The Art of Pizza
For some time I have been making my own pizza's. I am a pizza lover, and I certainly enjoy going out to eat a good pizza. For a while, I even enjoyed trying different frozen pizza's. However, the frozen pizza is packed with preservatives, and all too often it is hard to have just the right toppings.
I have done my best to regularly format my pizza reviews and recipes data. Perhaps it will be worth formatting this page more regularly so you can scrape the data and build an app!
- Using a little bit of olive oil on the edge of the crusts can make the crusts nice and crispy
- If one cannot afford a pizza stone, or is worried it will break then a pizza screen is pretty good.
- Sprinkling a little shredded cheese on the crust can be a nice touch for cheese lovers
- If you are making deep dish pizzas, then water is the enemy when it comes to tomatos--you likely don't want a soupy dough. This means, don't opt for a marinara pasta sauce, but instead use some diced tomatos, and make your own sauce.
Pizza in Practice
It is one thing to teach about pizza, but one must also practice the art of pizza.
- Admire this work in progress pizza. This pizza was made with a substitution of wheat flour for extra healthiness. A light sprinkling of cheese was put down, then toppings of onion, pepporoni, and garlic. Then there was a coating of olive oil on the crust(refer to pizza teaching #1) for extra crispness on the crust. 12 minutes bake time. Consider however, that one should probably use diced tomatoes instead of marinara, for there is great risk in the soggy bottom of the pizza. That said -- thew Newman's pizza sauce pictured above contributed to charity and was still very delicious.
Important Pizza Matters - The pizza reheat
How many times and how can you reheat a pizza?
- The first thing you must ask yourself is why did you not finish the fresh pizza? After you have come to terms with yourself, but justified that economically it makes sense to not eat more pizza than you would like for no reason, we can talk about reheating.
- To reheat pizza we have to put our mindset into the professional pizza chefs who made our pizza. They had an oven to make the pizza piping hot, perhaps 800 degrees farenheit for some pizzas. It is unlikely that your toaster oven or oven can reach that temperature, nor would the dough need that heat to rise and cook again.
- So that said, I recommend a shorter, but hotter duration, say 400 degrees at between 4-5 minutes for most pizza reheats
- Using an oven is preferable if you have a large quantity, but a toaster oven is fine.
- The microwave is forbidden for reheating pizza. I've tried with paper towels to observe the grease, or just on a plate. You will get a pizza with a soggy bottom reheating in the microwave which is a waste of pizza.
- Eating a cold slice of pizza while you await the new hot slices is fine. Some folks may prefer to only eat cold slices. I think one is probably fine if it's merely a day old leftover, but I always recommend cooking food.
Favorite Pizza Toppings and combinations
You will observe masters of pizza making will use pepperoni to please the crowds.
- Pepperoni and banana peppers
- Pepporoni and Mushrooms
- Pepporoni, Green peppers, and garlic (try sprinking the garlic under the pizza)
For vegetarian pizza masters
- Mushrooms, peppers, olives
- Tomato and basil (i.e. some sort of margherita pizza)
Frozen Pizza Reviews (Ranked top to bottom of my favorite)
- Newmans - From Paul Newman's foundation, it has just the right crust thickness for a thin crust pizza. I also appreciate the donations to charity.
- Uno's - The deep dish when done right, is delicous. Definitely bake it in the oven (30+ minutes) as per the directions in order to get the right pizza taste.
- Red Baron - Cheap and economical.
- California Pizza Kitchen - The sicilian style pizza is quite good.
- DiGiorno - It's a pretty good pizza when you are craving DiGiorno. I tend to cook it in a convection oven a few degrees cooloer and maybe 1-2 minutes less than instructed to get a more doughy crust. Occassionally I will add my own toppings as well.
- Toni's - Incredibly cheap pizza when you need a fix, I have seen it as low as $2.99. I feel eating these frequently is only worth it if they give away the free bowling tickets with each pizza.
Pizza Places (Ranked in no particular order)
- Pinky's Pizza - Probably my favorite, the crust is just right. They put a little grate under the pizza so it does not taste like cardboard.
- Nick's House of Pizza - My second favorite. The owners are great, and the pepporni tastes excellent when eaten hot.
- Helen's Roast Beef - Quite good pizza and open late.
- Pini's Pizza - Big slices, almost New York style.
- Lisa's Pizza - I actually prefer the calzones to the pizza here. Avoid the super large pizza!
- Oath Pizza - Neat candy pizza. Personal sizes are good.
- Mike's Food and Spirits - This place has good pizza out in Davis Square. There individual slices were a good bargain last time I was there, and the atmosphere is nice outside in the summer.
- Posto - The pepperoni pizza here is very good. The crust is crisp
- Leone's Pizza and Subs - The sheet pizza is very delicious. I would recommend the half-sheet for four people. That is 8 big slices, and you can customize half and half on the pizza (although a little more expensive). This is still a favorite spot.
- Davis Square Pizza - I have only gotten this pizza delivered. Primarily because you could order individual slices with say--a salad? Or perhaps I just ordered lots of individual slices.
- Otto's Pizza - A Maine pizza place with locations in Massachusetts. Most notably Harvard Square where they have a great potato pizza. There is another Otto's in Arlington, MA that is near the movie theater where you can grab a quick slice. What makes this pizza good is the ultra thin crust and right blanace of cheese and toppings.
- Regina's Pizza in the North End - Pretty good, but often a long wait.
- Antica Forno - pizza is delcious, and a great spot in the North end of Boston if you can get in when it is not crowded.
