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Old 07-01-2014, 07:18 PM   #41
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Hawaiian pizza is one of my favorites, along with hamburger and mushrooms. To each their own. I don't really care for pepperonis.

If you're ever in Nebraska, try Valentino's. It's not quite like it was 30 years ago but still very good. For national chains, I really like Papa John's. Mellow Mushroom is another good chain, mostly in the southeast I think but expanding. But I agree with whoever said they make you thirsty. I'm afraid to check the salt content in those pizzas. That's one reason to make your own, to keep it healthier. Most of us can't each pizza like Aaron!

Want the best pizza? Spend the day in some really cold weather, then you could put ketchup on cardboard and it'll be the best ever. Twice I've had pizza after being out in -50+ wind chill for hours (once my car got stuck in snow and broke down, the other time was skiing) and the pizza I had (one in a restaurant, one homemade) was incredible. My ex- generally made good pizza but that time after skiing was either exceptionally good or we were very receptive to it.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:21 PM   #42
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We have some real gourmets here.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:31 PM   #43
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Another fan of NY style pizza here. Locally, I only go to independently owned places and my favorite is pizza margherita...thin crust, thinly sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese cut in rounds, scattering of fresh basil. I also like mushroom pizza. Not a fan of any kind of meat on pizza but will eat it with anchovies.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:34 PM   #44
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We built a pizza oven last summer, Neopolitano style, cooked quickly at about 850 degrees, takes about 3 minutes to cook a pizza. Dough is thin and you get some bubbles when cooking. Tomato based sauce, slightly sweet, plenty of cheese. For toppings, I like pepperoni and canadian bacon, DW likes pepperoni with mushrooms and olives.

It takes about 2 hours to fire up the oven but it stays hot enough to cook a whole chicken or bread the next morning, try to use it about every 10 days or so.

Will also eat some frozen pizzas, not the same but better than no pizza, I like Tombstone brand with added cheese and toppings.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:41 PM   #45
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This post will really make me sound like an outlier...

Here in SoCal there's a chain called Número Uno and I've always been a fan of their product. Their crust is slightly sweet, so it tastes more like a donut than plain bread. And (this freaks people out for some reason) they use tomato chunks instead of just sauce.

The chain's heyday has come and gone but there are still a few around.

Have to agree with Walt though about the anchovies. That's just bait.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:52 PM   #46
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When I lived and/or worked in NYC, I ate lots of pizza. Famous Rays ofn 6th Avenue in the Village was the best back then and still good into the 1990s and early 2000s. But when I was there in late 2012 for the first time in 4 or 5 years (it had changed hands in that time) I was very disappointed at its ordinariness. Now Caruso's near the World Trade Center area is so gooey I have to use a knife and fork because the crust can't support the weight.

Worst pizza - Sbarros. It's not really edible. Also bad is Domino's which is sauce and cheese on cardboard. Pizza Hut and the other national brands and chains are okay at best but I don't seek them out any more.
Ray's in the Village was our favorite pizza, too, back in the 70's. After eating a couple of slices there, my husband and I stopped at A & P for a half gallon of Louis Sherry ice cream which we polished off in one sitting. We were young and walked a lot so none of this impacted our skinny frames.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:57 PM   #47
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Nyexpat, were you referring to the Umberto's on Nassau Blvd. in Garden City (near Mineola), near Adelphi University? I've eaten there several times in the last few years. It's good but nothing spectacular.

I was disappointed with Ray's in the Village (not called that any more, though). Back in the 1980s it was a lot better. Some U.S. college kids studying in England flew to NY in 1983 just to buy 50 half-baked pies to take back and finish baking them for them and their friends.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:59 PM   #48
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........snip....... About the only pizza we eat on the road other than Park Pizza in Williamsport PA. All thin crust and exceptional taste.
Wow that brought back 36 y.o. memories.
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:03 PM   #49
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One of the few things I like about my current j*b is I get to occasionally travel internationally. Naples Italy has the world's best pizza. Very different from American pizza. Thin crust (supposedly they have to apprentice for years just to be allowed to make the dough), very fresh tomato sauce, fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, a few basil leaves and good olive oil, baked in a blazing inferno of a wood-fired oven. Mama mia! that was good! Had to get used to the fact that everyone gets their own pie that's not cut, and it's eaten with a knife and fork. Say what you want, New Yorkers, but when in Naples, ...
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:23 PM   #50
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I saw the strangest thing in a small French town in the Alps a few weeks ago. It was a pizza vending machine. First you pick your language, then your toppings, then whether you want to take the pizza home and bake it yourself or let the contraption bake it for you. My friend and I were astonished by it. No, we didn't try it. We had just eaten a proper French dinner in a restaurant and were walking around afterwards when we saw this little storefront. I wouldn't have been so surprised if we had seen the vending machine in a large city as opposed to a small town of 7,000 people.
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:27 PM   #51
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Yes, many different styles are good. I've got a fondness for Chicago Deep-dish (Lou Malnati's - the 'Big Lou' - dough, cheese, tomato, and spinach, and LOTS of garlic). Recently, we got carry out for out of town guests, and they were a little freaked out that we were getting only two pizzas for a group. Until I said, here, hold this while I get my car keys, and they couldn't believe how heavy a single pizza was. Next visit, they experienced 'Italian Beef', with hot giardineira. I didn't realize that people outside of Chicago were not familiar with hot giardineira.

