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Do Americans Go Out for Pizza Anymore?

It seems like in the old days (70s and earlier), going out for pizza was kind of a big deal for we Yanks. But nowadays, with the rise of pizza delivery giants Pizza Hut, Domino's and Papa John's, I almost get the sense that pizza is a delivery food and the old fambly tradition of going out for pizza pie has died out.

Disabuse me if I'm wrong.

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  1. I live in a college town, so I my experience may not be typical. We have a lot of sit down, full service pizza joints that offer take out but not delivery. Some are very good. We also have plenty of cheap delivery options. Delivery is for rainy days, nights in studying, and watching sporting events at home. Going out is for dates, family night out, or just meeting up with friends.

    1. I go out for pizza all the time.

      I don't really consider Pizza Hut, Domino's and Papa John's to be pizza. They're more like filler for down time during commercials while watching football games.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        I only eat fronm the "big three" when it is free, bought buy my company or my wife's. If I'm paying for pizza I definitely go out, we've got a few nice plkaces here.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Sharing a pizza is sharing a pizza....no matter where/what it is.
          Lots of small towns in this country don't have the option of sharing one at a private/family owned delicious pizza joint and Pizza Hut, Domino's and Papa John's is the only place they can go.
          From what I've seen, on my travels, there's still an interest out there for going out and having pizza...and the 'discerning' palate may just be heading for PH and Domino's and Papa John's.

        2. We went out for pizza just last night and do so fairly often. We have lots of excellent sit=down joints.

          1. PK ,I think you are in the wrong town for good eat-in Za with atmo. Cavalli's in Irving (TX) has a cult-like following, even though it lacks the cultural roots of New Haven or Boston's North End, where pizza is forever.

            12 Replies
            1. re: Veggo

              Actually, El Veggo, the Khantessa and I have a favorite pizza joint we frequent quite regularly. It's a place called One Guy's, and their pie rivals the best I had while doing time in New Jersey.

              This thread was intended to be more about the pizza habits of the broader American public than chowhounds per se, who I know are not about to waste their hard-earned dough on PJ, PH and Domino's.

              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                Believe it or not, I don't think I've ever tasted Pizza Hut, Dominos or Papa Johns, be it free or not. But then again, we have world class pizza from private places that will deliver, if that is the issue.

                If a whole pie, I usually like to go pick it up myself, and go home to serve on china with a glass of wine or two. A slice or two, definitely tastes better sitting in a booth on a paper plate, as long as you don't burn your mouth first!

                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                  Gotcha. I Googled One Guy's, looks like they do a good calzone, too. Glad you have a nice local spot operated by a real Italian.

                  A clam pie at Pepe's is 26 bucks after the wait to get in, go figure. But they have the better mousetrap.

                  I think a lot of ethnic restos which are pretty good are giving pizza a lot of competition at the same price point.

                  1. re: Veggo

                    Yeah, I could swear the price of restaurant pie has decreased simultaneously with price increases for frozen pie. And it's now to the point that you can get halfway decent restaurant pizza for the same price as the stuff in the grocery store. Overall, however, pizza remains amazingly economical, which surely accounts, along with its deliciousness for pizza's continued popularity.

                    PS--The calzone at One Guy's is legendary, but I recently struck one at a place called Nick's Sports Bar (owned and opped by the Rizzo family dontchaknow), which leaves One Guy's for dead. Man, Nick's makes one mean calzone.

                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                      I'm never spending $20+ on a large pizza. I'm not made of money and I have no problem sacrificing some taste in the name of frugality.

                      1. re: FoodPopulist

                        The large pies here, from the private places at least, are usually $12.95. Although I fondly remember the days of $3.99 on sale, not all that long ago (10 years?).

                        1. re: FoodPopulist

                          I'm never spending $20+ on a large pizza.

                          Then you're probably missing out on alot of good pizza. And they're not even the "large" sized variety.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            I'm also not spending $60 on a steak. There are some price points I just won't go to.

                            1. re: FoodPopulist

                              Sixty bucks for a steak is really pushing it for me, too. I might drop 50 bones on one, but 60? Maybe if I'd already just swallowed one hell of a lot of scotch.

                          2. re: FoodPopulist

                            I've never spent that much on one. My go-to large pie at my favorite pizzeria runs around 13 samolians.

                            1. re: Perilagu Khan

                              Really good steaks, albeit at local joints, run maybe in the 30s. But then you get a few drinks, an app or two, a side or dessert... we all make out OK.

                              1. re: coll

                                Yeah, a high-end steak in my neck of the woods will run in the low 40s, but it's very easy to find a solid steak in the mid 20s.

                  2. We go out for pizza very often. In fact we did last night :-)

                    1. This American does it at least once per week. I like my apizza piping (burning) hot right out of the brick oven. A true New Haven style thin crust Apizza gets cold too fast to travel well.

                      Occasionally we do get takeout pizza, but we pick it up, never delivery. The pizza place my wife and daughters like best is two blocks from our house. Travel time from oven to our table is about 4 minutes.

                      Delivery pizza sucks (IMHO). It arrives lukewarm at best and soggy, especially since they started using those insulated delivery bags. Here in south central CT, the chains/franchises don't survive, hundreds of independents drive them out.

                      Way back in the early 1970s I delivered pizza during my first two college summers. I drove a VW suareback. I removed the mat in the rear and the pizzas went right above the engine. Those pizzas were delivered hot and I got bigger tips than drivers using conventional front engine cars.

                      1. I still go out at least once every week or two for pizza. We have quite a few good independent pizza joints turning out all sorts of pies (thick crust, thin, coal oven, wood oven, etc) in the area and it's a great excuse to meet up with friends fairly economically. The fact that most of these places are also BYOB is just a bonus.

                        The only time I ordered from Pizza Hut or Dominoes was when I was in grad school in a small town in SE Ohio and it was the only alternative. (Plus, if I recall, they were damned cheap and my roomie and I could eat for 2 days on one of their ridiculous specials. And if there's one thing grad students value above all it's cheap eats ;) God, was I happy to get back to Philly.

                        1. We go out for pizza all the time, & have for decades. But independents that serve decent food only - never the chains!! I can't remember the last time I stepped foot in a Pizza Hut, Domino's, Papa John's, Leto, etc., etc. The quality just ain't there.

                          We do takeout as well - but we pick it up. Don't live close enough for delivery, & very few if any of our favorite independant spots deliver anyway.

                          1. The old dine-in Pizza Huts with the red "hut" roofs have died out, but I was interested to read a recent story about how Domino's is transforming their outlets to be more attractive places to visit because take-out is becoming a larger share of their business, rising from a traditional 10% to 30% today. I don't know if the rise in take-out is a suggestion that dine-in would be popular, too.

                            I do, however, see plenty of popular pizza places that are dine-in, but they tend to either be on or near school and college campuses, or in heavily pedestrian parts of town, or they tend to be premium pizza places that have traditional 800°F wood-fired ovens.

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: pdxuser

                              Our local Domino's started charging for delivery at some point in the past year. They also offer a lot of take out only specials. I wonder how much that contributes to the increase in take out business.

                              1. re: pdxuser

                                Yes, the slow, almost unnoticed disappearance of the traditional Pizza Huts is what sparked the idea for this thread. I suspect perhaps 80% of Pizza Hut's business is now delivery, whereas in 1972 delivery may have constituted 30%. I'd be interested in looking at the actual numbers.

                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                  Wow, this thread brings back memories. Going out for pizza was a huge treat when I was growing up in the 70s-80s as it required a 30+ minute drive each way. Later on, someone openned a "sub shop" in my small town but the pizza was never very good.

                                  In fact, I think my first date was at a Pizza Hut. There were two corner booths that were highly desirable for dates. Whenever I pass that Pizza Hut, the parking lot is always full.

                                  There was also a locally owned place run by a couple from NYC a couple miles further from the Pizza Hut. I ended up living in that town after marriage and while the couple retired 20+ years ago, people still talk about how good it was. Even the best carry-out can't compare to that piping hot from the oven goodness.

                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                    Interesting. It's been years since I recall a sit-down Pizza Hut in my area. They are all storefront "Pizza Hut Express" spots that only do pickup or delivery. Now that I think of it, no sit-down Dominos or Papa John's either.

                                    1. re: gaffk

                                      We ate at a Pizza Hut last weekend - a $5 lunch buffet. It was as awful as you might expect for that price, but also delicious in a disgusting sort of way. However, when we left, I turned to my husband and said "now I'm craving pizza," because what Pizza Hut serves isn't really pizza. It's its own thing, and nothing else will quite do if I'm craving Pizza Hut, but it's not pizza.

                                      1. re: biondanonima

                                        Of the Big Three delivery giants, here's how I rank 'em:

                                        1. Domino's
                                        2. Pizza Hut
                                        98. Papa John's

                                        I hasten to add I haven't had any of the above in probably a year or more.

