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Friday, June 1, 2012

Piatza's, Crittenden Rd.

Over three years ago (have I really been doing this that long?) I did a post on Piatza's Pizza on Crittenden Road. I didn't care for it - in fact I compared the crust to "damp cardboard" - and gave it a D+.
But I heard that it's under new ownership, and it was overdue for a return visit anyway, so I went back recently.
I got a single cheese slice, which, as before, and as is typical of Piatza's, was thin but large. If nothing else, Piatza's serves up big slices.
The edge of this slice was quite nice - bready, toasty, and crackly. The underside was not as good. It was very floury, and the slice was pretty floppy. I know that the bigger the slice, the more likely it is that it will be floppy, but even so, this slice just didn't have much backbone - the exterior of the crust lacked the firmness necessary to keep it from flopping when folded and held up along the edge.
Part of the reason for that is that the crust had some oil soaked into it. For a plain cheese slice, there was a fair amount of oil, both on top and underneath, especially toward the tip. I assume that oil that had exuded from the cheese pooled toward the center of the pie while it was baking, and then then seeped underneath after it was sliced. A substantial amount of oil had also soaked into the box.
The pie from which this slice was cut had obviously been in a perforated pan, evidenced by the concentric rows of dimples underneath. That's not necessarily bad, but I think I should note it, for what it's worth. In my experience, pizzas from a pan are not as crisp as those baked on the oven deck. But if you're making supersized pies, there may be no other way to go, as most pizza peels are not wide enough to accommodate a huge pizza.
The cheese on this one was rather interesting. The slice was covered with a thin layer of low-moisture mozzarella, which was browned, and again more oily toward the tip, i.e., the part from the center of the pie. But there were also a few small pools of white, melted cheese closer to the outer edge. I'm not sure what was going on there. No complaints, it was just a little unusual.
Overall, the slice tasted pretty good. There wasn't a lot of sauce, but there was enough to add some liquid and flavor, and to balance out the crust and cheese. The sauce was mildly flavored, with a hint of dried herbs.
This was certainly an improvement over the slice I got back in 2009. 
It wasn't a great slice, but it was serviceable - call it average, for around here. Good enough, just not something I would go out of my way for.
But sometimes good enough is, well, good enough. I didn't mind polishing this off - I just think it could've been better, with a few relatively minor changes. I'll give it a C.
Piatza's,1703 Crittenden Rd.  14623
Menu available here

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