Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown

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divefl
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2008/03/26 11:08:49 (permalink)

Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown

Allow me to expand. There are many people who are fortunate enough to live in Chicago, NY, next door to Sally's Apizza, etc. However, some of us live outside of pizza centers. There is good pizza there and we like it, but it would probably not survive in a pizza center area.

If you live in one of those areas, has a visit to one of the renowned places made your hometown pizza less rewarding when you get it? Can you still get conveyor belt pizza without comparing it to your trip? In the alternative, are you so used to what you consider good pizza in your area that NY/Chicago/etc. pizza just didn't do it for you?

The question could also go to people in pizza centers who visited other pizza centers. Did it change your mind? I myself do not live in a big pizza area and consider almost any pizza to be good pizza and I think we have a few great (by my tastes) places. I went to NY and was disappointed. I will admit I probably went to the wrong places and am more than willing to try this again and again with different pizza shops.
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    Baah Ben
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/26 11:25:43 (permalink)
    If you live in Florida, it's pretty tough to find a pizza place in NYC that you would not like. How can that be?

    The thing is you only need one good pizza place, if you live in any town outside the big cities. In South Florida, they have several like Steve's for NYC by the slice pizza. Then they have Anthony's Coal Fired in several locations..that's all you need. I'm sure there are several others in So. Florida, too.

    Orlando is supposed to have a few..We have one decent place here in the Daytona Beach area..Pete's. Others have been mentioned here..I don't agree. Not going to argue.
    #2
    divefl
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/26 11:38:22 (permalink)
    I'm getting very hungry. When I was in FL, it was mostly chains. A few mom and pop's that didn't really make it. Given the number of northerners who move down, FL should have top quality everything - cheesesteak/pizza/dogs in easy reach. I may have been in the wrong town. We did have good cheesesteak.

    We had a guy make a go of Chicago pizza but he was in a bad location and didn't deliver. Needless to say, when i moved away the pizza quality went way up. But still, pictures from pepe's make me drool. I can't say that a picture from my favorite place would.
    #3
    nicolem
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/26 12:56:05 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by divefl

    I'm getting very hungry. When I was in FL, it was mostly chains. A few mom and pop's that didn't really make it. Given the number of northerners who move down, FL should have top quality everything - cheesesteak/pizza/dogs in easy reach. I may have been in the wrong town. We did have good cheesesteak.

    We had a guy make a go of Chicago pizza but he was in a bad location and didn't deliver. Needless to say, when i moved away the pizza quality went way up. But still, pictures from pepe's make me drool. I can't say that a picture from my favorite place would.


    My father lives in Venice, Florida and we have found very good pizza-Fratelli's. It is right on route 41 in Venice. It is as good as many pies I have eaten in New Jersey. Whenever I am down there-we always go a few times. I am not sure about this but I believe they may originally be from NY or CT- I thought my dad may have mentioned that once.

    This is making me hungry and I am stuck in New Hampshire where the only decent pie is over an hour away!
    #4
    Jimeats
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/26 13:09:20 (permalink)
    I belive in the old school thought that it may take a couple of years or so to develop a good pizza dough. It has to do with wild yeast thats in the air. Also the water that is used in making the dough is very important.
    Not to mention the availablity of other ingreadiants in certain areas.
    So what works here may well not work there. Chow Jim
    #5
    jimsock9
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/26 13:09:33 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by nicolem

    quote:
    Originally posted by divefl

    I'm getting very hungry. When I was in FL, it was mostly chains. A few mom and pop's that didn't really make it. Given the number of northerners who move down, FL should have top quality everything - cheesesteak/pizza/dogs in easy reach. I may have been in the wrong town. We did have good cheesesteak.

    We had a guy make a go of Chicago pizza but he was in a bad location and didn't deliver. Needless to say, when i moved away the pizza quality went way up. But still, pictures from pepe's make me drool. I can't say that a picture from my favorite place would.


    My father lives in Venice, Florida and we have found very good pizza-Fratelli's. It is right on route 41 in Venice. It is as good as many pies I have eaten in New Jersey. Whenever I am down there-we always go a few times. I am not sure about this but I believe they may originally be from NY or CT- I thought my dad may have mentioned that once.

    This is making me hungry and I am stuck in New Hampshire where the only decent pie is over an hour away!


    Nicole ~ here's the link to Fratelli's in Venice; I notice on the menu that they use terms like "ah peetz" and "sangweech". Folks here on Roadfood can tell you where they're from originally, I'm sure.

    http://www.fratellipizzaclub.com/
    #6
    divefl
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/26 13:28:19 (permalink)
    But, to get back on point. The question was not where to find good pizza in Florida. Rather, is you have great pizza somewhere where you do not live, does that make the pizza in your area seem worse. I think since Nicole will not eat pizza within an hours drive but goes to one spot in FL a few times each visit. Her answer would be yes, goo dpizza made her options seem worse and unenjoyable.
    #7
    ayersian
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/26 13:35:29 (permalink)
    Divefl, the divine pizzas of Connecticut have not ruined my appreciation and zest for other pies -- not in the least. We live 20 minutes from Frank Pepe's in Manchester, CT but certainly do not go very often, maybe once every 2-3 months. I love pizza in any shape and form, and I grew up in the South on conveyer-belt pies! Now the comparison part is a little different: being a food critic, I cannot help but compare my current meal with the best I've ever had...but that doesn't stop my quest for the best RF out there. Pizza, hot dogs, burgers, shakes, fried chicken, BBQ, whatever: I am dedicated to finding the best of everything and then writing about it.

