I had the privilege of serving as one of four judges last Saturday at the Second Annual Wayne County Pizza Contest sponsored by the Wayne County chapter of the American Red Cross. The event, which was held at Captain Jack's in Sodus Point, was well attended and, in my estimation, well enjoyed by all concerned.
First off, congratulations to the winners. Eight Wayne County pizzerias participated, and first, second and third prizes went to the winners of the popular vote as well as to the winners of the judges' vote. The popular vote winners were, in order,Trucks Oven (Sodus Point), Nima's Pizzeria (Palmyra), and BB's Pizzeria (Newark).
BB's took first place among the judges, followed by Double J's Pizzeria (Sodus) and Stoney's Pizzeria (Lyons).
To help compare apples to apples, and to keep us from overwhelming our palates and stomachs, all the contestants submitted pepperoni sheet pizzas. Each judge sampled one small square from each of the eight contestants, which were identified to us only by number. We rated each based on their appearance, taste and aroma. (I suggested that next year they might consider replacing the smell/aroma part with texture or crust.)
I can honestly say I liked them all well enough - no clunkers here - but the other judges and I were unanimous in really liking the pizza from BB's, which had a nice firm crust and a hint of garlic. Next time I'm out that way I mean to swing through Newark for a slice or a pie.
And that's not the only pizza trip I need to take to Wayne County. For one thing, Captain Jack's itself serves pizza, as you can see on page six of their extensive menu. To their credit - but my dismay - they didn't participate in the contest, to avoid any conflict of interest. Right on the water, it's a good spot for a meal on a nice summer day, so I'll try to make it up there with my family in tow in the next few months.
Second, on my way there, I noticed another place, Airport Pizzeria, at 7740 Ridge Road, which was not among the contestants. I stopped in on my way back, and spoke with an employee, who told me their pizza is made from scratch on the premises. I was sorely tempted to order one, but I was stuffed with pizza at that point and wanted to get home, so I satisfied myself with grabbing a takeout menu, which I'll post on my Facebook page. From the outside, Airport looks more like a bar - which it is, as well - than a pizzeria, so maybe it escaped the notice of the event organizers. Here's hoping that they participate next year.
This was a fun event, and by all appearances, it raised some money for the local Red Cross, which certainly deserves it. I hope that other charitable organizations around here take note of events like this and give it a shot themselves. Nearly everybody likes pizza, so if the contest is well publicized, in a good location, with a lot of local pizzerias, this kind of thing can be a popular, fun event that will not only raise money but increase public awareness of your organization. This one was well done - and I'm not just saying it because they asked me to be a judge - and I look forward to next year's event, whether as a judge or as an attendee.