Pizza is one of those things where people have different opinions on just what makes it great. I’m the same way. Sometimes the sauce is a big deal; many times it’s how well the pizza is cooked and what the cheese looks like. For my wife, it’s the vegetables and how much salt is in the pizza, or lack thereof to be more accurate.

I have sampled pizza all over town; I’m like that. And I’ve come to the conclusion that just trying to pick one pizza over all the others is a losing decision. Instead, I have 3 1/2 pizzas I’m going to talk about. Yeah, I know, you’re wondering about that 1/2; I’ll get to it in good time.

I’m going to start with Twin Trees 57, one of the many franchises throughout Syracuse with the same name, mainly because they’re the only place I have a picture for. I love their pizza because it’s got a little bit of thickness, the crust is always thoroughly cooked, the sauce is fantastic and they cut their pizza in strips, which is definitely contrary to most pizza place. A large pizza can yield 14 or 16 slices as opposed to most places getting 8 slices out of a pizza. They moved in location from one side of Route 57 to the other and expanded into more of a restaurant than just a small pizza joint. Very tasty; both my wife and I like it, and it’s top notch. But it has a problem, at least from my wife’s perspective, that the second candidate doesn’t have.

Liberty Pizza is very new, and they moved into the old location that Twin Trees enjoyed for decades. They offer something different; pizza made by Turkish folks. At least it’s different for me; in having a conversation with them one evening the guy at the counter said that Turkey has been making pizzas as long as, if not longer, than Italians, with a tradition going back as far as the Mongolian Empire. I’m not even going to try to verify that, but I will say that it’s wonderfully tasty, and what’s lacking that my wife loves is too much salt. You know, sometimes the mixture of ingredients, after baking, can get pretty salty, but somehow these folks avoid that. Their crust, super thin, seems to absorb the salt in some fashion, and it’s a crust that’s different than the norm in taste as well; almost tastes like it’s a wheat crust. And because they’re Turkish, you can get things on your pizza like eggplant or grape leaves if you wish; no, I don’t wish. lol

The third place I’m going to mention isn’t a pizza place at all. Pier 57 has always been known around these parts for their garlic pizza, but lately the salt content has been overwhelming. However, they added personal sized regular pizza to their menu, and I’ve found those wonderfully tasty. It’s a super thin crust as well, seemingly thinner than Liberty, but it tastes great. I think it’s thinner because it’s the first time I’ve had to pull away from my main addition to most pizzas, that being extra cheese. Their sauce is great as well. It’s small, and they sell it as an appetizer, but it works well for one person.

Finally, the 1/2 pizza. That goes to Pizza Hut, obviously not just a local franchise. The one thing Pizza Hut has always gotten correct is their pan pizza crust. Even 25 years later, just thinking about their crust will make my mouth water. Yet, over the last 8 to 10 years they made a shift with their quality otherwise that I just didn’t like. Their sauce stopped tasting all that great; I mean, what the hey? The ingredients started tasting artificial. I asked once what the beef topping was and the person brought out a bag that just said “beef topping” and nothing else. I’m sure someone thought it would save on costs and be “good enough”, but nothing gets past this palate, especially after all the years of eating it. I just can’t order it anymore, because these days you never know if they’ve cooked the pizza long enough or not if it’s delivered, and the last time my wife and I went in person, about 2 years ago, they certainly didn’t cook it long enough. But when they get it right, that crust can’t be touched.

And there you go. Actually, if there had been blogging 35 years ago the best pizza would have been easy to name, that being the original Gino & Joe’s pizza place in the old Seneca Mall, which used to be next to Chappell’s. Ahhh, that was pizza! 🙂

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