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Pizza week

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sweetpotater Oct 8, 2011 12:59 PM

When my husband and I lived in Baltimore, we did a Pizza Week in which we tried as many great pizza places as possible, usually in the company of friends, both out and at home. We're looking to replicate PIzza Week in Seattle. The only requirements are that it not be places we've tried before, so Serious Pie, Tutta Bella, Pagliacci and Via Tribunali are out. Some pizza places serve pies that aren't nearly as good once you get them home, while others travel well, so if you know that to be the case, mention it. We live in QA but will drive for the cause (probably only up to a half-hour, so we can get my kid to bed at a reasonable hour). I prefer thin crust, but won't rule anything out. Thanks!

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    GreenYoshi RE: sweetpotater Oct 8, 2011 01:50 PM

    Bambino's, Delancey, Flying Squirrel are some of my favorites.
    Maybe Kylie's for deep dish and Northlake for a unique pizza that's hard to explain.

    Bar Del Corso and Queen Margharita are on my list to try.

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    Delancey
    1415 NW 70th St, Seattle, WA 98117

    2 Replies
    1. re: GreenYoshi
      knowspicker RE: GreenYoshi Oct 8, 2011 06:20 PM

      Bambino's is my favorite and Queen Margherita is also one that I tried recently and was pleasantly surprised to find that I liked it more than Tutta Bella or Via Trib in the Neapolitan pizza dept.

      Varlamos Pizza is a place I think has a good pizza but doesn't seem to be on anybodies radar. Delfino's in U-village is worth a try for the stuffed spinach pie.

      Crash Landing is on my to try list as is Pegasus.

      I'm a QA res, too and I noticed Domani as a recently opened option on the top of the hill. I'm hoping to try it sometime. I've also heard good things about Uno in Lake City but haven't tried it yet. Kylie's is also on my to try list. I've heard some swear by The Rock but while I've made to Lucali in Carroll Gardens [Great but John's on Bleecker is still my favorite] I still haven't motivated enough to make to Lynnwood for pizza.

      I will say that if possible you really have to eat it there as I don't really think any pizza travels that well. Bambino's is best there though holds up pretty well. Bambino's has such good cheap Happy Hour beer that it's really worth making the effort to go at HH and have a pizza and one a $2.50 beer, they select excellent beers for their taps. Queen M would be a definite eat in.

      In the Seattle icon department I would say that Northlake Tavern is a Seattle institution that has been around for years and back in the 80s I thought it was pretty darn great but on a more recent visit I thought, "what the hell was wrong with me back in the 80s?!" It's one of those pure poundage things and the Logger is the kind of pizza that college memories are made of. With that in mind it might be worth a try to find out what we natives had as a reference point for great pizza when we were growing up.

      1. re: knowspicker
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        twinsue RE: knowspicker Oct 9, 2011 04:38 PM

        It has been discussed before and it is like a cheap NY pizza parlor with the thinnest crust imaginable in Westlake Village shopping center in W Seattle. No ambiance and the crust is so thinkthat I don't know how well it would support more toppings than cheese,which all I tried. But it is at the top of my list, especially for a large slice for only $2.00. Not gourmet, just good!

    2. b
      bighound RE: sweetpotater Oct 9, 2011 06:11 PM

      here are some choices for you-most i consider pretty good. i'm not form N.Y. though.
      elliot bay pizza co.-on queen anne hill-good for a slice or 2
      veraci-ballard-one of my faves
      santorini-in wedgwood-a hidden gem
      pudge bros.-good take out slices and pies
      piecora's-on e. madison-ny style pizza
      big mario's-on e. pike-good but i still think a work in progress
      zayda buddy's-ballard-i have not tried but my uncle thinks it is delicious
      mod pizza-broadway on cap. hill and 6th ave dwntwn-small(9in?) pies thin crust all pies one price. can be slow service.
      zeek's-good for slices or pies. a local chain some may disagree but i enjoy.
      jet city-thicker, heavier pies but for a pick up or delivery(if close enough)they sre good. a bit spendy though.
      imo, do not waste your time going to west seattle(westlake village) to giannino's. really poor quality ingredients and awful crust.
      and if your up for an adventure, my fave slices currently are in downtown issaquah at flying pie pizzeria. custom made slices that are quite large. 2 is my limit.
      let us all know about your final destinations.

      2 Replies
      1. re: bighound
        terrier RE: bighound Oct 10, 2011 09:47 AM

        Zayda Buddy's is notable for serving Midwestern-style (they call it Minnesota-style but you get the same thing in Indiana & Illinois) "party cut" (i.e. round pizza cut into square slices) thin crust pizza. Definitely different from any other place locally.