- The Upper Crust - Big slices and thin crust, very delicious. It is off of the Boston common, so it's great to grab a box and bring back the commons to enjoy. A little greasy (but not overly so), and 100% delicious!
- Same Old Place -- I actually did not get to eat any pizza when ordered here. I ordered the pizza for the class, and the students ate it all which is probably a good enough testimony.
- Sicilia's Pizzeria - The stuffed pizza is a must in Providence's little Italy. It is going to be more of a Chicago style deep dish, and it is absolutely amazing (I recommend the original or the meat lovers). Ambiance of the restaurnat is also great!
- Pizza Pi-er - Probably my go to pizza for ordering delivery in the Providence area. You can get wheat crust pizza which is delicious and healthier. I like a pepperoni, green peppers and garlic pizza, absolutely delciious. Sometimes delivery takes a while, but they do have a rewards program, and it's always 100% worth the wait.
- Al Forno - The pizza here is going to be different as it is grilled -- but it is absolutely excellent! Go for whatever they recommend. The pizza will seem huge when you get it, but it is super thin and great to share. I had to take some home, and it reheated and was just as delicious -- it's worth the experience in this restaurant that is on the little bit fancier side for special occassions.
- Providence Coal Fired Pizza - This pizza absolutely has the coal-fired crust that you would expect. The pepperoni area also high quality and the thicker small chunks that go well with other toppings. Pizza is thin and cripst, but still has just the right amount of doughy-ness to feel like you're in Italy. Excellent delivered or on-site.
- Detroit Pizza Works - This is a really solid detroit style pizza. Detroit style pizzas never get as much respect as they deserve, but when the crust is crisp and holds the toppings in this is a solid pizza. I recommend loading this one up with green peppers, mushrooms, and pepperoni (they have the big slices). Also be warned, a sheet pizza is pretty sizeable, one rectangle will fill you up.
- Pizza Queen - If you need a late night pizza (i.e. after midnight), this is your go to. It's not 100% the best pizza, but a good one if you need a pizza fix.
- Big Tony's Pizza - Initially this was a hard pass on this one, as I had this late at night after work and it was the only option. The college student may enjoy late at night, but my initial pizza was overly cheesey with really heavy and thick kind of cheese. Since my initial pizza visit however, it has improved -- the best experience is to go over and just grab a slice and enjoy it hot at the restaurant or at a nearby park.
- Tumblesalts Cafe - A nice and very unique restaurant. It's definitely a fun spot because there are differenet parts to it, and I've eaten here a few times now. The flatbread pizzas are good, I'd recommend the classic pepperoni over the fig, but both are fun to try. Also easy to share if you're out on a date night.
- Tomato City - Pretty good deep dish, there's been some times where it's almost all cheese though. Deep dish should be a bit more suacy in my pizza opinion. To be fair though, I've only had this as delivery
- Pizza Mod - I lived nearby a newly opened Pizza Mod in 2011. What a brilliant concept to be able to make my own pizza.
- Donato's - There's a Donato's pizza on High Street that was pretty tasty if you're into thin crust pizza. Pepperoni is usually quite crisp. They also use to play really loud music outside and have a light show even when the restaurant was empty...for atmosphere of course!
- Marie's - Best pizza in Northeast Ohio if you get the chance to try it out.
San Francisco, CA
- Lou Malnati's - Probably the classic place to go, and Chicago does their deep dish properly. Absolutely delicious -- and it is worth the wait!
- Pachino Pizzeria - Excellent Sicilian style pizza. The Pepperoni had great cheese and the crust was very cripsy.
- Carmal Pizza - Good creative pizza's near the pier. Restaurant was the 'garden of eatin' which was cool, but there are going to be more bugs in this area if that bothers you. Pizza was still be tasty!
- Pizza Hut - Go for the stuffed crust. Typically the pizza tastes a lot better when eaten at the actual restaurant. The buffet also was a good deal, though I have not been there recently (Update: And since pandemic times, I doubt buffets are very practical anymore).
- Papa John's - I actually like the small pizza (pepperoni). There seems to be a different composition to the cheese and tomato sauce ratio that makes this pizza taste good with the garlic sauce. The garlic butter that comes with the pizza is good, probably very unhealthy, but there was a time when it was something I would go for.
- Dominos - Every 6 orders you get a free pizza, not bad. Pizza enthusiasts can optimize for maximum pizza quantity by finding various rewards. To students who run student organizations, a pro tip is to see if you can credit yourself the points from your pizza orders--whatever terrible reimbursement process you have to go through can be overcome by the taste of free pizza.
- Little Caesars - The hot and ready out in Oregon was pretty satisfying if eaten immediately. I was doing so for a bargain price while a graduate student on occasion.
- In Rome the pizza is thin crust and tougher. Generally speaking Italian pizzas have fewer toppings and are simpler than American style. I'd say Rome pizza is probably not the best pizza I have had, prefer the other regions in Italy for the most delicious pizza (see below).
- Positano, Italy had very delicious pizza which was in the Naples style -- much chewier dough and excellent buffalo de mozzarella. Restaurant Buca Di Bacco has very excellent pizza by the beach in Positano, Italy if you ever get the chance. This might be a top-5 best pizza I have ever had.
Pizza controversy (NSFW)
The following topics may cause angst amongst you, coworkers, and family members. Discussing such topics may cause rifts and irreparable fractures in the workplace. For fear of backlash and unfathonable penalties, I do not have any comments on the following issues.
- Are you a fan of pinepple and ham on a pizza?>
- Is a pizza a casserole?
- Did you like Dominos in the 'before times' (around the 2010s or so when they changed their recipe)
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