                                        1. re: biondanonima

                                          Years ago, when the sit down PH's were still around, I had coworkers who dragged me there about once a week (think big young guys with voracious appetites). It always seemed to have tables full of high school kids (big young guys with voracious appetites). Maybe that's why the sit down versions aren't around here any more ;)

                                          But I know what you mean, it would leave me wanting pizza.

                                          1. re: biondanonima

                                            ah yes, in highschool we did a lot of pizza hut buffet on half days from school. ours was nice cause it included a salad bar where most of them only had pizza and pasta. it was delicious in a disgusting way as biondanonima mentioned.

                                            1. re: pie22

                                              I have three sisters, so on days when my mom just wanted us to eat and be quiet for cheap, she'd bring us to a pizza hut lunch buffet. The ones near us had one table for the salad buffet, and one for the pizzas (one of which was dessert). I remember one day my sisters and I had a competition to see who could eat the most pizza.... I won. Ah, those were the days :P

                                              1. re: kubasd

                                                I used to work at a pizza restaurant that had a buffet, and I saw things that would make you run screaming into the night. Not that any of that nastiness occurred at your particular Pizza Hut, I hasten to add!

                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                  HA, I'm sure it did... I was in like... 5th or 6th grade, I didn't care. My mom probably figured if anything it would just make our immune systems stronger. I don't know that I've been to a pizza buffet since...

                                    2. We occasionally go to a wood fired pizza place before seeing a movie, they're in the same plaza. They have a pear and gorgonzola pizza I really like.

                                      The local place we have deliver does have a diningroom and serve beer and wine but it's downtown with no parking... so we stick with them for delivery. Their pizza is great and obscenely cheap ($11.99 for a 2 topping XL pizza.)

                                      1. We went out for pizza just the other night, to a locally owned restaurant with a wood fired oven. But for us those chain delivery places are reserved for desperation situations. Like the night before moving house, or everyone is sick so no one is up for cooking and the fridge is empty.

                                        1. I personally haven't gone out for pizza in several years. I just pick up slces and take home. But here in Westchester, NY all the pizza places are always packed at lunch and dinner with families and groups of friends.

                                          1. i don't think that's the case at all -- I've yet to see a pizza place anywhere that didn't have at least a couple of tables...and don't remember many instances in recent years where any place with tables *wasn't* slammed at mealtime, with a line out the door.

                                            1. If New York is part of America then millions of Americans where I live go out for pizza all the time.

                                              1. Hell, man, I live in a dopey little Jersey Shore town, just a scoch bigger than a mile square, and we have a dozen places that make pizza. Only a couple deliver, and they're far from the best. Moreover, beyond the coupla good pies I can get in town, there's a few even better a town or two away (which in Shore terms is a mile or three). Unless I'm drunk, dented, or broken, going out for pizza is the only way I eat it.

                                                Around here, pizza is serious sh*t. A pair of NJ Board threads to illustrate:



                                                53 Replies
                                                1. re: MGZ

                                                  And this raises a serious point. I suspect most of the participants in this thread live in the Pizza Belt where going out for pie is part of mother's milk. In that part of the States, going out for pizza is alive and well. But for the rest of the US? I don't know. I still think there has been some decline in this activity.

                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                    Perhaps you want to talk to me, then. I grew up in a small town in the South, now live in a small city in the same area.

                                                    Anecdote for purposes of illustrating cultural heritage: Once, when my grandfather was in the hospital they posted instructions on his door that he was not to be brought Italian food. Under any circumstances. Apparently there was an...incident.

                                                    As a kid, we had the red roof Pizza Hut in town and we would go out to eat there fairly often. The video games were a big part of the appeal for me. Now, as the OP notes, these have all but died out. We have one sit-down PH left where I live, but it's in a strip mall and isn't free-standing. It's small and rather cramped and kind of unpleasant to visit, and there are no games for the kids. We very rarely go- only when they've won free mini-pizzas through school and beg us to go. Typically they'd prefer to go to Golden Corral for a fun kids' meal- that has a chocolate fountain and cotton candy and a wide variety of food.

                                                    I have grown to like pizza less and less as I've gotten older. We get the cheapo Little Caesar's $5 pizzas for the kids a couple of times a month, and order in from Pizza Hut maybe once a month. I get the occasional PH craving; I can't stomach LC's. We have a CiCi's but neither I nor mom can stomach it, so we refuse to go. There's a local place that's a branch of a place in NYC which is okay, but they use real mozzarella and it tends to make my stomach hurt. And they aren't really a sit-down spot.

                                                    Basically, pizza does nothing for me, the kids are indifferent, and there are few if any good sit down options with the decline of the old style Pizza Huts, so we rarely do it.

                                                    1. re: Naco

                                                      Interesting. Thanks for the perspective.

                                                      When I was a kid in the 70s, our favorite place to go out for pizza was a chain called Shakey's. The family and all the family's friends would meet there on Saturday nights. The beer flowed, live music from the banjo/piano combo filled the air, the kids played primitive video games, and we consumed copious amounts of hot, fresh pizza. Marvelous memories. Alas, that Shakey's is now a want ads publisher. Sign of the times?

                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                        I really hate that restaurants don't have coin-op video games any more. For one, I still like playing them. For another, I'd like to hand a few quarters to the kids to buy some peace and quiet sometimes like my parents used to do.

                                                        Taquerias have them sometimes- which really just makes me realize what we're missing by not having them at other places any more.

                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                          OK, I get you now. I also have warm childhood memories of Shakey's, although mine are from the 1960's, in Los Angeles. Shakey's back then had a kind of Gay Nineties theme overall. No video games, but of course classic PINBALL. The two sources of music were a coin-operated player piano, and more interestingly, a Scopitone.

                                                          1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                            Yes, Shakey's really did it up Victorian with the Tiffany glass and all. And you could watch the guys toss the pizza crusts and make the pies. It really was a pizza parlor. Lots of atmosphere, but I don't know what I'd think about their pizzas with my current palate.

                                                          2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                            My memories of Shakey's are virtually the same! Is/was it a California chain? It doesn't exist anymore?!

                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                Yah, the mojos are some bad mofros. I've got a recipe for them, but haven't tried it out yet.

                                                            1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                              Indeed a sign of the times. I remember Shakey's. I have no memory of whether the pizza was any good, but as a kid it was hot and cheesey. When we went I remember being able to pick and choose from a variety of slices that were premade.

                                                              I recently read a post by a NY pizza fanatic and he was decrying the state of pizza in the US. Back in the 40's, 50's, with the return of the GI's from WWII, who'd gotten a taste for pizza and an influx of Italian immigrants, pizza made with excellent ingredients and cooked at very high heat, created a glut of really great pizza all across the northeast. Then in the late 60's chains started showing up. Cutting corners, cooking at lower heat and serving cheap pies that for most people were just fine. It became more and more difficult to compete. People didn't care about the quality, they could get good enough around the corner.

                                                              That is his story, not mine, but you see it across the US. I have eaten a ton of crappy pies, but I really didn't know there was better out there. It seems the economics means that small stores that only deliver and serve a lowest common denominator are what can thrive. Specialty pizza places need a large enough population so they can draw enough customers that are willing to pay more for that extra 10% in flavor and quality. In my small town there is no good pizza. At least not good enough to go out and sit down at for a meal. Maybe that's why some here have said they've lost interest in pizza as they've gotten older. Who wants to go out of your way for so so anything.

                                                              So now I make my own. It wasn't until I started making my own that I grew to like the crust. Usually the pizza box would be strewn with leftover crust that tasted of sawdust. I just asked my boss how many times a month his family eats pizza. "Couple times a month" They pick it up at the corner joint for $5 bucks and take it home. I know that even bad pizza can taste good, but how good can it be for $5 bucks? Apparently good enough. I guess we vote with our pocket books and get the pizza we deserve.

                                                              1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                There seems to be a race to the bottom where pizza's concerned.

                                                              2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                Hey, I remember Shakey's!

                                                                We do have a local place in South Bend, IN, called Polito's with great pizza, the video games, all the family atmosphere. And a wicked penne with vodka sauce.

                                                                1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                  +1 on Polito's! We try to get in at least once a month...it's definitely where we go when we "go out for pizza" and maintains a lot of the charm that I think the OP is referring to.

                                                                  1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                    Just looked at Polito's menu. It has garlic and salami as pizza toppings. This was my favorite combo when I lived in Jersey. Sadly, pizzerias in Texas never offer fresh garlic and salami.

                                                                    I also noticed that Polito's offers a Chicago and a Sicilain pie. I gather both are "deep dish" pies. If so, what's the diff between the two?

                                                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                      The Chicago is a round pie and has cheese on the bottom, sauce on the top...traditional Chicago Style pizza. The Sicilian is made in a sheet pan, slices are square, crust thick, cheese on top. Both are fantastic, as are the stromboli....

                                                                      1. re: jes7o

                                                                        Thank you.

                                                                        Is the Chicago also thick crust?

