Best region for pizza in the U.S.

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PrisonerOfHope
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2004/11/07 18:40:56 (permalink)
Oh, and lest I forget....there used to be a wonderful pizza place down the block from the WTC, next door to Century 21. Don't recall the name; it was open to the street and you had to stand as you ate your slice. I guess it's probably gone now. The pizza at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal was awfully good, as was Charlie's Pizza on, as I recall, Beaver Street, around the corner from Broad. All favorite places to go for lunch when I worked in the area.

Oh, what I wouldn't give for a slice from any of them right now!
#61
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2004/11/07 19:02:43 (permalink)
There is some pretty good pizza in NE PA outside of Old Forge, as well.

King's and Luigi's in Mountain Top seem to be competing in some way for a quality crown; both just get better and better. Luigi's makes a pie that I can't get enough of; it's sliced plum tomatoes and a little olive oil on pizza sauce, with no cheese. For some reason it's a drug to me, so sweet and tart at the same time. Luigi's has perfected the art of crust; the bottom 1/16 inch of crust snaps, and the rest chews. Kings has gone the brick oven route, with fresh ingredients, and they are turning out top notch fare. Both also serve the stuffed and white pizzas that NE PA is famous for, of course.


As good as NYC? I dunno, probably not. But I can walk to King's and Luigi's, and it's a 2 hour drive to Manhattan!


Tom

#62
carlton pierre
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2004/11/07 19:33:32 (permalink)
I'm curious about something? I can't weigh in on this question since I live in Knoxville. But, what is the key/essential component of the good pizza? Is it the oven, or is the dough, sauce, etc the most important component to a great pizza?

carl reitz
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marcbla
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2004/11/07 19:43:44 (permalink)
THE VICTORY PIG PIZZA in old forge pa
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2004/11/07 21:16:33 (permalink)
Pizza is comfort food, so I think it's what you grew up with that is going to be your favorite.
I live in Chicago and the have never learned to like the Uno deep dish thing that everyone goes on and on about.
However, I grew up in St. Louis and crave that style pie - cracker thin crust and provel cheese are the hallmarks, most would probably find it wanting. But I love it.
That being said a NYC slice rocks and I'm dying to try the New Haven style someday!
Wasn't there a deal in Italy a while back where they wanted to legislate what could be called pizza?
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2004/11/30 06:43:14 (permalink)
From this Sunday's New York Times:

November 28, 2004
THE CITY LIFE

Brooklyn Pizza to Go
By FRANCIS X. CLINES


Finding Patsy Grimaldi's name on a pizzeria out in Phoenix, amid all that sun and desert, is weird. Anyone who knows Patsy can only picture his coal-fired pizza oven glowing in the long shadows of the Brooklyn Bridge's eastern arch, with the patient lines of hungry customers outside and a firm no-delivery policy inside (except in the old days when Frank Sinatra ordered out from the Waldorf-Astoria or sent a plane from Los Angeles for two score of Patsy's pies). "I'm retired now," explains Patsy. "But franchised, kind of."


It's not like he's Brooklyn's answer to Colonel Sanders. So far there are just a precious few other Grimaldis out there and Patsy says he insists on personally training this new generation to make pies the way his late uncle, Patsy Lancieri, taught him 60 years ago in Harlem - with the special dough recipe and only fresh ingredients from Italy, of course, but always in an oven built the old way from brick and fired the old way by coal, not by gas as most modern pizzeria ovens are.


"Fifty years ago, 100 years ago, that's all they had in the city was coal ovens," Patsy says, proud to be handing on his retro-coal technique to Phoenix. By his account, the coal-brick approach produces far more heat (800 degrees plus) than gas, and thereby fierce-to-subtle hot spots of artistry to make the pie bubble, crisp and lightly char. "Far better flavor," Patsy assures, particularly for those who had their first taste of pizza after World War II, when soldiers came home with tales of discovering it in Italy. Pizza has since become a ubiquitous industry in America with flavors running from rare ambrosia to mall-rat flannel. It inevitably created a connoisseur craving for the real deal, the sort of pie that perennially has Grimaldi's rated among New York's best. "Everybody's advertising 'brick-oven,' but not with the coal," Patsy cautions. "These guys know nothing about pizza."


Like thoroughbred racing bloodlines, pizza can be traced in this country to a pioneer master, Gennaro Lombardi, who opened the first shop offering the exotic, postpeasant bakery product a century ago in Manhattan's Little Italy. He brought the recipe from Naples, where pizza was cooked in wood-fired ovens, and adapted it here to coal ovens, one of which still powers up worthy pies at an authentic version of Lombardi's on Spring Street.