    I especially like to read a particularly glowing review on this site and then visit the place myself to see if it stands up to its recommendation. Oh happy eating! Chris
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    Davydd
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/26 13:57:45 (permalink)
    I subscribe to the theory that if you say something is the best, repeat it again and again, and then have others reference it as the best then it becomes the best. Truth is there is good and bad everywhere. I've found pizza I would put up against pizza anywhere right in Minneapolis and La Crosse, WI. I don't feel wanting for good pizza but I am always curious about the touted best of anything anywhere.

    I base my theory on what I learned about the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich, another touted food by specific locality. After sampling over 100 in 10 states over 3 years I think I have a good idea not based on hype. Some of the most fervent claimants for the best actually had mediocre. The best is mostly faith, familiarity and what is in the mind. In a blind taste the assumed best might not taste so good.

    I also think knowledgeable awareness and expectations through the Internet, the renaissance thinking about food with the development of celebrity chefs as well as good chefs, craft brewing, wine making, food magazines, the Stern's road food evangelizing, etc. has extended to pizza. Good ingredients can be had anywhere now. They are not regional or trade secrets anymore. Knowledge on how to make a good pizza has spread. Investments in wood fired high temp ovens have expanded all over. Water and wild yeast are nothing but defensive postures to preserve the old status quo.
    #9
    ann peeples
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/26 16:13:03 (permalink)
    We are lucky in the Milwaukee area to have a few great,run by Italians,pizza places,and we will drive into the city to get them.Lisa's pizza on the east side of Milw(said to be named after the owners mistress)and Pietros on the south side(Mama can barely speak English)They serve top notch ingredients(no rabbit turd sausage)and their pepperoni still curls up like the good old days.Thank god I dont have to settle for Dominos,Pizza Hut or Papa Johns..
    #10
    leethebard
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/26 16:24:40 (permalink)
    As some of you know,or can guess,pizza has been my favorite food for close to 60 years...and I've had it in all shapes and sizes. I've also learned to enjoy most pizza. I live in one of those pizza "centers",here in New Jersey...and it's great always being able to have a great traditional pizza when I want one. But I've enjoyed and had great pizza in Arizona to Florida...Rhode Island to North Carolina.. to San Diego and every place in between. I've loved pizza on the French Riviera and in Madrid or the Netherlands(made with Gouda Cheese)or Germany..and even England. I've done the pizza tour of many Eoropean countries..and most cities in Italy.....I'm not that picky....I love food...and especially pizza.....I'll try any pizza once, some twice. Most pizza is good,some great..some passible...but all are an experience AND I LOVE THE EXPERIENCE..I just won't eat sweet pizza made with sugared sauce...Pizza Hut or worse Dominoes..etc.
    I say where ever you live...go have "A Slice Of Life" and enjoy!!!!!
    #11
    PapaJoe8
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/26 16:30:55 (permalink)
    I can find a pizza I like almost anywhere, even at CiCi's! That does not meen that I do not enjoy a great NY or Chicago style pizza. :~)
    Joe
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    David_NYC
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/26 23:44:21 (permalink)
    I find that good pizza from places like Chicago or the Shakey's in California are a welcome change of pace from what I can get from down the block. But, it has not changed my mind about the type of pizza I grew up on.
    #13
    letseat
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/27 00:57:29 (permalink)
    It's funny, but I live on LI where we have our share of very good (notice I don't say great Pizza) but I lose my taste for LI pizza when I get a Pie at DiFaras or Totonnos in Bklyn or Johns in NYC It's even worse when I have Pizza at the Holy Grail of Piedom Pepes in New Haven.
    I've learned not to eat Pizza out of the NY/New Haven area as to not be disappointed! (Sorry to all you Chicago Pizza lovers, but thin crust rules!)
    #14
    jreno
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/27 00:58:21 (permalink)
    ive been to NY 30 times and as of yet have not found a good pizza
    dont like them burnt
    dont like them baked with coal
    they just suck
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    David_NYC
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/27 09:14:55 (permalink)
    jreno,
    It could be you just don't like New York-style pizza. Most of the pizza sold in New York is not burnt, and there are only a few places using coal ovens, because you can no longer build a new coal oven in NYC. The ovens in use are 'grandfathered' and have been in service for decades.
    #16
    MilwFoodlovers
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/27 09:25:37 (permalink)
    Apples and oranges really.
    I'd put up Fillipo's with its Sicilian crust and Villa Roma with its thin crust up against any of the great pizza's I've eaten. Sauces, cheeses, sausages are all different so its not like comparing like to like. So, my short answer is a definite no it hasn't. That said, I don't think you can even get a clam apizza in Milwaukee.
    #17
    jimsock9
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/27 09:29:36 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by jreno

    ive been to NY 30 times and as of yet have not found a good pizza
    dont like them burnt
    dont like them baked with coal
    they just suck


