After a bout of the flu, the winter-blues have me caught within their frigid grip. With February dragging on, the short dreary Wisconsin days allow my negative emotions to seep in. When the days are so dark and cold, it’s easy for doubts from the past and anxieties of the future to surface. As I almost succumb to the desire to curl up and hibernate, a series of simple texts from a great friend across the country reminded me to embrace the moment, get up and get out for some righteous pizza.
New pizza in a unique environment was the exact recipe I needed to snap me out of my funk and remember that the days are only getting longer. I could think of no better way to jog myself out of my rut than spending a Saturday afternoon at a stylish little pizza joint in Milwaukee sampling pies.
Time for Transfer Pizzeria Cafe.
I had several hours to kill for lunch in Milwaukee so I grabbed a table at Transfer Pizzeria Cafe. I was seated at a table near a window to people watch, put my phone down and intentionally tried to soak up the atmosphere.
Before long gentle whispers of indie singers and delayed guitars floated around me as I began to peruse the menu. I was joined by The Shins, Bon Iver, then The Postal Service; the rapid fire of feel good classics, the aroma of fresh pizza and Transfers contemporary ambience caught up with me. All of my distractions and worries in life suddenly began to fade as the glow of a warm pizza buzz snuggly wrapped itself around me.
Transfer Pizzeria Cafe was the suggestion of my dear friend Sean Williamson. Sean is lucky enough to eat pizza in New York everyday, but Transfer was his #1 pick in his old stomping ground Milwaukee. Sean and I have eaten pizza together for many years, so I take his opinion very seriously and he even encouraged me to order two pizzas; now that’s a true friend.
Transfer is renowned for their garlic pizzas, which all begin with base of a garlic cream sauce instead of red tomato sauce. I started out the Garlic Special. The Garlic Special came with large hand-pinched sausage and mushrooms that were smothered in high quality mozzarella. The crust is flaky, yet light and airy, so it provides a nice chew, but is still able to support ample toppings. According to my waitress the dough is made in-house every day.
I took note of an older couple across the way from me sharing a more traditional looking deluxe pizza; pepperoni, onions, green peppers and mushrooms. So, I opted to make that pizza course number two for me, though I was tempted to ask them for a slice.
One of my favorite things about Transfer was that they put their toppings underneath the cheese. I have a soft spot for joints that put the toppings under the cheese. The cheese seems to melt at a different consistency and all the flavors seem to meld together better. Overall their pizza was rich, decedent and truly outstanding and I can understand how many claim it to be Milwaukee’s finest. In addition to great pizza, they have an extensive wine and craft beer list and even have live music.
At Transfer Pizzeria Cafe I was able to transform my negative emotions.
Coming out of the winter-blues I realize I had started to let my worries take over. I was starting to ruminate over things I would normally shrug off. A reset was necessary and appreciating the subtleties of a new environment was key to getting me back on course.
The personal development classic How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie lent some timely advice:
- Compartmentalize the past and future: Carnegie explains that we can eliminate worry by envisioning the past, present and future as different compartments, like the compartments of ship. We can lock off the regrets of the past and the fret of the future, leaving ourselves in the present.
- Plan: If something is stressing us out and we can change it, devise a plan to fix it. If the feared outcome is inevitable except it as it is, then move on. By keeping busy making progress towards our goal our anxiety disintegrates.
- Put things in perspective: Life is pretty dang good. We live in a world where pizza is in abundance. Carnegie quotes Abraham Lincoln “Most of us are just about as happy as we make up our minds to be”.
What pizza taught me:
Good ol’ Sean reminded me that when Wisconsin winter gloom rustles up regrets from the past and anxiety for the future, it’s more important than ever to live in present. Incredible pizza from a modern Milwaukee pizza joint helped me gain perspective.
What I’m eating: Transfer Pizzeria Cafe– Garlic Special: sausage, mushroom, cheese on a garlic cream sauce.
What I’m reading: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living –Dale Carnegie