Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The BEST pizza? Them be fighting words.

If you ever want to start an argument among a group of seemingly reasonable people, especially in a place like New York, ask them where to get the best pizza.

Like one's politics and/or baseball team, you just don't go telling a guy (or gal) their favorite pizza doesn't rate (or sucks) or that your favorite pizza place is the best. Though that hasn't stopped people from trying to determine what is the BEST pizza in a particular place if not the entire United States.

Have we learned nothing from the Travel Channel's "Pizza Paradise," people? (Before moving on, a quick warning about the Travel Channel's "Pizza Paradise": every time the spouse, kid, and I watch that show we get a mad craving for pizza. And the last time we watched we wound up having two deep-dish pizzas from Gino's East overnighted to us, in dry ice. Just sayin'.)

Apparently not, because now we have perky Rachael Ray in her eponymous magazine, Everyday with Rachael Ray, crowning the best pizzerias in America in an article titled "Search for America's Best Pizzeria," which features 64 of the supposedly "best pizzerias in the United States" organized by region in brackets, like a basketball tournament, ensuring that readers around the Unites States will have something to argue about, not just New Yorkers. (Btw, the spouse and J-THREE-O were devastated that our local favorite, Frank Pepe's, didn't make it out of the Top 64.)

And THE BEST PIZZA on the East Coast per Rachael Ray (and her team of "experts")? A joint named Motorino, with branches in the East Village (of Manhattan) and Brooklyn. The very same Motorino that New York Times restaurant reviewer Sam Sifton just declared "the city's best pizza." (All I can say is that fans of Totonno's, Lombardi's Pizza, Patsy's, John's, and, oh, a hundred other classic New York and New Haven pizza establishments will impolitely beg to disagree.)

So do you have a favorite pizzeria or pizza establishment? Btw, I don't just mean you New Yorkers. If so, let me know via the Comments. And I promise I won't say it sucks (unless it's Domino's or Pizza Hut or Papa John's or Little Caesar's).


The Daily Del Franco said...

Speaking of Lombardi's...that joint is easily the most overrated pizza place in the tr-state. In fact, it is no better than the sixth-best pizza in Milford, CT.

Dave S. said...

The metro DC region is no pizza mecca but, as you know, we are lucky enough to live down the road from The Italian Store.

Betty Cracker said...

Silly Rachael Ray! Pizza is a food class unto itself, and it's an exercise in futility to rank pizza: It's like asking which is the best fruit -- the varieties are too endless, and it depends on what one is in the mood for.

Personally, I think even bad pizza is better than no pizza. Even Dominos. Even, god forbid, Red Baron frozen pizza. That said, the best pizza in my area is made by my husband.

Cleon Jones said...

We used to have a guy in the clubhouse back in '69 and '70; he was Italian, I know, but I can't remember his name. Maybe Gino? Anyway, after home games he would always have a couple of hot pies ready for us. He said he made them at home! We never really knew.

Kendor said...

In 1983 a group us went to a pizza place on the upper east side (First Avenue, I think) in NYC called "Ali the Greatest." It was 3 am (or later) after playing a gig, and we all swore it was the best pizza ever (and all hard core pizza guys to the core). Funny thing, none of us (in spite of trying) were ever able to find it again. Maybe it was something we were smoking, or drinking, but the place vanished with no trace (and perhaps was never there).

P.S. Pizzaland Extension 3 am, Dec 1, 1980, Oneonta, NY, maybe the 2nd best slice ever... I could go on!

EMM said...

Here in DC, on "the Hill", I like Al's Pizza for delivery and 7th Hill Pizza for wood fired, fancy, melt in your mouth, I want to eat it forever slices of heaven.

Come visit, you can taste test them yourselves!