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My favorite slice is in . . . Michigan?

 
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442w30



Joined: 30 Mar 2009
Posts: 2
Location: Da Nutmeg State

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:58 pm    Post subject: My favorite slice is in . . . Michigan? Reply with quote

Growing up on the East Coast, one can usually never go wrong with the generic hand-tossed pizza that is on every street corner. I tend to call it "Blue Collar Pizza" to my friends to distinguish it from the fancy places in NYC like Lombardi's and Grimaldi's, and it's that pizza that has my heart no matter how deluxe the latest and greatest may be.

Having lived in Michigan, I never really cared for their "square" pizza, which was like a square pan pizza instead of Sicilian. There was Pizza Papalis for those who like the Chicago style, but it always left me with a stomach ache.

But there's one that stands out amongs them all, and it's my favorite pizza bar-none. But, first, some background should be in order.

My default pizza is cheese because 1) I like it best, and 2) because it's best to compare places with the same slice. Georgio's (Giorgio's?) in East Lansing did their best to create a NYC-style slice, and for the location, they came close . . . but not close enough for a purist like me. It's their fancy stuff that always has caught my, um, fancy. Go any day and you'll see taco pizza and baked potato pizza and lots of other varieties that, perhaps, may not move you, but you can tell they're well done. But their crowning achievement is their gyro pizza.

In other places, when I've seen some type of Greek pizza, it's usually with feta and some other stuff that really doesn't seem too special. At Georgio's, I don't think they use cheese (and if they do, it's mozz!); instead, they coat the dough with a nice layer of tziki sauce, then layer it with lamb, huge tomato slices, red onion pieces (not an onion fan, but I give it a pass here), and maybe some parsley or something similar of which has escaped my memory. It's OUTSTANDING!

In NYC, I get tired of chefs trying to get into the pizza (or burger, for that matter) business and making a pie as if they're saving the world. I prefer good slices on the street corners, but the one exception is this gyro pie that I only manage to have once a year in September when I go back for drag racing. Cool
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dfandreatta
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Joined: 02 Jul 2006
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Location: Tampa, Florida

PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
My default pizza is cheese because 1) I like it best, and 2) because it's best to compare places with the same slice.


That's a really interesting point. When you pare things down to the minimum, as in "cheese pizza" you're really dealing with the bare essentials: the "standard" pizza pretty much has cheese, and sauce. Everything else is subject to wide range of variations, particularly if there is Italian sausage involved, which can be so different from one to the next - anything from spice to texture.

You make the comparison on the basis of so few variables - probably the greatest being the sauce (although crust can figure big too) which, alone, can lend itself to a wide range of characteristics, but is more easily discernible since it's probably the one great variable. That's really good idea, in my opinion.

Thanks for that post. Very informative, and I think well written!
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442w30



Joined: 30 Mar 2009
Posts: 2
Location: Da Nutmeg State

PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never really thought it was such an interesting point, to tell you the truth - I merely signed up here after looking for some info on New Haven pizzas, as I'm a relatively new resident in CT. You guys are probably much more of "foodies" than I am, but for my novice manner of thinking that the sauce makes or breaks a pizza, it's nice to know that I'm in good company. Cool

Personally, I prefer the sauce to be more fresh-like in taste than something that's spiced; the latter reminds me of salty Ragu Pizza Quick crap. If one wants to spice up a pizza, it can be done separate from the sauce, IMHO.

I've managed to visit 3 of the New Haven places so far, and I like Sally's the best. Even though this veers off the basic cheese pizza that's my preference, their white pizza was outstanding. I think it's the first pizza in 6 years that has caught my fancy, the previous one being Lombardi's in NYC. Alas, I feel Lombardi's has gone downhill ever since they've expanded their restaurant.
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dfandreatta
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Joined: 02 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah - we're all just pizza fanatics here. I seldom eat pizza other than what I make, so you're light years ahead of me in your knowledge that way.

There has been discussion here about whether it's the crust or the sauce that "makes" the pizza. I'm thinking that either one, if bad enough, will kill the experience.

There is also much on the forum here about using fresh tomatoes in lieu of tomato sauce. I haven't delved into that yet, although I have made my own sauce (modeled after a recipe from Alton Brown) and preferred that to the canned stuff. I don't use "sauce" per se - I stick with puree, since it has no added spices - I will use puree with some paste, and add fresh spices to suit me. And spicing the sauce, I think, needs to be done with balance so the flavors marry rather than dominating. I have a friend who spices things until that's the only "flavor" you get. I strive for balance, trying to learn the characteristics of each and what will complement what, without overpowering anything. I do the same when I make "white" pizza.
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