WSJ's Pizza recommendations

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BT
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2006/01/14 20:11:02 (permalink)

WSJ's Pizza recommendations

Interesting article in the weekend Wall Street Journal entitled "Pizza's Next Act" in which they claim to have checked out "the country's hottest (pizza) joints".

Recommendations are categorized as either a new-wave "hot spot" or a "classic". By city, they include:

Atlanta: Hot spot--Piebar; classic-Mellow Mushroom

Chicago: Hot Spot--Pizza D.O.C.; Classic Pizzeria Uno

Dallas: Hot Spot--Pazzo Wood-fired Pizza; Classic--Campisi's

Los Angeles: Hot Spot--Pizza Rustica; Classic--California Pizza Kitchen

New York: Hot Spot--Pinch Pizza-by-the-inch; Classic--Lombardi's

Philadelphia: Hot Spot--Jules Thin Crust; Classic--Tacconelli's

Phoenix: Hot Spot--Cibo; Classic--Pizzeria Bianco

Portland, Maine: Hot Spot--American Flatbread; Classic--Amato's

Seattle: Hot Spot--Pizzeria Fondi; Classic--Northlake Tavern & Pizza House

Washington, DC: Hot Spot--2 Amy's; Clasic--Ledo Pizza & Pasta

Comments anybody? I personally haven't tried any of them so I can't say much but I'll bet some Roadfooders have.
#1

23 Replies Related Threads

    Adjudicator
    Sirloin
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    RE: WSJ's Pizza recommendations 2006/01/14 21:19:29 (permalink)
    Mellow Mushroom in Atlanta is very good, and they have been around for ages.

    Pie Bar is a little bit to much "city" for me, but I've heard it is good.

    http://www.piebar.com/


    Besides MM, my other two Atlanta favorites are Savage Pizza
    www.savagepizza.com and Fellini's.
    #2
    joanie41
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    RE: WSJ's Pizza recommendations 2006/01/14 21:26:06 (permalink)
    I'm surprised to see that Ledo pizza is considered the "classic" for the DC area. It's kind of a sad commentary on the fact that most pizza around here SUCKS. Ledo is OK, but I would hardly consider it classic in any way. They use a sweet sauce and the crust -- which I like -- is like pie crust.
    #3
    brentk
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    RE: WSJ's Pizza recommendations 2006/01/14 21:42:38 (permalink)
    Haven't been to the Mellow Mushroom in Atlanta, but I have been to it many times in Charlotte. The pizza is decent, but I go there for the beer selection, not because it has great pizza.
    #4
    acer2x
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    RE: WSJ's Pizza recommendations 2006/01/14 22:02:09 (permalink)
    I agree with Jules Thin Crust in Doylestown, Bucks County, PA in the Philadelphia area. I must return there soon. My first visit last summer revealed a very thin crusted,well done, rectangular pizza. It's sold by the inch.
    #5
    ScreenBear
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    RE: WSJ's Pizza recommendations 2006/01/14 23:14:16 (permalink)
    I think they ought to go up to Hinesburg, Vermont, and try the pizza at the Good Times Cafe.
    The Bear
    #6
    signman
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    RE: WSJ's Pizza recommendations 2006/01/15 08:06:40 (permalink)
    I always go to Campisi's when visiting Dallas. Now Campisi's seems like a pretty good name for a pizza restaurant. But longtime Dallasites call it the "Egyptian", as the full name of the 50 or so year old original location near SMU is properly known as Campisi's Egyptian Restaurant.
    #7
    BT
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    RE: WSJ's Pizza recommendations 2006/01/15 11:02:47 (permalink)
    Well, since they didn't do San Francisco, I'll add it. The "classic" place is probably Tomasso's. I can't keep up with the "hot spots"--new ones pop up every day. Best of the lot until recently may have been Viccolo but they've now come and gone I think.

