By Mark Huerta
Some of you may want me to stop publishing these articles because you are concerned about my health. Some of you may want me to stop writing these articles because you think my opinions are horrible. Well, I’m still going to eat pizza, and I will continue to share my findings with The Stanford Daily until I keel over.
Everyone knows the rules. I will rate plain cheese pizzas from greater Palo Alto area pizza joints on a scale from 1 to 10 based on integrity of crust, flavor of sauce and quality of cheese. The ambiance of the restaurant and the price of the pizzas are also considered in these ratings.
Here are four pizza spots in the vicinity of Stanford and my takes on the them.
This Tresidder Union spot serves food with origins in virtually every corner of the earth, and Italy is represented by the joint’s pizza offerings. The crust is slightly doughy and lacking in seasoning. There is a nice crunch and a slight pillow-like-texture to the crust, though. This is a floppy pizza; the crust can’t handle the cheese that sits atop it. The strength of this pie comes from the cheese: a low-moisture, perfectly blistered mozzarella. The pie has the perfect quantity of cheese as well. Any more and it would have become overwhelmingly cheesy. The sauce is disappointing, though. The tomatoes here lack flavor or much sweetness. However, Treehouse is a great on-campus spot to watch some sports on the large flatscreen TVs and eat some ‘za.
Price: $14 for a 16″ pie
The portions are big and the pies are deep at this Windy City-themed pizza shop on El Camino Real. The crust on their signature deep-dish pie is flaky with a little bit of crunch. Despite this, the crust is still nice and pillowy. Overall the crust reminds the palate of focaccia, the salty, doughy Italian bread. The pie’s sauce is sweet with a little tang. There is no flop on the pie with a hefty — but not overwhelming — amount of cheese. My party also ordered the thin crust pizza, and that was very crackery. If you go to Pizz’a Chicago, get a deep dish pizza. The thin crust scores about a point and a half lower than the rating I gave the deep dish below. The joint is expensive, but I only managed to eat one and a half slices after skipping breakfast. There was a thirty-minute wait for pizza, but the several TVs in the dining room make this a good place to watch sports while you wait.
Price: $25.50 for a 14’’ deep dish pizza
Pizza is one of several menu options at this new Serra Street location on Stanford’s campus. The dough on this pie has the chewy texture and consistency of a dense sourdough bread. Whether this is a good thing or not comes down to individual preference; I personally prefer a less dense and chewy crust, although I will say that this is good for its category. The flop on the pie is minimal, and the crust maintains the pizza’s structural integrity well. The sauce is of decent quality and slightly sweet, but there is barely any on the pie. This pizza’s main weakness is the quantity and quality of its cheese. There is way too much overly processed cheese on this pie, and it detracts significantly from the eating experience. Bites of the pie contain more cheese than dough. The pizza is dehydrating to eat because there is no sauce to counteract the saltiness of the cheese. However, there is a fire in the restaurant’s patio seating area, which makes it a nice place to eat this overly-cheesy pie.
Price: $16 for a 14’’ pie
I have had many pizzas in my life. I have eaten pizza in all corners of the country and even overseas. I have become something of a micro-expert on pizza because of this column. This is by far the worst pizza I have ever had in my life. No, it is the worst thing I have ever put in my mouth, and that includes all the dirt I ate as a kid. Let’s start with the positives. The Waverly Street location of America’s most famous convenience store offered a quick turn-around. It took two minutes from the time I ordered to having a box with a hot pizza in my hands. The pizza was only $7, making it by far the cheapest pizza that Stanford Daily Pizza Review has sampled. However, this only proves the old maxim that you pay for what you get. The pizza has virtually no flop, so at least the wood-grain-textured cheese stays on the pie. The crust tastes like a wet sponge with absolutely no crispness or crunch. And the sauce tasted like ketchup. I took one bite and had to throw the rest out.
Price: $7 for a large pizza