Patsy Grimaldi honors this history down through Uncle Patsy as he finally hands their arts on to the future. First he put an outpost in Hoboken with a coal-brick oven built and run now by a contractor friend who preferred constructing pizzas. And now it's on to Phoenix, and only because the owner there needed the secrets of the Brooklyn pie maker who knows from coal-brick ovens. "So," says Patsy, "you could say I'm now a - what is it called? - a consultant. A pizza consultant."
#66
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2004/11/30 19:13:46 (permalink)
I grew up in NJ and worked in a Sbarro's pizza when I was a kid in the early 80's,great pizza.My vote for best Pizza is Brooklyn/NYC,then Jersey.I read somewhere that the NYC water from the deep reservoirs up in the Catskills contribute to a big part of the taste,the water has an incredible mineral content and purity.I read an article about a California pizza place that had a company setup their water system to add minerals and whatever else to to get the same make up as the NYC water.It's funny when people think about NYC,they don't think great water,but NYC has some of the best water in the world.I realize there is many other things that make a great pizza,and everyone has their preference,but The NYC metropolitan area is hard to beat.I can't believe some pizza places don't make their own dough,they buy frozen "shells" and slop the sauce and cheese on,and there is a big puddle of oil on top ,because they use imitation mozzarella.I have come across a few places like that in my travels in PA.A place like that would be out of business in a week or two in NY or NJ.I have also had some pretty good pizza in PA ,never had pizza in CT,have to try .
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2004/11/30 20:09:24 (permalink)
Being a Chicago native, I would have to favor the Chicago style of pizza. I certainly wouldn't be bold enough to say it's the best anywhere, but it is pretty darn good.

I think finding the best pizza regionally will be an ongoing search as I travel this great country and great world. I'm sure I'll get plenty of opportunity to sample pizza in the Northeast soon enough (once I move to PA in a few months).
#68
Kiowa1
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2004/11/30 21:16:54 (permalink)
PHILADELPHIA!... not just cheesesteaks... GREAT Pizza too! The best of both worlds... a pizza steak (with mushrooms).
#69
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2004/11/30 21:35:25 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Grampy

quote:
Originally posted by santacruz

I would say from Utica New York east to Springfield Ma. north to Saratoga and south to Poughkeepsie. This slice of upstate N.Y. and western Ma. has the best Pizza in the United States.


Santacruz: What are your faves in Western Mass?

I'm not santacruz...but have you tried Liquori's in West Springfield? It's cheap and there are huge portions.
We ordered four pieces and recieved a family-sized slab.
I would love to have some RIGHT NOW.
#70
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2004/12/01 16:41:05 (permalink)
This may sound like sacrilege but in New England it's the GREEK places that have the best pizza. I grew up in the Boston area and there was a lot of good stuff around. I like Figs, too, though it's really pretty yuppie. I'm told that Worcester has great pizza - but does anyone go there who isn't from there?
#71
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2004/12/10 11:45:12 (permalink)
We live in an age when pizza gets to your home before the police.
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2004/12/21 12:50:08 (permalink)
Another vote here for Frank Pepe's in New Haven, and the northeast region in general. I have a move pending to Las Cruces New Mexico, and one of the few elements of the Northeast I will miss is the food. In fact, I am planning pilgrimage to Pepe's for one last time prior to my departure. Fo the record, 2 non-New Haven pizza joints stick out for me: 1) The Resevoir Tavern, in Boonton New Jersey, which has the best thin-crust bar pie I have ever had. It reeks of Roadfood charm, around since 1936, and lines out the doors for tables, even on week nights. The second was an accidental discovery: Alta Pizzeria in Hazleton Pennsylvania. Those form the triumverate for me.
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2004/12/21 13:09:22 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by tamandmik

Another vote here for Frank Pepe's in New Haven, and the northeast region in general. I have a move pending to Las Cruces New Mexico, and one of the few elements of the Northeast I will miss is the food. In fact, I am planning pilgrimage to Pepe's for one last time prior to my departure. Fo the record, 2 non-New Haven pizza joints stick out for me: 1) The Resevoir Tavern, in Boonton New Jersey, which has the best thin-crust bar pie I have ever had. It reeks of Roadfood charm, around since 1936, and lines out the doors for tables, even on week nights. The second was an accidental discovery: Alta Pizzeria in Hazleton Pennsylvania. Those form the triumverate for me.


