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One Foodie's Opinion on the Best Pizza in Tampa Bay.

t
TampaJake Sep 9, 2010 01:32 PM

I’ve been in Tampa for 4 years now and for the longest time, my favorite pizza place in town was New York New York Pizza in Ybor City. Being a native NJ boy, what would you expect right? Nice thin crust, large, man sized slices, flavorful sauce and appropriate amounts of cheese. Very good pie. The other great thing about NY/NY Pizza is their drunk window that I personally have stumbled up to many a time at 3am and ordered a slice. Reminds me of the good ole days back in Belmar.

About a year or so ago, Wood Fired Pizza & Wine Bar opened up in North Tampa and brought phenomenally delicious, naturally leavened, artisan pizza to Tampa. What a pleasure. Peter the owner and main pizza guy is a major foodie. For example, the guy continuously sets yeast traps in search of the most flavorful yeast strains for use in his pizza. In fact, the strain he uses now is from a particularly tasty strain he caught out on Egmont Key! He makes authentic “mozzarella di bufala” and grinds fresh San Marzanos for the sauce. You get my point…

As much as I love Wood Fired, it’s for dine in only in my opinion. Pizza like that needs to be eaten immediately. Waiting and driving it home only means the pie is dying and that would be a damn shame.

Finally, a month or so ago I was introduced to Paci’s Pizza in South Tampa. One word, WOW. These guys have NY style thin crust pizza perfected. This place has become my new favorite. Their Margherita Pizza is as close to perfect as I’ve ever had.

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  1. Mild Bill Sep 9, 2010 01:53 PM

    Welcome brother Jake!
    A bunch of us here are big fans of Wood Fire Pizza, and Peter...
    As a matter of fact I'm WAY overdue for a visit, and I've been craving a Pistachio Pizza and the Thursday night draft beer special but right now I'm trying to do the low carb thing...

    Here's another thread we had up...

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6902...

    Peace...
    ---and BTW, I'm dying to get to Paci's... I ain't never been...

    1. a
      andy huse Sep 9, 2010 03:25 PM

      You are spot on, Jake. I have a weakness for all three places. All three are great, and different, and serve their purposes. Thanks for sharing.

      1. d
        digyourself Sep 9, 2010 05:44 PM

        I've been a huge fan of Paci's for a while now. Superior pizza from Quality folks. I've probably posted on it here before. I was actually there a couple of hours ago. I am ashamed to say that I've not yet been to Wood Fire...but I have been convinced to get up there ASAP.

        1. d
          digyourself Sep 9, 2010 05:47 PM

          Also (sorry), what do you guys think of Eddie and Sam's downtown? I work in the area and eat there a lot. I get addicted at times.

          5 Replies
          1. re: digyourself
            Mild Bill Sep 9, 2010 07:19 PM

            I found myself downtown at lunchtime about a month ago and I popped in to Eddie & Sam's for a couple slices while I decided what I was gonna have for lunch...

            I loved the size of the slices and I thought they were sufficiently cheesy and flavorful...
            Crust was toasty and nice...

            I'm from New Jersey and Philadelphia and I thought it was good..
            Generic and perfectly acceptable by those standards, which is a treat here...

            I wasn't disappointed by those two big ol' cheesy slices, one pepperoni, one sawrsage, but I admit I DID go in thinking it was gonna be better...
            How? I'm not sure....

            Will I go again? Absolutely...

            I then made my way to Cafe' Hey up the road where I had their 'Mi Cubano' sandwich that a few of you have talked about, and I loved it...
            That combo of a Cuban sandwich and a Vietnamese Banh Mi....

            1. re: Mild Bill
              b
              bimmertimmer Sep 10, 2010 10:26 AM

              "popped in for a couple of slices while I decided what I was goona have for lunch"!!!!!!!!!!!! You sir, are a hoot! But then what would I expect from the sole slayer of a Enormi Canrivore at Wood Fire. Now I am hungry for Wood Fire Pizza. 35 mins before they close for lunch. Got to go now.........................

              1. re: bimmertimmer
                a
                andy huse Sep 10, 2010 11:35 AM

                When it comes to appetite and enthusiasm, Bill is anything but "mild"--- he of the enormi carnivore at wood fired. amazing.

                1. re: andy huse
                  Mild Bill Sep 10, 2010 02:25 PM

                  http://smileys.sur-la-toile.com/repos...

                  You guys are the wind beneath my chicken wings!!

