The LA area isn’t exactly known for its pizza. Yet, while the nation has concentrated its pizza efforts on New York and Chicago, LA has quietly built up some great pizza places. I’ve done my best to review them as they’ve come, and the latest to hop on my radar is The Luggage Room in Pasadena. Based on the name, you might not expect pizza, but you’d be wrong because that’s pretty much all The Luggage Room does.
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.
Peppi’s Subs, which has a few locations around Pittsburgh, has a little (big) sandwich called The Roethlisburger (or #7 depending on who you ask). I’m not sure how the sub shop attracted clientele between 1983 and 2004 when Big Ben arrived in Pittsburgh, but I was in no mood to find out when I paid Peppi’s in the Strip District a visit.
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.
As the various neighborhoods of Pittsburgh become more and more gentrified, it’s only inevitable that the hipster vibe that inhabits Lawrenceville will make its way to other parts of the city. One of these areas is Bloomfield, where Bread and Salt Bakery has taken up business in what seems to be a back alley. Replete with a man in cutoff shorts and pizza that is charged by the pound (because obviously everyone knows how much a pound of pizza looks like), the place has become popular for its bread. Which is good, because up until recently that was about all they had to offer on their menu.
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.
I don’t often go out for breakfast, and even less so when I’m on vacation, but Rincon was different. For one, the free breakfast offered by our hotel was slightly less than terrible and for two, there was a breakfast spot known to be one of the best overall restaurants in Rincon. Thus, we made our way up to the top of a very scary hill to breakfast it up at The English Rose.
For a long time I was living a lie. A lie that Marty’s Market in the Strip District is simply a cool grocery store. Upon learning of this untruth, I set out with a couple of the ladies in my life to grab their brunch that was apparently the talk of the town (or at least the talk of a few people in my social circle). The restaurant area of Marty’s Market is set off to the side from the rest of the actual grocery store and there was a table waiting for us when we arrived.
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.