Yes, but think of all the great Mexican food which will be available. Even the best Tex Mex and New Mex restaurants of NYC couldn't even hold a candle to a "mediocre" Mexican restaurant in Las Cruces!
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2004/12/27 11:05:21 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by CheeseWit

I really think the best region for pizza in the U.S. is CT, NY, NJ, and Northeastern PA (think Old Forge, PA)and Southeastern PA (Phila. area).
South of the Phila. area the pizza quality starts to drop off.


The South East is terrible in regards to pizza. I have to agree Philly, South Jersey northward is the prime pizza area.
#75
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2004/12/27 11:16:19 (permalink)
Time sometimes does funny things to one's memory of something, but the best pizza I have eaten was at a bar in Little Falls, MN named Charlie's.

I have been there several times, but my last visit there was about 10 years ago, so maybe things have changed.

Wally
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2004/12/27 15:27:05 (permalink)
There's no question...the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut areas (the closer to NYC, the better) have the best pizza. I've had it all across the country, and none compare.
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2004/12/30 10:30:25 (permalink)
I think that you really need to add the Northwest from Monterey to Seattle. There are excellent pizza joints all along I-5. Remember SF has arguably the best bread in the world, and that is an important part of the pizza secret. I remember working in Berkely and going to Chez Panisse for lunch. Wolfgang Puck was occasionally the lunch chef, and he use to recoil in horror from what diners requested on our pies. I finally got him to taste my personal favorite (mushroom, olive and pineapple), and he decalred it a wonder of the world. But there are other earthier places all around the northwest that serve great pies and slices. Usually look in college towns would be the best recommendation.

I think good pizza is more myth and presentation from a "legendary" pizzaria. I have had consistently better pizza from Greek tavernas than in "authentic" pizzarias. I think it's just a matter of a good oven, precise timing, good ingredients, and a modicum of competence. IMHO the biggest problem with pizza is when frozen dough is used. Just no snap or flavor.

One of the things I miss since leaving California is the Round Table chain. Good thin crust pies for reasonable prices. Granted you have to find a good one to buy from, but for a chain they are outstanding!
#78
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2004/12/30 10:54:14 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by mistertawny

I think that you really need to add the Northwest from Monterey to Seattle. There are excellent pizza joints all along I-5. Remember SF has arguably the best bread in the world, and that is an important part of the pizza secret. I remember working in Berkely and going to Chez Panisse for lunch. Wolfgang Puck was occasionally the lunch chef, and he use to recoil in horror from what diners requested on our pies. I finally got him to taste my personal favorite (mushroom, olive and pineapple), and he decalred it a wonder of the world. But there are other earthier places all around the northwest that serve great pies and slices. Usually look in college towns would be the best recommendation.

I think good pizza is more myth and presentation from a "legendary" pizzaria. I have had consistently better pizza from Greek tavernas than in "authentic" pizzarias. I think it's just a matter of a good oven, precise timing, good ingredients, and a modicum of competence. IMHO the biggest problem with pizza is when frozen dough is used. Just no snap or flavor.

One of the things I miss since leaving California is the Round Table chain. Good thin crust pies for reasonable prices. Granted you have to find a good one to buy from, but for a chain they are outstanding!



Seattle???? You're joking!! Right??!!!!

I lived in Seattle, and have had Round Table Pizza- It was utterly disgusting! You need to head to NYC and try some real Pizza- trust me! you'll never go back!
#79
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2005/01/02 10:39:42 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by wanderingjew

quote:
Originally posted by mistertawny

I think that you really need to add the Northwest from Monterey to Seattle. There are excellent pizza joints all along I-5. Remember SF has arguably the best bread in the world, and that is an important part of the pizza secret. I remember working in Berkely and going to Chez Panisse for lunch. Wolfgang Puck was occasionally the lunch chef, and he use to recoil in horror from what diners requested on our pies. I finally got him to taste my personal favorite (mushroom, olive and pineapple), and he decalred it a wonder of the world. But there are other earthier places all around the northwest that serve great pies and slices. Usually look in college towns would be the best recommendation.

I think good pizza is more myth and presentation from a "legendary" pizzaria. I have had consistently better pizza from Greek tavernas than in "authentic" pizzarias. I think it's just a matter of a good oven, precise timing, good ingredients, and a modicum of competence. IMHO the biggest problem with pizza is when frozen dough is used. Just no snap or flavor.

One of the things I miss since leaving California is the Round Table chain. Good thin crust pies for reasonable prices. Granted you have to find a good one to buy from, but for a chain they are outstanding!



Seattle???? You're joking!! Right??!!!!

