Let's talk about pizza!

Call me a Philistine if you wish, but I like frozen pizza. Cheap frozen pizza. Jacks, Totinos, even those Mama Cozzi’s pizzas they sell at Aldis for 2 lousy bucks are quite good.

I can’t stand the crap from Pizza Cunt, Damninos, Little Sissys, or any of the other chain places that insist their undercooked doughy crust and ketchup like sauce is freaking “pizza”.

The best restaurant pizza I’ve ever had always came from small little pizzerias in out of the way locations. One of the best pizzas I ever had was from a vendor across the street from the Empire State Building. That pizza could of sucked, but eating an authentic New York style pizza while looking up at the ESB was too surreal to ever forget.

The best restaurant pizza I ever had was at a little bar outside of Phoenix. PHOENIX! Can you believe it?

And then there is Mrs. Beitz homemade nirvana.
As some of you know, I married into a family of off the boat Italians. You’ve heard me rant about these Suckers in the past. But not all stereotypes are negative. Food truly is an obsession with these people. My wife could cook her way out of a death sentence.

She makes the crust from scratch. No kit. She adds a little corn flour to the mixture which seems to make it crispier. She makes her own sauce from fresh tomatoes, and adds a zesty mix of spices. She goes to a cheese store and buys fresh mozzarella that was made there. And then theres fresh onions, peppers, and tomato slices. In the middle of baking she sprinkles just a bit of olive oil on top. Beautiful is the dream that makes her mine!

Alright, your turn. Lets talk about pizza!

how do they expect me to get that pizza

I’m going to Gu Gu’s Pizza for dinner on Friday. They’re the home of the “Original Habanero Hawaiian Pizza” !

The best pizza marghareta I’ve had was in Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, Arizona. That place is kind of well known in pizza circles as having some of the best pizza in the world.

I tend to like Italian styles of pizza where a very hot wood- or coal-fired oven (800F+) cook a pizza in one to two minutes, with good flecks of black blistering on the crust. These types tend to emphasize the quality of the dough (usually made with a wild starter, or poolish) and have a sparse, but very fresh/high quality, set of toppings. Much less heavy-handed than most American styles.

Even though I’m a Chicagoan, I’m not much of a fan of deep-dish or stuffed pizza (or any doughy pizza for that matter), but once or twice a year I’ll have some. When it comes to indigenous styles, I like the cracker-crust style of the tavern pizzas you get here (Vito & Nicks, Marie’s, Candlelite, etc.) or around the Midwest (like Zaffiro’s in Milwaukee.)

I disagree with the adage “there’s no such thing as bad pizza.” There is a fuckload of bad pizza out there. And it’s not just chains. While I don’t like Domino’s, Little Caesar’s, and Papa John’s (Pizza Hut is barely passable), the worst pizzas I’ve had were from random local institutions. Ma & pops do not automatically make better pizza than chains. In a city of at least hundreds of pizza choices, there’s only about a dozen places I would go to when I have the craving for a pizza.

The best pizza I had in Korea reminded me of really good frozen pizza from Safeway; the Angel of Mozzarella flew over that land. The best I’ve had in America was from Frank’s Pizza in Parlin, NJ; I honestly think New Yorkers trumpet Original Ray’s for the same reason Australians say nice things about vegemite.

In the DC area, it’s a toss-up (Toss-up, get it?) between Lost Dog in Arlington and Pines of Florence in Old Town ALexandria.

Domino’s is a lot better than it used to be, but nothing will ever compare (in my mind) to Shakey’s hawaiian pizza. I’ve not had a more deliciously tangy sauce since then.

I prefer thin crust to any thick or stuffed crusts. Too often thicker crusts fail to cook all the way through and they just end up doughy and chewy. And overpowering. Pizzas should be all about the sauce, cheese and toppings; not the crust. That’s just the delivery vehicle for the sauce, cheese and toppings.

I spotted your typo - it’s Pizza Hurt you’re talking about isn’t it?

I make pizza, my kid grew up on pizza. Pizza for breakfast is good. My dough has only flour, water, salt, yeast and oil. I make 'em six at a time, I love to set those babies to rise, tuck them in with a tea towel. I love to squish them down - psssssh - and make 'em rise again. I like plain cheese & tomato pizza, I like anchovy & feta cheese pizza. Italians like my pizza. Wood oven pizza, I light the fire and push it back, chuck on a big log. The most pizzas I made in a night was 92. Thin, but not too, crust pizza. My sauce gets cooked on the pizza. Sometimes I’ll half cook the plain base & freeze for later topping goodness. Pizza is easy to make but people don’t know that.

Sure pizza is easy to make. Really freakin’ good pizza is pretty tough. If I had a wood-fired oven, maybe I can do it. To me, the key to a good pizza is a great crust. It’s all about the bread. Not a lot, mind you (I don’t like doughy pizza), but that dough has to be good and flavorful, like an Indian naan.