    As to California Pizza Kitchen in LA, unless the LA location is a lot different than the one in SF, my thumbs are down. It's OK but not "classic" at all IMHO and nothing special even in the "hot spot" category--plus they've gone "chain".
    #8
    Adjudicator
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    RE: WSJ's Pizza recommendations 2006/01/15 11:11:09 (permalink)
    CPK in Atlanta is a joke, also.
    #9
    wanderingjew
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    RE: WSJ's Pizza recommendations 2006/01/15 11:20:28 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by BT

    Interesting article in the weekend Wall Street Journal entitled "Pizza's Next Act" in which they claim to have checked out "the country's hottest (pizza) joints".

    Recommendations are categorized as either a new-wave "hot spot" or a "classic". By city, they include:

    Seattle: Hot Spot--Pizzeria Fondi; Classic--Northlake Tavern & Pizza House


    Using the words "Hottest Pizza Joints" and "Seattle" in the same sentence is an insult to Pizza
    #10
    1bbqboy
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    RE: WSJ's Pizza recommendations 2006/01/15 11:34:57 (permalink)
    I still don't agree with your premise, WJ. I think your views are colored, like all of us, by what we grew up with and what we're comfortable with. By your standards, the pizza I grew up with in KC wasn't worth eating, even though made by real Italians, because....because....,
    well I've never figured out what experiences gave you this rigid view of the way the food world should be, other than your unhappy time in Seattle. Can you explain?
    #11
    wanderingjew
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    RE: WSJ's Pizza recommendations 2006/01/15 11:56:15 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by bill voss

    I still don't agree with your premise, WJ. I think your views are colored, like all of us, by what we grew up with and what we're comfortable with. By your standards, the pizza I grew up with in KC wasn't worth eating, even though made by real Italians, because....because....,
    well I've never figured out what experiences gave you this rigid view of the way the food world should be, other than your unhappy time in Seattle. Can you explain?


    Bill, for the same reason that there is Mexican Food here in Rhode Island and New York for that matter made by real Mexicans and it still sucks however there are many native New Yorkers who will vehemently defend Mexican Food and everything else in New York as the best in the country, I'm not one of them, I just call it as I see it. I've seen some of the other folks on this forum who will very nicely give an underhand back slap" to southern, soul food and bbq here in the Northeast yet you tell a New Yorker that and you'll have hell to pay . Sometimes there's much more to the process than just who makes the food, many times geography, topography, and meteorology are factors.

    I spent over three years trying to find half decent pizza in Seattle. I kept an open mind and took everyone's advice and wound up dissapointed everytime. I never set out to be let down in but it kept happening. First every Pizza Joint I went to was not Italian owned or run. Most of the people making the pizza were blonde scandinavian skateboard kids. The dough was too thick and "bread like and never crispy, the sauce was always bitter and loaded with too much basil or oregano and the cheese always tasted salty. The trend of putting pineapple and canadian bacon on pizza there also really through me for a loop and the "fresh ingredients" always tasted raw. Growing up in New York, the onions and peppers always had more of a limp oily taste as if they've been fried, raw onions and peppers on pizza just don't cut it. And yeah, I know it's probably an abomination but I was also used to canned mushrooms, which you will find on most Pizza in New York.

    I wasn't too thrilled about Seattle but it was mostly because of the standoffish and overly sensitive natives and the extremely unfavorable male to female ratio. I still miss the great coffee, microbrews and salmon which still imho cannot be duplicated back east and oh yes, the best fish n chips at Spuds Fish n Chips
    #12
    BT
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    RE: WSJ's Pizza recommendations 2006/01/15 19:43:18 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wanderingjew



    I spent over three years trying to find half decent pizza in Seattle. I kept an open mind and took everyone's advice and wound up dissapointed everytime. I never set out to be let down in but it kept happening. First every Pizza Joint I went to was not Italian owned or run. Most of the people making the pizza were blonde scandinavian skateboard kids . . . .


