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Offline Pablo de Fleurs

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50 States / 50 Pizzas
« on: October 20, 2013, 08:17:28 PM »
Tired of politics (for @ least 5-6 minutes)...let's eat!

50 States, 50 Pizzas
By Zagat Staff

Pizza Week is here, and to celebrate we're touring the U.S. to find truly standout pies in every state. Whether it's regional specialities like Detroit deep dish or white clam pie in Connecticut, or unusual varieties like python pizza down in Florida, we've got something for every palate and every citizen in our slide show. What's your favorite local pie?



For the other 49 (or was that 57??  ::laughonfloor::)...click here:
http://www.zagat.com/b/50-state-50-pizzas?utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=desktopboost#1
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Offline Alphabet Soup

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Re: 50 States / 50 Pizzas
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2013, 11:03:06 PM »
I gained five pounds just looking at the pictures.

Offline trapeze

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Re: 50 States / 50 Pizzas
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2013, 01:01:46 AM »
I think that I mentioned this somewhere else on the forum but I'll repeat it here since, well, it's on topic.

I spent a couple of childhood years in southern California...mid 1960s era...and that is where I got introduced to pizza. The chain restaurant that my parents took me to was a place called Shakey's and it was, for a little kid, truly miraculous. First, when you walked in the door you were immediately hit with the smell of baking pizzas but then as you went in further you got to see the kitchen through a long window. The cooks were throwing the dough around, piling on the sauce and ingredients and working the ovens. The dining room had a sort of movie theater thing going on that ran continuous shorts of the Three Stooges, the Little Rascals and other films of that same era. And the pizza was terrific. Thin crust with a flavorful sauce and real mozzarella cheese that came off all stringy when you took a bite.

I carried those memories of that great pizza with me for years until I was in my thirties and had an opportunity to travel down the northwest coast from Washington into the upper reaches of California. I searched out and found one of the few remaining Shakey's and discovered that it was every bit as good as I remembered it to be...which was a pleasant surprise since time multiplied by childhood experience usually equates to unauthentic memories that are shattered by the adult experience.


In the early to mid 1970s I was a teenager in Houston and there I found a pizza restaurant that was close in taste to Shakey's. The place was called Panjo's and I haven't seen one since those days. I was surprised that they are still around. I got a job there when I was fourteen, I think...first job. They fired me in less than a week because the manager was a douche and didn't know what to do with a kid who had never worked before (other than a paper route). And that's because I was willing to do whatever I was told (and did) but didn't know that I was supposed to be self motivated. I learned my first valuable work lesson there: If you lean, you clean. So, it wasn't without value. Still, good pizza.

I learned that the best pizza was always cooked in a real pizza oven and didn't think it could be done any other way until I saw one of those stupid conveyor belt ovens that are used by restaurants that can't find or train a real oven cook. Still the only way to cook pizza, in my opinion.

When I was in college I worked for a pizza place called Chanello's. I started out delivering pizzas which was a great job for a college kid with a motorcycle. I had a rack on the back of my bike and I could strap the insulated delivery box to it. Having a bike was ideal for delivering to dorms...I could usually deliver two to three times as many pizzas as anyone with a car thanks to speed and ease of parking. I made a ton of money from tips and worked two to three nights a week to support myself. I also got to learn how to work the kitchen side when things were slow...learned the whole thing including food cost and overhead expenses. Great experience for later in life.

I went to NYC once and ate pizza at some dump in Greenwich Village. Totally different experience from everything I had grown up appreciating. Still, it was good...just different. The crust was extremely thin and not crispy at all. It was easier to roll a slice up and eat it like it was a wrap than to try and eat it like you would a normal pizza. Either that or go at it with a knife and fork. Hard to imagine how NY pizza is so radically different from anything else in the country.

