Monday, May 04, 2009

Pizza Patrol  I've finally emerged from my carb coma. I found myself at MangoMix today drinking some healthy concoction to begin the detox process. Pizza Patrol was tough duty. Whose idea was this anyway? Oh yes, it was your idea. Following the will of the Peeps, I set out on Pizza Patrol yesterday. Joining me, the usual judges AliJeter and the G-man, and special guests Scott Wiener from Scott's Pizza Tours   http://www.scottspizzatours.com/ and his foodie friend TobiWanKenobi. Scott considers himself a "pizza enthusiast," but quite frankly, he's a walking, talking pizza wikipedia. He can take a bite of pizza and tell you the kind of mozzarella, the type of oven used and the precise temperature at which it was cooked. Pretty amazing. Scoring for this competition was complex. With Scott's help, we determined the following nine criteria for scoring: crust, sauce, cheese, topping ratio, slippage, tip sag, enjoyability, atmosphere and overall experience. I will never look at a slice of pizza the same way again! Before announcing the results, I must make my usual disclaimer. We are not experts (well, Scott is but the rest of us aren't!). This competition was done in the spirit of fun and the results are based on our personal preferences (so don't throw any tomatoes at us!). We visited seven establishments that serve pizza and one hot dog stand (Scott never had a Walter's hot dog. Hey! When in Rome...). Of the seven establishments, five were official competitors. The two non-competitors were Sal's (Scott had to visit the Mamaroneck mecca!) and the dark horse Sardegna who will soon be adding pizza to their menu. Thanks to all the establishments for their hospitality. In the end, there really isn't any bad pizza in Larchmont. And boy, were there some surprises. Let's get on with it!

And the winner for best slice
 of pizza in Larchmont is...
Leonardo's


Perhaps it was the score sheets. Or maybe the cameras. Leonardo's owner Salvatore came over to our table and said, "Hey! Are you guys spying on my pizza? You better give me an 8!" Almost Sal, and you'll be happy to know that you won the competition! We loved your tangy tomato sauce (with a touch of onion perhaps?), the right amount of cheese and superb crust. Scott called his slice of pizza "interactive." We thoroughly enjoyed interacting with your pizza, and the outdoor dining on a sunny day was a nice touch. Congratulations!

Augie's

Augie's?!  Did you even know they serve pizza? Well they do. Augie's is the Carmine's of Larchmont, except they serve much better food. We don't suggest you go there just for pizza, but it certainly makes a nice appetizer. This is a cheese lover's slice of pizza. Very much comfort food. We would've liked more sauce on the pizza, but Jackie, one of the employees shared this tip: order a bowl of extra sauce on the side and dip it. Yum.

Nicky's
Nicky's is a Larchmont institution. It's conveniently located by the train station, and when I'm in the mood for a quick slice, this is where I go. We waited an unusually long time for our pizza. I learned later that Georgetown tipped off Gino, and he was totally on to us. He made our pizza with extra care. For those who like a structurally sound slice of pizza, this is it. There is no tip sag, almost no slippage and a firm crust. We would like the sauce to have a bit more flavor. Nicky remains the old standby for the NYC commuters.

Globe
Globe is not the place to go "for a slice." It's a more sophisticated atmosphere and therefore, serves a more gourmet pizza, neopolitan style. It's not for everybody. Their magherita pizza makes a nice appetizer. This pizza is made from all fresh ingredients in a wood burning brick oven. The mozzarella cheese is made on the premises. You can smell the fresh basil when it arrives at your table. Nice.