I lived in Seattle, and have had Round Table Pizza- It was utterly disgusting! You need to head to NYC and try some real Pizza- trust me! you'll never go back!


Different tastes I suppose. I have eaten NY and NJ pizza. I wasn't fond of them. Too salty for my palate. I lived in Queens for about a year, and ate my share of pies. Like anywhere in the country it mattered who made it that particular day. I'll still stake a Chez Panisse pie (from the late 80's) against any pie from anywhere. The lunch pies were absolute HEAVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was commenting that for a CHAIN, Round Table is by far the best. Where I live now I only have access to Pizza Hut, which is, for me anyway, inedible. I would prefer to down 3 Dominos pies than eat a slice of Pizza Hut pizza (and I dislike Domino's almost as much)
#80
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2005/01/02 15:07:34 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by wanderingjew

quote:
Originally posted by mistertawny

I think that you really need to add the Northwest from Monterey to Seattle. There are excellent pizza joints all along I-5. Remember SF has arguably the best bread in the world, and that is an important part of the pizza secret. I remember working in Berkely and going to Chez Panisse for lunch. Wolfgang Puck was occasionally the lunch chef, and he use to recoil in horror from what diners requested on our pies. I finally got him to taste my personal favorite (mushroom, olive and pineapple), and he decalred it a wonder of the world. But there are other earthier places all around the northwest that serve great pies and slices. Usually look in college towns would be the best recommendation.

I think good pizza is more myth and presentation from a "legendary" pizzaria. I have had consistently better pizza from Greek tavernas than in "authentic" pizzarias. I think it's just a matter of a good oven, precise timing, good ingredients, and a modicum of competence. IMHO the biggest problem with pizza is when frozen dough is used. Just no snap or flavor.

One of the things I miss since leaving California is the Round Table chain. Good thin crust pies for reasonable prices. Granted you have to find a good one to buy from, but for a chain they are outstanding!



Seattle???? You're joking!! Right??!!!!

I lived in Seattle, and have had Round Table Pizza- It was utterly disgusting! You need to head to NYC and try some real Pizza- trust me! you'll never go back!


I guess you're right when you say different tastes. I guess if you call compressed wonderbread dough with tomato sauce consisting of a dumped vat of basil then go for it! By the way, here on the east coast we have the best coffee and beer- Maxwell House and Budweiser- it beats anything they make on the west coast by a long shot!
#81
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2005/01/02 15:59:23 (permalink)
Dearfolk,
This is intentionally answered without reading a single post. The true answer is: anywhere with soft water for making the proper crust. Hard water has to be decocted or softened to make a credible crust; nothing else will do. A truly gifted homebrewer can make a Pilsener using hard water: there's a fellow in Florida who has made a career as a homebrewer out of doing the marginally-possible (and time after time pulling it off); his Hardwater Pilsener is remarkably tasty and true-to-style.
Pizza crust is a similar situation: it would take an incredibly learned hand (hold the old Supreme Court Justice references, folks!) to manage to concoct a decent crust out of really hard tap water. That is why New Haven, New York City, and many Eastern Seaboard cities can have decent pizza: their water comes from a granitic source, and ranges from 65 or so parts per million of dissolved solids downward. Atlanta's is 48 PPM, Athens' is roughly 31 PPM.
For more information, I'll have to defer to the folks at Little Italy, and they're closed on Sundays. Alas.
Ungrindingly, Ort. Carlton in Smooth Athens, Georgia.
P. S. A sizeable, relatively indigenous (used to adapting their foodways to local product availability) community of Italian-Americans is a big plus as well.
P. P. S. This makes me wonder why New Orleans, home of muffaletas and Wop salad, doesn't have a long-standing pizza culture. I can only suppose that because their Italian community came from Sicily and far, far south mainland Italy that pizza wasn't common there....
#82
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2005/01/02 17:48:32 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by wanderingjew

quote:
Originally posted by wanderingjew

quote:
Originally posted by mistertawny

I think that you really need to add the Northwest from Monterey to Seattle. There are excellent pizza joints all along I-5. Remember SF has arguably the best bread in the world, and that is an important part of the pizza secret. I remember working in Berkely and going to Chez Panisse for lunch. Wolfgang Puck was occasionally the lunch chef, and he use to recoil in horror from what diners requested on our pies. I finally got him to taste my personal favorite (mushroom, olive and pineapple), and he decalred it a wonder of the world. But there are other earthier places all around the northwest that serve great pies and slices. Usually look in college towns would be the best recommendation.