                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                          It is, but a different kind of crust. More like a thick pie crust as opposed to a bready crust. It's buttery, flaky....the Sicilian is more pillowy.

                                                                          1. re: jes7o

                                                                            Had a Sicilian pie last night at my favorite local joint. Really liked it. Nice change-up from pizza napoletana.

                                                              3. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                my response was based primarily on Florida -- the West Coast, which isn't heavily populated by the Pizza Belt folks.

                                                                (but yes, pizza places around me are always full at mealtimes, too. The only reason we don't eat at the local pizza joint is because it's less than 5 minutes' walk....the pizza isn't even cool enough to eat by the time we get it home)

                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                  "I suspect most of the participants in this thread live in the Pizza Belt where going out for pie is part of mother's milk"

                                                                  Yep. We may all live too close to one another and many may talk with a funny accent or spend too much time in a tanning booth, but we have pizza. Pizza that most people don't understand. Pizza that has given birth to it's own culture. Pizza that guys have fought over, bled over, and bonded over. No offense to anyone living west of the Hudson, or north of New Haven, but, we have pizza. No Huts, no tiles, no papa's (outside of Trenton). We have pizza. If you want to go out for pie. Let some of us know when you're coming.

                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                    I can dig it. I'm from Texas and feel the same way about chili, as another thread active on this forum demonstrates.

                                                                  2. re: Perilagu Khan


                                                                    I defintely live in the Apizza belt and concur aboutr going out for Apizza or occasionally pizza. Ordering pizza delivered is something my 24 year old daughter will do if she and friends are in the hot tub or pool and drinking. No drinking and driving.

                                                                    That said, I spent half each week of 2008-9-10 in northern rural Massachusetts, where the pizza from independents was vile and definitely outside the pizza belt! The chains were all over, Pizza Hut, Papa Johns, Domino's and a great regional chain: Papa Gino's (which has been discussed on the New England Boards).

                                                                    Going out for Pizza is thriving in those areas. Delivery is big for those living on college campuses, in small town downton areas and to workplaces for lunch. Most of the residential housing is too widespread for delivery to make economic sense. There are many 'old-style' red roof Pizza Huts that are jammed packed for lunch and dinner. I never saw such a modern one as in Leominster near the mall. The Pizza Hut in Methuen was always jammed at lunch as well.

                                                                    Growing up in New Haven, Pizza Hut arrived on the scene about 40 years ago. Most closed within 5 years. The lone holdout is at exit 42 of I-95 in West Haven. It is old, dirty and decrepit. They discontinued the lunch buffet last spring and survive on delivery to University of New Haven, The VA hospital, local housing projects and the hot pillow motel next door.

                                                                    Recently 2 Pizza Huts have opened in Bridgeport, but are set up for delivery or takeout only. There are many Pizza Hut/Taco Bell or KFC combos in southern CT that have eat in, but only feature personal pan pizza and breadsticks.

                                                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                      Do people think I live in the pizza belt (I live in Michigan)? We have outstanding pizza places of all sorts--wood-oven fired thin crust, old-fashioned american pizza made locally (deep dish), and our own weird regional specialties. I can name ten locally-owned places or small, local chains that I adore and visit on average once a week. None of these deliver BTW, but sometimes I go get takeout. My favorite is the wood-oven fired pizza place, because it serves awesome local beer abd has a great wine list!

                                                                      1. re: IndyGirl

                                                                        To my mind, the Pizza Belt is greater New York down through greater Philly.

                                                                        I think you probably live in a Pizza Pocket. ;)

                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                          PK, the pizza belt definitely wends its way through New Haven, Providence, and Boston's North End, also.

                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                            Agreed, as to the northern borders, but the southern border just barely wraps around Philly. It certainly doesn't reach into Delaware.

                                                                            1. re: Veggo

                                                                              I was including Connecticut in Greater NY, El Vegg.

                                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                As a native of CT I take exception to its being included as part of (greater) NY. CT stands proudly alone.

                                                                                  1. re: kubasd

                                                                                    I suggest that Fairfield County is in the NY orbit, but the NY/CT divide is the Housatonic river. (apologies to bagelman01)

                                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                                      Sorry V, you've been gone too long. Straight up I-91.

                                                                                      1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                        I'd agree with that: I-91, or just say the River. I've always lived East of the River in CT.

                                                                                        1. re: BabsW

                                                                                          Problem is that at Hartford, 91 runs along the river bank, and eawst of the river is Redsux country. But at New Haven, it's a 30-45 minute drive east from 91 to the CT River at old Saybrook, but East of New Haven is also Redsux country. Growing up, you couldn't get the NY TV stations east of New Haven, but could pull in the Redsux on Channels from Providence.

                                                                                          1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                            I don't see a problem, except perhaps with your spelling of my favorite team. ;-)

                                                                                            Growing up pre-cable, we had no NY television stations at all, just the ones from Hartford, RI and Boston. Even channel 8 in New Haven didn't always come in all that clear where I was up on the Mass border. We had that huge aerial antenna on the roof that we had to position every time we changed channels.

                                                                                  2. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                    Looks like put my tongue athwart the third rail of Yankee American geography!

                                                                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                      :) My friends and I used to joke that the River/91 also served as the dividing line between Red Sox and Yankees fans.

                                                                                      1. re: BabsW

                                                                                        I grew up in Colchester (a mere 15-20 min from teh river) and my town was pretty divided. We used to joke the same thing..... but secretly take it pretty seriously! lol

                                                                              2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                That may be. But I wanted to make the point that there's fantastic pizza out here, too. I mean, truly fantastic.

                                                                                1. re: IndyGirl

                                                                                  Oh, there are "pizza pockets" in several places - Chicago and San Francisco come to mind initially - but the belt is a different thing.

                                                                                2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                  Okay, I can see that this can get like a chili war. Chicago and Detroit both have multiple styles of indigenous pizza (not just deep dish but also thin crusts, cracker crusts, sqaure-cut "tavern" styles, not to mention assorted Neapolitan and other places). Visit before you judge. I will treat.

                                                                                  1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                                    Even though I'm not judging, will you treat??? I LOVE all types of [good] pizza. hahaha! My husband calls me a frat boy... pizza and beer, quickest way to make me happy.

                                                                                    1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                                      I'd love to take your pizza tour, Bada Bing.

                                                                                      Incidentally, a Greek dude from Detroit moved to my town of Lubbock a few years ago and started a pizzeria called La Bella. It was good, and it was cheap. Now it's gone. ):

                                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                        During college summers I often worked for a Greek owned pizza place in New Haven, but usually ate Apizza at Sally's, grinders at Pizza Pal.

                                                                                        Now, in Trumbull where I live there is a Greek owned restaurant and Pizza place called Old Towne Restaurant. Makes very good Greek style pizza (my wife's preference-thick dough, lots of melted cheese, baked in a pan). The first time we ate in the restaurant, I saw a man in a suit at the cash register and I smiled and started laughing. My wife asked me why? I replied "that man used to own and operate the Copper Kettle on Chapel Street in New Haven"

                                                                                        Even the best of the Greek owned pizza joints in CT got their start and training in New Haven.

                                                                                        1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                          Only been to New Haven once. This was in 2002. The Khantessa was interviewing at Yale. At that time I had no idea that New Haven was pizza heaven. Looks like I missed out on an opportunity.

                                                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                            so come for a visit, we've got a huge house and lots of room (as long as you don't mind three dogs and 2 cats).
                                                                                            Give you a chance to have the best of New Haven Coal fired brick oven Apizza, wood fired brick oven Apizza, Gas fired steel oven Apizza, Greek Style Pan baked gas steel oven fired Pizza, NY style Pizza
                                                                                            Plus Seafood and almost every ethnic food you can imagine.

                                                                                            Afterall, west of the Hudson and south of Camden is a culinary wasteland <VBG>

                                                                                            1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                              Hmmm... you're only about an hour away and you're making a visit to New Haven sound brilliant!! I think I'll need to head down there soon. Norwich is THE culinary wasteland (minus the casino :P)

                                                                                              1. re: kubasd

                                                                                                Yes, but you have the Rose Garden. Make some really good rose hips jam on toasted Portigese rolls from the bakery in Colchester. A great breakfast before heading for aNew Haven and Apizza.

                                                                                                1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                  I grew up in Colchester! My friends worked at the bakery. Where is the Rose Garden?

                                                                                                  1. re: kubasd

                                                                                                    I loved the Russian pumpernickel rye from that bakery.

                                                                                                      1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                        Ohhhh!! I thought the Rose Garden was a restaurant or something!! lol That is RIGHT around the corner from my house.... Methinks a visit there after school (AHHH!!) this week is in order!

                                                                                                2. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                  I'm collecting pizza tour offers! Perhaps I'll take them all and write a book.

                                                                                                  But seriously, three dogs and two kitties wouldn't be a problem--we've got a dog and six cats as of the present. Just don't force me to drive on I-95 toward White Plains at rush hour. Did that once, and once was one time too many. So much for the quiet, idyllic Ivy League town!

