Monday, August 18, 2008

The Mister DeVizzaPizza Fake Pizza Place Name Contest Finals, Round 2!

Photo mashup by Robin and Nico Good - original photos credits - turntable / Dolphin Music - pizza / Palatino join-us

Hi again, pizza friends. Just a quick post to announce the second bracket of the Mister DeVizzaPizza Fake Pizza Place Name Contest Finals! New Fake Pizza Place Names are up in the polls section, and as you can see...this grouping features a musical pizza theme. SoundZAwesome, right? And look at that crazy pizza turntable up there! Pepper-Roni Size! Rep-za-rent? Eh. REMIX!!!! Anyway, voting will stay up for a full business week this time, because, frankly, Mister DeVizzaPizza doesn't really have that much "content." True story. often! Oh, also (and I think we all saw this coming...), the first Fake Pizza Place Name to advance to the Championship Round is:

Christian Science Pizza Room

Amen! Hope your week starts off with a cheesy slice!
Mr. DP

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Mister DeVizzaPizza Fake Pizza Place Name Contest Finals have begun!!!!

It's time. A champion will emerge, pizza pals!

Here's how this is going to work: Every two days, I'll post a new bracket of 3 Fake Pizza Place Name Contest finalists over there in the Polls section. Vote for your favorite, and the winners will move on to face each other in the Ultimate Mister DeVizzaPizza Fake Pizza Place Name Contest Championship. The last, um, Fake Pizza Place Name standing will become the Mister DeVizzaPizza Fake Pizza Place Name Contest winner. And that will really be something! So, vote now and check back often!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

And..........we're back!

Hey pizza pals.  Ok, so...after an inexcusably long Pizza Break, Mister DeVizzaPizza is back!  Very sorry for the long delay in posting, everyone.  Really, I am.  And to make it up to you all, I've got a whole bunch of brand new pizza posts coming up, including a book review, some thoughts on local Philadelphia pizzerias, the Mister DeVizzaPizza Fake Pizza Place Name Contest Finals and the introduction of a very special guest blogger and regular contributor to the site.

But first, we've got some unfinished business to wrap up.  That's right, it's a full and detailed account of the first-ever Mister DeVizzaPizza vs. the Internet pizza battle.  And of course, it should come as no surprise to hear that the winner is:  The Internet!  'Cause seriously, the internet always wins, pizza friends.  Every time.  Sad and true.  Anyway, as mentioned earlier, I took another stab (after one very successful attempt a few months ago) at the Potato, Corn & Leek Pizza with Truffle Oil from The Petite Pig.  

I suppose if you had to put a name to it, this would be a kind of "gourmet" pizza, in the Ed LaDou/Chez Panisse style.'s pretty tough to judge the pie by any conventional pizza standards. From sauce to toppings, the whole thing is pretty unusual.  All we can really do here is evaluate the experience as a whole...

What really stands out, ultimately and unfortunately, is the unbelievable amount of prep work required to put this particular pie together.  This pie takes a LONG time to make!  I mean, have you cleaned leeks lately?  That shit is labor intensive!  More sand in the folds than a fat guy at the beach!  Hey-oh!  And...I suppose I could've used canned or frozen corn, but it's Jersey corn season!  So there was husking and boiling and, um, de-cobbing to be done.  And boiling and slicing and seasoning and baking the potatoes, too.  Also...I typically use an uncooked simple tomato sauce on my pizzas, so putting together a cream-splashed white wine sauce was a bit more work than usual.  Now, I know what you're thinking.  "Mister DeVizzaPizza, quit your whining!"  And you're right.  Honestly, making pizza of any kind is pleasant work.  I mean, it's what I love.  And what else was I going to do with my night, anyway?  So it's not exactly a deal-breaker, all of this prep work - just something to consider when evaluating the recipe.  And really, perhaps most importantly, the results were absolutely delicious - rich, slightly sweet and complex, with an unexpected earthiness courtesy of the truffle oil.  It really is a wonderful combination of flavors - one that would very nicely carry over to another application.  Roasted leek and potato salad with grilled corn, served over baby greens tossed with truffle vinaigrette?  Maybe so, right?  Right.  And, it's worth mentioning that because there's just sooo much happening with this pie, a couple of slices go a long way.  There were plenty of leftovers here in the DevizzaPizza test kitchen.  And isn't that nice?  It is.  It really is.  

