In the world of pizza, it seems that Sicilian style and Neapolitan style come up pretty often. Roman style is apparently also a thing, but a Google search for Venetian pizza only seems to produce pizza options at The Venetian in Las Vegas. Nonetheless, a spot in Altadena calling itself Pizza of Venice has gained quite the following and it was high time I made it there myself.
Once upon a time, a little place called 800 Degrees decided it could redefine fast-food pizza. Needless to say, it was a success. And that success inevitably led to copycats like Blaze Pizza. Surely this is not a bad thing in general because it will ultimately lead to better or more affordable food, but in the short-run I set out to see if Blaze could deliver (figuratively, of course).
LA has never been and will never be known as prime destination in the world of pizza. Sure, there are some great spots for a variety of pies, but there is no such thing as LA-style pizza. Nonetheless, LA does its best to make transplants from other pizza cities happy. Take, for example, Masa of Echo Park, which dishes out some of the deepest dishes this side of Chicago.
Dear New York: Your pizza is overrated. Sincerely, The Unvegan. Yes, that’s right. It’s probably not the most original thing to say, but if New York leads the world in pizza I can only agree in terms of quantity. Yes, there is good stuff there, but the water is a damn myth and I have found plenty of amazing pizza elsewhere, especially in Pittsburgh. Take for example, Proper Brick Oven & Tap Room in Downtown Pittsburgh, my most recent pizza experience to continue setting the tone for great pies.
After nearly two years of eating the free pizza provided by my school, one would think that I would be burned out on pizza. Fortunately, that is not the case because Pittsburgh just happens to have some amazing pizza places. Take for example, Dinette in East Liberty, which is by no means a new spot, but compared against the more classic Italian neighborhoods like Bloomfield it certainly seems new. The inside is like a mini diner, in which the menu consists of little more than pizza.
Located in the middle floor of the gigantic Sienna Mercato in downtown Pittsburgh is a place that goes by the name of Mezzo. Unlike the balls of meat that dominate the floor below in Emporio, this floor specializes in cured meats, cheeses, pastas and pizzas. The wait can be nuts, but thanks to Pittsburgh’s own NoWaitApp (no they aren’t paying me for this) we were able to be seated just as we arrived.
Down in East Liberty, a fairly new pizza spot called Pizza Taglio has opened up to bring some unique new flavors to Pittsburgh. It claims to be Roman style, which I suppose is different from Napoli style, but not so different that it doesn’t involve dough, cheese and toppings. The place doesn’t do cups, so all drinks are bottled or canned, but it does do good music to somewhat make up for it.
While hanging out in Merzouga, we made our way to the Sudanese part of town (actually populated former slaves brought in from sub-Saharan Africa). It was there that we stopped to eat at a place called Cafe Restaurant Nora, which was apparently not named for my cousin Nora but for the daughter of the owner. Whatever. We were actually more excited about lunch than usual (I know, hard to believe), because we were told that Nora specialized in a “Saharan Pizza” (also known as “Berber Pizza.”)
On the way to the Dades Gorge, we stopped at a place called Cafe Restaurant Dades Services in Kalaat M’Gouna. Or at least that was the name of the sign that hung over the place next to the gas station where we ate. Most likely it was just a list of all the things the place offered, but it at least served as a name for me.
For a long, long time I have heard of the legend of Vincent’s Pizza Park. It’s out in Forest Hills, so not an area that’s easy to get to when you’re in the bubble of Shadyside. Yet, with a little free time available, I made it out with a few guys to get a famed Vinnie Pie. It wasn’t too crowded when we got in, so we took a quick look at the menu, ordered a pitcher of Yuengling and perused the pies.