How to Critique Pizza

I’ve been writing for Seattlest now for over three months, and I like the gig a fair amount. The problem for me however, is that I have difficulties in writing about specific institutions (like local shops or whatnot) as I feel as if I’m doing nothing more than writing an advertisement.

Not that this is a bad thing, it’s just that I get more joy out of writing reviews of food in the area. It should come as no shock to anyone that I get a better kick out of tryign to find the best cheeseburger in Seattle, even if the writing surrounding said entries can be a bit dry and lacking in flowery prose.

But the thing is, even if the writing is a tad droll, people respond to the posts, because it makes people confront their own opinions. And nothing gets people more pissed than when you tell them that their favorite eating establishment sucks the big cheese (How’s that for flowery prose?).

As such, I’m planning on expanding my quest. I’m also going to look for the best pepperoni pizza in Seattle. This means I need a basic guide that will help me determine the manna from the manure.

To help, I’m going to expand upon Hillel’s basic grading guide, setting a basic definition of what I will be looking for:

  • Crust: I’m judging solely on one criteria. Would I enjoy the crust by itself? Or does one need sauce, cheese and toppings to mask the taste.
  • Sauce: Sweet? Sour? Fresh? Canned? And is there too much or too little?
  • Cheese: Pizza cheese or honest to god mozzerella or provalone? Again, too much or too little?
  • Pepperoni: Fresh? (That’s a serious question here in Seattle where Salumi reigns supreme). Crispy when cooked? Is it too oily when baked? How spicy?
  • Ratios: This one is pretty straight forward…is there too much of one item (crust, sauce, cheese or pepperoni) and not enough of another? Or do they all blend well?
  • Misc.: Here I will judge for what Hillel calls “Foldability”. I will also give points if the place in question delivers, for Seattle seems to have an aversion to restaurants who deliver. However, I will not take away points if they don’t deliver.

Hopefully we’ll be able to quickly deduce which place in Seattle is worth paying $20 for a pie. Check in at Seattlest for the reports from the field.


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