Haven't had a Chicago pizza yet and given what I have come to know about the place over the last several years it is unlikely that I will ever find out.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 01:28:32 AM by trapeze »
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Re: 50 States / 50 Pizzas
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2013, 07:23:02 AM »
It has been so very long since I stepped foot into a Shakey's...I cannot recall the pizza specifically, but the bustling atmosphere and smells are unforgettable, it was a rare treat back then to go out to eat, and going to a place like that was way better when you're a kid than the fancy sit-down restraunts where voices are quiet and kids have to behave or be sent out to the car!

(Sometimes the car was a better place!)   ;D

Sad but not shocked to see Savoy (StPaul), Cossetta's (StPaul) and (though I haven't been there in a while) Maggie's Restraunt (Wayzata) screwed out of the Minnesota selections, but if they are going for hip and trendy that can happen.

Of this list I like these three the best -

Kentucky: Meats Pizza at Impellizeri's in Louisville
Impellizeri's makes its pizzas with two layers of toppings and two layers of cheese, and for that fact alone we understand why it’s so popular. It applies the “you can’t have too much of a good thing” mentality to its meats pizza, topped with pepperoni, homemade Italian sausage, ham, bacon and housemade meatballs. Here’s hoping all that meat doesn’t flop off when you pick it up.

Massachusetts: The Giambotta at Regina Pizzeria in Boston
Serving up pizza for close to 90 years is no small feat. At Regina Pizzeria (formerly Regina Pizza), it’s the brick oven that keeps the crust crispy and the pies rolling out. With Sinatra on the jukebox, beers served by the pitcher and pies like The Giambotta (pepperoni, housemade Regina sausage, salami, mushrooms, peppers, onions and mozzarella cheese), Boston has a little slice of Italy right in its city.

Wyoming: Barbecue Pork at The Pizza Place
In the middle of the small ranching community of Lusk in Eastern Wyoming lies a place with pizza that people will drive an hour to eat. Barbecue pork is the popular topping on their pies, which they’ve been making for over 30 years. With only a few restaurants in town, Lusk is pretty lucky to have The Pizza Place pumping out pizzas.

Does my carniverous nature show?   ;D
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Offline LadyVirginia

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Re: 50 States / 50 Pizzas
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2013, 10:17:19 AM »
Shakey's. Ha, haven't thought of that place in years.  Honestly, I don't know if we ever ate there.  My mom being the frugal person she is didn't let us go out to eat much.  You know how many pizzas she should could make with Chef Boyardee for the cost of taking a family of 6 out?  lol  I read at the link that some had buffets.  Mom liked buffets because she thought she'd get her money's worth taking us there.  I do remember a pizza buffet.  Maybe it was Shakey's.

If we have pizza I make it at home. the kids like mine the best.  ::whatgives::

We like a thin, thin crust.  I roll it out and prebake on a pizza stone for about 10 minutes (450 on convection) then top it and bake again until cheese melted. This gets the crust crispy.

And how do you like the cheese? A lot of brown? A little? None. I'm amazed of how picky some can be.
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Re: 50 States / 50 Pizzas
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2013, 10:46:11 AM »
Re:  Shakey's

There was a Shakey's near my house in Norfolk when I was growing up.  In high school, we'd skip out of school at lunch and drive there.  I like Shakey's.  All you can eat lunches with really good foamy root beer.  And the player piano playing '20s songs, along with all the old movie/tv serials/shorts (including The Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, Flash Gordon, et.al.) shown on a loop on a screen (this was waaaay before home VHS).  Going there in high school was a cheap date.  I haven't seen one in years, though.  I'd love to try it again.  I remember the sauce as being pretty spicy.  Probably helped in the beer/soda sales.

As for pizza overall, I'm a very thin crust guy.  John's Pizza, in the village, has some of the best coal brick oven pizzas around these parts.  I always go for the sausage/black olive/sliced garlic pie when I go there.  Another place I've been, Arturo's, another of the old school pizza joinds (from the early 1900s) has a clam/calamari pie that is delicious.  A lighter red sauce, minimal cheese.  How many pies do you order with extra lemon slices?