So, pizza pals...taking the elaborate prep work into consideration, I guess I'd give this Potato, Corn & Leek Pizza with Truffle Oil a solid 5 out of 8 possible slices on the Mister DevizzaPizza Pizza Rating Scale.  It's a decadent and unexpected pie, one perhaps most appropriate for a gourmet pizza party - where all of that extra work will pay off in compliments from your admiring pizza party guests!  And hey, if you ever decide to have such a get-together, don't forget to save a place at the table for your old friend in fancy toppings...

Mr. DP

Check out the slideshow below for step by step pics, and click any photo for comments or descriptions: 

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for the first round of the Mister DeVizzaPizza Fake Pizza Place Name Contest Finals!  Exciting times, pizza friends...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Where's Mister DeVizzaPizza

This just in: Mister DeVizzaPizza is on a...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mister DeVizzaPizza vs. the Internet - Sneak Peek!

Details and additional pics coming soon!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Fancy Pie? Yes, thank you. And...introducing Mister DeVizzaPizza vs. the Internet!!!!

Hey Pizza Friends! Long time, no cheese. I hope you all have been doing well...eating a lot of slices, etc. (I know I have!). Things have been very very busy, and I've got a whole lot of Mister DeVizzaPizza material to get to, so I'm just gonna jump right in:

The Mister DeVizzaPizza Fake Pizza Place Name Contest continues to be a raging success. There's been a lot of wonderful feedback on the themed (Rock & Roll, Hollywood) rounds, and we're getting closer and closer to the finals. So, keep an eye open for another round tomorrow...and, as always, remember to vote!

Even more exciting news: I'll be announcing a couple of new Mister DeVizzaPizza features this week, including one inspired by the following email:


Dear Mr. DeVizzaPizza, When I was a young college student, I spent a summer living in Toulouse, France studying painting. One of my classmates discovered a pizza place near his house with the tastiest "fancy" pizza I have ever had. For shizzy. (I consider it fancy because it has more complicated ingredients than its simpler cousin.) On the menu it was called the "Oh Fada!" Special (named after the restaurant,) and consisted of a few fine and select items. I will describe it to you layer by layer, since it is important in that order.

1) Thin and delicious pizza crust

2) Some sauteed mushrooms

3) A layer of creme fraiche (

4) All at once: caramelized onions, pancetta, and a small amount of shredded parm and asiago cheese.

5) Lightly now: Freshly ground black pepper.

Yes! The mushrooms on the bottom. Who would have thought? I have seen versions of this, but no one can ever get it right. Especially when it comes
to handling a slice. Nobody wants to pick up a flimsy wet piece of pizza. I imagine it would help to par-bake the crust a little so it build up its strength. Anywho, I am wondering how you feel about fancy pizza. Nothing beats a classic margherita, but have you ever experimented with crazy toppings and ingredients?

Also, a little tidbit. My co-workers and I were talking ab
out what food we would chose if we had to eat the same thing every day. We agreed on: (you guessed it) PIZZA!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sincerely,


P.S. You wouldn't believe how many pictures of pizza are on the web. Some are wacky like this Yoda Pizza


Well, they say in the Dago'za System:

"Toppings matter not
. Look at me. Judge me by my toppings, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Sauce, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Sauce around you; here, between you, me, the cheese, the crust, everywhere, yes. Even between the pie and the plate.”

Um...holy crust is there just a whole lot wrong with that, pizza friends! I mean, it's not that funny. And frankly, it only barely makes sense. And "Dago'za" even sorta sounds like some kind self-hating slur! Sheesh. I apologize. I really do. Star Wars? Pizza? Seemed innocent enough. Return of the Jed-pie? The Empire Strikes 'Za? Attack of the Calzones? Eh. Sad. Anyway...