    I emphatically cannot speak about Seattle, But I am somewhat sympathetic to your position based on my experience in San Francisco, another left coast metropolis. SF actually has a history of substantial Italian immigration--they invented such things as cioppino. But I think the SF Italians came from Bologna or some part of Italy way to the north of Naples and pizza country. Regardless, mostly the pizza I've encountered there has been a disappointment, even the places I mentioned which are among the best (or at least most highly regarded) in town. A recent phenomenon, however, seems to be improving things--a number of neighborhood pizza places, including the one nearest my home and now my regular pizza place, are lately being run not by blond skate kids but Arabs from somewhere in North Africa or the Middle East. The guys baking the pies near me are from Morocco. These places may not exactly have a pizza tradition, but they are definitely "Mediterranean" and seem to have that flat bread/olive oil thing in their souls. Anyway, the local pizza sure seems to be improving on the shores of the Pacific.
    #13
    ScreenBear
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    RE: WSJ's Pizza recommendations 2006/01/15 21:56:50 (permalink)
    BT,
    Any credence to the water thing. Some Left Coasters say the bread isn't as good because of the water. Could it be the same for the Pizza?

    I know we have some great bread in Newark, N.J. And, not coincidentally, it was once the heart of some major breweries...due to the water.

    I liked the sourdough bread last time in Frisco, but found the rye at a deli where I had a pastrami sandwich just ho-hum. Course, that was several years ago.
    The Bear
    #14
    wanderingjew
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    RE: WSJ's Pizza recommendations 2006/01/15 23:15:48 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by BT
    I am somewhat sympathetic to your position based on my experience in San Francisco, another left coast metropolis. mostly the pizza I've encountered there has been a disappointment,


    BT,

    During my only visit to San Francisco in December of 1993, I remember going to a Pizza Joint in North Beach and I remember thinking the Pizza was pretty good, although at that time my taste buds were jaded from a year of trying out Seattle Pizza. Anyway, I had to wrack my brain to remember the name of the place and luckily it was listed in Yahoo Yellow Pages, it was Golden Boy Pizza, if I recall they had square slices.

    Anway, I know what you're talking about regarding the arab thing, during my last few years on Long Island many of the Pizza Joints were arab owned and run, and they were still really good. So you never know, maybe it's "the oil"
    #15
    BT
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    RE: WSJ's Pizza recommendations 2006/01/16 02:51:19 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by ScreenBear

    BT,
    Any credence to the water thing. Some Left Coasters say the bread isn't as good because of the water. Could it be the same for the Pizza?

    I know we have some great bread in Newark, N.J. And, not coincidentally, it was once the heart of some major breweries...due to the water.

    I liked the sourdough bread last time in Frisco, but found the rye at a deli where I had a pastrami sandwich just ho-hum. Course, that was several years ago.
    The Bear


    Bread not any good? Perhaps not the rye--I almost never get that because, frankly, the corned beef and pastrami are no good (far, far too lean) and what else would I put on it? But both the sourdough and the regular "sweet" (you might say "French" or "Italian") loaves are, IMHO, excellent--at Acme Bakery in particular, better than I've had anywhere else ever.

    Acme:

    I personally can't say the pizza is "no good", it's just not like the Philadelphia/New Jersey/NewYork/southern Connecticut pizza orbit and that seems to be what a number of us here think of as the ideal. Could be the water--or the yeast--but more likely the cooks and the ovens.
    #16
    BT
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    RE: WSJ's Pizza recommendations 2006/01/16 02:53:59 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wanderingjew

    Golden Boy Pizza, if I recall they had square slices.


    Hmm. Don't know it. There is, actually, a "North Beach Pizza" and Tomasso's, which I mentioned, is in North Beach.
    #17
    wheregreggeats.com
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    RE: WSJ's Pizza recommendations 2006/01/16 06:44:15 (permalink)
    I live in Seattle.

    (A) Seattle has nothing that even approaches fair pizza.

    The places that the natives seem to rave over are generally puffy bread (not crust) and abundant toppings, as if the real gauge to good pizza is a scale. The people making/selling pizza in Seattle tend to not even think of it as an Italian food. (Best I've found so far: Sophie's, which is 4 out of 10 stars.)