                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                    That's what the Merritt Parkway is for. My house to Westchester County Airport in 35 minutes.

                                                                                3. I only go out for pizza...delivery is just not as good

                                                                                  1. I have never eaten or purchased delivery food in my life. This is probably atypical.

                                                                                    1. For the data-gathering record, I haven't been "out" for pizza in many, many years.

                                                                                      I grew up in deeply rural Minnesota, and going out for pizza in the 1970s was a Very Big Deal, involving an hour-long drive, and thus a very rare occurrence. (Even frozen pizza was a rare occurrence, as my Scandinavian family didn't roll in that direction, frankly.) Our family's destination of choice was always Shakey's; thanks for that memory!

                                                                                      Going to The City for college, and early married years, involved plenty of out-for-pizza outings, with a group of friends around a table, a couple of pies and pitchers of beer. Pizza was a happy-making prospect then.

                                                                                      Then came kids. And school years. That's what killed my appetite for pizza, and by extension, going out for pizza. Why? Because through the 17 years of shepherding my kids through school, pizza was ubiquitous. End of kindergarten party? Pizza. Any Girl/Boy Scouting get-together? Pizza. Various planning committee meetings? Pizza. Getting together with people-with-kids? Pizza. Birthday parties? Celebrations of kids' achievements? School festivals? After-play parties? After sporting events? PTA meetings? Available for purchase during parent-teacher conferences? Neighborhood volunteer sessions? All pizza, all the time. Overexposure to pizza just plain killed any motivation I had to go out and sit down for...pizza. It was simply Pizza Fatigue.

                                                                                      The worst Pizza Fatigue I ever experienced was my schools district's use of the Pizza Hut Book It program, via which kids earned Personal Pan Pizzas for reading a certain number of books. My kids were(are) voracious readers, and MAN, did we have to eat pizza until they got sick of it. (The Book It program is still around, the Google tells me, and it seems like it revolves around monthly reading goals, versus a certificate for every X number of books read, which is how I remember it.) Pizza became the very last thing I wanted to eat, let alone making an independent decision to seek it out as a dining experience.

                                                                                      I wonder, Perilagu Khan, if the ubiquity of delivered pizza for this-event-or-the-other in relation to having school-aged kids hasn't resulted in fewer families going out for pizza, much like it did for us? Maybe a large demographic segment has the same Pizza Fatigue?

                                                                                      The kids have finally aged out of the family nest (and I am just starting to overcome my slightly irrational fear of making yeast doughs), so we are rediscovering a bit of pizza-love within the confines of our own kitchen. Only very occasionally, however, as I think we're still recovering. And we still have all those nieces and nephews...more pizza.

                                                                                      Interesting question, by the way. I'm curious if others have the same "Why" as we do.

                                                                                      11 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                        I think there is something to that for those of us who don't have a real cultural connection to pizza. My kids are in the lower grades and most of that rings true. I also thought of this terrible job I had ten years or so ago when they would always try to boost morale through offerings of shitty pizza.

                                                                                        Perhaps the ethnic food factor wore off, as well.

                                                                                        1. re: Naco

                                                                                          Naco, you're right on the "terrible job" issue...whenever there was something on the job (jobs that I had) that was horrible/tedious/keep-you-up-til-all-hours, the answer was "Well, there's...pizza." Maybe that's a contributing factor to my pizza fatigue! I sound gripey saying it, but I honestly think any of us that has been through tooooooo much of that may perhaps have a wee bit of antipathy toward the pizza as a destination dish, especially outside of the cultural reference point you mention.

                                                                                          You also raise a good point about the "ethnic food factor" wearing off. I don't want to touch that third rail, but I will say that, for me and us, we don't really think of pizza as an "ethnic" experience the same way I did when I was 16. But then, I don't live in anything remotely considered a pizza belt, so I fully admit my ignorance on incredible pizza experiences.

                                                                                          1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                            "You also raise a good point about the "ethnic food factor" wearing off. I don't want to touch that third rail, but I will say that, for me and us, we don't really think of pizza as an "ethnic" experience the same way I did when I was 16."

                                                                                            Yeah. I was thinking of that Simpsons episode where Smithers offers Mr. Burns a donut, and Burns says, "I already told you, I don't like ethnic food!"

                                                                                        2. re: cayjohan

                                                                                          "I wonder, Perilagu Khan, if the ubiquity of delivered pizza for this-event-or-the-other in relation to having school-aged kids hasn't resulted in fewer families going out for pizza, much like it did for us? Maybe a large demographic segment has the same Pizza Fatigue?"

                                                                                          Pizza Fatigue is real. Pretty sure Freud wrote about it. ;)

                                                                                          But seriously, I worked at a Mr. Gatti's Pizza for two years, and the constant exposure to pizza burned me out. For a while, anyway. Now, some 24 years later, I'm a pizzavore deluxe.

                                                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                            There's hope for me yet, then! 24 years? I'm a couple years into the post-pizza-parade, so I'll retain hope! ;)

                                                                                            1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                              Yeah, and it sure didn't take the full 24 years to regain my love for pizza. A couple of years, max.

                                                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                some of the ladies I worked with would order a pizza from the kitchen (we got a discount) to take home and eat for dinner when they got home.

                                                                                                They made really good pizza, but I found myself smelling pizza for hours...I just could never bring myself to eat it when I'd been carrying it, and serving it, and smelling it for long shift.

                                                                                                (the weirdest? The jukebox was loaded with Van Halen's "Jump" and got heavy play...to this day I smell pizza in my mind when that song comes on the radio)

                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                  And when you smell pizza, does David Lee Roth, in all his long-haired beleathered glory, appear before your eyes?

                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                    yeah....in the leopard-print potato pants he wore in that video, sadly. Time has not healed that wound, and I haven't found enough mind bleach.

                                                                                          2. re: cayjohan

                                                                                            My kids' school does that Pizza Hut program too and like yours my kids are voracious readers. It's the worst! Only my kindergartener's class did it last year so then I'd have to buy the awful pizza for my other two kids and then figure out something edible for the husband and I. I'd have rather have just bought the whole family a good pizza in the first place.

                                                                                            1. re: silvergirl

                                                                                              I hear you, silvergirl. Exasperated after yet another wallet draining, soul-sucking, gut-roiling Pizza Hut dinner for the sake of "literacy," I finally asked my eldest if he even *liked* it. The answer was quick: "No, it's awful, but it's a REWARD and that's NICE." I think that was indeed the last time we went out for pizza, honestly.

                                                                                              We started considering all those certificates as a sort of family scrip toward other "rewards" (and nice!) of our choosing. Kids turned out more than just literate, and: No. More. Hut. Whew.

                                                                                              Hope you weather that pizza reward storm. I personally have more than just Chowish issues with that program, but that's likely not a discussion for this topic.

                                                                                          3. We often have pizza out, but when we do it's not that we went to a pizza place with the thought of ordering pizza. It's more that we went somewhere where the selections of "artisanal" pizza on the menu were so appealing that that became the dining choice. Fig and gorgonzola; summer tomatoes, grilled red onion, chicken confit and local mushrooms; prociutto, goat cheese and roasted red peppers -- add a salad and a great glass (or two) of wine, and you've got a great meal.

                                                                                            OTOH, we also bring pizza in from the local pizza joint. I really don't like Domino's or Pizza Hut, but the local pizza place does a fine job with the more traditional pizzas. That and a cold beer makes for a very okay dinner.

                                                                                            1. Plenty of people in StL eat at Pi's in the area. I know because I've seen them there when I've dined there.

                                                                                              1. We have some really good Pizzerias here. Years ago we used to eat out every soften, mainly in our lunch hour across the street from our work place. My daughter orders sometimes different Pizza pies at Birthday parties in her house as take out for our fairly large family. I like it a lot.
                                                                                                Other than that, nowadays husband and I rarely do take out and we never eat at the place, since I have learned to make a decent Pizza at home. (decent= the way we like it.)

                                                                                                1. I ususally get take-out when I want pizza. Unless it's raining or snowing or the roads are icy I'm not paying a delivery fee plus tip for pizza.

                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: biscottifan

                                                                                                    While I would never (no longer) get a delivered pizza (never had one that was edible), your reasoning makes no sense, unless you live next door or you walk to a pizza place. The cost of picking up a pizza will most always exceed the cost of a tip.

                                                                                                    1. re: Clams047

                                                                                                      Not when you add the delivery fee and the tip together. The pizza place I frequent is a little over a mile away. Also, on Mondays, they have a lower price for take-out.

                                                                                                      1. re: Clams047

                                                                                                        minimum pizza delivery tip in this area is $3. Gas costs $4 per gallon. There are more than 15 pizza places within 5 miles of my home, doesn't cost $3 in gas to get there and back. The pizza isn't sitting in a warming bag for up to 45 minutes after it eaves the pizza place because the delivery person has 10 stops on the trip. Most area pizza places also charge a $2-3 delivery charge, so delivery plus tip is $5 minimum.

