10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC

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Davydd
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10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Fri, 03/7/08 6:52 PM
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Here is an article on the state of pizza in the US, a bit of history and and indictment of chains. Whether you agree with the 10 best assessment or not, it seems like a pretty good article.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23484794/

Baah Ben
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Fri, 03/7/08 9:00 PM
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We were dying to get to Pizza Bianco, but we had a problem.. Waiting in line at 5:00PM in 113 degree temperature in the first week of May! Everyone absolutely raves about this place!

MB's PR on the job!

porkbeaks
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 8:09 AM
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How can we trust a list that doesn't include even one pizza joint in Indiana or North Carolina? pb

Pigiron
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 8:26 AM
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Including Naples 45 is absurd. It's decent at best, it isn't even close to being the best pizza in Manhattan, much less the USA. Some might argue that it's not even the best pizza within Grand Central Terminal. Something's fishy with that list.

leethebard
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 8:45 AM
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Now this should be required reading for ANYONE who posts on any pizza thread. In a nutshell,this tells you what you need to know. Yes it is the ingredients,the cooking oven and techniques, and the skill of a pizza maker. And Yes,the fast food pizza chains compromised ALL those aspects EVERY ONE...look back at that list....WHICH one does Pizza Crud use...or any of the even-lesser fast food joints??? Taste a pizza from a place that sunscribes to the Neopolitan Association...and you'll see the difference. To quote a saying on so many pizza boxes: "You've tried the rest, now try the best". I'm not agreeing with every place on this list...just the sentiment about the making of a GREAT pizza.
There is one other ingredient also, and some of our dedicated pizza makers here at Roadfood know this: LOVE! Love of pizza,good pizza and the love of enjoying a great taste tradition. Remember the first word in fast -food and think. Little we do for love(don't go there, some of you) is or should be "fast".
To me,great pizza making is an art and a craft! And there is great art and crappy art...but rarely fast art!
Yes, we're all entitled to eat what we like...like we can all prefer comic book art to a Rembrant,but,hell, there is a difference!
I don't know what it means(actually,I do) but note most places mentioned are in the north east or California!
Sorry I've rattled on, but pizza is and has been, and always will be a passion for me...good pizza!!! If you've never had a wood burning oven pizza made by a pizzaria sanctioned by the Neoploitan Association,some day,if you're lucky,try one....that's pizza as the Neoplitans named it!!!!! Not pizza hut stuff.
I'm not telling you to dislike any thing else, just defining the art.
YOU CAN LIKE A PINTO...YOU CAN EVEN ARGUE THAT YOU THINK IT IS A GREAT-MADE AUTOMOBILE....BUT FACTS ARE FACTS...AND A STUBBORN STREAK DOES NOT ALTER REALITY!!!!
Thanks for listening to someone who loves and still enjoys the art of great Italian cooking, and especially my favorite food!

JBarry713
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 8:52 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by porkbeaks

How can we trust a list that doesn't include even one pizza joint in Indiana or North Carolina? pb


You've got me, those two states are powerhouses when it comes to pizza.

leethebard
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 8:53 AM
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"Powerhouse", er, define!

JBarry713
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 8:58 AM
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Lombardi's has history on its side (and should be noted for that) but when it comes to pizza, I was a bit under whelmed when I went there. Don't get me wrong it was good, but I can think of many places that were not on the list that made better pies. For all the hype it gets, I'm surprised that Di Fara didn't make the list.

BTB
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 9:02 AM
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I agree very much with the statement in the article about chain pizza. "Chain pizza is for the most part awful stuff . . . The pizza chains were all started by business people, as opposed to individuals interested in (good) food." Unfortunately, chain pizza has done much to destroy most, but not all, the good old fashion mom and pop pizzerias in this country.

As far as their list is concerned, I wasn't impressed with those they chose to list as the best pizzerias. Most were high-priced gourmet pizza restaurants and Neapolitan style, which is not my favorite (heresy, I know). While I don't live there, none of the great Chicago pizzerias even got honorable mention, so the article lacks much credibility in my estimation. I think they wanted to please the connoisseur class and not the working class.

leethebard
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 9:03 AM
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I'll agree there Jack...it's the 12th man on the field tradition in football. Sometimes a long great tradition gives you that little edge against an opponent...even when skill doesn't. What I liked about that article,I repeat, is not the list they generated, but the "art" aspect of making a great pie. A great piece of art can be made anywhere....a great artist isn't made...it's born in his soul!And he can travel from New york to California to create his art...or he can settle in North Carolina or Indiana...His art will still be great!!!!

firecommander3565
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 9:43 AM
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I saw this article... it seemed to me alot of these Pizza places were pretty "hoity toity"... and not one place from Chicago. When I think of pizza, sorry, Mario Balati does not come to mind.