Timely thread, though I love deep dish, it is winter 'comfort food' for us. I made a 'white pizza' on the grill tonight. Trader Joe's dough, lots of garlic infused olive oil - cook the dough on the grill a bit, then add goat cheese and fresh mozzarella, cooked shrimp and asparagus, spinach and basil, sprinkle with Parmesan. That was good. Tomato, cucumber and fennel salad on the side with a little olive oil and lemon juice for dressing. Sauvignon Blanc for DW, a home-brewed Kölsch (or two... or three) for myself.

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Old 07-01-2014, 10:43 PM   #52
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Best pizza I've ever had in my life was Ledo's Pizza (I believe it was in College Park MD).

It spawned a bunch of copy cats, but the original place was (of course my opinion only) the best pizza known to man.

I used to go 35 years ago, so no idea if they're even still there.
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:02 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by davemartin88 View Post
We built a pizza oven last summer, Neopolitano style, cooked quickly at about 850 degrees, takes about 3 minutes to cook a pizza. Dough is thin and you get some bubbles when cooking. Tomato based sauce, slightly sweet, plenty of cheese. For toppings, I like pepperoni and canadian bacon, DW likes pepperoni with mushrooms and olives.

It takes about 2 hours to fire up the oven but it stays hot enough to cook a whole chicken or bread the next morning, try to use it about every 10 days or so.

Will also eat some frozen pizzas, not the same but better than no pizza, I like Tombstone brand with added cheese and toppings.

A colleague at work made a pizza oven in his back yard a few years ago too. It was a lot of work building the base and forming the oven out of brick and mortar. He used a kit that he bought online that provided the form for the oven some instructions and some other (non masonry) parts.

It/he makes really good pizza.
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Old 07-02-2014, 03:46 AM   #54
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Having spent a fair amount of time in Italy the past year, I find myself craving the wood fired, brick oven-baked pizzas I savored there...especially this Vesuvio pizza (thin crust with tomato sauce, grilled sliced eggplants, garlic, salami, then topped with slices of parmesan cheese once the pizza is retrieved from the brick oven).
I have tried NY pizzas and Chicago deep dish pizzas (won't go back for deep dish...pizzas in Italy are all thin crust)...I will save my pizza eating until I go back to Italy in a few months. In the meantime, I will just make my own pizzas using my own pizza sauce.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:35 AM   #55
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We like pizza but don't eat much anymore because it just doesn't like us back. No favorite for me, I enjoy all kinds. NY style, Chicago deep dish (Lou's), Anthony's coal fired, California style.

I've had pizza (and beer) in most of the countries I've visited, it's very interesting to see how other cultures take a common dish and make it uniquely local. I really can't choose one that I like most, but I do prefer fewer and fresher ingredients, and also individual size. There's no doubt that thin, cooked at very high temperature, makes a delicious crust.
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Old 07-02-2014, 07:09 AM   #56
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A colleague at work made a pizza oven in his back yard a few years ago too. It was a lot of work building the base and forming the oven out of brick and mortar. He used a kit that he bought online that provided the form for the oven some instructions and some other (non masonry) parts.

It/he makes really good pizza.
We used a preformed kit from Forno Bravo which greatly simplified the process. Still had to build the base, stucco and form the outside of the oven but the oven itself was precast.
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:03 AM   #57
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I'm a thin-crust guy (why would I want more dough?), with everything but anchoivies (but please, no bacon either). Can't do the grocery store frozen ones anymore--just seems like cardboard. Daughter and son-in-law live in St. Louis, and there's a place called Lemon's. Probably the best I've ever had. Super thick crust and tons of cheese---believe me, one piece and you're done--I've never been able to eat 2 pieces one after the other.
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:07 AM   #58
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I am a Chicago guy and I much prefer thin crust (sausage, mrooms and onions, well done). Some of the best places were in the city (southside), carry -out back in the day.

That being said, I won't turn down deep dish.
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:09 AM   #59
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I'm a thin-crust guy (why would I want more dough?), with everything but anchoivies (but please, no bacon either). Can't do the grocery store frozen ones anymore--just seems like cardboard. Daughter and son-in-law live in St. Louis, and there's a place called Lemon's. Probably the best I've ever had. Super thick crust and tons of cheese---believe me, one piece and you're done--I've never been able to eat 2 pieces one after the other.
Is it St. Louis style cheese? That is one of my favorite regional styles.
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:18 AM   #60
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But since I got my Big Green Egg a few years ago, I've learned that it's really not that hard to make your own pizza at home that is perfectly to your liking.

I should try this. I have the pizza stone for my Big Green Egg, but never tried to make pizza yet. What temperature do you get your Big Green Egg to?
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