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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

PIZZA!!! My filet mignon....

I love pizza. I also dislike a lot of pizza. As a matter of fact, I dislike pizza about 90% of the time that I have it. The fact that I rarely find really good pizza and continue to order it is some kind of indication of my deep desire to locate the next great pizza joint. Then again, maybe it just indicates that I'm not too bright...

I feel as though I've tried every pizza place in the Pittsburgh area, but of course I'm sure that I haven't even come close. Following are just a few that I've tried and a brief (very brief!) review of them:

Azzeria on Banksville-Pretty good, brick oven baked but not one of my favorites

Bado's in Mt. Lebo-OK

Bellissimos on Mount Washington-Near where I live so it's convienent. That's about it.

Beto's on Banksville-This pizza I really like and would rank it in the top five in the Pittsburgh area. This is thick crust, but it's not too doughy. It is a crispy crunchy crust with a good sauce and fresh cheese. Very good.

Capri Pizza in Homestead-Better than average

Cestone's on Mount Washington-Another better than average and convienent for me!

Cici's, everywhere-yuk

Domenico's in Cranberry-Nice variety and pretty good.


Fioris Pizza on West Liberty Ave- Very good, kind of a sweet sauce and a thin crispy crust. You can order a pie and take it next door to the tavern which is nice.

Fox's Pizza Den, everywhere-Same old crap.

Frank's Pizzeria, Duss Ave. Ambridge-The Best. Ever. Anywhere. You can stop reading now, it dosen't get any better!

Giotto, South Side. One of the best, thin and crispy with a very good sauce. They also offer a variety of styles.

Harry's, McMurray on 19. Great, one of the best around. Thin crispy crust.

Juliano's, Stubenville Pike-Pretty good stuff

Little Chicago on the South Side-I ordered the Chicago style and didn't like it, but I'm going to go back and try the thin crust.

Luigi's, Lincoln Ave, Bellevue-This was always a pretty OK pie.

Michael's, Sarah Street, South Side-This is amazingly good pizza for a bar/restaurant. I don't hesitate to order it and it's a pretty good bar too!

Mineo's, Squirrel Hill and Mt. Lebanon-Considered one of the best in all of Pittsburgh, but not by me...Here we go, let the comments fly!

Monte Cellos's-OK chain pizza

Papa John's-See above

Pepperoncini's, Oakdale-Pretty good

Pizza Roma-OK for a chain, kind of like Monte Cello's

Police Station-In Ambridge. Excellent. Has a thick crust, which I usually don't like, but their's is very airy and crispy. One of the best!

Sir Pizza, off of Rochester Rd in the North Hills-very good and unique. Thin and cut into tiny squares

Tony R's, Sewickley-One of the best. Very fresh ingredients with the best cheese! Take your GPS!

Uno's-no damm good.

Vincent's in Greentree-Pretty good

Vincent's Pizza Park-Another that's considered one of the best in the city. I haven't tried it, but they have such a rep that I felt I had to list it here. I'll report back after I try it.

Vocelli, everywhere-OK

I always thought that pizza preferrence is really a personal thing. I mean, just about any steak lover will like any good steak house, but pizza is different. People either love it or they don't. Mineo's is very popular in Pittsburgh and is pretty good. They use very fresh ingredients and the pie tasts like it, but it's just not my style.

My favorite, without a doubt is Franks in Ambridge. It's a thin crust that is almost pastery like in texture (not it flavor!). This makes it very airy but still crispy...not mushy. They apply the cheese first and then pour the sauce over it. This way the cheese retains it's moisture. If you want extra cheese, they just add it after it comes out of the oven. When they close the box, the heat from the pizza melts it. YUM!!!


Anonymous said...

Have you tried Mm Mm Pizza? Usually it is very good, Bethel Park and McMurray locations, but once in a blue moon it is not as good. I don't know if they run out of their own sauce or what. If you try it and don't like it, try it again just in case.

Kelley B said...

Had you ever gone to Pi in Squirrel Hill? They're no longer there, but it was the coolest pizza with a dense cracker-like crust. Someone said they have a restaurant somewhere in Monroeville where they still make that pi/pizza but can't remember the name. Also, agree that Michael's (bar in South Side) makes a fine pizza for a bar!

RichW said...

Obviously we don't see eye to eye on pizza as I consider Beto's to be about as huge an affront to the term "pizza" as I've ever found anywhere (including Chicago deep dish). It's just awful to these tastebuds. The concept of adding cold ingredients is the stupidest thing I've ever heard of - especially since they're using canned veggies and mushrooms.

Then again, I'm not from here and am used to New Haven-style and NY-style pizzas. So I'd urge you to take the trip down to Peters Twp. and find Harry's Pizza in the Waterdam Plaza shopping area. I've send many, many folks down there and pretty much all agree they'd immediately add it to their top three in the region.

Notably you left out Il Pizzaiolo, which is understandable since it's in a league by itself for both ingredients and price. Church St. Brewery also does a great pie for the setting - in my personal top 5, which would include Il Pizzaiolo, Piccolo Forno, Harry's and the white pie from Mineos.

Anonymous said...

I want to go to Frank's now! I agree with most of your selections and am going to try to go to a few.

B. said...

Hey Dave. This is a post I wrote on pizza last year after the Post-Gazette published a pizza article. My thoughts are still basically the same:

I love the Sir Pizza shout out. Their pizza is different, but very good.

Have you tried Azzeria? There are two locations -Banksville Road and Wexford. I have gone to the Wexford location. While I feel a little like they are trying to pull one over on me (there is a wood-fired oven that the ingredients are cooked in at the Wexford location, but the pizza crust is flash frozen at the Banksville location after being par-baked in the wood-fired oven there then finished in a regular oven), the pizza is pretty good. The crust is decent (even the wheat, which probably has no right being anywhere near a real pizza), but the toppings, including sauce and cheese, are fresh and tasty. Toppings can be a little oily, as they are wood-fired, but usually are spot on. I recommend the escarole and sausage pizza. It is no Mario's or Il Pizzaiolo, but good in its own right.

Dave, The BurghFeeder said...

B, I have tired Azzeria, but only at the Banksville location. I recall it being pretty good, but believe it or not, I'm not a big fan of wood fired oven pizza! Just like Il Pizzaiolo, as fresh and as great as the ingredients are is not one of my favorites...

But then, you don't have to agree with me!

Anonymous said...

I've recently started eating at Pizza Sola, and found it very nice. A big slice, with a crust crisp enough to support it, and nice toppings.

Dave, The BurghFeeder said...

hey Ralph, is Pizza Sola on Carson Street? I know that I've seen that sign, and now I feel like I need to try it!