Zagat recently named Michael's Pizzeria in Long Beach one of the highest-rated pizzeria in the country. We went to see how it stacked up and ended up wondering: Is this new rash of best-of lists hurting or helping the promotion of truly great pizza?
'Slice reviews' on Serious Eats
The 5th annual Pizza Olympics in Philly was an amazing, overwhelming, gut-busting time. With strong showings by J&J Pizza, Cacia's Pizza Pizzaz, Chickie's and Pete's plain slice, and Paulie's sloppy joe pie, over 10 pizzerias offered up slices to satiate a wide variety of palates.
I envision myself on a day where everything goes wrong: where I have PMS and I lose my wallet and I slip and fall and get mud all over my jeans and have a huge fight with my bestie. On this day, 13th Street Gourmet Pizza's dessert pie is exactly what I would want.
Oh, what a difference a decade makes. Ten years ago, Village Pizzeria was one of LA's top shops. Today, it's barely discussed in pizza circles. But did it change or did we? We returned after a long sabbatical to find out for ourselves.
Praise continuously falls upon Olio Pizzeria & Cafe. Its popularity among the masses is shared by the media—it was ranked the 3rd Best Pizzeria in LA by LA Weekly and named a Critic's Choice in the LA Times. Then again, we Slice'rs—who study pizza day in, day out—take such popularity with a grain of salt. In Olio's case, though, the acclaim is entirely deserved.
Sweet potato mousse crust? Check. Crab, bacon, salsa, and blue cheese dressing on the same pizza? Double check. What about cookie dough crust? You betcha. That can only mean one thing: We went to Mr. Pizza so you wouldn't have to. You're welcome.
"Cheffy" is a word that can go a couple different ways. To some, it means high-quality, ingredient-driven food that's sometimes complex, but always skillfully prepared. Others use it dismissively, and even pejoratively, to write off fare that they view as pretentious, esoteric, or overly complicated. No matter where you come out on the usage, I can assure you of one thing: Gjelina serves cheffy pizza.
I have been eating Patsy Grimaldi's pizza for a long, long time. How long? Long enough to have thoroughly enjoyed his pizza before the added emotional spice of pizza lawsuits. Long enough to have eaten the pies that he himself made in the original incarnation of Grimaldi's, back in 1990 when it was still called Patsy's. Long enough to have engaged in lengthy conversations with Patsy and his wife Carol at the Corona Heights Pork Store, where they used to buy their mozzarella and sausage from Frankie Capezza in the '90s. Long enough to know that Patsy started to learn his craft in 1941 at his uncle's East Harlem pizzeria, the truly original Patsy's. So you can imagine how excited I was when I heard that Patsy and Carol were coming out of retirement and embarking on yet another comeback, returning to run the show at his original location under yet another name: Juliana's, after his late mother.
At Hot Italian, each pizza has been named for, well, a hot Italian. Do the actual pizzas live up to the pretty faces that have been attached to them on the menu?
Hollywood Pies is a bit of an enigma in the L.A. pizza scene, so we sent in not one, but two correspondents to get the full story...and argue about vegetarianism and its role in Chicago style.
It's solid, unpretentious, neighborhood pizza... and if it didn't require circling the block looking for a parking spot, I'd be fine with it being my go-to Friday-night pie. But the real surprise came when I went Sicilian.
On my last pizza dispatch from Chicago, I took you inside John's Pizzeria, a decidedly old-school joint that serves extra-thin pizza in a room that looks suspiciously like an aging 1970's suburban living room (remember the buxom young brunettes?). So for this review I wanted to go as far in the other direction as I could, and locate the most lavish place imaginable to satisfy a pizza craving. I knew exactly where to go.
Jioio's Pizza, just east of Pittsburgh in Greensburg, PA, has one of the most unusual crusts you'll encounter: sweet like a pie crust, and pan-baked thin and crispy.
Located in a more upscale shopping plaza off the main drag of Kingston Pike, Hard Knox is just a postage stamp of a pizzeria. A wall of double split oak flanks the entrance, with the Earthstone Oven centrally situated just behind the counter. Would it add up to the right stuff to put some of my good-pizza-in-Knoxville skepticism to rest?
The multiple-day dough production process at lovemonello.com/ yields light and springy dough that's transformed into some of San Diego's best pizza by pizza chef Zia Qadiri.
With the recent opening of DC mini-chain Matchbox's 14th Street location, we paid a visit to see if their pies could light our fire.
When the word "wholegrain" is used in conjunction with "pizza," I am usually "out." But when renowned baker Peter Reinhart came up with a new sprouted grain dough for Charlotte's Pure Pizza, it immediately became a must-try. The party line for sprouted grain is, "all the nutrition of whole wheat with the taste of white." So is there truth in advertising?
Vic's in Bradley Beach is a Jersey Shore institution, where regulars flock each summer for thin crust tomato pies loaded with homemade sliced meatballs or sausage.
John's Pizzeria in Bucktown does not serve destination worthy pizza, but in its own special way, the John's experience is worth the trip. You have to know what you're getting into before you go, because the restaurant's very good thin crust pizza is only one component. Though it doesn't come anywhere close to serving my favorite pizza in Chicago, John's is one of my absolute favorite places to eat pizza.
I believe Ammazza will find itself on the shortlist of the city's top pizza joints, but the initial oohs and aahs at multi-colored flecks sprinkled over a 12-inch pie won't disguise the fact that this is, simply, a kids' cheese pizza with edible sparkles.