A few of those places in New York looked worthy, but some looked like a movie set. If you want a "real pizza" and you are in Chicago, check out Home Run Inn on 31st st or Edwardo's. For me Mario can make me alot of dishes, but Pizza... I'll stick with the real deal.

MilwFoodlovers
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 9:49 AM
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Another "best" list

I know it's being picky but unless someone eats at every kumquat restaurant there is, they cannot say Luigi's Kumquats R US is the "best" and even then it is only your personal favorite. The same goes for pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, gaegogi, etc. I do find the lists useful because they intrigue me into wanting to see what some person has the effrontery and presumptuousness to declare anything the "best".

leethebard
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 9:53 AM
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I'm agreeing with you.My comments were NOT about the list..but what constitutes a GREAT pizza. What we should take from the article are the thoughts about what is good. If the pizza maker in Chicago has the skills,the ingredients,etc, I do't doubt he'll make a good,real Italian work of art...as per the original blueprints!

porkbeaks
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 10:01 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by firecommander3565

I saw this article... it seemed to me alot of these Pizza places were pretty "hoity toity"... and not one place from Chicago. When I think of pizza, sorry, Mario Balati does not come to mind.

A few of those places in New York looked worthy, but some looked like a movie set. If you want a "real pizza" and you are in Chicago, check out Home Run Inn on 31st st or Edwardo's. For me Mario can make me alot of dishes, but Pizza... I'll stick with the real deal.


I agree with the "hoity toity" assessment and the fact that Chicago deserves mention on any "Best Pizza" list. However, as to Mario, I feel that if my own pizza is "real pizza" and way better than the majority of what's available out there, then I've got to believe that Mario can outdo my best effort. Why in the world would you think otherwise? Great pizza isn't really that difficult and Mario certainly knows his way around a kitchen. pb

leethebard
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 10:09 AM
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100& correct porkbeaks...But think...if great pizza is not that hard to do , why is there so much bad pizza??? I repeat...it's a lot of caring and LOVE of what you're making added to the skill. I'm sure you, like Mario love the art of pizza making!!!

justtable
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 10:09 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by porkbeaks

How can we trust a list that doesn't include even one pizza joint in Indiana or North Carolina? pb


PIZZA KING...


Pigiron
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 10:21 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by firecommander3565When I think of pizza, sorry, Mario Balati does not come to mind.



He does to me. I crave his pizza fortnightly.


[url]www.ottopizzeria.com[/url]

The Travelin Man
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 10:41 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by Jack Barry

Lombardi's has history on its side (and should be noted for that) but when it comes to pizza, I was a bit under whelmed when I went there. Don't get me wrong it was good, but I can think of many places that were not on the list that made better pies. For all the hype it gets, I'm surprised that Di Fara didn't make the list.


I visited five NYC (Brooklyn and Manhattan) pizza joints on one Sunday afternoon last May, and I thought both Grimaldi's and Totonno's were better than Lombardi's. I did think that Lombardi's was better than DiFara's, however.

As for the list, it seems that the writer aimed for an upscale audience (Pepe's may be the lone exception). My recollection is that all of the places on the list would be considered upscale pizza eateries - thus the inclusion of Naples 45 and Chez Panisse. I am sure that they make fine pizza, but I don't think I would CHOOSE to have pie at Naples 45 before I would choose Grimaldi's.

Ciaoman
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 10:58 AM
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I agree with The Travelin Man's comment about Pepe's. Upscale? No way...it's a neighborhood pizzeria with incredibly-good pie and a national reputation. Same with Sally's (as mentioned in the article). Both places make wonderful coal-oven apizza!

leethebard
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 10:59 AM
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Again,points well taken!

