Pizza Quest 2: Old Town Pizzeria

After a couple of Pizza Delight outings, I finally managed to try a place that was entirely new to me: Old Town Pizzeria.  Their pizza is much closer to the kind I like: crispier crust on the bottom, a meaningful amount of crust to hold on to at the edges, reasonably thick and doughy, and a nice layer of toppings.

This was a very satisfying experience.  The only drawback was that I found their sauce a little too sweet; this was only really noticeable around the edges after some of the toppings had slid off.  While I think I’ll want to come back to them again to get a stronger impression of whether they might be “the one”, they are certainly a more favoured option than Pizza Delight just by dint of being closer to the kind of pizza I like.

The pizza quest is already becoming more and more delicious.

Pizza Quest 1: Pizza Delight

Since I first started my Pizza Quest some months ago, I have been lax in posting updates.  Rest assured, gentle reader, that I have not been lax in my consumption of pizza.  This is the first of three posts intended to get me caught up.

The first contender is Pizza Delight.  This is my mother’s preferred place, primarily (I think) because it is the pizza place closest to us.  Thankfully, it is not a bad default option.  Their pizzas are generally quite consistent; only with the last pizza did I find anything off-normal.  In that case, we got it on a Saturday night that was unusually busy for them, and it seemed like it had been left in the oven just a bit too long.

Their pizzas are generally quite tasty, with a dough-thickness that I quite enjoy.  However, they have a bit of a softer crust on the bottom, and not much crust on the ends to hold on to.  Thus, while it is a good pizza, I’m not sure they are quite a contender for what I’m looking for.

We had pepperoni, cheese, ground beef, and bacon.  This (or something close) will be our test toppings for future pizzas.  We also had an order of garlic fingers, which turned out to be quite expensive, and not worth the cost, I think.  We could have almost had another proper pizza for the price we paid, and pizza is greater than garlic fingers.

So, overall impressions of Pizza Delight are favourable, but not quite the kind of pizza I’m looking for.

Pizza Quest: The Plan

For the last six years or so, I have been living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada while pursuing my PhD at the University of Toronto.  In that time, I ate a lot of pizza.  I became familiar with many of the different pizza places in downtown Toronto, and most importantly, found a pizza place—and a particular pizza—that has become my favourite: Panzerotto Pizza’s Canadian Eh!.

According to their menu, it consists of mozzarella, Parmesan, and Romano cheese, double pepperoni, bacon, and oregano.  Close to what I consider the “classic” pizza—pepperoni and cheese—but tweaked slightly to add in some interesting and delicious flavours.

Now, however, I have moved back to St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada while I try to finish up my thesis and get on with my life.  This has left me sadly parted from my nigh-weekly Panzerotto pizzas, and back home where I don’t really know where the best pizza places are any more.  This sad state of affairs has prompted my quest.

The Quest

My plan over the coming months is to try out as many of the different pizza places in the St. John’s area so that I can narrow down the field to the ones I think are best.  Once I have found a local favourite (or, God willing, a new overall favourite), I will use them to try and recreate my favoured combination of toppings from the Canadian.

The Rules

  1. I am disallowing national/international chains like Domino’s or Pizza Hut.  While they are tasty and consistent, I’ve had enough of them over the years so that I know they aren’t quite what I’m looking for.  I reserve the right to ignore this rule if I’m hungry and they are convenient.
  2. I will get a whole pizza, not just a slice, to ensure optimal pizza quality.
  3. I will try to get the same set of toppings at each place, to ensure fair comparison.
  4. If I eat pizza from the same place twice during the Quest, I will do an update to comment on whether the quality has remained consistent.  (Some places can be hit or miss.)
  5. I will try to offer thoughts on general quality of the pizza versus my own particular preferences.  For example, I prefer thick-crust to thin-crust pizzas, so while it is unlikely that a thin-crust will “win” overall, if it is a good thin-crust it will receive favourable comment.

The Caveat

Since this is pizza we’re dealing with, I’m pretty sure my default rating is going to be “pretty damn good.”  For me, pizza tends to run the gamut from “pretty damn good” to “transcendent”, and so my reviews and comments are likely to reflect that—like Homer Simpson as a food critic.

Stay tuned for the first post!

P.S. Screw Flanders!