                                                                                                        Also, most area pizza places advertise specials that are Pick-Up only. For example, Dominick's (a former Domino's franchise) charges $12 for a large cheese delivered, pklus tax, plus delivery charge, while it is $7.95 pick up or eat in Monday-Thursday.

                                                                                                        1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                          Cost of driving is not simply cost of gasoline just as the cost of a pizza is not simply the cost of flour & toppings. Guess that's why the cost of gas doesn't phase me. For me, it's the cheapest part of driving (the total cost of driving keeps my driving in check). Hint - average (real) cost of driving 5 miles to pick up a pizza is about $5 (gas is at most, about $1.25 - less than 1/3 the real cost of driving ).

                                                                                                    2. Some do, some don't. Why ask?

                                                                                                      1. There's no good pizzerias in my area that have the accompanying sit down restaurant. We either make our own pizza at home or we drive into town to get one from a little independent pizzeria.

                                                                                                        1. Here in Denver, we never (ok, once) go out for pizza. I'm sure some people do, there are at least three sit-down chains that I can think of, two national and one local. Being former Chicagoans, however, we prefer the "real thing" - Chicago stuffed pizza. Hubby makes it at home, and when we visit Chicago, we have pizza for lunch and sometimes dinner. And in Italy, we have sit-down pizza all the time, and love it!

                                                                                                          As parents of former young children, who are now slightly more self-sufficient teens, and chowhounds we tend to save our going out for dinner for meals that we can't or don't want to make at home.

                                                                                                          My son will order pizza in occasionally with his friends, from one of the delivery chains. I suspect he'll eat more pizza in college. Daughter doesn't like pizza so much.

                                                                                                          And come of think of it, growing up in rural Michigan, we didn't have a sit-down pizza place until I was in my teens. There was a nicer place that the family went to once in a while, and a cheaper place, closer to school, that kids went to after school activities. So I think my own traditions of going out for pizza are based on my college years in Chicago, rather than any family growing-up traditions.

                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Lexma90

                                                                                                            Never have understood stuffed pizzas - perhaps because I grew up in CT.

                                                                                                            May want to try Protos for "real" pizza - a relatively small chain in the Denver area - especially their clam pizza - really excellent. Not the best pizza I've ever had, but clearly the best west of NY / NJ.

                                                                                                            I'm thinking delivered pizzas are more for the college crowd - cheap.

                                                                                                            1. re: Clams047

                                                                                                              The first (and possibly ony) time I had a Chicago type pizza, I was really befuddled. Maybe they taste better in Chicago?

                                                                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                                                                No - that's where I had my introduction (from what I recall, it was at Gino's East - reportedly one of the best).

                                                                                                                1. re: Clams047

                                                                                                                  Ah well, Long Island isn't too shabby when it comes to pizzerias! The place I had it here in Commack went out of business pretty quickly, I guess once everyone tried it a few times. Just too alien.

                                                                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                                                                    Chicago pizza doesn't "travel" any better than New York pizza...the New Yorkers I know sigh that they can't find good pizza anywhere but NY...

                                                                                                                    ..and I've never had a Chicago deep-dish pie outside of Chicago that can compare to anything in that city. Uno's expansion across the country was just sad -- and Giordano's makes a good pie, but it's not as good as having it IN Chicago.

                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                      Thanks, good to know it's not just me. If I ever make it to Chicago, of course I will have to try.

                                                                                                                  2. re: Clams047

                                                                                                                    From my perspective as a Chicagoan, Gino's East is not worth the effort. We have countless pizza places of better caliber and, referencing the original point of this post, anyone with even a halfway decent alternative to Pizza Hut, Domino's or Papa Johns that still orders from one of those should be ashamed of themselves.

                                                                                                            2. I go out for pizza all of the time. Delivered pizza is generally not worth eating.

                                                                                                              How did you come up with this theory?

                                                                                                              I think pizza consumption overall has been on the rise (if you'll excuse the pun). And the pizza is coming from sources other than traditional full-service restaurants: frozen, fast food, delivery, now vending machines, etc. That doesn't mean there are less people going out for pizza, but rather the pie (there I go again) has simply gotten bigger.

                                                                                                              1. A lot of it is also because of a trend in recent years to eat in -- regardless of what's actually on the table.

                                                                                                                Fewer and fewer folks are eating out -- it's expensive, and there just isn't the disposable income for it.

                                                                                                                So they order a takeout pizza....because the chips and drinks and other stuff is cheaper at home (usually).

                                                                                                                1. I don't think is a valid comparison, at least not for me. Delivery pizza is an I'm too tired/busy/drunk to leave the house, and I want something quick and easy. Going out for pizza means a local independent joint that often doesn't even deliver at all.

                                                                                                                  Baltimore has several local joints that are worth going out for -- Matthew's, Joe Squared, Iggies, etc. They are always more expensive but worth it.

                                                                                                                  For delivery I used to use Papa John's because they were the best of a horrible lot, but when in a hotel room with only one available delivery option, I was stuck with Domino's. A few years ago I actually threw away a free Domino's pizza after one bite. It was awful. But they ran that whole "we know we suck and we promise to be better now" campaign, and I thought it was surprisingly good. It's now my first choice for delivery pizza, and blows the others off the map.

                                                                                                                  1. I get pizza delivered about once every two weeks week, on average. Never from a chain, as there's a pizza/sub place on every other corner (of varying degrees of quality) in my neighborhood and they all deliver.

                                                                                                                    There are a few restaurants I go to specifically for the pizza (Bostonians will be familiar with the usual suspects: Santiarpios, Regina and Gran Gusto, though Coppa in the South End is one of my faves) . I go out for pizza far less than I get it delivered though.

                                                                                                                    1. Boyfriend & I go out for pizza just about every Sunday night & have been for at least 15 years. The places we like don't deliver & since we'd have to go pick it up anyway & bring it home, we figured we may as well just stay at the pizza joint & eat it there while it's still nice & hot.

                                                                                                                      1. For me the 'old days' were the late 40's and 50's; before pizza chains and delivery. I lived in a small CT town and was fortunate enough to have a great apizza place just across the street; Raccio's.

                                                                                                                        17 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                          Which raises a question: when did delivered pizza become a widespread phenomenon? I'd guess no later than the mid-70s and as early as the late 60s.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                            Universal delivery? Domino's started theri 'Delivery in 30 minutes or it's free' campaign in 1973. Probably the first national chain to make a push as a delivery based pizza business.

                                                                                                                            Local independent delivery really depended on the neighborhood. Delivery to college dormitories by independents certainly was available in many areas back in the 60s (when it was common that students were not allowed to have cars on campus).

                                                                                                                            Big city delivery, often by bicycle in NY, available in the late 50s that I remember in the Bronx to my grandfather's home or in Manhattan to my father's office for lunch.

                                                                                                                          2. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                            and we old timers in CT remember when pizza to go might be wrapped in brown paper and tied with a string, no box..................................

                                                                                                                            1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                              That's got to be before my time, bagelman. <g>

                                                                                                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                How quaint. There's something about that that sounds rather appetizing, although I obviously have no clue as to how functional and cost-effective it might have been.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                  the prescored foldable white pizza box had not been invented and then mass marketed to pizzerias until the 60s. Typically, in Italian neighborhoods around southern CT, Apizza was baked by and available from your local Italian bread bakery. They always had paper bags or rolls of brown paper and string. The counterman would just pull off a length of the paper, slide the pie off the peel onto the paper, pull up the paper around the pie and tie with bakery string. You hurried home hoping to keep the pie even. We used to have a flattened cardboard box in the trunk of our car kept there solely to hold the Apizza.

                                                                                                                                  Back in 1978, we had a major blizzard here in CT. I was working for a large copmmercial bakery at the time. I had pulled my car inside the building when the storm hit and stayed there 4 days straight. We had power and continued to bake in order to supply local hospitals and a few nursing homes. The city sent firetrucks to pick up the food and deliver to the hospitals. We made quite a few pizzas, but ran out of boxes by the 2nd afternoon. The owner's wife, showed us how to wrap the pies with paper ans string, telling us that when she started working in the bakery right after WWII, they didn't have boxes for anything except frosted cakes, so always used paper and string.

                                                                                                                                2. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                  String - fancy. we just had paper rolled and stapled at the edges. This was decades before the little plastic spacer that kept the paper from making contact with the pizza. Step 1 was always peeling back the paper and scraping off the cheese that stuck to it.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: ferret

                                                                                                                                    No plastic spacers back then. The cheese that stuck to the paper was a bonus belonging to whoever opened the pie and put it on the table. Just took a fork ans scraped and popped it into the mouth.
                                                                                                                                    Today, if we occasionally bring home a pie, when the kids grab slices, I always have a fork to scrape the cheese and toppings that are left in the box.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                      Those spacers have an official name, pizza tables.