        Flying Squirrel is excellent - and right now they have a fig, arugula, & prosciutto pie that's to die for. We also like the Charles and the #2 (pepperoni & fresh garlic)

        Big Marios is like a good NY slice joint. They use the right kind of pepperoni (the small-diameter Hormel product that turns into juicy cups on the pie.)

        1. re: bighound
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          sweetpotater RE: bighound Oct 10, 2011 09:50 AM

          Thanks, everyone, for great suggestions. I guess I have to rule out Veraci, since I eat their slices at the QA market a lot, and my husband frequents Elliott Bay. Carryout is inevitable at some point because of our kid. I think the first pizza week was pleasurable because I was pregnant. Not sure if my stomach will be so forgiving this time around. But I am nothing if not committed.

        2. babette feasts RE: sweetpotater Oct 9, 2011 08:05 PM

          To clarify twinsue & bighound, the shopping center in West Seattle (technically Delridge because it is East of 35th) is WestWOOD Village, not Westlake. I still haven't tried the pizza there.

          Phoenicia on Alki has incredibly delicious dough but can be a little scant with the toppings, leaving a rather wide rim.

          1. dave_c RE: sweetpotater Oct 9, 2011 09:37 PM

            I like Zeek's (across the street from 5 Spot). The crust is light and not too bready.

            1. dagoose RE: sweetpotater Oct 10, 2011 12:05 PM

              My current thinking for best pizza in the city is Independent in Madison Park, followed by delancy.

              1 Reply
              1. re: dagoose
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                mtcmtc RE: dagoose Mar 20, 2013 07:12 PM

                Ditto on Independent Pizzeria. It's open Wednesday-Sunday.

              2. h
                HungWeiLo RE: sweetpotater Oct 10, 2011 04:07 PM

                The good stuff's already been mentioned, so I'll suggest the oddball one. Can Am in Burien (locations also in Renton, Bothell) serves pizza with Indian toppings - butter chicken, tandoori, vindaloo. They don't shy away from spicing it authentically by default, so take caution.

                Certainly not gourmet or top-of-the-line, but it may be interesting to try at least once. I get to hit both my Indian and pizza cravings in one sitting.

                1 Reply
                1. re: HungWeiLo
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                  tsquare RE: HungWeiLo Oct 10, 2011 10:16 PM

                  I think there is one in east Bellevue as well - near the Trader Joe's. They also have Italian and Greek type toppings. I could not imagine any of it would be worth trying, but if it were closer, I might.

                2. l
                  LemonyRoux RE: sweetpotater Oct 11, 2011 03:23 PM

                  I have had good success with Pizzeria Pulcinella on Rainier Ave. S. (just north of Renton).

                  http://www.pulcinellapizza.com/

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                    shaolinLFE RE: sweetpotater Oct 14, 2011 12:18 AM

                    these are all good suggestions and however Serious Pie may not be my fav pizza place nor is it traditional, it's a good place for high quality and interesting toppings and a decent happy hour ($6/pizza).

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                    Serious Pie
                    316 Virginia St, Seattle, WA 98101

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: shaolinLFE
                      babette feasts RE: shaolinLFE Oct 14, 2011 04:28 PM

                      Is the happy hour pizza their regular size, or smaller, like the $5 HH pies at Via Tribunali?

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                      Via Tribunali
                      317 W Galer St, Seattle, WA 98119

                      1. re: babette feasts
                        lavaca RE: babette feasts Oct 14, 2011 05:59 PM

                        The happy hour pizzas are about half the size of the regular pizzas. You can also get an imperial pint of beer for $4.

                        1. re: lavaca
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                          bahrns RE: lavaca Oct 15, 2011 01:02 AM

                          Yup, serious pie is one of the best place for happy hours and pizzas... hands down

                          1. re: bahrns
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                            sweetpotater RE: bahrns Oct 15, 2011 02:47 PM

                            Yeah, but it's out of the running for Pizza Week because I've eaten it before—a lot.

                    2. m
                      mrnelso RE: sweetpotater Oct 15, 2011 03:42 PM

                      Pizza is s dangerous topic, since the focus of perfection shifts about every time a new magazine hits the racks. Sometimes perfection demands Italian certification, sometimes New York pedigree, sometimes Chicago, and so on and on and on.
                      For myself, I preserve grateful memory of sheet-pan pizza in my elementary school cafeteria, where I got my first inkling of the possibilities of pie. It only got better from there...
                      We're lucky to have a wide variety of presentations to choose among. We've enjoyed Stellar Pizza in Georgetown (operated by Stella, but she got challenged for trying to use her own name...). We usually get a split-pie (with 2 different toppings), and re-heat left-overs in a hot oven the next day, so I imagine it can travel well. It's not trying to be a cracker and the wheaty crust (think Pagliacci) is forgiving.