NYPIzzaNut
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 11:43 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by leethebard

Now this should be required reading for ANYONE who posts on any pizza thread. In a nutshell,this tells you what you need to know. Yes it is the ingredients,the cooking oven and techniques, and the skill of a pizza maker. And Yes,the fast food pizza chains compromised ALL those aspects EVERY ONE...look back at that list....WHICH one does Pizza Crud use...or any of the even-lesser fast food joints??? Taste a pizza from a place that sunscribes to the Neopolitan Association...and you'll see the difference. To quote a saying on so many pizza boxes: "You've tried the rest, now try the best". I'm not agreeing with every place on this list...just the sentiment about the making of a GREAT pizza.
There is one other ingredient also, and some of our dedicated pizza makers here at Roadfood know this: LOVE! Love of pizza,good pizza and the love of enjoying a great taste tradition. Remember the first word in fast -food and think. Little we do for love(don't go there, some of you) is or should be "fast".
To me,great pizza making is an art and a craft! And there is great art and crappy art...but rarely fast art!
Yes, we're all entitled to eat what we like...like we can all prefer comic book art to a Rembrant,but,hell, there is a difference!
I don't know what it means(actually,I do) but note most places mentioned are in the north east or California!
Sorry I've rattled on, but pizza is and has been, and always will be a passion for me...good pizza!!! If you've never had a wood burning oven pizza made by a pizzaria sanctioned by the Neoploitan Association,some day,if you're lucky,try one....that's pizza as the Neoplitans named it!!!!! Not pizza hut stuff.
I'm not telling you to dislike any thing else, just defining the art.
YOU CAN LIKE A PINTO...YOU CAN EVEN ARGUE THAT YOU THINK IT IS A GREAT-MADE AUTOMOBILE....BUT FACTS ARE FACTS...AND A STUBBORN STREAK DOES NOT ALTER REALITY!!!!
Thanks for listening to someone who loves and still enjoys the art of great Italian cooking, and especially my favorite food!
Being from Jersey you should not have any trouble finding great pizza close by still I would presume?

I am a native New Yorker, born in the Bronx, and lived my formative years in Yonkers, NY. I grew up on pizza, cannolis, crusty Italian bread, hoagies with Italian meats and cheeses and great lasagna and ravioli and spaghetti dishes. Where I lived - near Yonkers racetrack, there was always a great hole in the wall pizzeria within two blocks of my home.

I have been away from NY since 1970, having living in SC, AL and OH. I have been in OH since 1977 - in and around Cincinnati - I now live in the boonies 60 miles or so east of Greater Cincinnati in Brown County which borders up against Adams County, where many Mennonites and Amish live.

Trying to get NY type pizza here is like impossible.

I have to go to Cinci or Dayton areas to find anything resembling decent pizza. I am part of a lunchbunch trio who generally eat somewhere in Cinci, Dayton, Wilmington area every Thursday trying as many new places as we can find. Being the only one in the group of Italian heritage it is always interesting when we visit an Italian pizzeria or restaurant as to what we order and what we thing of the food.

There are a couple of places in Cinci where I enjoy pizza - Dewey's and Trattoria Roma - and in the Dayton area I have one place where their pizza resembles NY pizza - Troni's - in Kettering (run by an Albanian family). There are no pizzerias in Brown Country or Adams county worth a damn.

I guess I am talking more than I need too for my first post here but I did want you folks to know I share the sentiments that the chains have ruined true good pizza for the masses and most citizens of the great USA have no clue what pizza is supposed to taste like.

You will find me posting a lot on the Cincinnati food thread where my cohort franklee has been posting. He urged me to register here so I could post my own thoughts on our restaurant outings etc. I finally decided to do so since he and I have so many differences in food taste (he is from Tennessee originally).

MacTAC
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 12:07 PM
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I've eaten at Pepe's New Haven, Roseland Apizza and now Patsy's 1st Avenue. Next on my list are DiFara's and Lucali's. Living on Long Island, my opportunities to get to Manhattan and Brooklyn are numerous and appreciated, if underutilized.

I finally got to Patsy's on Valentine's Day for a couple of slices. I thought they were excellent. Since then, I've twice returned, both times for whole pies, for two. As they are smaller than the usual, four slices was just perfect for each of us. Although smaller, I still think $1.50 for a slice and $11.00 for a pie seems a great bargain. The toppings are another story though. The first one we had four toppings; basil, mushrooms, half onions and half anchovies. I thought each was not equal to the level of the pizza and at $3.00 each, even the halves, they cost more than the pie. Their application was also haphazard, one slice having only a couple of samples on it. Thurday's pie was only half pepperoni and mine was without, as I preferred. All three of us thought Patsy's was very good.

FWIW, I'm no gourmet, connoisseur or expert, but I loved Pepe's and Roseland. too.

Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 1:14 PM
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Mario Batali - on his worst day, he is a better cook than I can ever dream of being. But... but... the pizza at Otto in NY (not on the MSNBC list) is idiosyncratic and for us underwhelming. The ingredients are of top quality, the thought behind the combination of ingredients is flawless, but that darn crust cooked on a griddle. It just doesn't do it for us. Good food but not good pizza.

It's all personal taste, and our taste says Lombardi's is much superior to Grimaldi's in Brooklyn, which wouldn't make the cut on our list. Totonno's in Coney Island (and the branches we've tried) is terrific, as is Pepe's in New Haven (and the Fairfield branch) and De Lorenzo's (the one on Hudson) in Trenton. And Una Pizza Napoletana in NY is very special, but a lot of work. Those are all our favorites. Still haven't been to DiFara, so we can't say. And haven't been to Sally's in New Haven because to go there would mean missing out on a Pepe's white clam pie, and we just can't bring ourselves to do that.

leethebard
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 5:46 PM
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Wasn't the guy from Una pizza,originally from Pt. Pleasant NJ? Read an article about his move to Manhattan. We used to go to his shop in Point Pleasant. He belonged to the Neopolitan association and made superior pies.

Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 7:03 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by leethebard

Wasn't the guy from Una pizza,originally from Pt. Pleasant NJ? Read an article about his move to Manhattan. We used to go to his shop in Point Pleasant. He belonged to the Neopolitan association and made superior pies.

I believe you are correct about Point Pleasant.

leethebard
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 7:18 PM
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I thought so....if you ever go back,tell him his old customers down the shore sure miss him!!! His pizzas were among the BEST I've ever had in the states.He epitomizes what I meant about putting love into a pie!!!!

Baah Ben
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 8:32 PM
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I have heard Lombardi's is overrated, too. (Travling Man)

Don't you think Mario's Public Relations Team had something to do with his new place making that list?

leethebard
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 8:38 PM
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Or maybe...just maybe...he knows how to make a great pizza!!!

Robearjr
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sat, 03/8/08 9:07 PM
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a top ten pizza list from MSNBC seems a little cliche.

They should have had Keith Olbermann do: "worst pizza in the world"

Mosca
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sun, 03/9/08 8:33 AM
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My bet is that half of the top 10 pizzas in the US come from places that weren't visited.

I like this exchange; both posters have excellent points:
quote:
I agree with the "hoity toity" assessment and the fact that Chicago deserves mention on any "Best Pizza" list. However, as to Mario, I feel that if my own pizza is "real pizza" and way better than the majority of what's available out there, then I've got to believe that Mario can outdo my best effort. Why in the world would you think otherwise? Great pizza isn't really that difficult and Mario certainly knows his way around a kitchen. pb


quote:
100& correct porkbeaks...But think...if great pizza is not that hard to do , why is there so much bad pizza??? I repeat...it's a lot of caring and LOVE of what you're making added to the skill. I'm sure you, like Mario love the art of pizza making!!!


For every good pizza I've had, I've had many bad pies and hundreds of mediocre pies. Even among small pizzerias making pies with love, you will see caterpillar ovens and frozen dough and canned sauce. Even among small pizzerias making pies with love, you will find people who are clueless as to how to combine ingredients. It IS an art, and most pizzari-istas are not artists, nor artisans. They are laborers and shop owners. Not without pride, but without knowledge and skill. And perhaps not in an economic position to acquire those things; it's better for a man to be successful selling hundreds of $9 pies a day than it is to fail selling twenty $13 pies a day. The first way feeds his family, after all.


leethebard
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sun, 03/9/08 8:41 AM
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You're right! But as I've said above..it's skill,ingredients,equipment and love...perhaps we should add.. desire!

mousec
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sun, 03/9/08 8:47 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by Baah Ben

I have heard Lombardi's is overrated, too. (Travling Man)

Don't you think Mario's Public Relations Team had something to do with his new place making that list?
Have you read Jonathan Gold's review of the place? If not do yourself a favor and search for the review before you make idiotic comments.

leethebard
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sun, 03/9/08 9:58 AM
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Mario's knows his stuff...and most people love the stuff Mario knows!

David_NYC
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sun, 03/9/08 1:49 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by mousec

quote:
Originally posted by Baah Ben

I have heard Lombardi's is overrated, too. (Travling Man)

Don't you think Mario's Public Relations Team had something to do with his new place making that list?
Have you read Jonathan Gold's review of the place? If not do yourself a favor and search for the review before you make idiotic comments.

