Having pizza for dinner on Saturday is nothing new for us; Susan and I used to go out for pizza on Saturdays before we were married, and we continued the tradition ever since then. I'd say that we have pizza two Saturdays out of three, probably.
However, today was a different sort of pizza dinner. We couldn't really decide what we wanted; we had two small slices of Zapolli's pizza left over, which isn't enough for dinner, but we didn't want to buy a whole pizza and add more leftovers to our refrigerator. We couldn't decide between Johnny's and Capozzi's for our extra slices, so I suggested we just get two slices from each. That would give us three slices--a bit more than we wanted, but it's easy enough to throw away part of the pizza we enjoyed the least.
I fully expected Johnny's to take first place in our three-pizzeria-slice-off, but 'twasn't so. Surprisingly, we both agreed that Capozzi's was far and away the better pizza. (Now let's be fair here--Zapolli's was at a disadvantage because these were leftover slices, not fresh--but we tried to allow for that in doing our ratings.)
The problem with a deluxe pizza from Zapolli's is the sogginess of the crust in the center of the pizza; the point of the slice is floppy and lacks crispness or integrity even when it's fresh, so you know that a reheating will enhance the sogginess factor. What we became aware of, though, was the heavy garlic overtone of the Zapolli's; you don't notice it when that's the only thing you're eating, but when you can compare it with two other pizzas, the garlic is quite strong.
Johnny's made two pretty good slices, as is usual, but Johnny's was hampered by a crust that was a little less flavorful than I'd like, and it was airy enough that there were a couple of overcooked bubbles. It was the skimpiness of the sauce that was the most telling factor, though; Johnny's has good sauce, but for some reason they rarely put enough of it on their slice pizzas. Their strong suit, though, is their sausage--the best in town.
Capozzi's is a local pizza place with a small restaurant just a hop, skip, and jump away from our house--in fact, I walk past it every day. I guess the "grass is always greener" factor leads me to travel far and wide in search of good pizza, forgetting how tasty the pizza closest to home can be. The crust was just dense enough without being doughy; the sauce was rich and well seasoned, and there was enough of it to balance the pizza. Capozzi's uses thin-sliced (almost deli-shaved) link Italian sausage; while I prefer crumbled sausage, I won't deny that Capozzi's sausage has a very pleasant flavor and texture. They also had the best pepperoni of the three restaurants--very spicy, dark, baked to the point of light crispness without being overdone.
(Susan just reminded me that the third judge in our pizza slice-off also chose Capozzi's. Anna decided for some reason to come visit us and check out the pizzas; this is odd, since she's a cat who rarely eats people food. She sniff-sampled each of the three pizzas, then decided she'd like to have a bit of the Capozzi's crust to chew on. That's one more Capozzi's vote...)
Next time, we'll try to work in a slice from LaBella's and from Bellacino's (although we'll probably have to go with half-slices if we're going to try to havea four or five restaurant slice-off); more pizza results to come.
Message to Charles: forget that Papa John's stuff--this is pizza!