                      We've not tried everything on the menu, but repeaters for us are:
                      CORSON CLASSIC -Sliced Yukon spuds, gorgonzola cheese & sweet white onions.
                      FLORA PRIMO -Coppacolla, artichoke hearts & black olives

                      Maybe it was a flash in the pan, but oh, my, the Salumi Mole and green onion at Veraci was a killer balance of flavors.

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                      Salumi
                      309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

                      Pagliacci
                      550 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: mrnelso
                        gingershelley RE: mrnelso Oct 16, 2011 01:03 PM

                        I think Stellar Pizza has to make it on the pizza week list; delish, different ( kind of a hybrid - thin crust, but puffier and not as crispy on bottom as NY/ Certified Italian styles), but the sauce, the place, the staff - has to be on the drive-to-it and eat in. Also, pretty family friendly. A favorite!

                        1. re: mrnelso
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                          BallardFoodie RE: mrnelso Oct 19, 2011 09:56 PM

                          mrneslo - you're sheet-pan comment brings back a thought I voiced to someone just the other day. One of my guilty pleasures is the occasional Totino's party pizza for the same reason you suggest: the taste brings me back to happy days of elementary school. They used to serve a square of pizza that closely resembles (albeit in my taste buds of 30 years later) that very pizza of Fruitland Elementary.

                          1. re: mrnelso
                            Tom Armitage RE: mrnelso Oct 20, 2011 11:50 AM

                            I agree with mrnelso that pizza is a dangerous topic because of the wide variations in what people think constitutes a “good” pizza – criteria that are often left undisclosed. What’s more important, the crust or the toppings? (I’m a crust guy.) How thin or thick should the crust be? How crisp? How spare or abundant should the toppings be? For example, a traditional Neapolitan-style pizza has a somewhat softer crust than many American pizzas. I learned this in researching Una Pizza Napoletana, the highly-acclaimed pizzeria that recently relocated from New York to San Francisco. On Chowhound’s San Francisco Board, some complained about the softness of the crust at UPN, in response to which other San Francisco Chowhounds referred to the Italian government document defining the crust of Pizza Napoletana as “soft, elastic, and easily folded in a ‘booklet’.” I mention this because my first experience with the pizza at Bar del Corso, Jerry Corso’s new pizza place in Beacon Hill, was notable for the pizza having a very soft crust, not at all crispy despite the presence of charred blistering of the crust. I realize that there’s no “right” answer to the soft vs. crispy debate – it’s a matter of personal preference and tradition doesn’t settle the debate. I personally didn’t mind so much that the pizza crust at Bar del Corso wasn’t crispy, but I would have liked more elasticity and sponge to the crust. It was too flaccid for my personal preference.

                            I’m also curious as to why the pizza at Café Lago is never mentioned when pizza is discussed on the Greater Seattle Board.

                            1. re: Tom Armitage
                              gingershelley RE: Tom Armitage Oct 20, 2011 02:19 PM

                              I would think the idea of Pizza Week, was to try many different kinds/styles of pizza; to celebrate all that diversity, and see what resonated with the OP, non?

                              I agree Tom, that there are many styles, also the 'flavor of the week', and I even sometimes want thin crust, little topping one day, and another day - something thicker and more toothsome with some give... This is an ETERNAL question, and not that anyone is right, just that there are different styles, and many places that make delicious pies.
                              Yeah!!!!!!

                              1. re: gingershelley
                                Tom Armitage RE: gingershelley Oct 20, 2011 04:18 PM

                                Yeah, I think trying lots of different styles of pizza is a grand idea. It would be sort of interesting to try to break down the Seattle pizzerias by type, but perhaps this is a doomed task given all the blurry lines between, say, New York-style pizza and Pizza Napoletana, except that New York pies are bigger. Even without using labels as to types of pizza, the often subtle gradations between, say, crispy and non-crispy crusts might also doom the effort.. But it might be possible to focus on just one element, like the flavor of the crust. In the view of many, for example, the flavor of the crust is what sets Una Pizza Napoletana apart from the many other great pizzerias in the Bay Area.

                                Then, of course, there's the view that all of this precious and painstaking analysis of one pizza versus another is sort of silly and over-the-top obsessive. It's not too obsessive for me, but I'd understand those that think otherwise.

