“Wow, worst pizza, huh?” is the text I sent to Jack earlier today, one of my partners in crime at Two Buttons Deep, not to mention our fearless leader, after he went a little too deep(dish) by making a certain pizza-centric statement about the status of the pies in my hometown.
Now, I don’t know what detective school Jack attended, but his hard facts could definitely send an innocent man to jail, and an innocent slice of pizza to the dark side of the Internet. I won’t lie, reading that ripped out a little pizza my heart.
Growing up along the Northway in the exciting snoozefest of the Clifton Park suburbs, Jack’s discerning palette has most likely been refined by the esteemed menus at Uno’s and Pizza Hut; it’s not his fault his buds prefer sauce from a bag.
Like I said, Schenectady is my hometown, and I currently live in the Electric City — whether you interpret that statement as a humble brag or a call for help, I’ll leave it to you; however, what started off as a moderately-innocent, uber-specific pizza-focused food tour has everyone in this city sauced, so I’m here to set the story straight.
First things first, I think it’s important to clarify the (real) “hard facts” surrounding the Tour de Slice: Daniel Berman, the colorful writer behind FUSSYlittleBLOG, leads four awesome food tours throughout the year – think one per season, like the Tour de Cider Donut in the Fall. (Yeah, we were there for that, too.)
There was a nomination period that happened pre-tour on Daniel’s blog, and that’s how the five pizza stops were selected.
Nominations had to be pizza joints that made a thin crust, New York-style pizza, preferably in downtown Schenectady, and had to be a traditional slice shop, as in you walk in and there’s an array of pies with toppings galore starting back at you.
So those qualifications right there eliminated Schenectady’s heavy hitting favorite, Marino’s Flying Pizza, not to mention countless other awesome pizza pie shops, ranging from the epic and traditional tomato pie at Perecca’s Italian Bakery, to the good folks at one of my favorite neighborhood staples, Union Pizza, and everyone in between.
Maybe Schenectady pizza joints don’t do NY-style pizza well, but it’s unfair to accuse an entire municipality of having bad pizza. Does Schenectady have some pretty crusty pizza hiding out in plain sight on some undesirable counters? Sure it does! Does every city? You better believe it. However, every pizza/donut/whatever has its day, and that’s just what these food tours showcase; we simply taste and judge the slices/donuts/whatever we’re served while blitzing a pizza parlor/donut shop/whatever at 11am on a Saturday morning. These votes are not cast in stone, and on any given day, I could see any competitor shop taking the top spot.
Moral of the story: Don’t judge one slice, or one city, by one food tour.
So in closing, after reading Jack’s blog, I felt had to pipe up, knock him off his pizza box, and defend my home turf and all it’s cheesy goodness, and all the hardworking pizza people tossing pies that don’t lie. It’s not fair to throw a blanket statement like Jack did that out there when evaluating pizza like we were for the tour, pinning his opinion on the entire city.
Was I disappointed with a few of the slices? Sure, but everyone has their favorite shop, style, and slice, and it’s the little guys that keep it real, even if your tastebuds don’t appreciate their sauce recipe or Spaghetti-O’s flavored pepperoni.
I’m getting hungry now, I think I’m gonna order a Union Pizza in honor of this on-going slice saga. I deserve it.
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