    That's odd....born & raised in New York and I've never once had a "burnt" pizza or a "baked with coal" pizza or a pizza that sucked in New York.
    #18
    Jimeats
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/27 09:37:42 (permalink)
    Can you imagine if pizza, or anything else for that matter was all the same coast to coast. What a boreing life that would be. Chow Jim
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    Niagara
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/27 09:51:26 (permalink)
    Oh, yeah - the great pizza of Topeka, Kansas has totally ruined it here for this native New Yorker.
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    Tony Bad
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/27 09:54:05 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Jimeats

    Can you imagine if pizza, or anything else for that matter was all the same coast to coast. What a boreing life that would be. Chow Jim


    I agree Jim. Too many get caught up in the "best" and miss something that might be different than their ideal of the "best", but is quite good none the less.

    The first time I had Chicago pizza I was shocked how different it was from pizza I grew up with, but I love it. It is different but good! I have had great pulled pork/BBQ pizza in NC, and pizza in Toronto that had veggies I never had on a pizza. It was all good...different...but good.
    #21
    NYPIzzaNut
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/27 22:07:26 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by jimsock9

    quote:
    Originally posted by jreno

    ive been to NY 30 times and as of yet have not found a good pizza
    dont like them burnt
    dont like them baked with coal
    they just suck


    That's odd....born & raised in New York and I've never once had a "burnt" pizza or a "baked with coal" pizza or a pizza that sucked in New York.
    I was born in the Bronx and raised in Yonkers and I also never had anything but the best pizza pies growing up there - I am now in Ohio (since 1977) and previously was in Alabama and I must say the food I miss most here is good pizza - it is like looking for a needle in a haystack almost out here in the midwest to find decent NY thin crust pizza - this is what NY-style pies are supposed to be like:


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York-style_pizza

    You find maybe 2 or 3 pizzerias in Cincinnati / Dayton area (which I frequent) who can make pizzas something like these NY-style pies. It is just like that also with bagels and bialys too - very few good NY style bagel/bialy makers out here in Ohio.
    #22
    Davydd
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/27 22:35:49 (permalink)
    I heard Italians jumped ship from a freighter in Lake Michigan just after WWII and settled in Gary, Indiana and started making pizzas with the iron ore rust stained waters and wild yeast spores from Wisconsin cheese wafting off the shores of Lake Michigan. Until you've had that original you are bound to be disappointed in your hometown pizza.
    #23
    leethebard
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/28 15:58:07 (permalink)
    Wow...that's the secret to real pizza....RUST!!! Live and learn.
    #24
    cstu
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/30 08:38:58 (permalink)


    Having grown up on Long Island and now living in Westchester, I feel as if I have seen the demise of "New York Style" pizza as described in the wikipedia link. I am not talking the ultra-thin crust coal oven variety but rather the type sold in any strip mall in the metro area.

    First, too many places make the pie early and then constantly reheat slices all day long.

    Also, the crust has become much thicker in order to allow for customers to get "filled-up" on one or two slices. I suppose this is perceived as better value.

    This combination leads to a slice which is essentially impossible to "fold". The crust breaks when this is even attempted. Very sad.
    #25
    Ciaoman
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/30 09:02:53 (permalink)
    I have to agree with cstu. I am also a native NY'er and have many memories of eating great slices at little joints all over the city. The crust was tender with a slight crunch; thin and easily folded. The sauce always had a great sweet-tomato flavor. Lately, all the slices I've tried have tasted like what's sold in malls...tasteless, stiff-crusted and old. Maybe its economics that's driving the trend, or maybe the pizza makers have just changed their methods. Whatever it is, it ain't the same!
    #26
    leethebard
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/30 09:21:27 (permalink)
    Heat lamps are not a nice think for pizza...I think you can't appreciate the actual taste of the pie and the fresh ingredients...after it's "finished" under the lamps for a length of time...the same for reheated pie,to an extent. Best way to judge a great pie...bubbling out of the oven!
    #27
    Ciaoman
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/30 10:07:57 (permalink)
    Amen.
    #28
    porkbeaks
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/30 10:44:44 (permalink)
    Even with the very best of pizza, the crust starts to "deteriorate" about 5 minutes after leaving the oven. The eaters with asbestos mouths will reap the benefits. pb
    #29
    leethebard
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    RE: Has Great Pizza Ruined Your Hometown 2008/03/30 10:46:15 (permalink)
    Think about any slice of left over pizza.Did it taste like when it was hot out of the oven...good maybe, but the same????Enough said.
    #30
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