                  1. re: Mild Bill
                    Manderley Sep 11, 2010 01:17 PM

                    LOL

          2. sweet_polly Sep 10, 2010 03:46 PM

            Great post! Why is it SO freaking hard to find decent pizza in Tampa? I tried New York New York Pizza in Ybor a couple of months ago, and thought it was some of the best I'd found in the area (I like it thin and crisp as well). Now, my OCD has kicked in and I MUST have a Paci's Pizza. Did I mention I'm trying to adhere to a low-carb diet right now? Thank you, Satan! :/

            -----
            New York Pizza
            7800 S US Highway 17/92, Casselberry, FL 32730

            Paci's Pizza
            2307 S Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33629

            2 Replies
            1. re: sweet_polly
              Manderley Sep 11, 2010 01:21 PM

              i've only liked 3 pizzas since i've been in Florida (can't take the NY outta the girl).
              Okay not necessarily crispy thin crust but good nonetheless:

              pizza at Dominic's on Curlew in Oldsmar. They have the crust shipped down from Jersey. "It's all in the watah". uh huh i agree.

              margherita pizza with sun dried tomatoes at the brick oven pizzaria in trinity. going down for some more tonite, with a nice glass of cabernet savignon or two...and some outta this world zeppoles for dessert...

              and thirdly, a place if i remember correctly, called marino's or marina's, on linebaugh in westchase. only the margherita pizza was fabulous, every thing else got tossed, which is pretty much the usual for me when trying a new pizza place here in sunny florida.

              we northern foodies have to pay a price for the gorgeous sunsets and lack of snow....

              1. re: Manderley
                a
                andy huse Sep 11, 2010 06:07 PM

                good info, all new to me. thanks!

            2. askdrtodd Sep 11, 2010 08:58 PM

              Jake I think we're in full agreement my friend. Paci's Margherita is my favorite thin crust NY style pie. Pane Rustica is my favorite creative thin crust pie, much more unique but equally delicious, in my humblest of opinions. :)

              9 Replies
              1. re: askdrtodd
                a
                andy huse Sep 22, 2010 10:37 AM

                no Wood Fired Pizza? Crazy!

                1. re: andy huse
                  askdrtodd Sep 22, 2010 11:23 AM

                  Wood fired is excellent, I may have just ordered the wrong thing when I went. I need to give it another go, and on a wednesday or thursday for sure, they do half price on all glasses & bottles of wine on wednesday and $12 for all you can drink craft beer on thursdays.

                  The other thing working against wood fired for me is the half hour drive :(

                  1. re: askdrtodd
                    a
                    andy huse Sep 24, 2010 10:44 AM

                    pistacio
                    pesto
                    sophia
                    mona lisa
                    palombino (if that's the one with proscuitto and brussels sprouts)

                    1. re: andy huse
                      askdrtodd Sep 24, 2010 11:14 AM

                      what's your fave? pistacio sounds fun, I usually like my pizza herby and with a bit of meat (but not pepperoni). Proscuitto sounds excellent.

                      1. re: askdrtodd
                        a
                        andy huse Sep 24, 2010 01:29 PM

                        those are all my faves. my number one fave is the sophia. just cheese, sauce and garlic. the cheesee blend is awesome. it is simple, perfectly proportioned, and the quality of every ingredient is excellent.

                        I usually skip meat on pizza because the quality is so dismal and fat/salt content so high. grease from meat and water from veggies overwhelms delicate crusts, so i try to be sparing with both. he uses double crust for the carnivore so you don't have to eat it with a fork. peter's meats are all well above par. sausage on a sophia is recommended if you must have meat.

                        the pesto pizza is saturated with garlic--- in a good way, with fresh veggies--- but the crust can't hold out for long under the wet blanket--- so nosh it down. The Mona uses a great cheese of the same name. the pistachio must be tasted to be believed. bring a group a try a bunch of stuff.

                        i like to get a side of sauce to dip the crust in--- Peter's sauce is simple, bright san marzano tomatoes and little else. herbs get added depoending on the pizza, but the sauce itself is very simple.

                        1. re: andy huse
                          Mild Bill Sep 24, 2010 02:27 PM

                          Dude.... Sweetness----- ASAP...

                          1. re: Mild Bill
                            rhnault Sep 24, 2010 05:24 PM

                            I wanta go!

                            1. re: rhnault
                              Manderley Sep 25, 2010 12:01 AM

                              me too! we need a chowdown. have mercy on me, guys, i've got no one to go with. none of my friends are foodies. The ones that are, can't afford it. The ones that can afford it prefer the Olive Garden. Shoot me now, or take me with you!

                              1. re: Manderley
                                askdrtodd Sep 26, 2010 10:12 AM

                                Well the next chowdown is a week from today, but I'd be happy to do one at the pizza place, you guys name the date & time!

              2. the_sneeb Sep 24, 2010 08:39 AM

                Maybe I'm biased cause I live down the street. My favorite greaseball non-neopolitan NY gutbomb is for sure Chubbys on Bayshore. Juss' sayin.

                3 Replies
                1. re: the_sneeb
                  o
                  Old E. Sep 27, 2010 05:31 AM

                  I LOVE chubby's but haven't had their pizza in ages. Every friday we have been geting take out from Paci's. I'm loving the magahrita.

                  1. re: Old E.
                    askdrtodd Sep 27, 2010 07:05 AM

                    ditto on the margherita but unless you live within a mile of Paci's, it's just unfortunately not as good by the time you get home.

                    1. re: askdrtodd
                      o
                      Old E. Sep 27, 2010 08:32 AM

                      its not as good, but we are within 2 miles, so I do it.

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