I roll it out and prebake on a pizza stone for about 10 minutes (450 on convection) then top it and bake again until cheese melted. This gets the crust crispy.

And how do you like the cheese? A lot of brown? A little? None. I'm amazed of how picky some can be.

I prebake my crusts, too.  Once prebaked, brush on some olive oil to prevent the crust from getting soggy.

And the more well done, the better.  If you don't have some burnt cheese, it ain't pizza.

I also delivered pizza/subs for a small local sub shop at VA Beach one summer when I was in college.  That was back in the day when one could pay for gas and still have some tip money left over.

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Re: 50 States / 50 Pizzas
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2013, 11:25:41 AM »
 RickZ - "I always go for the sausage/black olive/sliced garlic pie when I go there."

 ::whoohoo:: 

Sounds delicious.

As for crust I like thin too, some hand-tossed (if tossed well) is good too, and no problem with crispy.  For cheese a little brown is fine!   ::thumbsup::
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Online benb61

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Re: 50 States / 50 Pizzas
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2013, 08:10:53 PM »
There is a Shakey's just up the road from work in Huntington Beach Ca. that we go to for lunch from time to time.  The buffet is called "Bunch-a-Lunch" and they have Pizza (of course) Fried Chicken (awesome) and Mojo Potatoes (kind of a deep fried sliced potato).  All you can eat for about $10.  I do like their pizza, and for lunch they make a dessert pizza too, pizza crust with either canned cherry or apple pie filling, brown sugar crumbles and icing drizzled on top.  It is really good for a sweet tooth.
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Offline LadyVirginia

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Re: 50 States / 50 Pizzas
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2013, 10:21:15 PM »
There is a Shakey's just up the road from work in Huntington Beach Ca. that we go to for lunch from time to time.  The buffet is called "Bunch-a-Lunch" and they have Pizza (of course) Fried Chicken (awesome) and Mojo Potatoes (kind of a deep fried sliced potato).  All you can eat for about $10.  I do like their pizza, and for lunch they make a dessert pizza too, pizza crust with either canned cherry or apple pie filling, brown sugar crumbles and icing drizzled on top.  It is really good for a sweet tooth.

Sounds like a decent buffet.
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Offline trapeze

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Re: 50 States / 50 Pizzas
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2013, 12:47:08 AM »
Who knew there would be so many Shakey's alumni here?

Favorite ingredients: Real mozzarella cheese and New Mexico-style roasted green chile.
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Re: 50 States / 50 Pizzas
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2013, 06:59:04 AM »
Who knew there would be so many Shakey's alumni here?

Favorite ingredients: Real mozzarella cheese and New Mexico-style roasted green chile.

Dare I say the best chile evah?
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Re: 50 States / 50 Pizzas
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2013, 07:33:20 AM »
I looked up the number of Shakey's in the country, and there are 56, almost all in California.  There is 1 in AL, 1 in FL, 3 in WA State, 1 in HI and 3, count 'em 3, in Mexico.  I'm kind of surprised they haven't tried an East Coat comeback, although Jack-in-the-Box has failed miserably on the East Coast (there was one in Norfolk once that came and went pretty quick; from Jack's website, "The closest location [to me in NYC] is 510.16 miles away in Statesville, NC").  If Hardee's can come back from the dead (I remember one being around until about the age of 8 or 9, then I saw no more for decades, until the '80s), I don't know why Shakey's can't.

Also, the absolute worst chain pizza I've ever had was Milton's Pizza.  I only had it once, but it was some vile stuff.  I make better pies on a bad day.

As you can tell from the pic below, it's a thicker crust monstrosity with an absolutely horrid sauce.  If you ever think about eating at Milton's, shoot yourself first to save yourself the misery.

Another thing about most chain pies today is so many are not cooked in an oven, but are thrown on a conveyer belt to cook.  The crust just doesn't have the right oomph when cooked that way.  Yeah, I know, picky picky.

