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Oct 18, 2010
03:49 PM

Pizza bracket 1: Pizza Plant vs. Romeo and Juliet's

Pizza bracket 1: Pizza Plant vs. Romeo and Juliet's

kc kratt (originals, pre-cropping)

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.

Old to new | New to old
Oct 18, 2010 04:32 pm
 Posted by  musicbrainbooks

Definitely Pizza Plant. Vegan options, a huge beer selection, overall good food, and something for everyone!

And this Pizza Showdown is such a good idea- my friend and I started one that we had planned to release on a blog for college students, but maybe we won't now!

Oct 20, 2010 05:13 pm
 Posted by  BillLee

I love everything about Pizza Plant except their pizzas, pods. Just too bland for me. Tastes like it was made by people pre-screened for any Italian blood/heritage and then disallowed from working there. Very waspy tasting to me. The beer thing is out-of-sight however!!!! ...and yes, their business, their menu, their whole top to bottom concept is great. I just wish I could show them how to take a chance and use herbs, garlic, slow and low cooking, olive oil, and all that makes Italian-Am food tastes ...Italian-American. On that basis, I have to vote for Romeo and Juliet's, as their Roman inspired pizza is quite good, if a little far afield from most Buffalonian's pizza inclinations.

Oct 20, 2010 06:02 pm
 Posted by  Traveler2c

Romeo and Juliet's on Hertel wins my vote as the best European style pizza in the area. The imported flour gives the crust it's unique taste. The choice of pizzas takes you on a trip to Italy or elsewhere the continent. The restaurant provides an in-door romantic cafe atmosphere that further adds to the escape...

Oct 21, 2010 07:31 am
 Posted by  Kelly M.

I vote for Pizza Plant. Their pod creations are awesome and fully stuffed with crispy dough wrapped around. I would compare their stuffed pizzas to that found in Chicago - they are that good! The atmosphere at both locations is casual and laid back and the beer selection is well-worth the trip!

Oct 21, 2010 09:49 am
 Posted by  Mike In WNY

This one is easy - Romeo & Juliet's. Great ingredients and a simple preparation allows the flavor to shine.

Oct 21, 2010 01:06 pm
 Posted by  pjm

Romeo & Juliet's is the better selection.

Pizza Plant is great for strict vegans who want choices, but lacks in overall flavors. As for the pods ... only a small step above Hot Pockets, so why bother?

If going to order out, want fresh foods & flavors. Romeo & Juliet's is the one for that.

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