Cafe Society

The SAME, But Different

Last week, while writing about the resurrection of Pizzeria Mundo (right), I mentioned that new owner Patrick Pool was trying to be nice to the planet and his fellow man by using as much local, organic produce as he could. Since he was heavily involved in Denver Urban Gardens, he was getting a bunch of his stock from his local DUG plot and, as a way of giving back, I wrote that he planned to send “his leftover sauce, dough and fresh produce to Brad and Libby Birky at SAME Café.”

Well, come to find, that’s not entirely true. I got an e-mail from Brad Birky this morning and he told me that while, yes, he and Pool had talked about sharing, there’s no deal yet.

“Patrick and his buddy came into SAME a while back and introduced themselves and told me about Mundo,” Birky explained. “They mentioned that they were going to be buying produce through DUG and asked if we would be willing to share some of the things they bought in bulk since we often have problems using and storing large quantities of fresh produce in-house. I agreed that such an effort would be helpful, but that is as far as things went. I never heard from Patrick again until the day that your article came out.”

Which is understandable, considering that at the time I spoke with Pool, Mundo had been up and running under its new, greener, more rational concept for just a week -- in other words, barely enough time to have gotten through a single order cycle, let alone knowing what extra produce Mundo might have after bulk-buying.

Timing, though, isn’t really the problem. “Several folks have come in since Thursday and asked if we serve leftover pizza,” Birkey told me. “We assured them that our pizzas and dough are still made in-house, and that we haven't received anything, leftover or otherwise, from Mundo.”

What, did you people seriously think that Pool was walking over a bunch of boxes of half-eaten double-cheese-and-pepperoni pies and leaving them on SAME’s doorstep? My apologies to anyone who was misled, but come on…that’s just ridiculous. Here’s Brad Birky one more time: “You've helped us tremendously over the past two years by mentioning the cafe in your columns, and we've managed to build a decent reputation for using fresh local ingredients making as many foods as we can from scratch. I don't want you or your readers to think we are cutting corners by using anyone's leftovers.”

So let me see if I can clear this up once and for all. Pizzeria Mundo has not been sending leftover pizzas to SAME Café. What Pool was hoping to do was share some of his large DUG orders with SAME Café. And while nothing has come of this idea yet, it’s a good one, and I hope Pool is able to pull through. -- Jason Sheehan

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun