Saturday, January 06, 2007

Deep dish, parts 2 and 3 

John has details of our visits to Pizano's and Uno. They're different places and all three (see the Giordano's note) have something to recommend them. Here's the tally, in order of preference (play The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly as you read):
3. Giordano's. The good: when this thing came out hot, it was a melt-in-your-mouth experience. Maybe the best first bite of the three. The bad: The rest of the bites; as noted before, this pizza has a short half-life. Cheese was too commercial, the crust quite bland. The ugly: not that this should count against the pizza, but the recommended fried mushrooms were not well cooked, not well spiced, and added to the indigestion. Final rating 4.5/10 (where Domino's is a 2, Pizza Hut is a 3, the Papa Murphy takeout is a 4.)
2. Uno's. The good: This is pizza! It was hefty, it smelled marvelous, and the sauce was the best of the three. (More on this below.) The vegetables were baked into the crust, giving it a just-for-you feel. The bad: I wasn't crazy about the cheese. I wanted it to be stringy, stingingly hot, and what I got was pretty average. Not bad, just not something I would want to crown such a beautiful pizza. The ugly: Romo's placeholding. No, actually it was the waiting for this thing, and the barely-legal bathroom. You can call it ambience if you want; I called it a hip that ached and a smell that could choke a donkey. BTW, that was one of the best waitstaffs I have ever witnessed. Once you had the seat and an empty bladder, it was great. Final rating 8/10.
1. Pizano's. The good: Omigod the crust! Let me confess that my favorite food on Thanksgiving growing up were those Pillsbury crescent rolls. My first year of grad school, those were a Friday night treat. And I made those stupid pigs in blankets with them as a boy scout. Well, imagine that stuff rolled out and made into a deep dish crust! You might not think that works, and it didn't work for John or Hari, but I thought it was spectacular. Buttery as heck, flaky. The bad: John was more negative than me with the chopped tomato over the spicy sauce. I disagreed last night, but after the delicious sauce at Uno's I will reverse myself and take his point. But the cheese was oh so much better. It adhered to the buttercrust, and had a less stringy, more gooey consistency. With the butter, it worked. The ugly: $2.50 for bread and butter? Don't do that. Ever. I thought the two pizzas tied, but the tiebreaker is the facility. There was something more local family about Pizano's. The pictures of local sports heroes, the clear division between managers and help, the paneling -- it felt like you stepped into a neighborhood pizza place. Thus final rating: 8.5/10.

(You may wonder what my 10 is? Behold. We New Hampshirites want our pizza Greek. Some days Captain Zorba's downtown. Honorable mention to Paras in York Beach, ME. I know they aren't deep dishes. I would call both Uno and Pizano the best deep dish I've ever had.)