The sunflower seeds say it all. The generous sprinkling on Back Road's house salads complement the always-fresh frisée, as do the plucky garbanzo beans. Now you might wonder


why one would mention salads when discussing a pizza joint. Because the happy/sunflower vibe is part of what we love about Back Road and why this former

Madrid joint has become a City Different icon. The eatery's cheer also is what makes the vibrant Second Street venue a great choice for mid-week dinners with friends, either outside at one of the cozy tables, or inside for a beer while listening to Gerry Carthy play Irish folk music, or while checking out any of the other music or spoken-word performances Back Road hosts on a regular basis. Then there's the pizza. Pizza isn't generally considered a healthy food choice but Back Road has changed that for local eaters. The crusts are rolled in cornmeal with a sprinkle of sesame seeds. The toppings run the gamut, from pesto to garlic to artichoke hearts. Everything on the menu-from the subs to the calzones to the build-your-own cheese rolls-can be customized with green chile or sundried tomatoes, depending on your predilection. Wash it down with homemade lemonade. Follow it up with a homemade cookie. Never utter the words "Papa John's" as long as you live.

1807 Second St., #1, 955-9055.

Lunch and dinner daily. $.