                                1. re: Tom Armitage
                                  RandyB RE: Tom Armitage Oct 23, 2011 10:47 PM

                                  I completely agree that there is no "best" pizza. Style matters and is a very much a personal preference.

                                  Going back to your question about why Cafe Lago isn't mentioned, I'll give my reason. It used to be my favorite. As their prices rose, I stopped going. After several years passing it by, I finally went a couple of months ago. Like you, I'm a crust guy. Theirs just felt sort of ho-hum. Nice and crisp, but a little too thin for the toppings in the center and no distinct flavor.

                                  I contrast it to my go-to pizza place, Tappi in Twisp, WA. Their crust tastes so good that on occasion I've asked for a white pizza. That's just crust brushed with olive oil, a little garlic, and salt. When that tastes great, you know you've got some special crust.

                                  What I also remember liking at Cafe Lago is their lasagne, with the pasta so light it's hard to believe it holds together. Some day I'll go back to try that again.

                                  -----
                                  Cafe Lago
                                  2305 24th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112

                              2. re: Tom Armitage
                                kaleokahu RE: Tom Armitage Oct 24, 2011 07:06 PM

                                Hi, Tom:

                                So glad you mentioned the variations and emphasis, because I've struggled in the past to like pies (e.g., Delancy) that a lot of others rave about. I liked Queen Marguerita, but thought Bambino's kicked their butt. I'm not drawn to bulk for bulk's sake (e.g., Northlake), but I view pizza as a meal, not an hors d'ouvre, so a pie has to have *some* substance to please me. Crusts to me are like beers: if they're good, they can be pretty much any style/thickness, although I confess a fondness for a buttery crust like Pegasus does/Godfather did.

                                Can you (or some other knowledgeable soul here) triangulate for me based on the above likes, mehs and preferences, make a suggestion or two?

                                I should also say that the pie I had today at Bambino's HH was one of the best I've ever had anywhere, including Italy.

                                Aloha,
                                Kaleo

                                1. re: kaleokahu
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                                  Brunhilde RE: kaleokahu Oct 24, 2011 08:08 PM

                                  There seems to be a general lack of anything thicker than a Ritz for crust in Seattle. I admit that I sneak out of work and go to the Round Table buffet when I'm homesick for pizza that's not $30 and "fancy". I miss Pizza Port in San Diego more than anything else (close 2nd & 3rd, Bronx Pizza and Lefty's Chicago Pizza) pizza-wise. I've heard that I should try Flying Squirrel, and since they're opening one in Maple Leaf I may actually have a chance.

                                  1. re: Brunhilde
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                                    GreenYoshi RE: Brunhilde Oct 24, 2011 09:23 PM

                                    The Flying Squirrel in Maple Leaf opened last month.
                                    And I think there are plenty of non-cracker crusts in Seattle. Bambino's would be one.

                                    1. re: Brunhilde
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                                      Shameless79 RE: Brunhilde Feb 12, 2012 03:23 AM

                                      Take the trip out to Alki and try Pegasus. I think your dish pizza craving will be satisfied.

                              3. bgramer RE: sweetpotater May 1, 2012 11:16 PM

                                Stay far away from Kylie's if you're looking for authentic Chicago stuffed pizza. They need to remove "Chicago" from their name because its misleading. The closest thing is Delfino's and its more like a Giordano's style of stuffed pizza.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: bgramer
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                                  not the bad Steve RE: bgramer May 2, 2012 08:24 PM

                                  BG, I agree, if only because Kylie's is trying to make pan pizza (and succeeding), not stuffed.

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                                  JayDK RE: sweetpotater May 5, 2012 08:48 AM

                                  Funny you should say, I'm going to Baltimore soon, any recommendations?

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: JayDK
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                                    sweetpotater RE: JayDK May 5, 2012 09:15 PM

                                    Jay, the crab pizza at Matthew's in Fells Point is the ultimate Baltimore experience—it's phenomenal. We also liked BOP, Zella's, and Iggie's (though we left 2.5 years ago). I couldn't stand Joe Squared, which gets hyped, at all.

                                  2. g
                                    Gizmo56 RE: sweetpotater Mar 8, 2013 06:28 PM

                                    Although it got little love on this thread, I will just mention that the New York style pizza at West Seattle's Giannoni's was the only Seattle pizza place named to New York Magazine's national list of "awesome" pizza.

                                    http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2013/02...

                                    Whatever your opinion of the pick, if you like pizza, the article is interesting. It includes a full spectrum of pizza styles, distinguishes by-the-slice from whole pies, and even has a section looking into frozen pies. There is a photo with each of their 111 entries.

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