When I get hungry for a tasty pizza, I head for a bookstore.

I used to frequent the Barnes and Noble in the Lansing Mall for recordings, calendars, magazines and books of all sorts. After sampling their “Margherita” flatbread in their café, I now include the appetizing pizza in my visits to the bookseller.

What helped make the Margherita special was its fresh ingredients. Roasted tomatoes, fresh mozzarella pearls and fresh basil had distinctive and robust flavors. The leafy strands of basil were abundant and particularly appreciated.

The added tomato sauce was the perfect amount. Thin tiers of part-skim mozzarella, Romano, Parmesan, and Fontina cheeses made the Margherita more of a gourmet dish.

Another feature that made the Barnes and Noble Café variation of pizza more restaurant-quality was how it was cooked. Instead of a microwave or heat lamp, the Margherita was toasted. The two-slice portion for $5.95 was served hot and had slight scorch marks — a welcome addition.

The toasting required some patience while I waited for it to come out of the oven. That was fine with me. I had more time to read a book.