Villa Maria

Sc0tt liked his slice of pizza at Villa Maria. Something about it worked for him. The rest of us found it a bit too doughy and oily (major "roof of the mouth" burn!) and would have liked more sauce on the pizza.
Sardegna


Vittorio of Sardegna picked up his new pizza oven only hours before we showed up at his restaurant. He is introducing pizza to his menu, and he wanted our feedback. Considering this was a brand new oven and we were the first guinea pigs, we were not expecting much. One look, one bite, and we got the shock of our lives. It was amazing. That's right, amazing. We judges were completely blown away and felt compelled to score it, even though, it technically can't count due to its lack of availability to the public. And we didn't stop at the cheese pizza. Vittorio presented us with two other pizzas; one topped with red peppers, onions and mushrooms (my fave of the three!) and the other with olives and prosciutto (TobiWanKenobi declared it to be her favorite slice of the day!).  All fresh ingredients used and it was a nice touch to have bowls of freshly grated parmesan cheese, red pepper, basil and garlic at our fingertips to enhance the flavor. Without hesitation, we recommended that Vittorio add the pizza to his menu. Molto bene!

Sal's


Scott's Westchester customers are always raving about Sal's. He had to try it. Obviously Sal's does not fall into the 10538 zipcode so it can not be counted. Nevertheless, our guests from NYC thoroughly enjoyed Sal's pizza, particularly the salad pizza (my personal fave).


The Leftovers
Thankfully, Scott and TobiWanKenobi took home all the leftovers. I don't think that I can look at another slice of pizza for quite some time! We sincerely thank Scott and TobiWanKenobi for making the trip to Larchmont. It was a fun day. We also want to thank them for the box of Italian cookies from a bakery in Astoria. No matter how much pizza you eat, there is always room for a little dolce!

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

good job I agree. Leonardos does have great pizza!!!!

Anonymous said...

Is pizza on the Zone diet? Or whatever it was you tried a couple of months ago.

LyndaLarch10538 said...

No! We're on the zone for one more week, but we don't do zone on weekends. We've both lost a lot of weight, but I'll report on that next week at the weigh in!

Anonymous said...

From the scores it looks as if Sardegna won - why is that?

Anonymous said...

Sardegna might do better as a pizza place as it is always empty. Seems to be a cursed spot for restaurants.

LyndaLarch10538 said...

Sardegna was not a "qualified contestant." As noted in my post, Sardegna will be introducing pizza soon. Since it currently not available to the public, it didn't qualify for the contest.

And yes Anon 1:54 p.m., it is a "cursed" space.

Anonymous said...

That whole side of the street is cursed. I think the Chinese takeout is the only thing that's lasted forever.

Anonymous said...

Marimo was there forever but I never understood why. The fish was just this side of dangerous, it was dirty and dreary inside and out, and it smelled bad.

Matsumoto looks a lot better inside, but I wish the building's owner would spruce up the exterior.

Anonymous said...

Best restaurant to ever be in that space was endless pastabilities - no restaurant following that had ever been that good.

Anonymous said...

I call BS on Sardegna having such high marks - there is no way that the pizza there is anywhere close to Leonardo's or Nicky's for that matter.

LyndaLarch10538 said...

Hey Anon 1:57 p.m., you can call BS only AFTER you taste the pizza at Sardegna.

Anonymous said...

Good job Lynda - - I'm lazy and I bet the answer is in your score sheet, but if you ignore the ambience of the restaurant, which pizza would you want to take home with you (the only way my family eats it)? Or Scott's view as he is the pro?

LyndaLarch10538 said...

To 10:41 p.m. That's easy...Leonardo's.

Bunny said...

SO PISSED I mised the pizza-off. Alas, Vegas was beconing but I will join you, G-Man and AliJeter for a recount any day...

LyndaLarch10538 said...

Bunny, it's going to be quite some time before I can look at another slice of pizza. AliJeter on the other hand, got right back on the horse. She was in Nicky's on Monday!

RiskTech said...

I cannot believe you didn't invite me to this one!!! I do love how Nicky's is not #1 and Leonardo's, where I go 99% of the time (otherwise I got to Villa Maria's) is the winner! Their pizza is the best in 10538 and the guys are great!

What I'm seeing here is that Nicky's is only good because it's close. If it wasn't there, I think you all would NEVER go. Yeah, I've got a chip on my shoulder from them, but still, the fact remains their pizza is not that good, especially for the price.

See you at Stanz this weekend!

LyndaLarch10538 said...

Is that you JDA hiding behind a new name?! I thought about you when I was at Nicky's (knowing of your "fondness" for their pizza...lol).

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