Nancy, thanks so much for your letter! Your pancetta, carmelized onion and mushroom pie sounds divine, despite its somewhat reductive name. If I ever get to Toulouse, I'll be sure to pick up a slice! And you raise an interesting point: What to make of "fancy" pizza?

As you know, I'm no 'zaglodyte. I try to keep an open pizza mind, because, frankly...I really like eating pizza, and it seems silly to impose restrictions on such a purely pleasurable pursuit. So, answer your question, YES! I've certainly experimented with some non-traditional pies.

In fact...a couple of months ago, I had a really wonderful experience with a very very strange pie - one topped with potato, corn and leeks and finished with a drizzle of truffle oil. It's a rich, somewhat sweet and surprisingly complex pie, with leek and white wine cream sauce replacing the usual simple tomato sauce. I mean, seriously, it's got CORN on it! That's crazy. But you know what? It's delicious. And I remember exactly how it came to be...

A week or two before making this pie, I had a lovely dinner at a friend's house, where mushroom ravioli were served in a cream sauce flavored with truffle oil. Now, I don’t know exactly why it hit so hard that night, but I caught some kind of serious truffle fever. I left the dinner party in a full-blown truffle daze, and it wasn’t too long before I found myself in the Italian Market, picking up a bottle of truffle oil to call my very own. And listen, I know…truffle oils cost too much, and there are a whole lot of people that dismiss them outright, as they are commonly created with synthetic flavorings and not actual truffle of any kind. But, I was after a very specific thing, and that thing was stuff flavored with truffle oil. So, there you have it. I made some approximation of my friend’s truffle cream sauce. I made a truffled vinaigrette to dress an arugula salad with fresh shaved Parmigiana Reggiano. I even made a truffle butter popcorn, modeled after an appetizer served at the Royal Tavern. And then…I started looking around for more ideas.

When I’m looking for recipe suggestions, I tend to use the web. I love cookbooks, and have a whole lot of them. But for whatever reason, when I’m actually searching for new ideas, I look around online. So, away I went, to my favorite quick-search resource, the recently-disbanded and since reinstated Tastespotting. Tastespotting was and is a kind of food blog aggregator, at the time maintained by the NOTCOT folks (who sold the domain) and using their familiar thumbnail format (which was kept intact when the site relaunched last month). Which means that, a quick search for “truffle” produced a dizzying array of gorgeous food photos, each just a click removed from a corresponding recipe. And because many of the sites linked were personal food blogs, the recipes were largely personal recipes, with personal anecdotes and commentary. Really, It’s a fantastic way to stumble across some foodie inspiration!

So…long story short, I ended up visiting The Petite Pig, a food blog created by Jess Dang, a personal chef in San Francisco and a contestant on Season 2 of the Next Food Network Star (heh…Guy Fieri). Jess had this recipe, for pizza…pizza with all this crazy stuff on it, and finished with a drizzle of truffle oil! I had to try it. And I did. And it was delicious. And thinking back on the experience, I’m inspired to do it again. So, with thanks to Nancy, our reader, and to Jess at The Petite Pig, I’d like to officially announce a new Mister DeVizzaPizza feature:

Mister DeVizzaPizza vs. the Internet!

That’s right. It’s on. Although, I guess that’s not the best way to put it. Basically, what I’ll do is…every once in a while, I’m going to find a pizza recipe online, post it here on Mister DeVizzaPizza and then recreate it at home, taking pictures and making notes all the while. Sounds fun, right? Right! So, for this first-ever installment, I’m going to revisit The Petite Pig’s potato, corn & leek pizza with truffle oil. Check back for results!

And that's all for now, Pizza Friends! Hope your pizza week is off to a very tasty start!

Yours, with corn and truffle oil...
Mr. DP

Monday, July 7, 2008