'Pizza Madness 2009' on Serious Eats

Pizzeria Bianco Wins Rachael Ray Pizza Madness Bracket

[Photograph, Robyn Lee; chart, Every Day with Rachael Ray] If the truly pizza-mad among you haven't picked up a copy of the March issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine (the one in which Ed Levine and I wrote an article bracketing out 64 pizzerias across the country), it's out on newsstands now. Additionally, the magazine's website has posted the online version here. What you might find in that issue: That the champion pizzeria is Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix. The final four pizzerias were Pizzeria Mozza (LA), Motorino (NYC), Great Lake (Chicago), and Pizzeria Bianco. The bracket that... More

Now It Can Be Told: What 'Pizza Madness 2009' Was All About

Click me bigger! [Every Day with Rachael Ray] Some of you may have seen the stuff on the various Grub Street blogs, the Eater blogs, Village Voice/Fork in the Road, on the Chicago Tribune's Stew blog, in the New York Post, etc. The news that Rachael Ray has found the best pizza in the country. Yes and no. Every Day with Rachael Ray *magazine,* for the March issue, pegs a best-pizza-in-the-country story to college basketball's March Madness. The story will feature a 64-entrant mad-good-pizza bracket. I'm told that subscribers should be getting theirs as early as today; the issue... More

In Which I Finally Get My Ass to Pizzeria Bianco, Have Amazing Pizza, and Finally Write About It

From the mailbag: Adam,I now log into Slice every day and really enjoy it. When will you have the write-up and photos from Pizzeria Bianco up?--Rich S. [Photographs: Adam Kuban] OK. Bianco. Yeah. Sorry, Rich. I'm actually trying to juice the Slice traffic numbers by making you and the rest of the readers who have been following Pizza Madness 2009 check the site every day. ... Just kidding. I just got a bit behind with Thanksgiving and now the holidays and all that jazz. Now it is time to tell my tale. In mind-numbing dear-diary detail. For I wish to... More

Pizza Madness 2009: Los Angeles — Pizzeria Mozza and Antica Pizzeria

From the Slice inbox: "Waiting for your review of Mozza and Antica. Please get to it soon. Thanks. —Pizzafreak" OK. Here you go, Pizzafreak. My blathering about "Pizza Madness 2009" continues ... —The Mgmt. [Photographs: Adam Kuban] Until I touched down at LAX on Thursday, October 29, most of my knowledge of Los Angeles came from CHiPs, The Rockford Files, the Terminator franchise, and The Closer. I had a feeling I'd be in for a shock. It came pretty early. On the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and North Crescent (straight-up 90210 territory), I saw both a Bentley Continental ragtop... More

Pizza Madness 2009: I Left My Heartburn in San Francisco

And my documentation of Pizza Madness 2009 continues. Here, I'm just going to roll up my San Francisco leg into one post, since A) I had trouble getting photos in some of these darkened joints and B) this is where the Neapolitan pies really started to blur together. —The Mgmt. View Pizza Madness 2009, San Francisco Leg in a larger map As I said in an earlier post documenting "Pizza Madness 2009," I knew Seattle and San Francisco were going to kick my pizza-eating ass. I was well-prepared for San Francisco going in, since I've now visited the city a... More

Adios to Seattle

[Photograph: Adam Kuban] And so with Serious Pie, Tutta Bella, and Via Tribunali under my now-straining belt, I bid adieu to Jet City, but not before noticing that one of the magazines the hotel provided in the room was Seattle Metropolitan, from the same publisher as Portland Monthly. Both doing their annual food roundup issues. Both with pizza on the cover. Seattle's shows Serious Pie's Guanciale, Soft Egg, and Arugula pizza. Portland's, as I pointed out in my Nostrana report, highlights a pie coming from that pizzeria's oven but makes no mention of the pizza in the actual blurb... More

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 93: Can Pizza Be Diet Food?

From Ken's Artisan Pizza in Portland, Oregon. Read more here» [Photograph: Adam Kuban] Why do I ask this question? Because over the course of the last few weeks, Adam and I have been hitting pizzerias all over the country for a March Madness-like tournament of pizza we are writing up for Rachael Ray Magazine and posting about on Slice. While Adam has been to Seattle (twice), Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Phoenix in the last three weeks, I have been to two pizzerias in Atlanta, five in Chicago, four in Philadelphia, one in New Haven, and half a dozen in New York City. You will be reading more about our adventures in the coming weeks, but suffice to... More

Seattle: Via Tribunali, Neapolitan-Style Pizza

[Photograph: Adam Kuban] There are five Via Tribunali locations in Seattle, each of them VPN-certified. I don't know what the other four look like (though I get a bit of an idea looking at the VT website), but the one in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood, attached to the Crocodile, is dark, moody, and menacing, if only in a sort of pretend-menacing kind of way. In perhaps a nod to Mt. Vesuvius and the fire of the wood oven, there are ink-black and fiery-orange paintings of erupting volcanoes on the wall. The chandeliers hold glowing-red candelabra bulbs, their imitation flames flickering.... More