                                                                                                                                      My husband, who is 7 years older than me and therefore grew up mostly in the 50s (I was alive but a baby) has very set ideas on pizza. He grew up in Bensonhurst Brooklyn, only moved when he was in high school. Back then, he says the best pizza came from Italian bakeries who sold them through windows on the sidewalk, and there was NEVER any toppings, just dough, sauce and cheese. He is adament about this, and has caused me to seldom if ever order anything but a "regular" or "Sicilian", no further descriptions or additions. I wonder if this quirk is shared by other of his age and birthplace.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                        Of course, growing up in New Haven, mozzarella was an extra. Just dough, sauce and grated romano cheese.
                                                                                                                                        But we were inn NY every week, had grandparents in both Brooklyn and NY and we also bought from the window in the bakery.

                                                                                                                                        See the attached photo for memories of window service.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                          Thanks for that, there is still a place here on Long Island that has the window, an Italian bakery with really good baked goods. I wouldn't have even known but for my husband how cool the window was, don't remember them in the Bronx when I was growing up. Just Italian ice when we were out, and I was so little I don't remember exactly where we got it.I'll ask Mom but her memory is getting selective!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                            If your 'best friend' was picking it up for you I'll bet there wasn't much left of it by the time you got it.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                              Our pups get a share of almost all our table food. They love Apizza, but with cheese, or meat, no vegetable toppings.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                It's the same here, BM. Bruin gets his share of whatever we eat including ribeye, if there's any left. I just have to make sure there's no onion on it but red pepper flakes are ok. Nothing is too spicy for him.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                  We set aside a special "scrap cup" for our hound. She's not finicky. She's even been known to eat pie from Papa John's, although she gave us the "What? Are you kiddin' me?!" look.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                    The nearest Papa John's is 30 miles from me, and only survives because it is on a college campus. I made the mistake of trying Papa John's once (Leominster, MA) and found it had a sickening sweet, but not tomato tasting sauce. ate 1 1/2 slices and threw the rest in the garbage. It's odd, because Leominster has an excellent Pizza Hut, very modern, extremely clean and well managed with great, well trained adult employees.
                                                                                                                                                    I haven't had DFomino's in 6 years, since it served to parents on move in day at my daughter's freshman dorm. The Domino's was right accross the street from the dorm and was selling discount prepaid pizza cards to parents.
                                                                                                                                                    This was the kids could put on the Freshman 15 at a 15% discount, what a great promotion!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                      I abominate PJ's. The stuff is vile.

                                                                                                                                                      Domino's thin crust is just passable in a pinch.

                                                                                                                                  2. Tons of pizza place here that do not do any delivery and I am not sure they will even do to go and the are packed almost every night.

                                                                                                                                    1. Local pizza parlors in my area making fresh dough daily, making fresh sauce & using Grande cheese. Have zero interest in the chains!

                                                                                                                                      16 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                        You are lucky. I've got tons of local pizza shops in my area too, but way too many of them use Sysco sauce and pretty meh quality cheese. Luckily there are enough good places that I don't have to deal with the bad, but it's one of those examples where small, locally-owned doesn't necessarily mean that it's good.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                                                                          Shame, we have SO many Italian oriented wholesalers here, it does make a difference.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                                                                            I agree but I would still rather have a marginal hand tossed pizza than one from a chain. From what I have seen most small shops get into trouble when they start chasing cheap ingredients which leads to an inconsistent product.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                              From my days working for an independent pizza place in the earky 1970s:

                                                                                                                                              Pizza places often get hooked by their suppliers who provide financing. The operator is into hock to the supplier and must buy ingredients only from that ione place. The supplier then cuts the quality of the ingredients delivered (often carrying several grades of tomatoes, cheese, oil, etc) and the operator can't leave. In those days the place I worked for was the victim of a 'mafia' owned cheese supplier. The operator later had his knees 'capped' when he copuldn't meet the note. (this is a true story, not anti-Italian phobia)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                This sounds like the old Rose Garden on State St. in North Haven CT where the loan sharks and cigarette machine owners hung out. Yup, if you missed a payment on your loan, you started over. Good pizza, though.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                  All true. Specifically thinking of Grande Cheese.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                    Lisa Trading and Cremosa Brand Cheese, 1974.

                                                                                                                                                    But the guys from Montano Amusement (Cigarette machines and Juke boxes) also bankrolled the pizza joints in greater New Haven.

                                                                                                                                                    And for those who remember Matlaw's Frozen Stuffed Clams, the mob muscled in and took 70% ownership of the business. In 1982 The sales Manager at Crest Lincoln tried to sell me a Gold Town Car they had ordered for Matlaws but could not deliver. They offered a 30% discount because of bad gas mileage. I asked why this particular Lincoln would get such bad mileage and I was told it was ordered with armor plate and glass.

                                                                                                                                                    the food business was very interesting before everything was corporate and computerized.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                      Chick Montano and his brother. You wanted to be on their side.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                        WOW! I didn't know that about Matlaw's. Is it still mob owned? Whenever I see the stuffed clams in the market freezer I buy a pkg. I won't anymore.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                                          mucho, word on the street is you gotta keep buyin'.....:)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                            Sounds good to me, Veggo. I will.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                                            No, it is currentlky owned by National Fish and Seafood Inc.,(out of Gloucester, MA) a division of Pacific Andes. I don't believe any of the Matlaw or Gutkin Families still have any association with the brand.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                              Whew!!! I wouldn't want to knowingly aid and abet their nefarious activities.

                                                                                                                                                          3. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                            I hope they can't look you up by Bagelman in da' book!

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                          Your right, in the 1970's the mob had a lock on pizza parlors. Around my way (South Jersey), 1 guy tried to open a new shop and they burned his other non food business to the ground. Another guy opened a new shop and was found dead in his car trunk several months later and yet another long time parlor owner had a falling out and suddenly disappeared and was never seen again. We also had numerous non food related local mob hits & FBI stakeouts over the years.

                                                                                                                                                          Friends in the business tell me that crap is pretty much a thing of the past. Back on the quality issue...One friend opened his shop in the mid 70's and his pizza today tastes the exact same (delicious) as it did when he opened it. Since he opened he has only used Grande Cheese which he grates fresh daily......the same flour & yeast ....and the same brand of canned tomatoes for his sauce....fresh herbs & fresh garlic. He will be the 1st to tell you there are far cheaper ingredients to be had but he has a loyal following who are willing to pay a couple extra bucks for his pies and he won't compromise.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                            God forbid you should wake up with several anchovies on your pillow!

                                                                                                                                                    2. I live in a part of Massachusetts where there are Greek and Italian run pizza joints three-to-a-block in spots. When I was a kid, we'd normally make pizza at home (no pizza stone: on a cookie sheet, and it was awesome: dough, crushed tomatoes, good anchovies and olive oil) OR go for two take-out options:
                                                                                                                                                      "Beach pizza", which was cut in squares, and was thin, with sweet red sauce and mild cheese
                                                                                                                                                      Papa Gino's.

                                                                                                                                                      I still frequent the former a few times a year (not as often as I'd like with my schedule) but not the latter, since I can't get anchovies as a pizza topping at PG anymore. Gotta have them.

                                                                                                                                                      We never do delivery pizza, never did and never will. Just a preference.

                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                                                        When we moved upstate NY by my family for a few years, I had to get used to the fact that all pizzerias were owned by Greeks. Their salad dressings were awesome! And my husband loved that you could get a gyro on the side.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                          +1 on any place that crafts a good gyro!

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                                                          Loved beach pizza back in the day. After hours spent on the beach or in the arcade. From Massachusetts, too where there are many local pizza/sub places.
                                                                                                                                                          I do remember going to Papa Gino's once in awhile and ploving the little table side jukeboxes...

                                                                                                                                                        3. We occasionally do delivery for poker games, but having left without once after a 2 hour wait and no apology or anything, we've moved on to making our own.

                                                                                                                                                          There is a great pizza baker in town (both Neapolitan and Roman style), but the service is abysmal and the owner a bit of a freak. So we don't go very often.

                                                                                                                                                          1. A friend took me out last night to Egyptian Pizza in Cockeysville, MD. We had a smoked salmon and salmon roe pizza that was simply outstanding.

                                                                                                                                                            1. In Manhattan, Two Boots Pizza in Grand Central Station's food concourse (which location I consider a public service). Esp. for the "Bayou Beast"--shrimp, crawfish, andouille. I cannot make anything similar at home! And, there's a great old-style bartender who makes a mean Jack Daniels Manhattan.

                                                                                                                                                              1. If my son and I couldn't go out for pizza on Saturday evenings, we would start a very small, yet very vigorous riot. Also now that my son has recently discovered Urbanspoon, I let him select the pizza joint every other time.

                                                                                                                                                                So it's a major mark of accomplishment whenever he finds us a decent pizza joint to eat at. Lord only knows that we've hit plenty of crappy pizza joints over the past few months; but, that's half of the fun of going.

