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Oct 18, 2010
03:48 PM

Pizza bracket 2: Bocce Club vs. Just Pizza

Pizza bracket 2: Bocce Club vs. Just Pizza

kc kratt (originals, pre-cropping)

Bocce Club is the pizza that has fueled hundreds of thousands of birthday parties, Super Bowl games, and Little League treats. It’s probably the pie that every other Buffalo joint had in mind when they were coming up with their recipe. The basic Bocce is engineered to travel and is a model of excess—thick, chewy crust; thick, powerfully seasoned sauce; a heavy layer of cheese; and pepperoni laid on with a generous hand. It’s also a big pie—the medium would pass for a large at most places. It’s the sauce that makes this work, I think. It has the cooked down intensity that long simmering imparts, with a distinct tomato flavor accented with oregano notes. 

Just Pizza—which, despite its name, also sells wings and subs—claims that it is the Home of the World Famous 3 Cheese Steak Pizza. There is a diverse variety on offer here. The crusts available are a dizzying array: sesame seed, garlic, onion, Cajun, poppy, Romano, Italiana, deluxe, hot pepper, honey, honey sesame, honey BBQ, lemon pepper, and chive. You can eat in at the “mother location” at Summer and Elmwood, but you probably won’t—this is basically take-out pizza. A basic cheese and pepperoni here is a pretty generic proposition: thick, chewy crust, heavy cheese, basic sauce. 

I liked that the Just Pizza website has a page devoted to wine parings. (They suggest a nice Barbera with the World Famous 3 Cheese Steak Pizza, which would probably work.) I’m usually at a loss with what to do with the 20–25 minutes it takes from the time I order until the time I can pick up my pie, but next time I’ll use the Just Pizza site as a wine shopping guide on my way over.

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.

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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Oct 20, 2010 02:11 pm
 Posted by  Ann M.

Bocce's is just not as good as it used to be. I have to go with Just Pizza on this one.

Oct 20, 2010 02:34 pm
 Posted by  billyclyde

I agree with Ann M. Although Bocce was perhaps the best and most popular pizza pie many years ago, it's not the same. I remember going to pick up pizza and the staff had SIDEARMS!! Ahhh the good old days.
I too have to go with Just Pizza on this one too. I especially like the Just Pizza on Center Rd. in West Seneca.

Oct 20, 2010 03:49 pm
 Posted by  Traveler2c

Bocce Club on Bailey has to be the best pizza in Buffalo. I have been going there for about 45 years and have never tired of the taste of my old standard - cheese and spicy pepperoni. The pizza has the same recipe, even down to the same un-even slices that are hacked on the chopping block in the same traditional way. The same little black burnt groupelles (as my old high school buddy would say)sticking the bottom of the pizza also add to the overall flavor. Even though the place has been remodeled, the smells and sounds are the same - Whatta ya got.

Oct 20, 2010 05:04 pm
 Posted by  BillLee

These are two of my favorites. The Bailey location of Bocce Club really does a perfect job. Unfortunately, every Just Pizza location seems to be a bit different - some better than others. This is problematic when you have as many options or pizza "designs" as Just Pizza has. My numeracy is marginal so I'm not sure how to figure it out but...Just Pizza must have literally thousands of different combinations! In a perfect world, that's a plus but, in the case of a weak location, that can cause huge inconsistencies (as I've seen first hand or, should I say, first mouth). Nevertheless, I really like Just Pizza's garlic crust and simply adore their sesame honey crust (great with pepperoni and black olives or a ham and pineapple type combo). IF Just Pizza gets it right, I might have to give it to them for bringing some needed creativity to the party and some truly fantastic pizza upgrades - that really work and could become classics. On the other hand, the consistency, simplicity and perfection of a Bocce Club pizza is hard to beat. Their parsimonious pie is, perhaps, the Platonic ideal when it comes to Buffalo Style pizza (don't boil over La Nova fans). This is a tough call but - eany, meany, miney, moe - I'm going to give it to the progressive pie...Just Pizza.

Oct 20, 2010 10:15 pm
 Posted by  techyteach

BOCCE CLUB pizza is a Buffalo standard. I have been a loyal fan for 48 years. Imperial also uses the same old Bocce recipe. They are all good! The sauce is what makes it, thick, sweet, and tomatoey. Yum, yum give me some.
And I also remember the Jefferson St., Bocces when I was a kid. My father would take me to pick up a pie and the pizza dudes behind the counter were all pack'in. Rough neighborhood?

Oct 21, 2010 03:36 am
 Posted by  Peachess WNY

It's Bocce Club Pizza hands down! If you grew up in the Buffalo area you know what real good pizza is.

Just Pizza, well it sure ain't it! Their sauce is flat, service is so hit & miss. There isn't that long time quality either. They can 'claim' all they want about their 3 Cheese Steak Pizza but, Raymondo's did it first & did it better! I find Just Pizza's pizza to be no different from Domino's...it's just like eating cardboard...YUCK!

My first taste of pizza was from Bocce's 45 yrs ago & I have yet to ever find any place else that can do it better then Bocce Club. The sauce is sweet, rich & thick the way it should be. The crust is thick, chewy on the inside with just the right 'snap' to the outside. The seasonings are a perfect blend, never to strong or weak. It's true...Real Buffalo Pizza comes from one place only & it's...Bocce's On Bailey!

Oct 21, 2010 09:02 am
 Posted by  george s.

Bocces is Classic, an Eggertsville neighborhood favorite for years, decades. Just Pizza is the Best. Also, the claim of the "World Famous Original 3-cheese Steak" is true to recipe, and it is Delicious! I think their trademark "We Create the Pizza All the Others Try to Imitate" seems true around town as well...
I grew up eating Bocce Club, but I have to go with Just Pizza today, their ingredients are all premium &
you can actually taste them! Heavy, spiced, flavored sauce masks poor cheese n pepperoni, I think!

Oct 21, 2010 09:10 am
 Posted by  george s.

PS masks poor cheese & pepperoni Quality excuse me.

Good Idea about the Wine pairings & timing at Just Pizza website by author.

Oct 21, 2010 09:48 am
 Posted by  Ben G.

I liked that the just pizza website has like 80 awesome pizzas to choose from and order, too. There's nothing "generic" about their recipe, it's the Best in Buffalo handsdown. Freshness and Good Taste are easily recognized, I think JP will win the whole competition- try their product and taste and see yourself. I get cheese pepperoni mushroom and onion from Just and its always good. Their mushrooms are easily the best around-half the places around use canned-disgusting. JP wins on uniform quality and Taste.

Oct 21, 2010 09:52 am
 Posted by  Mike In WNY

I have been disappointed with the quality from Just Pizza, my vote is for the Bocce Club.

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