After that, the toppings. Easy. Crushed San Marzano tomatoes (or Muir Glen), some high quality extra-virgin olive oil like Frantoia, housemade mozarella from the local cheesemonger or imported mozarella di bufala, some torn basil–that’s the easy part. But that flavorful, slightly sour-tinged, perfectly cooked crust with big bubbles along the edges, and a very slight crispness with charred flecks on the bottom? That’s the elusive part.

edit: I want to make pizza like this guy makes.

Best pizza I’ve ever had was from Papa Del’s in Champaign Illinois. Not just me, when I worked in New Jersey a fellow U of I grad used to bring a bunch back packed in dry ice for other grads. Even though I grew up in New York, I’m fond of deep dish.

Frozen pizzas, though, have gotten a lot better - I prefer them to Pizza the Hut anyday.

Well, My Papa (Grandpa) and Uncle Bud, German and Dutch stock, cooked for and manged Giuseppe’s Pizza in Toledo. An old school classic Pizza Restaurant that is extinct to foreign influences like the Chicago Pizza, went out of business int the 60’s or 70’s. The crust and sauce recipe is floating around in my family… got the recipe.

Yeah, that was the place. I sat at the bar and had possibly the best pizza ever.

Chicago Style Pizza

The Pizza Wars have been quite bloody in Toledo. The Greeks won.

Can I marry your wife? :slight_smile:

I’m currently without an oven, but I love making pizza from scratch. I’m just not at the level that I can make a perfect thin crust pizza - hints appreciated. Toppings should be simple: one or two tomatoes blended with garlic, olive oil and my favorite herb: fresh basil. And add just a subset of onion, cheese, anchovis, grilled aubergine. Oooh.

I wish I could find a frozen pizza with decent crust. It’s always stiff and tasteless and takes a chainsaw to cut through. Recommend to me a frozen pizza with good crust please. And it has to be cooked in a conventional oven as I do not own a microwave.


My Papa also cooked for HoJos and the best steak house in Toledo.

Oh, I didn’t think we were talking about the same place. Pizzeria Bianco is in downtown Phoenix as it’s more of a restaurant than a bar (perhaps you’re remembering the bar next door?) It does have the awesomest pizza, though, doesn’t it? Anybody wanting to pop in, be forewarned. The lines are legendary. We went there on a Tuesday just before 4 p.m. (they open at 5 p.m.) and weren’t seated until 6:30 p.m. The good news is, Bar Bianco opens at 4 p.m., and you can get some beer or wine and stand in line to pass the time.

The only bad pizza comes from Chuck E. Cheese. Otherwise, I’ll eat anything from a chain, local place, or freezer. I’ll also eat pizza pockets, rolls, chips, and anything that tastes like pizza. Even when it’s “bad” it’s still good, except Chuck E. Cheese.

I think Domino’s, etc. pizza may be called mediocre, but really, I’ll take it! Frozen pizza from the grocery - great. English muffin pizza you make at home - bring it. It IS the ‘random local institutions’ that make the worst. There’s a lovely picturesque diner across the road from the lovely picturesque Hungry Trout Motel in the Adirondacks that sold us the worst pizza ever made in the history of pizza. It was totally inedible. One bite and it went in the trash. I still can’t put my finger on exactly why - tomato sauce instead of pizza sauce? Artificial cheese product? Heavy flabby crust? How can you ruin a pizza??? Some friends came up the next day and they insisted, deaf to our warning, on buying pizza from that diner. Same result, inedible - so it wasn’t just us.

Oddly, some of the best pizza I’ve ever had was bought off a warming rack, at the counter of a gas station where I take my car to be inspected. I don’t know where it comes from, maybe the cashier’s mom makes it, lol.

For the first time in my life I am actually sick of pizza right now.

We gave a party for my daughter’s birthday last week.

We ordered nine pizzas. Less than half of them were consumed by guests. Myself and my family managed to eat the remaining pizzas in two days.

Pizza for breakfast. Pizza for lunch. Pizza for snacks. Pizza in my dreams chasing after me dripping with cheese and trailing an oily path all over my subconscious.

I don’t even want to think pizza until at least next month.

I probably shouldn’t have even opened this thread.


Palermo’s makes a very good thin crust pizzas in several varieties.

Red Baron has a new “fire baked crust” line of frozen pizzas that is also quite exceptional. (for a $3.50 frozen pizza that is)

Both these are inexpensive/mid-priced frozen pizzas, not the new, trendy, “ultra-gourmet” frozen pizza that I now see all the time, selling for around 7 or 8 bucks…

If someone is willing to shell out 7 dollars for a frozen pizza, I think there is something seriously off with their thinking, as at least around here, many places (both large chains and small independent joints) will sell you a fresh, baked to order, one topping pie for about the same price, and to me even the best frozen pizza I have ever tried is at least 3 steps down from even a mediocre fresh baked pizza.

Frozen pizza certainly has its time and place (which for me is usually 3 am when everywhere is closed and I am in no shape to do much else but pop something in the oven) but why anyone would pay the same price for a frozen number as what they could get a fresh baked pizza for is a mystery to me.