6/24/2013 10:35:00 AM

Best Thing We Ate This Weekend: Asparagus Pizza at Bufad

The area north of Vine and east of Broad is rapidly outgrowing the zombie-movie-moniker “Eraserhood” and starting to live up to the realtor-preferred Loft District. Jenniphur and Michael Pasquarello’s trio of restaurants play a huge part in that narrative, and after a Sunday brunch visit to Bufad, the newest, it’s easy to see why. The intensely flavorful crust on the Neapolitan pies make the pizzeria a rightful destination.

We tried the asparagus pie, and it was a great match for the weekend heat - garden-fresh flavors with a serious umami kick. On top of a leopard-charred crust that was just barely thick enough to hold it, bright green and crunchy asparagus swam in the yolk of a tableside-broken egg. A base of horseradish cream, a scattering of speck and a pile of grated Brenta cheese finished the flavor combo.

You have to use your fork and knife to start on these attractively misshapen rounds, but once you make it to the outer edge, the chewy crust begs to be picked up and gnawed on directly. Toppings on a friend’s merguez pie didn’t have quite as satisfying a flavor combo as ours - mint and curry combined to give it a very exotic Indian taste - but the crust was just as killer. It’s definitely a reason to visit North 13th Street ($13; 215-238-9311).

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