I think good pizza is more myth and presentation from a "legendary" pizzaria. I have had consistently better pizza from Greek tavernas than in "authentic" pizzarias. I think it's just a matter of a good oven, precise timing, good ingredients, and a modicum of competence. IMHO the biggest problem with pizza is when frozen dough is used. Just no snap or flavor.

One of the things I miss since leaving California is the Round Table chain. Good thin crust pies for reasonable prices. Granted you have to find a good one to buy from, but for a chain they are outstanding!



Seattle???? You're joking!! Right??!!!!

I lived in Seattle, and have had Round Table Pizza- It was utterly disgusting! You need to head to NYC and try some real Pizza- trust me! you'll never go back!


I guess you're right when you say different tastes. I guess if you call compressed wonderbread dough with tomato sauce consisting of a dumped vat of basil then go for it! By the way, here on the east coast we have the best coffee and beer- Maxwell House and Budweiser- it beats anything they make on the west coast by a long shot!


Wonderbread dough, where Round Table, on the west coast, to what do you refer????? The bread capitals of the world are pretty much universally agreed to be Paris and SF. Nothing like good sourdough for a pizzacrust IMHO. Lots of "bite" to make the pie taste better. As far as tomatoe sauce with basil, that is more like what I get when I'm in NY, especially in lower Manhattan. Like I said earlier, it depends who's doing the pizza making and the care taken.

Now two words for you, North Beach. Take ye a trek to the coffee and italian food capital of America in SF. From there let us discuss this further.

Unfortunately I don't drink coffee, and Budweiser is just plain, UGH!

Although I have visited the A/B-Bud plant in St. Louis many times. I still say the beer is NASTY. Even the brewmasters there say Anchor Steam is the best commercial beer produced in the US, PERIOD!

While I don't drink coffee, I do drink cocoa, and SF has Ghiradelli's.

Nuff Said!
#83
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2005/01/03 16:18:38 (permalink)
Does anyone have an opinion on San Diego pizza?

This is going back a long way, but I was there in 1972, and though there were a lot of flavorless options, there were a few good places on side streets in the downtown area. I can't remember the names, (one of them may have been Caruso's), but some were as good as Northeast pizza.

Any recommendations?
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2005/01/03 16:35:02 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by steaklover

Does anyone have an opinion on San Diego pizza?

This is going back a long way, but I was there in 1972, and though there were a lot of flavorless options, there were a few good places on side streets in the downtown area. I can't remember the names, (one of them may have been Caruso's), but some were as good as Northeast pizza.

Any recommendations?


I've never tried it, but I'm wondering if it's as good as fish tacos in NY. I know many New Yorkers who say the best fish tacos they ever ate are right here in NYC and Long Island- better than San Diego!
#85
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2005/01/07 11:21:49 (permalink)
WJ, you're kidding, right? If not, tell me where! Not that I get to NYC much, but I would go many miles for a good fish taco...
#86
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2005/01/07 11:36:10 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by dctourist

WJ, you're kidding, right? If not, tell me where! Not that I get to NYC much, but I would go many miles for a good fish taco...


Of course I was kidding! Finding good fish tacos in NY is about as ridiculous as finding good Pizza in Seattle! That's why I threw in the Maxwell House and Budweiser joke!
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2005/01/07 13:19:05 (permalink)
The best pizza in the world is in the iron triangle of Philadelphia-New Jersey-New York. I rate pizzas on a scale of 1 to 4, a 4.0 pizza being perfect. Every Chicago pie I've ever had has been unpleasant. The crust was too sweet and flaky like a pastry.

The very best I've ever had--the elusive 4.0--was at De Lorenzo's in Trenton, NJ. It's a weird place. No restrooms because they're in a neighborhood that was grandfathered in so they don't have to provide public accommodations.

The pizza is worth the trip, though.
#88
steaklover
Hamburger
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2005/01/07 22:16:38 (permalink)
Hey!

I wasn't kidding!

There were a few good places in San Diego that were run by pizza makers from New York and Chicago where I felt at home. The people looked and sounded like the ones I left back home, and the pizza was just as good.

I'll being going back soon, and I'll be looking for a good pie.

Anyone been there lately?

Thanks!
#89
ClawedLeMew
Junior Burger
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RE: Best region for pizza in the U.S. 2005/01/15 22:43:57 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Kiowa1

PHILADELPHIA!... not just cheesesteaks... GREAT Pizza too! The best of both worlds... a pizza steak (with mushrooms).


I wouldn't say we have the best but you can get some excellent pizza in the Philadelphia area. Several different styles too.
#90
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