In trying to remember my previous blog posts, I don't think I've mentioned my disdain for take out pizza. I usually hate it. For years my wife would roll her eyes when she asked if I wanted to order a pizza, and I went into one of my soliloquy's on why pizza shops sucked. After a period of time she just started giving up on asking.
As time went by and we became even more busy and tired, I conceded that sometimes it would be in our best interests to order a pizza, we'd try some places and see if they could meet the standards I was looking for. Which in truth is not that much. I want a pizza that has visible cheese on it and actual toppings. What I mean by that is I don't want to see 6 pepperoni sliced so thin and spread out over a Large pizza. Crust wise I like the differences between shops and unless it's horrible I don't care much. I'm even willing to pay a premium if the pizza is within reason, but only so often, after all pizza is a quick meal, it really shouldn't break the budget in my opinion.
So let's take a look at my list.
1. Geppettos: sheet pizza for Bronwyn's birthday one year, large patches of moist dough in between splotches of cheese. So not enough cheese to cover the pizza and the sauce was thin enough that it essentially dried it out. I think there was exactly one pepperoni piece per slice. Verdict: Epic fail
2. Captain Tony's pizza: A new shop that opened, I was sent some coupon in the mail for a large for 9.99 or something like that. Called them up and I mentioned the coupon. The woman on the phone kept telling me over and over it's not a coupon for a large, it's for a medium(could have fooled me as I was staring at it), after much fruitless discussion I finally relented and went with the medium and then ran out to the store to pick it up. Of course, they have no credit card readers, I told the person who appeared to be the owner that I'd have to run over to the ATM, (a drive away) as I only had $9 on me. He says after some fidgeting "You come back to the store and order again and you can have it today for the $9." "Sure" I replied. At that point between the coupon issue and the no credit card readers (they weren't installed yet). He's lucky I bought this one, if I would have left to get money I wouldn't have come back for the pizza. Anyway, besides the incident that was just overall a big pain in the ass, the pizza sucked. Verdict: Epic fail and I'll never go back.
3. Marco's Pizza: yes it's a chain, but we always had decent pizza in Stow when we lived there. So we tried again. Cheese fully covers the pizza and toppings aren't bad. Price is pretty solid, especially since they send me special mailers which is for a large pizza, cheesy bread and a 2 liter for $12. Hard to beat that price. Sometimes the crust tastes old, but otherwise not a bad pie. Verdict: Potential, at least for the location in Garfield Heights, this will do in a pinch though when we want something quick and average.
4. Pizza Hut: Seems to be hit and miss with different locations, I've typically had horrible non cheese covered pies from PH, so I'm loathe to try other stores. But Laurie ordered one a couple weeks ago when we were exhausted from a long day. And I have to say it wasn't bad. Pizza Hut still has a bit of a problem with the amount of cheese on a pizza and the toppings at times, but at least this one wasn't like some of the sauce covered breads I've seen before. Coupon wise they are pretty solid as well. Verdict: Not bad, Marco's probably wins in a foot race though.
5. Donatos: Good pizza, lots of toppings. Price borders on ridiculous at times Verdict: Good, but I need a raise to eat here regularly.
Reading this, I'm sure there are people that are like, well duh, of course you don't like pizza places, you only go to chains. I've tried a ton of local places and most don't even rate a memory. I don't mind paying a bit of a premium if I could get quality even close to the chains, but it's usually lacking and in no cases memorable. Having ran through the also rans, here are my favorites. One's not even really a pizza shop.
6. Mustard Seed Market: It's a Natural food mart in Solon and Fairlawn, they typically sell pizza by the slice, but you can order whole pies. Their straight cheese pizza is fabulous, has about 4-5 different types of cheese on a thin crust pizza. Pure cheese goodness and only 12 bucks for a large pie (8-10 servings of pizza by the slice sizes) Two days of dinner easily. Only negative is they are a bit far away and they don't always have someone in the kitchen to make the whole pie when you call. http://www.mustardseedmarket.com/ Verdict: very good, if it was closer I'd be fatter.
7. My current favorite is Blasiole's in Streetsboro. It used to be Guido's until it was bought out a couple years after I got out of high school. The pizza is beyond fantastic, I never have to worry whether there is enough toppings or cheese on it, and the crust and sauce are both very solid. Let me try and describe it a bit. The crust has a medium to thin thickness. It has good texture and is a bit chewy, the toppings and sauce cover it almost to the edges and with the amount they use it piles fairly high, so there isn't a lot of uncovered crust. The crust is the delivery mechanism and doesn't get in the way of the other flavors. They use a fair amount of sauce, I typically don't like a saucy pizza, but that's usually because places use it in place of toppings. Blasioles has a good amount of sauce. Toppings: they don't skimp or give you one pepperoni per piece, if three or four come off the stack when they are topping it that's what goes there. There is flavor in every bite. Not positive on the cheese they use, but it has to be a mix of mozzarella and provolone, by the way it melts and the taste. They never skimp on this and if you order it double cheese you can be sure you are going to have a full coating of cheese over top of the toppings. Toppings are put on after the sauce and sit under the cheese. Pizza wise they are first class. In addition to a great pie, they have outstanding jo jos, fried chicken, sandwiches and gyros. The only negative is they are not practical for a night out for dinner. But since Laurie substitute teaches in Streetsboro, it's fairly easy to have her pick something up on the way home. If you are in the area, I highly recommend them. http://www.blasioleseatery.com/ Verdict: Outstanding, if there was a closer location I'd be fatter.
1 year ago