                                                                                                                                                                1. This thread has been an interesting read for me, apparently I'm greatly the minority. I can honestly say that I've never gone out for pizza and the idea doesn't appeal to me (I don't have any particularly logical reasons for this :P). I've had plenty of delivery pizza, some home made, some frozen... I can understand how other people could enjoy it though, it's just not my thing.

                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Tovflu

                                                                                                                                                                    Do you, by any chance, live in Nebraska? ;)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                      Probably shockingly, no. Upstate New York, actually.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Pizza is one of my favorite foods. Fortunately, I have a number of good pizza places near where I live.

                                                                                                                                                                    Still, most of my pizza consumption is takeout. Once or twice a week on average I will go to a pizza joint near my office, order a slice of cheese pizza to-go and eat it in my office.

                                                                                                                                                                    In the evenings, I would say that my pizza consumption leans more towards delivery than going out. While there are a number of good pizza places nearby, all of the best are still at least a fifteen minute drive from where I live. The best in the area makes gourmet pies, and it is more of a treat, best enjoyed as a leisurely dinner out with a bottle of wine on their patio and some high-quality appetizers or salads to accompany the pie, so I don't go there as often as I'd like. The other bests around here are classic pizza parlors, and, like I said, are a little bit of a drive, so I don't dine out at these places terribly often. My delivery options are passable but far from great; nevertheless, they will do when it starts getting late, I'm jonesing for pizza and just want something quick and easy.

                                                                                                                                                                    I do make my own pizza on occasion, and I can put together a good pie, but I don't go this route nearly as often as I'd like.

                                                                                                                                                                    I can't remember the last time I ordered a pizza from the Big 3 - probably five years ago at this point.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Our favorite pizza place isn't very comfortable to sit and eat in... but we LOVE their pizza so we order to pick up and take home about every other week

                                                                                                                                                                      one large plain and one medium white with Portugese chorizo both "well done" please

                                                                                                                                                                      ETA I can't stand chain pizza

                                                                                                                                                                      my kid eats it once a week at camp, she liked it... she said she doesn't really equate it with "Pizza" though... go figure

                                                                                                                                                                      1. I know that I've posted earlier on this thread, but we kept a log this past week of pizza eating in our family.

                                                                                                                                                                        8/18 wife and I met my Brother and SIl for Pizza at Franco Gianni here in Trumbull. Ate Mozz with mushrooms and onion. Took home the leftovers

                                                                                                                                                                        8/20 youngest daughter went shopping in the mall, she ate pizza at Sbarro in the food court

                                                                                                                                                                        8/22 Met my Sister, BIL and Niece at my mother's apartment in New Haven. Wheeled mom in her wheelchair 10 minutes to Pepe's. We ate both Plain (sauce and grated cheese) and Mozz with onions there. No leftovers

                                                                                                                                                                        8/22 Oldest daughter works on a small cruise ship, docked in Chicago. she and 3 coworkers went to Pizza Due for late supper

                                                                                                                                                                        8/23 I have a meeting at a client's business. I already know that they are ordering delivery pizza from Pizza Hut. They are getting me a salad.

                                                                                                                                                                        We are not of Italian heritage, but members of my family typically eat pizza in a restaurant at least once a week (per member of the family). We eat takeout (that we pick up) less than twice a month, and delivery almost never.

                                                                                                                                                                        But we live in the Apizza belt............................

                                                                                                                                                                        19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                                          Lucky you; eating at Pepe's. Is it still in a dangerous area or has it been rehabed?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                                                            Wooster Street is a high-end 'hood now. Neat, clean, and safe.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                              They must have moved the low- end out to Hamden which would account for the seedy, run-down look last time I was there.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                                                              Lucky? It's all relative. I'm a Sally's guy, but they don't do lunch and we can't walk my 90 year old mother in her wheelchair at night.
                                                                                                                                                                              It was very good, but not as good as Sally"s. I'm biased. The street is very safe at this point.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                                                They are both legendary and you have access to them even tho they're a schlep from Trunbull.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                                                                  I visit my mother in New Haven 2-3 times per week, She is 3 minutes by car from Wooster Street. a 10 minute walk if pushing her in the wheelchair.
                                                                                                                                                                                  If I got desparate I could go to Pepe's in Fairfield (15 minute drive). I don't usually care to. My brother had a doctor's appt in Fiarfield yesterday, so he ate lunch at Pepe's there.
                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes one important reason to stay in south central CT with the high taxes and congestion is great APIZZA.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                                                    bagelman, I have been considering a retirement villa in Costa Rica, but you have me thinking about a condo in West Haven instead. All about pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                      No reason you can't be like the rest of the snowbirds, 6 months on the beach in the south and six months on the Long Island Sound (Apizza, Seafood, Hot Dogs).

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                        Thats actually a very good point. Even though I have a ways to go, several years ago I was looking at Belize for many of the same positives Costa Rica offers but never considered the availability of something as simple as a hand tossed pizza. I really love expensive food but there is just something about a great pizza that is so satisfyingly delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                          Tom, you could e-mail me about Belize. I love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                            Well its funny, many of the Forbes best places to retire 10 years ago are no longer considered desirable as a result of political instability. Lot of reports of trouble in Belize.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                              Nah. Two political parties, each as corrupt as the other, alternate in office and steal what they can. It's difficult to set up a business because of onerous import duties on all capital goods but it's very safe for visitors and retirees if you steer clear of Belize City.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                <<2 corrupt parties....>> At 1st I thought youwere talking about here in the good ol' u.s of a

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, I was also thinking that you don't have to go to Belize to find that !!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                            They might have good pizza in Costa Rica and Belize; you'll just have to go there and check it out--do taste tests.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                                                          Pepe's is now in Fairfield, not NH?? What about Cappy's? Are they still around? They were once the 'holy trinity'

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                                                                            Mucho>>>Pepe's has franchised additional locations: Fairfield, Manchester, Danbury, the Indian Casino in eastern CT, and Yonkers, NY. Varying quality.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                                                              The Pepe's at Mohegan Sun was pretty questionable when they first opened up, but they had ironed out the kinks as of a couple months ago. I live 5 min from Mohegan, and if I want pizza, that's where I go now!

                                                                                                                                                                                2. Just the other evening, when I was back in CT visiting the folks, I went out for pizza with a fellow Hound. :) I grew up in CT, but further north in the Greek-style "House of Pizza" belt.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Other than that, here in Central NY, I rarely go out for pizza, mostly because I hardly ever go out to eat in restaurants at all. It's partly to save money and also, frankly, because I don't want to go out and shell out money for something that I can make just as well, and in some cases, better, at home.

                                                                                                                                                                                  As far as pizza goes, I haven't found a really good sit-down pizza place yet. There are some small, non-chain places that make some pretty good pizzas for delivery or takeout, but really if I'm going to spend money on food I don't make myself, it had better be spectacular. Still haven't found that here. I would go out in a second if I found good CT Greek pizza, though. I haven't been able to find it like I remember it since I moved from CT.

                                                                                                                                                                                  We don't get delivery or take out anymore, because by now, I've got my kids well trained, and they prefer our homemade pizzas and love making their own personal pizzas to suit their tastes. No more bickering about one kid's yucky toppings touching the other's, plus we have fun with our at-home pizza parties, and the kids are really developing an interest in learning how to cook, so it's a win-win situation no matter how you look at it. Their little BFFs enjoy our make-your-own pizza parties, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kubasd

                                                                                                                                                                                      Of course! Willington Pizza is a favorite. :) Red potato pizza, mmmmm :9

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                                                        So good! I'm not a big fan of Greek style pizza, but their pizza (and the red potato especially) is an exception!!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kubasd

                                                                                                                                                                                          I've never had a bad pizza there.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Yes going out for pizza is like tradition and will never get old. If you want a sencond opinion in case you decide not to go for pizza is to go to a nice pub. I say that because you can have some nice chicken wings and be more comfy. A booth is really nice too. Best of luck!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Interesting topic.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Pizza, really good pizza, is worth traveling for. Deb and I drive to Port Chester, NY, from our shack in Stamford, CT, maybe once a month to sit at the marble bar at Tarry Lodge. It's a Saturday/Sunday brunch thing. We know the barkeep and enjoy the Pizza Margherita from their wood-burning oven. It's in the style of Naples.

                                                                                                                                                                                      San Francisco is a hot-bed of pizza activity. Tony's in North Beach and Una Pizza Napoletana (yeah, New Jersey's own Anthony Mangieri) make very good pies. Anthony is a purist (Naples), Tony is a smart business guy with excellent pizza skills. Both are destinations. There are others.

                                                                                                                                                                                      New Haven pizza (Pepe's, Sally's, others) is pretty damned good (coal-fired ovens). A white pie with clams, in season, at Pepe's has no counterpart. The Colony in Stamford, CT, has this thing called a hot oil pie. It's cracker thin and cracker crisp. The "stingers" (chilis) add to the heat of the spicy oil. I have them top it with pepperoni. I'm always tempted to stick a few cut-off candle wicks into the pie because the excess oil should keep them burning until the Mets win another world series.