The article was not prepared by msnbc; it is credited to Forbes Traveler:
http://www.forbestraveler.com/food-drink/americas-best-pizzerias-story.html

Here is what author Don Burnham had to write about Mozza in Los Angeles:
"Celebrity chef Mario Batali partnered last year with super-baker Nancy Silverton to open Mozza, which the L.A. Times says is the "hardest reservation in town to get right now."

The accompanying slide show has a caption that reads:
"Television chef Mario Batali has teamed up with one of America's greatest bakers, Nancy Silverton, to open this very hot new pizzeria whose pizza bianca Food & Wine Magazine listed as one of the best dishes of 2007. For more information: Mozza; 323-297-0101"

Nowhere in that article does it say that Mr. Burnham actually ate in any of these pizza restaurants. Nor does it explain the methodology used to choose these 10 restaurants. It does, however, quote statements published in other magazines about the restaurants listed. So, we have to dig back deeper. Did Mr. Burnham use any other sources of information? If not, how did the source of the quote decide to list the place as a winner?

People around here have little tolerance for puff pieces. We also know that all these celebrity chefs as well as media personalities like Martha Stewart have a huge, hidden "machine" behind them to run all of their various enterprises.

No where does it give the exact involvment of Mr. Batali in the pizza restaurants in LA (Mozza) or NYC (Otto). There are other people listed as working for these enterprises as well. Questioning if any public relations people work for these enterprises is not idiotic.

Logan2
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sun, 03/9/08 2:01 PM
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Reality Check: Most knowledgeable people would agree, I think, that the beloved Mario had little to no involvement in the product (pizza), the restaurant, or anything else with this money $$$ making venture. Most (maybe generally all) celebrities have nothing to do with the enterprise of which their name is associated.

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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sun, 03/9/08 4:40 PM
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I have always felt that "Mario" is the most irritating of all who's ever been on T.V. cooking shows. I think he flat out sucks.

porkbeaks
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sun, 03/9/08 5:09 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by jimsock9

I have always felt that "Mario" is the most irritating of all who's ever been on T.V. cooking shows. I think he flat out sucks.


Kind of the gymsocks of the Food Network, huh? pb

jimsock9
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sun, 03/9/08 5:17 PM
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No, more like the porkgeek.

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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sun, 03/9/08 5:28 PM
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Mario bugs me a little but the guy can cook. One of the few left on the channel that can...Russ

jimsock9
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sun, 03/9/08 5:33 PM
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That's pretty much what I'm saying, too, Russ. I mean, anyone on the channel (and probably all their relatives) can outcook me! I guess it's just his personality and -what's with the hair-????
He just doesn't act like a regular guy to me.

mousec
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sun, 03/9/08 9:56 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by jimsock9

That's pretty much what I'm saying, too, Russ. I mean, anyone on the channel (and probably all their relatives) can outcook me! I guess it's just his personality and -what's with the hair-????
He just doesn't act like a regular guy to me.
How do "regular guys" act???

Pigiron
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sun, 03/9/08 10:21 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Logan2

Reality Check: Most knowledgeable people would agree, I think, that the beloved Mario had little to no involvement in the product (pizza), the restaurant, or anything else with this money $$$ making venture. Most (maybe generally all) celebrities have nothing to do with the enterprise of which their name is associated.


Reality check right back at you: I happen to know for a fact that you're completely wrong regarding Mario Batali's involvement in his restaurants, so I can't help but wonder what you based this comment on? Do "most knowledgeable" people really make generalizations with no basis in fact? They wouldn't be very knowledgeable if they did, would they?

David_NYC
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Sun, 03/9/08 11:09 PM
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Folks, I think we should understand the difference between CELEBRITY restaurants and CELEBRITY CHEF restaurants. We have seen restaurants with the names of movie stars, disk jockeys, professional athlethes, country music singers and the like. Then we hear about restaurants that are wholly or partly owned by famous chefs. Usually, the chef is associated with more than one restaurant. Celebrity chefs usually have demonstrable culinary skills. Celebrities who are primarily noted for success in fields other than cooking or baking may or may not have culinary skills.

leethebard
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Mon, 03/10/08 5:24 AM
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Also yes,Common sense folks...Mario makes his living on his reputation for creating great food...would he stake that reputation,in any way,on a bad restaurant. I'm sure he wants the food served in his place,to be worthy of his name!!!!!!

