Pizza bracket 1: Pizza Plant vs. Romeo and Juliet's
Famous for “Pizza Pods,” which are essentially calzones, and its wide selection of quality draft beer, Pizza Plant is also notably family friendly, with a cheerful color scheme, faux-eclectic décor, and flattering lighting. It is not hard to understand the appeal of the place; relaxing with a pint surrounded by family or friends: what could be more pleasant?
The pizza options include stuffed or flat crust; white, whole wheat, sesame seed, spinach, or garlic dough, and more toppings and topping combinations than we could be bothered to count. There is a lot to like about this place, though the pizza is oddly one-dimensional. We went with the signature option, the calzone-like pod. The pepperoni is of good quality, but the whole thing is somewhat overwhelmed by the sweet sauce. It is a good faith effort. I’d go back because it is comfortable spot to sit and have a pint.
Romeo and Juliet's is not strictly a pizzeria—it is billed as a café and bakery, and the glass display case filled with desserts in the front is a reminder that you might want to save some room for cannoli. The atmosphere is relaxed, and the clientele seems to be mostly adult, although well-behaved children are treated respectfully and babies are beamed at. The pizza here is the pizza that you’d get in Rome, and not so long ago you’d have to go to Rome to get it—this is not an American pie. The crust is thin, yeasty, and salty with a hint of char to add complexity. The sauce is light and tastes like tomato and a little oregano. The cheese is fresh mozzarella, with the distinctive creaminess that only unprocessed cheese possesses.
This is a pizza that deserves to be enjoyed with a glass of red wine. Surprisingly, a Romeo’s pie survives the trip home—you don’t get the benefit of the fresh-from-the-oven meltiness of the mozzarella, but the crust holds up pretty well. That’s worth keeping in mind if you want to economize, because the wine list mark-up here is the wine list mark-up you’ll see in any restaurant.
The winner of this bracket will be revealed in the November issue of Buffalo Spree. Who would you pick? Reply in comments and you will also be eligible to win our Pizza Showdown contest.
Editor's note: Our tasting team sampled Pizza Plant's pod/calzone and its classic pizza slice for this contest.