                                                                                                                                                                                      My wife and I tune-up our pizza tastebuds every March/April in Rome and Naples. I know this is a luxury that not everyone can enjoy but my point is simple: It's hard to settle when you know what good pizza should taste like. Bottom line? Find a good pizzaiolo and keep going back. He/she will need your patronage because they can't compete at a mass-market price point. They're out there. You just have to want to find them.

                                                                                                                                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Nicely put, steve. Pizza as a "destination" is the operative word, let the journey be part of the experience and not a source of pain.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                            On that note, here's a NJ Board thread that will make anyone realize the veracity of what your saying: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/865045

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I believe that hot oil pie would be right up my street.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                              The Colony is an old neighborhood bar. Cop badges on the wall, faded WWII pictures, too. The requisite smell of stale beer perfumes the air. The place is authentic. Give it a shot.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Sounds like my kind of joint.

                                                                                                                                                                                                One way or the other, me and Bagelman's brood won't lack for intriguing and tasty pizza-pie options if the trip up north ever happens.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                P if you come, you don't have to travel to Stamford. Colony opened a location in Fairfield, 15 minutes from my house and 8 minutes from Pepe's in Fairfield.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                                                                  True. The only down-side is that neither of the satellites are as good as the originals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Better to stick with the mother ships.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    My kids like the Fairfield location. I don't like the Hot Oil pie at all. But it was a favorite of Jfood who used to frequent CH till he bolted.

                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                You're onto something with that Margherita at Tarry Lodge. I remember reading about it when it opened a few years back and decided that on my travel up to CT I'd take the Tappan Zee bridge into NY (greatly prefer that to going thru NYC and the nightmare that is the George Washington Bridge) and detour off to Port Chester for lunch. That pizza was so good I took that detour on the return trip as well. And on every subsequent trip to CT and RI.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I also have to add, though OT, their chilled carrot soup on a hot afternoon after several hours in the car is a great way to wait for the pizza to arrive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well played. I usually have a glass of prosecco and the smoked trout beforehand.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's all good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tarry Lodge is a winner. My neice lives in Port Chester, and I use a visit tio her as an excuse for a Margherita Pie (or two or three) there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I grew up in the boonies where no one would deliver, so we'd either have pizza made at home with a bisquick crust, or meet another family or two at Shakey's. In college, I once had Domino's that someone brought to a gathering, had a terrible nightmare and haven't touched Domino's since. We'd order deliveries from Woodstock's in the late evening, or get up bright and early (noon) on Sundays to go there. They do a great whole wheat crust that's rolled around a bit of the sauce and fillings on the edges.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Now as an adult, we get together with another family on Friday evenings when we're all in town. We used to go to Round Table, but the one out south here closed, so we usually go to Padington's even though the noise is close to unbearable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Having been stuck at home without a car for the last few weeks, I ordered delivery from the only place in the area that delivers....Pizza Hut. It wasn't too bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Well it seems like this theory, as presented, has no merit. Lol. Just got back from having pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, PK has certainly been disabused, both within the pizza belt and beyond.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                        To an extent. But the disappearance of the traditional, sit-down Pizza Huts may still indicate that something is going on. Or it may not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        One other thing to keep in mind--Chowhounds are not typical Americans from a dining standpoint. Their culinary standards are considerably higher. I suppose, therefore, this entire thread was misbegotten from the onset, but it has provided for some great conversation, and that's really the main thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Right, it was an excuse to talk about pizza. Pizza talk is always a good thing. But I'm wondering why not just say "let's talk about pizza."

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. We live 7 miles outside of our small town so nobody delivers to our neighborhood. Also, our favorite pizzeria doesn't deliver anyway, so if we want pizza we have to go get it. Depending on our plans for the evening, we either eat in or take it home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Probably depends on your city. For me, virtually the ONLY way I eat pizza is at sit-down restaurants. I don't dig on cheap take out pizza. Furthermore, I live in DC, which has a number of terrific neopolitan style pizza joints, complete with wood-burning pizza stoves, excellent beer lists, and great atmosphere. Pizzeria Paradiso, 2 Amy's, Comet Ping Pong, and Mia's (in Bethesda) all make exceptional pizzas that make the stuff at Papa John's and the like seem like a waste of calories. We also have an excellent local chain called Pete's New Haven that does a terrific take on New Haven style pizza. The delicious, thin, crispy crust is one of the best parts of Pete's pizza, and (IMO) the only way to eat it is at Pete;s because the moment it goes in a take out box, that crispy crust starts to steam in the box and lose so much of its charm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Big Crunch

                                                                                                                                                                                                          It does indeed depend upon where you live.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Here in the northern Rockies, in the Black Hills, the pizza, with the exception of 1-2 places, is a joke. So you'd have better luck taking that $20 spot and going to the grocery to buy the ingredients you'd need and just make it at home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Besides, I grew up in Illinois and miss the Chicago-style pizza, but no one out here knows how to make it right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: natewrites

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I order a six-pack of frozen pies from Lou Malnati's every six months or so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              For our sixth wedding anniversary, the wife and I had pizzas delivered to Lubbock, Texas...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              from Candela's in Trenton.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  OMG. I see that they do. Not a lot of toppings to choose from. What's your personal favorite?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: natewrites

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I always get 2 sausage, 2 pepperoni and 2 plain. I buy six at a time to lower the per-unit cost. It's next-day delivery (weekdays) after they receive the order. I've been doing this for years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Edited to add: you never know when you absolutely, positively need a Chicago pie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. We can't keep up with all the great pizza places in San Diego and North County. Urbn in Vista is my favorite, but there is also Buongiorno, Blue Ribbon, Isola, Zardo, and the Sublime Ale House where we go once a week to chow down on some great thin crust and usually organic pie. It's a long way from the greasy slices I grew up with in Philly but both are fantastic. Delivery pizza is never the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Victor Lieberman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I bet those greasy slices and a cheese steak are among the first things you chow down when your back in the Philly area!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. This does raise a question: is there an official name for the kind of college- or mountain-town pizza joint that is exemplified by the Mellow Mushroom? You know, the kind of place that has a lot of veggie options and craft beers, and where the waitress will almost certainly have cornrows? The wife and I call it "hippie pizza"; we almost always end up in a place like that when we're skiing or hiking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kagi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Heh heh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't know, but I recently went to a hippy BBQ joint in the mountains of Nwavo Meheeko. No. Just no. Leave the cue to we rednecks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Yes! We go out for Neopolitan pizza about twice a month. The good places don't deliver and are too far from us to get it home before it is stone cold.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  On the other end of the pizza spectrum, the full table service Pizza Hut in our neighborhood was torn down to make room for a Taco Bell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I make pizza at home at least twice a week, but when I get the craving, there's a Ledo's nearby. Deluxe with anchovies and a pitcher of beer. There's also a divey mom & pop eatery that makes pizzas just like the kind they made at Shakey's, down to the natural casing pepperoni that curled up into little cups of hot grease. There are also a couple Italian/Greek diners nearby that do decent pies. I tend to steer clear of the upscale D.O.C. pie places since they're usually chock full of screaming kids, hipster parents, and burnt pizza soup, and they stick you with a bill for the month's rent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I feel exactly the same way about the designer pizza pavillions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For making pizza at home, there are a handful of techniques that, once mastered, give you a pizza that's very close to those high-end snob eateries at a fraction of the cost. Sure, sometimes I don't want to go through all the hassle with proofing dough and milling sauce. Those times, I break down and try a new pizzeria that friends rave about. Sometimes it's actually pretty good. Most times, it's just expensive "meh."


                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Totally depends on the pizza. Growing up in CT we always ate in the New Haven restaurants. In MD we only had the big three and would take out except for our report card three A dinner that Pizza Hut would do eat in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now in PA we do either but almost exclusively at mom an pop joints. I prefer to eat at home especially if pizza but fiancé likes it in the reataurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. We still do, though with a great, locally-owned "take-out" near-by, maybe not as much, as we once did.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        With several award-winning pizzerias in Metro-Phoenix, that do not do take-out, we are likely in a different market, than many.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Only if its real Italian pizza pie, the chains are just plain nasty. I guess if you are unfortunate to live in a desolate part of America where there are no Italian pizza joints . Pizza & a pitcher of beer is a great time

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: loislane50

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Depends on the chain. Just got back from chowing down on a Ledos Deluxe with anchovies. Nobody would ever accuse it of being "Italian." Some might not even call it pizza. But when you're in the mood for those thick slices of pepperoni and a pitcher of corporate beer, it can really hit the spot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Absolutely - because I wouldn’t eat those things that those so-called pizza places deliver to your door. The two best pizzerias by me don’t deliver (because you can’t deliver a good pie and still have it good) but have waiting lines almost every night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Agree 100 %.....Also like Italian Pizza Parlor pizza by the slice. Their super hot re-heat crisps the crust a little changing the crust flavor and also browns the cheese a little changing that flavor a little as well.