Logan2
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Mon, 03/10/08 8:34 AM
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I was going to say that those who think that there is that much of a difference in their relationship to their "related restaurants" between ordinary celebrities and chef celebrities are borderline delusional. But Pigiron's glib tongue and superior logic and knowledge have convinced me that Saint Mario is different and that his corporation's management stands aside and lets St. Mario make all the significant decisions of the enterprise with which he is associated (along with angels who descend from heaven). All rise for St. Mario!

Pigiron
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Mon, 03/10/08 11:41 AM
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quote:
Serious backpedaling originally posted by Logan2

I was going to say that those who think that there is that much of a difference in their relationship to their "related restaurants" between ordinary celebrities and chef celebrities are borderline delusional. But Pigiron's glib tongue and superior logic and knowledge have convinced me that Saint Mario is different and that his corporation's management stands aside and lets St. Mario make all the significant decisions of the enterprise with which he is associated (along with angels who descend from heaven). All rise for St. Mario!



Let's start with some facts. You stated (exact quote):

"the beloved Mario had little to no involvement in the product (pizza), the restaurant or anything else with this money $$$ making venture"

That looks to me like a statement of fact, which I happen to know is not true. I've made no claims of superior knowledge, I just happen to know that what you said is false. If you think I was being glib, it was unintentional, please accept my apologies. One might say that calling Mr. Batali "Saint Mario" three times in one paragraph is a little glib, but that's besides the point.

If you have any evidence to back up your statement, or even an explanation as to how you came to such a conclusion, please post it here. I'll wait.

jimsock9
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Mon, 03/10/08 11:45 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by mousec

quote:
Originally posted by jimsock9

That's pretty much what I'm saying, too, Russ. I mean, anyone on the channel (and probably all their relatives) can outcook me! I guess it's just his personality and -what's with the hair-????
He just doesn't act like a regular guy to me.
How do "regular guys" act???


Well.....like 007bond-JB.....no B.S., just a man fixin' some great food.

Scorereader
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Mon, 03/10/08 11:54 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by David_NYC

Folks, I think we should understand the difference between CELEBRITY restaurants and CELEBRITY CHEF restaurants. We have seen restaurants with the names of movie stars, disk jockeys, professional athlethes, country music singers and the like. Then we hear about restaurants that are wholly or partly owned by famous chefs. Usually, the chef is associated with more than one restaurant. Celebrity chefs usually have demonstrable culinary skills. Celebrities who are primarily noted for success in fields other than cooking or baking may or may not have culinary skills.


Do you mean to say, that Don Shula is not in the kitchen cooking my steak! That's ridiculous! I'll never eat there again! I feel cheated...no wonder the Dolphins suck!

NebGuy
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Mon, 03/10/08 1:02 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Pigiron

If you have any evidence to back up your statement, or even an explanation as to how you came to such a conclusion, please post it here. I'll wait.

Pigiron, I think you might be waiting longer than the Maytag repairman.

BTB
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Mon, 03/10/08 1:21 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Pigiron
I happen to know for a fact that you're completely wrong . . . I just happen to know that what you said is false.
I've always enjoyed Batali's shows very much and would like to think it's true, but like someone else I'm a little skeptical, too, as many people might be about Batali's hands-on involvement in those pizzerias, as well as other so-called stars with their restaurants. What proof do you have, Pigiron? In all due respect, I'm always apprehensive about people who claim to "know for a fact." I, on the other hand, don't know for a fact, but please don't hold it against me and others for being skeptics. How do we get to know it one way or another on a roadfood blog where most of the information is just opinions? Will affidavits of an evening where Batali was present suffice? Pictures?


Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Mon, 03/10/08 1:28 PM
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We've been to Babbo three times, and each time we saw Mr. Batali, wearing kitchen clothes too. There's been some articles written in the NY Times about him and his restaurants (I think it was the Times). Supposedly he actually runs around during the evening to all his different NY places - they aren't that far apart. I guess that doesn't include his LA place, but I would be VERY surprised if he was not intimately involved in the conception of the restaurant and the pizzas served there.

leethebard
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Mon, 03/10/08 1:57 PM
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I bet that's true!!!!!!!

