Monday, June 27, 2011

Nobody's Perfect

Nobody's perfect. Same goes for pizza. There is no such thing as the "perfect pizza", or I've yet to find it. Everyone is different and everyone has good days and bad days.
I've tried lots of pizza (probably too many). I've tried chains and independents. Both have been good, both have been bad.

I regularly patronize the local Lunch Buffet at Pizza Parlor and it's OK... not great, not bad, but OK. It's thin crust, but it's a limp crust. The toppings are of decent quality, but not "knock your socks off" great. But it's OK when I have a craving for pizza (which is way to often, I fear).
Last year I tried 417 Pizza in Springfield, MO as well as Bud and Walt's Pizza in Nixa. Both were a thin & crispy crust and both were very good. 417 Pizza was subtly better, in my opinion: the sauce had a little more flavor to it.

A couple weeks ago, I tried Pizza Shoppe in Kansas City. Another thin crust offering, also very good. I liked them just a little better than 417 or Bud & Walt's, but it was close: I liked the sauce a little better and the toppings were a little more flavorful. Hard for me to say, though: I probably would need to sit down with all 3 at once to figure out which I really liked the best.
Once upon a time, I thought no one could be lower than the local Buy 1 Get 2 pizza place (you know: Buy 1 at three times the price, get 2 free), but I found someone: Casey's General Store. The pizza had no flavor. The sauce was bland like cheap tomato sauce and the toppings were cheap tasting and greasy (OK, all pizza is greasy to some degree, but this was just bad, IMO).
Everyone has their own opinions on the chains, but I prefer Papa John's or Pizza Hut. Papa John's has good toppings and good cheese. Pizza Hut used to be good, but their quality has been wavering as of late. One store is good, the next is crummy. I used to like Godfather's as well, but they have slipped over the years. If they could get their act together, they'd be better than Papa John's.

My all time favorite: it's a toss up between King Pizza in Fayetteville, AR and Pizza by Stout in Joplin, MO. King Pizza started in the mid-late 70's, but disappeared for a while to be replaced by the Buy 1 Get 2 Free pizza place... long story. In brief: the old owner sold out (don't remember why) and the new owner ran the company into the ground. Pizza by Stout, as has been relayed to me, was a KP franchise that went independent when the company was sold. However, King Pizza came back a couple years ago as Ye Olde King Pizza and is now owned by the original owner's son.

The differences are subtle between King Pizza and Pizza by Stout. It's really hard for me to describe. Pizza by Stout has a slightly spicier sauce, I think. Again, I'd have to sit them side by side to truly judge which I like better. Sadly, that likely won't happen anytime soon as Pizza by Stout's building was destroyed in the tornado of May 22nd. Everyone is hoping they'll rebuild, but they still haven't decided.

Either way, I'll keep eating pizza and looking for that elusive "perfect pizza".

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