The ‘Gyro Revelation’ was a big thing for me, as well.
Then came the “Bulgogi and Kimchi and Chap Chae” revelation.
And the “Injera and Siga Wot” revelation.
The simple “Sweet and Sour Pork” revelation....(The first Chinese Food I ever had, was Egg Foo Young; it was my Dad’s favorite, after he had learned about Chinese food during his stint as a Marine in WWII, and after the war had been stationed in Californica.)
And don’t even ask about the first authentic Pizza restaurant that came into our neighborhood in the late 1950s; The pizzas they made were rectangular, with a very thin crust; haven’t had anything like it since. Their meatballs were wonderful, as well!
Food just goes on and on :-)
Have you tried the pizza recipe in the book, “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day”. It was so good and your authentic pizza sounds very similar. Living in a rural area I have to try to make the things I crave or want to try myself as we don’t have many restaurants to choose from.
I love fermented food but have yet to try Kimchi, I’ve heard too many jokes about it and can’t work up the courage!
The first pizza restaurant I went to was Shakey’s back in jr. high. Then we moved to the arm pit of the world so didn’t get to go to another pizza place until college where they made the best tomato topped pizza. Sure, plain jane but was sooo good. Apparently, I was the only one who ordered it because the guy in the back would yell out my name and never charge. I heard it burned down a few years later. Nowhere else could replicate it so I’ve given up.