On account of a very busy start of the week, I slept pretty well yesterday night. So well, I more or less slept for 12 hours. That’s right, I woke up at about 3:30 pm in the afternoon yesterday.
(Rest assured, I almost never do that. Or sleep for 12 hours straight.)
I woke up hungry. Since it was so late, I literally had one main meal yesterday.
Blitman has a nice rendition of chicken parmesan. They put a bit of alfredo sauce on the pasta, and the marinara sauce is over the chicken patty itself. I’m not a huge fan of chicken parm, but I do enjoy it from time to time. I mainly concentrated on this dish for the chicken and a small amount of the pasta.
Blitman also had a meat chili offering that night. I ordered a bowl of jasmine rice, and topped it off with a bit of chili and cheese. It was delicious. My only gripe was that the chili needed to ease off on the beans.
Late night munchies attacked me yet again. I had more perogies, this time with some Taco Bell Border Sauce, in an attempt to clear out any remaining food before the end of the school year. I’m succeeding thus far.
Fast forward to today, which started off with a rather dismal breakfast. Well, it was only disappointing in the fact that my favorite made-to-order omelettes were not available.
Today was also RPI’s 2010 Pizza Fest, in which a person can buy a pizza card and sample pizza from local pizzerias. At the end, students get to vote on who they thought had the best tasting pizza.
Contrary to my card below, I Love NY Pizza and Defazio’s Pizzeria did not show up by the time I left the Union. The one pizzeria that did not appear on the card (but who did show up) was Pizza Da Vinci. Bear in mind that the numbering on the card below is not due to rank, but the order in which I stacked up my pizza plates.
Also, I’m not a die-hard pizza fan, although I enjoy eating it as one of college’s staple foods from time to time. My opinion is my own and may differ from yours.
Let me state how I usually like my pizza: a small amount of tomato sauce, an average amount of cheese, usually with toppings, and very, very thin crust.
That said, here are my thoughts.
Red Front served up Sicilian slices which didn’t gain a fan from me. To clarify, I don’t have a problem with the shape of the pizza, I just didn’t like the way it tasted. One of two pizzas I did not bother to finish, this slice was doughy and somewhat bland. There was barely any tomato sauce, and mostly tasted of dough with a slight hint of cheese. They were also the only place I didn’t get a menu from – I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t see it or simply because they didn’t bring any.
Wary of franchise pizza (I spent last summer eating Domino’s once), Papa John’s was surprisingly good. They offered up two choices, cheese or pepperoni. They had plenty of menus available, and even offered up magnets. They even brought Garlic Sauce. The pepperoni was surprisingly flavorful. There was very little tomato sauce. The slice was a little doughy and mushy. One of the best things Papa John’s did was bring their own people. Don’t just deliver your pizza and let the student council hand it out, bring your reps!
Despite being a franchise, Papa John’s has a fan in me.
Here’s where it may get slightly confusing. There were two pizzerias with variations of “New York” in their name. Disregarding the name of the plate, the below pizza, to my best knowledge, is from Carmine’s/New Yorker Pizzeria. One of my gripes with this place is that they can’t decide on a name. I’ve reviewed this place on Yelp! under “Carmine’s,” but their new menu next to the boxes read “New Yorker.”
One of the things I think this place does fairly well is getting a thin crust. Not as thin as I would like it, but they do an alright job. My only problem is that their pizza always tastes slightly bland to me. I’m a believer that pizza also tastes good room temperature or cold. This slice tasted like cardboard by the time I got around eating it – bottom line, eat it while it’s hot. It’s mostly crust and cheese otherwise. Carmine’s also did not provide enough pizzas – they were the first ones out.
This is the only other slice I did not bother finishing.
Gino’s was certainly a surprise to me! It’s one of three pizzerias sitting on downtown Troy’s 4th street. The other two are I Love Pizza of Troy and Carmine’s/New Yorker Pizzeria. I admit that I usually favor I Love’s.
The below slice had a medium-thin crust, and was delicious at room temperature. The best part of this pizza was the tomato sauce. It had the perfect mix of sweet and tangy. They did start having a shortage of pizza at the end though, and were reduced to cutting the slices to very small pieces. Gino’s definitely won a fan in me.
Pizza Da Vinci undoubtedly was the best prepared for this competition. They had the greatest amount of pies, and the most variety of pies. I’m not kidding, they had to spill over to other tables. After eating my share of pizza, I went back and peeked at their table. There were even more varieties than I originally saw!
Also bringing their own reps, I had a slice with bacon, chicken and ranch on it. It was a welcome change to the monotony of cheese pizza. The bacon and ranch were particularly flavorful, and weren’t just there for decoration. I’ve had pizza in which there was ranch, but you couldn’t taste it. That wasn’t the case here. This pizza was slightly doughy, but was acceptable for a specialty slice. I’m not sure how it would hold up as just regular cheese pizza.
Definitely a fan.
Despite the fact that I didn’t see anyone representing I Love NY Pizza or getting any of their pizza, I did somehow manage to snag a menu. Hm.
I am disappointed in the fact that essentially two pizzerias were either a no-show or did not show up on time. I had looked forward on sampling all of the contestants’ pizza. Also, many were disappointed that Big Apple Pizzeria/Pizza Bella was not a participant – the word was that their manager was notoriously hard to get a hold of.
I feel that this event was largely a success – although you really had to be there when it started to get your card’s worth. Many of the contestants ran out of pizza within the first hour – and this was a three hour event. This was a great promotion for the local businesses, and at the very least changed my opinion on several pizzerias.
Walking back to Blitman, I passed through the new temporary construction tunnel set up between DCC and the Low Building. Where there a temporary wall, there’s sure to be art.
I regret not snapping photos of earlier signs that were posted (but have since been removed), but there was some new art to be seen. A chalk heart for one.
Graffiti, but still art, opposing walls showcase both Troy-let and student-body works.
Mother nature has also given us a reprieve from the nasty weather of earlier this week.
The white-blossomed trees are Bradford Pear Trees to my understanding. They have created a stir within the student-body, some which think that they are stinking up the air. There’s even a Facebook Group protesting these trees.
I don’t know, I happen to think they have a nice fragrance. The liquid salt applied to the sidewalks this past winter was far more pungent in my opinion.
Here’s to an idyllic weekend.
Carmine’s/New Yorker Pizzeria
122 Fourth Street
Troy, NY 12180
(518) 274-7000 or (518) 274-0505
Gino’s Pizza & Fried Chicken
123 Fourth Street
Troy, NY 12180
720 Hoosick Road
Troy, NY 12180
Pizza Da Vinci
187 Hoosick Street
Troy, NY 12180
(518) 272-3333 or (518) 272-TROY
71 Division St
Troy, NY 12180