    (B) I've lived there for 14 years and have found very few down-to-earth RF places.

    (C) If not "standoffish," the inhabitants are at best "reserved" ...
    #18
    AlfredB
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    RE: WSJ's Pizza recommendations 2006/01/26 22:11:34 (permalink)
    Pazzo! in Dallas rocks. I have been going there at least a couple of times at month and it always good. Best pizza since I have come back from Italy. For once the owner is really italian...not just pretending...
    #19
    Jimeats
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    RE: WSJ's Pizza recommendations 2006/01/27 06:56:33 (permalink)
    I saw on the food channel a couple of years ago that old show they had The Best Of, They featured a Pizza Place in Calf. that called it self The New York Pizza Kitchen or something like that, anyway they said the shipped in bottled water from NYC to make their Pizza dough. Sure, I'd like to see those bills of laden. Chow Jim
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    porkbeaks
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    RE: WSJ's Pizza recommendations 2006/01/27 07:51:50 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Jimeats

    I saw on the food channel a couple of years ago that old show they had The Best Of, They featured a Pizza Place in Calf. that called it self The New York Pizza Kitchen or something like that, anyway they said the shipped in bottled water from NYC to make their Pizza dough. Sure, I'd like to see those bills of laden. Chow Jim


    I remember that show except I don't believe they imported their water from NYC. After they had determined that the water was the reason the CA version of their NY pizza didn't have the same taste, they had both waters tested. They then made their CA water taste like NYC water by filtering out and adding in. At least, that's how I remember it. pb
    #21
    vegas
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    RE: WSJ's Pizza recommendations 2006/01/27 09:19:05 (permalink)


    how much you wanna bet that WSJ reporter drives to New Haven regularly to eat at Modern, Pepes or Sallys?
    #22
    Scorereader
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    RE: WSJ's Pizza recommendations 2006/01/27 12:35:54 (permalink)
    I'm with you Joanie on the Ledo's thing.
    Maybe they're using the word classic to mean that Ledo's has been around DC for a long time. But there are other pizzarias that are more of a classic style NY pizza that is better. Plus, DC also has Armand's, which is "classic" chicago style, and that place has been around a long long time.
    So, knowing Ledo pizza, I'm not entirely sure what they mean by "classic."

    A true DC tradition or classic is Vace's on Connecticut Ave. in Cleveland Park. If you talk to the old timers in DC, that's where they tell you to go.

    2 Amy's was HOT HOT HOT, when it first opened, then it cooled a little, then it became hot again with a good showing on AOL Weekender Best Bets, so it's definately hot again. And, with it's trendy atmosphere, I can see why it got WSJ's attention.

    Personally, I'm enjoying watching Faccia Luna climb the ladder into DC's collective thought on pizza. A few years ago, this place wasn't even in the top ten. It's a favorite of mine and I'm glad others are finding it good too.

    Speaking of Pizza in DC, there's been a lot of talk about DC not having it's own style or flair of pizza. But I think brick oven pizza, while admittedly not a DC exclusive thing, is becoming it's distinct style, especially when you add in the sort of trendy atmosphere and creative toppings that are used.

    The only way to explain it would be to tell visitors, "if you want to know what is "in" in DC pizza, go to 2-Amy's, Faccia Luna, Ella's Wood Fire Pizza and Sorriso's for starters." These places are relatively new, and make great pizzas.




    #23
    BT
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    RE: WSJ's Pizza recommendations 2006/01/27 17:32:37 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Jimeats

    I saw on the food channel a couple of years ago that old show they had The Best Of, They featured a Pizza Place in Calf. that called it self The New York Pizza Kitchen or something like that, anyway they said the shipped in bottled water from NYC to make their Pizza dough. Sure, I'd like to see those bills of laden. Chow Jim


    Harumph! Not sure where in "California" this place is but I bet a decent pizza chef could make tasty pizza from THIS (the source of San Francisco's water):

    #24
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