Sunday night I picked up an original crust, large pepperoni pie from Rocky's and was somewhat impressed beyond my initial assumption that it would be marginal. Somewhat sweet sauce, nice crisp medium-thickness crust, with serviceable (bagged) shredded mozz and ample (maybe too many?) pepperonis. Overall, a pretty good pizza, much better than two (reheated) lunch slices I had there recently.
I really love the pizza at Bettola as well, but we're talking two totally different types of pizza.
I've only had two (reheated) lunch slices at Cosmo's so I won't really judge them until I try a whole pie as slices aren't a very good representation of a pizzeria's ability to produce top quality pizza.
Mellow Mushroom's crust is too doughy. Yes I realize it's a chain.
Those four are the only places I have tried here so far. What are your favorites?
1. Davenport's-Thin and crispy crust, which is my preference.
2. Dave's-More on the gourmet side, and rather expensive.
3. New York-Good sauce and medium thickness crust.
My favorite pizza places right now would be either Davenport's in Mountain Brook Village or DeVinci's. I had a really bad experience at Dave's last year and didn't care for the food and even less for the service there. I have never liked the crust at New York Pizza---it lacks seasoning to me. However, I have friends that really enjoy their pizza.
The only thing about DeVinci's is that their pizzas aren't terribly consistent. When it's good, it's really good but other times it's just okay.
For a chain, I really like Donato's pizza in Vestavia. Thin crust, toppings all the way to the edges.
I went to Devinci's last night. The crust is definitely thick and the toppings are under the cheese. It was ok but nothing to write home about.
And the "garlic bread" tasted like it had been toasted 2 hours before and the marinara was served in solo cups that had probably been filled in the AM. How hard is it to keep some on a steam table at a reasonable temp instead of serving it lukewarm in little solo cups?
Anway, I thought the pizza tasted kind of like the pizzas found in the Greek pizza parlors in the Northeast, albeit much less greasy. I'll admit they're not stingy on the toppings. Would I return? Sure. Would I make a special trip? Doubtful.
Nice enough folks though ...
Dave's definitely gets my vote for favorite local spot. I love the gourmet toppings! Tomatopie in Trussville is a close 2nd. Thin (but not to crispy) crust with just the right amount of toppings. My favorite cain is California Pizza kitchen. They're consistently good. I've heard good things about Guiseppe's (close to UAB) pizza, but so far, haven't gotten around to trying it. The calzones are wonderful!!
I've had both w/Bettola being more recent than Bottega. I prefer Bettola b/c I think their crust has a little bit more chewiness in the crust. The wife/coowner said they import their flour from Italy to be able to get the right amount of gluten for their doughs. I'm not sure what type of flour Bottega uses but I don't recall that same kind of feel w/the dough.
Partly depends on what kind of pizza you like.
Davenport's in Mountain Brook has a very thin, floury crust that gets soggy if you try to put too many toppings on it, but I love their tangy sauce and their sausage. Canned mushrooms are a disappointment, though.
Tortuga's in Hoover does Chicago-style pizza pretty well, if you like that.
DeVinci's in Homewood has a very hearty pizza, medium crust, lots of toppings; we like the meatballs on the pizza there.
The sauce on the New York pizza's a little sweet for my taste, but good basic pizza otherwise.
It's been several years since we were there, but Cafe Ciao in Mountain Brook used to have very good pizza, thin crust.
With DeVinci's you definitely get your money's worth. The pizzas are loaded with toppings and I can't eat more than one or two pieces. (I can eat half of a large at Papa John's in one meal.) However, I'm not crazy about how they put the toppings under the cheese before baking. They'll put the toppings on top of the cheese if you request it. Also, their chicken always tastes funny, like it has been frozen for three months, or it was put on the pizza frozen and thawed out while cooking.
I agree that New York Pizza is good basic pizza. Some of their pizzas are better than others. Toppings for a large can be up to $2 each so you could easily make a $30 pizza.
Dave's is overpriced and I haven't had anything there that was remarkable.
Davenport's is excellent if you like thin crust, but a little pricey.
I tried Baker's Famous Pizza in Bluff Park recently and did not like it - tasted funny.
Salvatore's in Hoover (on 31) makes a great pizza and it smells so GOOD in there. However, don't order enough for leftovers as the reheated (in the oven) pizza wasn't good and the cheese was rubbery and wouldn't melt again.
I'll have to try Rocky's next, after reading the above positive mentions of it.