Welcome to the real world, where people eat their pizzas at home
I’m still not sure what got the guys at LocalFoodService.com so excited. Here’s the background. WNED AM’s morning guy Jay Moran has been doing some segments based on our issue topics, and today he ran an interview with Spree food critic (and Buffalo Pundit) Alan Bedenko about our pizza showdown. It was a cute little piece, with Jay waxing ironic about the gravitas of pizza judging and Alan saying “the perfect food” several times. “Nice,” I thought, and went back to my
eBay shopping important Spree work.
But Alan’s dulcet tones had barely faded from WNED’s air when I saw a LocalFoodService blog post making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter (checking social networks actually is part of my job). In the post, amid a lot of blah blah about how well he knew and appreciated Romeo and Juliet's and La Hacienda (as do we all), LFS writer Vince McConeghy started raving about how shocked—shocked!—he was that the Spree food writers had dared to eat the final four pizzas at a private home (mine). And that this somehow invalidated the whole thing. And then more blah blah in which both Alan and I were called out by name.
Ok. Time for a reality check here. Every time I have visited La Hacienda (which is many times), I have seen veritable mountains of take-out boxes accumulating on the counter and then disappearing as they wended their way to various off-site locations. And you can say the same about every pizza point in Western New York, though, to be fair, I imagine take-out is rarer at the white tablecloth places like Siena. The fact remains that the words "pizza" and "take-out" are practically synonymous. Indeed, La Hacienda is so aware of this that it has evolved a half-baked pie that can be finished—preferably with a stone—in the home oven.
And, for the record, our critics had already tasted all the pizza at various official terroirs throughout the region, which informed their decisions.
Pizza does get people excited—that’s why we made it the subject of an entire issue. Please click on the showdown if you’d like to read all our brackets for yourself. And let’s all relax and have a slice—the choice of where is entirely up to you.
(BTW, we've heard that Romeo and Juleit's has been mobbed ever since the showdown was published. So that's good.)