Offline oldcoastie6468

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Re: 50 States / 50 Pizzas
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2013, 09:47:42 AM »
There's a place near us in Frankfort, IL, that uses stone ovens with wood fires.

Parmesans Wood Stone Pizza.

Their other selections and desserts are delicious and gut-busting.

Click on the Frankfort location.
http://www.parmesans.com/
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Offline LadyVirginia

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Re: 50 States / 50 Pizzas
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2013, 10:15:31 AM »
Ok, IDP posted a picture of Spree the other day and I had to buy them yesterday just to stop thinking about them.

Looks like I need to make pizza now. I was going to make risotto tonight, maybe risotto with a side of pizza? hehehe
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Re: 50 States / 50 Pizzas
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2013, 10:20:48 AM »
LV, how do get the crust thin, thin?
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Offline oldcoastie6468

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Re: 50 States / 50 Pizzas
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2013, 10:26:46 AM »
No pizza for me tonight. Tomorrow my wife's having an overdue colonoscopy, and food today is a no-no for her. I'll just pick and choose outta the refrigerator.
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Re: 50 States / 50 Pizzas
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2013, 10:42:00 AM »
No pizza for me tonight. Tomorrow my wife's having an overdue colonoscopy, and food today is a no-no for her. I'll just pick and choose outta the refrigerator.

I remember having to eat non-red Jell-O, and I hate Jell-O.

Tell her to have chicken boullion broth.  At least that has some flavor.

I don't envy her, or you, at all.

Offline LadyVirginia

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Re: 50 States / 50 Pizzas
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2013, 11:06:55 AM »
LV, how do get the crust thin, thin?

I think it's the flour.

I roll it out (with my trusty marble rolling pin I bought when I didn't even cook).  If the dough's the right consistency it's easy to roll out very thin.  And I get it really thin.

The best flour I've used so far is the white flour from Trader Joe's. I've used others including King Arthur and "Italian" flour but the kids tell me not to use anything else but TJ's. The others don't seem to roll out right. You have one of those stores around you?

I can tell before I roll it out if it's going to be a pain to roll out.  The dough doesn't feel right.  Now I can make a dough with other flour to roll out thin but it's work. And the crust just isn't as good.

I roll it out on a sheet of parchment and bake it on the parchment for 10 min or so then take it out and dress it up and then bake it either on the rack directly or on a pizza stone (without the paper). Crispy!

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Re: 50 States / 50 Pizzas
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2013, 11:14:35 AM »
LV, how do get the crust thin, thin?

I think it's the flour.

I roll it out (with my trusty marble rolling pin I bought when I didn't even cook).  If the dough's the right consistency it's easy to roll out very thin.  And I get it really thin.

The best flour I've used so far is the white flour from Trader Joe's. I've used others including King Arthur and "Italian" flour but the kids tell me not to use anything else but TJ's. The others don't seem to roll out right. You have one of those stores around you?

I can tell before I roll it out if it's going to be a pain to roll out.  The dough doesn't feel right.  Now I can make a dough with other flour to roll out thin but it's work. And the crust just isn't as good.

I roll it out on a sheet of parchment and bake it on the parchment for 10 min or so then take it out and dress it up and then bake it either on the rack directly or on a pizza stone (without the paper). Crispy!

Yep, have a TJ's near me.  I'll have to try the flour; I usually use King Arthur's.  And occasionally, I cheat with pre-made pizza dough; WalMart sells it for .88, enough for a 10-11" pizza.

I need a new rolling pin, too.

Thanks.
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Offline LadyVirginia

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Re: 50 States / 50 Pizzas
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2013, 11:27:52 AM »
I don't know if it makes a difference but the handles fell off my marble pin years ago so I get a little more power behind the roll by pushing the pin itself.

Sort of like these:
http://www.amazon.com/Ateco-19-Inch-Maple-Wood-Rolling/dp/B000RQ5RFA/ref=pd_sim_sbs_k_1

I think you get more control without the handles.
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