimp, coconut, lemongrass, and crushed peanuts) and the organic beer. And the cutesy My Little Paris site has even rendered the "flying pizzas" in watercolor.
67 rue Bichat, 10th arrondissement, 011-33/1-42-02-31-70, Métro Jacques Bonsergent. Closed Monday.
A second Paris location has just opened in the Marais at 105, rue Vieille du Temple, 3rd arrondissement, 011-33/1-42-71-28-20, Métro Saint-Sébastian-Froissart. Closed Monday.
Slimming down the lunch bill at Paris restaurants