To Be Fair…A Perfect 30

To Be Fair…A Perfect 30

The most challenging aspect of being a pizza critic is establishing a standard upon which all pizzas may be judged fairly.  The easiest way to grade is a 100 point scale, because everyone understands a 100 point scale.  It’s very relatable, but it presents the problem of spreading points over an uneven number of categories and establishing weighted scores.  Or just simply having too many categories, which results in over analyzing and getting weighed down in minutia.  100 points quickly became too many, and we discovered that a simpler point system would be more accurate.

In order to be fair to the pizzas and pizza creators that we review, here is the scoring breakdown. All pizza is judged equally.  Each pizza is be judged within it’s own category; Neapolitan, California, Chicago, etc. For example, it is expected that a Chicago style pizza will have a different crust than a New York style pizza.  The two will not be compared to one another.

We have come up with a 30 point system.  There are six subsections worth 5 points each.  thumbnail_7113


All criteria are worth 1 point unless otherwise noted.


  • Frame
  • Structure
  • Chew
  • Flavor
  • Cornmeal (None=1 POINT)


  • Quantity
  • Taste
  • Acidity
  • Distribution
  • Consistency


  • Quantity
  • Freshness
  • Oil
  • Balance


  • Undercrust- 2 points
  • Uppercrust- 2 points
  • Toppings 1 points


  • Aroma
  • Ambiance
  • Comfort
  • Service
  • Love

OVERALL- Yes = 1 point, No = 0 points

  • Did you get what you ordered?
  • Is it worth the price?
  • Is it what it claims to be?
  • Would you come back?
  • Can you taste the love?

The Pizza Family Tree

The Pizza Family Tree

The pizza family tree is firmly planted in the city of Naples, Italy.  It is there that the first pizza Margherita was created and named after the then queen of Naples, Margherita of Savoy.  It is from this original creation that all other modern pizza’s may trace their lineage.  It would seem logical that we could easily establish a basis on which all other pizzas may be judged if we hold the original Margherita pizza as our standard.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  Because the eventual pizza spin off that have been created since the dawn of pizza are considerably varied, we are forced to categorize them in order to be fair and inclusive to all.  Categories must be established.  So here we go…

1. Neopolitan-the original and purest form of the pizza.  The holy grail of pizza for which this blog was created.  It will always appear to you on a ceramic plate with a perfect crown of oiled crust. DOC. Neopolitan pizza is cooked in a wood-fired oven-ONLY, and has a crust made of 00 flour.  Beyond those two criteria, the pizzaolo may be as creative as he/she likes.  Anything goes.  (for our judging purposes, we will always taste test a Margherita followed by a random selection that we find interesting.

2. Italian-as in New York style.  You know the type. Large and floppy with a thin crust.  Just think Chris Christy, just kidding, but not really. New York style pizza-don’t fuggetaboutit.

3. California -It’s here, it’s queer, get used to it.  California pizza was born from New York style pizza that just decided to let it’s freak flag fly.  If the pizza needs caramelized figs with organic walnuts and gorgonzola, who am I to stop it becoming what it truly needs to be?

4. Greek-Now I understand that there might be a debate about which is the “true” pizza, but as we have already established, the “true” pizza is the Margherita and it was invented in Italy.  The greek pizza is made in a pizza pan, usually has a lot more sauce and cheese and can support more toppings than a New York style pizza because it has a thicker, crunchier crust.  It is a sturdy version of pizza, with a very close resemblance to it’s Italian cousin, the Sicilian.

5. Sicilian-A version of foccaccia bread that has less herbs in the crust and, if we compare it to Greek pizza, will have less cheese and sauce. The dough of the Sicilian is allowed to rise, leaving it with a slight dome in the center, where the greek pizza should come out level in the pan.  Sicilian has the thickest pizza crust of all the pizzas.  It can be difficult to break into, emotionally.  Just give it time.

6. Chicago Deep Dish-  Is it really a pizza?, or is it a casserole made up of pizza ingredients.  I refuse to base any review on a chain restaurant, and the only deep dish pizzeria near me is Pizzeria Uno, and it just doesn’t seem fair to judge all Chicago style pizza on a franchised chain.  Not that there’s anything wrong with franchised chains.  I think this investigation just might require a field trip.  Chicago deep dish pizza doesn’t travel well, so if the pizza cannot come to me, I am going to have to go to the pizza.  Chicago- you’re on the list.

7. French bread-what your mom made for you when there wasn’t enough time/energy/money for take out but you still whined for pizza.  Not too far from baking english muffins in the toast-r-oven with some left over jar sauce and a slice of plastic wrapped cheese.

8. Flatbread-A pizza walked into a bar…

9. Homemade-any and all possible combinations of the aforementioned pizza made with extra love.  Even if it’s a pizza fail, you win.

Don’t Forget the Olive Oil

It seems more often than not these days, every bread basket is now accompanied by a small trough of flavored, herbed olive oil.  I’m not going to get in to who prepares the best oil dip, simply because I don’t like it.  Bread and oil?  No thank you.  Something is definitely missing from this picture.  The acidity of a tomato or some sweet balsamic vinegar.  Yes, I understand that it is popular, and I guess most people seem to like it, but I do not count myself among the bread and oil crowd.

Where there should be oil and there is usually none to be found, is on the pizza.  Please dear Pizzaolo.  Don’t forget the olive oil on my pizza.  Now, “On every type of pizza?” you ask?  No.  Do not add olive oil to Greek, Chicago deep dish, or American meat lovers.  It doesn’t add value.  But, if you are creating Neopolitan, California, New York, flatbread and…dare I say…frozen, add a drizzle of oilve oil and taste.  The flavors are enhanced.  Magnified.  Elevated.  Sublime.

So enough with wasting the olive oil on the bread basket.  Save it for the pizza.