Pigiron
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Mon, 03/10/08 4:26 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by BTB

What proof do you have, Pigiron? In all due respect, I'm always apprehensive about people who claim to "know for a fact." I, on the other hand, don't know for a fact, but please don't hold it against me and others for being skeptics.


When Mario Batali and Joe Bastinach were building Otto, I was consulting for a firm that was designing and installing some electrical systems in the space. In the 20 odd times I was in the restaurant during construction, Mario was there all but perhaps three times. It was very obvious that he had a personal interest in what was going on, from room design to kitchen layout to the menu.

Additionally, I regularly eat in his restaurants around NY (mostly in Otto, which is absolutely fabulous) and no, Mario is not cooking every dish that goes out, but he is there quite often and not just to show his face. He's very involved with the food production and the operation of the restaurants.

My personal experience with the restaurant was what I based my statements upon. I wouldn't call that "proof", it's just my experience.

Bobby Flay's place is another story completely......

divefl
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Mon, 03/10/08 4:31 PM
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Truly hate these lists. Especially for diverse items where people tend towards regional types.


Baah Ben
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Tue, 03/11/08 2:55 AM
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Mousec...There's no public relations factor involved in the restaurant review process?

One of the biggest changes, if not the biggest change to occur in the restaurant business over the past 10-15 years has been the industry's reliance on public relations firms. All the top chefs and all the top restaurants are now represented by one public relations firm or another. That's the name of the game today. I should have added the word "might" have something to do with his getting reviewed. I stand corrected for that.

Do you really think the chefs of today are any more skilled than their predessors? There were plenty of great creative chefs years ago, but they never made the money these guys are making. Why? These guys have PR firms extolling their virtues on the Internet, in magazines, etc. Book signings, lines of cutlery, plates, pots, pans, televison shows, etc. How do you think these guys and gals are getting these gigs? And you don't think they are getting their latest ventures reviewed before some husband and wife team, who's put their life savings up to open a little corner bistro...Sometimes with far better food! Do you know how hard it is to even be chosen to get reviewed amongst all the competiton. Try to get a review...It isn't easy.

Public relations firms most certainly one of many factors in a restaurant getting the opportunity to be reviewed. Now, what one does with that opportunity is a whole other story. And yes, there's at least a remote possibility that old Mario's public relations firm "might" have helped him get on that list. You want to discount the theory? Fine, but no need to be so hostile about it.

David_NYC
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Tue, 03/11/08 9:22 AM
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The Internet has also made it easy for freelance writers to write features for such vehicles as in-flight magazines, city guides found in hotel rooms, trade rags, and "lifestyle" magazines. Looking over Don Burnham's article again, I note I could write an article called "10 Best Candy Stores" or "10 Best Steak Houses" or "10 Best Supermarkets", without ever having set foot in of any of them. All I need to do is find 10 whatevers (via Google) which have been already written about by others and which have a web site and a PR firm. I would contact the PR firm for some photos to be emailed to me, then rehash the hype on the web site and quote what others have written. My finished product could best be described as "bathroom reading". It could all have been down without a PR person contacting me first.

Except for publications that employ restaurant critics, I have noticed that publications such as free weeklies spend less and less money on producing features on dining establishments. They are fond of editorial content handed to them on a silver platter. This web site is different in that the non-shills who post here have actually visited and eaten at the establishments in question either recently or in the past.

We have had a lot of people post links to "10 Best.........." articles here lately. All they seem to be good for is honing the sarcastic writing skills of the posters here.

firecommander3565
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Tue, 03/11/08 9:34 AM
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IF I am reading this correctly... Mario has a place in NY and one in LA.... he is pretty quick on his feet to be "involved" in his restaurants.

Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC - Tue, 03/11/08 10:33 AM
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It probably need not be stated again, but we will (so sue us): don't take any top xxx lists literally. Even when produced in good faith, there are other considerations the writers have take into account. No national publication is going to post, for instance, a list of top 10 pizzerias where 5 of them are in New York City and 3 of them are in Connecticut. Just doesn't happen. This even includes the lists Jane and Michael Stern have put together, and they have said so themselves. Most lists try to include a national sampling of places, whether they are really top 10 or 20 or whatever or not. Many lists will try to showcase different styles too. Sometimes they want a mix of old-timers and newcomers. Sometimes, places are listed because the writer has something interesting to say about them, and places are left off because it's all been said. And, yes, sometimes the lists are advertising.

Readers love top 10 lists. That's why publications keep posting them. Just don't take them too seriously.