Seattle: Tutta Bella, a Quick Photo Gallery

Click to view gallery » My second pizza stop in Seattle, after Serious Pie and some digestion time spent at the Space Needle, was the Tutta Bella on Westlake Avenue in the area known as South Lake Union. For fellow tourists, that's basically just a little north of—and a relatively easy walk from—Downtown, Belltown, and Pike Place Market. This Tutta Bella is part of a four-location VPN-certified mini empire; the original is in Seattle's Columbia City neighborhood. [Photographs: Adam Kuban] Tutta Bella Westlake: 2200 Westlake Avenue, Seattle WA 98121 (at 9th Avenue; map); 206-223-2309; tuttabella.com... More

Seattle: Serious Pie's Cherry-Bomb Pepper and Sausage Pizza Is the ...

[Photograph: Adam Kuban] Serious Pie 316 Virginia Street, Seattle WA 98101 (map); 206-838-7388‎; website Pizza Style: Artisanal Oven Type: Wood-fired The Skinny: The crust is soft and incredibly airy but takes most of its crispness from a dusting of cornmealsemolina. The Margherita is good, but the real thing to get here is the sausage-and-cherry-bomb-pepper pie. It's amazing. Price: $14 to $16. Happy hour half-pies are $5 M–F, 3–5 p.m. After 48 hours of reminiscing, hanging out with old friends, and eating a boatload of pizza in Portland, my next stop was Seattle, aka Jet City, aka the Emerald City,... More

Brain Dump: West Coast Pizza Madness 2009, Where I Visited

View West Coast Pizza Tour in a larger map [All photographs by Adam Kuban unless noted] I know it's taken me a while to get the lead out re this trip. I've been back in NYC for six days after 12 days total on the road (nine actual pizza-eating days among those). I figured that regular Slice readers might want the skinny on which places I visited while out west. They're above in the map, but I'll also list them below, after the jump.... More

Portland, Oregon: Apizza Scholls

Clockwise from top left: Apizza Scholl's just before 4 p.m. and there's only one person in line; the shop is decorated with pictures of famous pizzerias, including FAMOUS RAY'S!?!; the amatriciana, with pancetta and onion. [Photographs: Adam Kuban] Apizza Scholls 4741 Hawthorne Boulevard, Portland OR 97215 (at SE 47th Avenue; map); 503-233-1286; apizzascholls.com Pizza Style: Neapolitan-American—NOT Naples-Neapolitan Oven Type: Electric(!) Bakers Pride Notes: Expect long lines/wait time to get in. On the various blogs and boards, people grumble about this consistently. Is it worth the wait? I would say yes, but only you can decide. Tip: Round up a... More

Street Food Profiles: Wy'east Pizza, Portland, Oregon

Another installment from my recent pizza tour of parts of the western U.S. Here, a pizza report and a Street Food Profile all in one—from perhaps the best city for street-fooding in the U.S. Wy'east Pizza 3131 SE 50th Avenue, Portland OR 97206 (SE Tibbets/Kelly, parking lot of Ruthie's Weaving Studio; map); wyeastpizza.com Pizza Style: Thin-crust, almost New York–Neapolitan Oven Type: Small propane-fired brick oven The Skinny: Great pizza FROM A TRAILER. Yes. A trailer. Could use a little more flavor to the crust, but the simple and excellent toppings make up for that a bit. Good crisp-chewy crust. Caveat:... More

Portland, Oregon: Escape from New York Pizza

[Photographs: Adam Kuban] Escape from New York Pizza 622 NW 23rd Avenue, Portland OR 97210; map); 503-227-5423 Pizza Style: New York–style Oven Type: Steel-deck gas oven The Skinny: A stand-up stand-in for a New York–style slice — but in Portland! Price: $2.95 for cheese (plain) slice; $3.50, pepperoni It's long, narrow, and often crowded. The folks behind the counter are reputed to have a bit of attitude but are actually pretty nice. It's cash-only and is open late. Sound New York enough for you yet? Well, the slices deliver on the promise implied in this joint's name. Yes, Escape... More

Portland, Oregon: Ken's Artisan Pizza

You're probably wondering why it's been a bit quiet around here around Slice lately. Well, I'm on a crazy mission. I'm eating pizza in various western states this week on a whirlwind trip of five cities. Seriously, it's been nonstop travel with barely time to offload pics from my cameras. I'm just now catching up. Ken's Artisan Pizza (top) is in a quiet residential neighborhood in Southeast Portland, a couple blocks south of Burnside and the more hoppin' part of SE 28th Avenue. That doesn't stop people from lining up before the place opens for creations like the Bacon Pie... More

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