Best is a Bad Word, Even When Applied to Pizza

by Bryan on May 27, 2009

Lombardi's Pizza of New York

Lombardi's Pizza of New York

Now I am not trying to say it’s like dropping the f-bomb, or saying Pepsi, but I am not a big fan of “Best of” lists. The reason is that “Best”, in my opinion, is imprecise and one-dimensional. It fails to tell me any details, and can end up being more than a little subjective. Since this blog is about food, I’ll use Pizza as an example. “What is the best pizza” is an almost meaningless question. There are too many dimensions to good pizza.

In Cincinnati we have the local pizza place La Rosa’s. I am a fan. I love the provolone cheese they use and their sauce. I will pick them over the competition on many nights. I do not think it is the best pizza.

Being a UC grad, I have fond memories of Adriatico’s (which unfortunately has no web site). It’s garlicky sauce, bready crust, and fabulous sausage gets my vote on some nights. But, I do not think it is the best pizza.

I even get a craving for delivery specialist Papa John’s. Good sausage (are you seeing a trend) and I like to get the cheese sauce (reminiscent of Noble Romans) rather than the garlic. Put a little Sriracha on it, delish. However, I do not think it is the best.

I used to like me some Donato’s until I moved 1 mile from a store, and they refused to deliver. I would say I am not bitter, but actually I am. Their Founder’s Favorite is mighty fine. But not the best pizza, and they are wankers. Every other pizza place nearby delivers to our place.

Mio’s is an old favorite. The sesame seeds on the crust are a great add (you do have to request them) and I actually liked their stuffed pizza better than Giordano’s in Chicago. Then they changed their sausage to something most foul. But even before that, it wasn’t the best pizza.

Pomidori’s has been a long time favorite. Wood fired goodness, great salads, and usually some of the worst service on the planet. But even ignoring the service, not the best pizza.

Dewey’s pizza is a relative newcomer. I was not a big fan of their pizza (great calzones) until they put the meatball pizza on the menu. But even that is not the best pizza.

We even got to go to Lombardi’s in New York. If any pizza I have tasted deserves the moniker “best” this is it. It totally lives up to the hype. However, it is not the best.

Have I droned on long enough? Do you get my point? There is no best pizza. I could not choose one of these as the best. I would hate to limit myself to any one of these. Depending on my mood and appetite I could go for just about any of these. It is silly to try to label one “best”.

So that is one of my rules for this site. I might share with you some of my favorites, but I’ll never declare the “best”. I mean seriously, I shared with you my deviled eggs recipe, and if I resisted declaring those “best” it just ain’t going to happen.

It’s funny, this post has been percolating for a while in the dark recesses of my mind when I participated in a little light-hearted tweeting about Urban Spoon’s #1 food blog of past and present. This is one if the things I love about the Internet, the varied opinion. It’s fun to have some seemingly objective measure of “best”, but there is none in reality. I am more intrigued by the rationale than the ranking.I don’t care if it is pizza, a blog, bbq, or even ice cream.

Yes, I am being a little pedantic, so if you want to talk about the “best…” be my guest. But tell me WHY you think that. That’s the information I want. That’s what I value in all the voices out there, and that is what I will try to provide in my own way.

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