Guzzo’s is in Kaisertown, which is a fascinating part of the city that you should get to know because you’ll sound like a hip explorer when you drop it in front of your less urban-savy friends. “I get my pizza from this little shop in Kaisertown…you’ve probably never heard of it”. See what I mean? Guzzo’s is smack in the center of a strip that has about 5 pizza joints in a 1 mile radius. Either this “Kaiser” is crushing pizza, or all these places have a dedicated fan base keeping them ticking. Well, the needle fell on Guzzo’s today, so let’s read the tale of the tape, shall we? I didn’t feel like a drink, so just 2 slices for $4.60ish. Groovy.

When I ordered my slices they were sitting under a big plastic dome, which is a first, thus far. The pizza king dished some pepperoni on top and threw them back in the oven to re-heat. I’ve had a couple places now throw toppings onto plain cheese pizza and re-heat them. Avenue cooked the pepperoni separately first so that they cupped up. One time it was just more shredded cheese, which didn’t pan out. Looking at you, Big Boy’s. It might be more common than I thought. A few places let you order specialty pizza by the slice, and I guess thats how it works. Anyhow, looks good so far, but nothing blowing me away.

…holy pepperoni, Batman. That is a lot. They’re razor thin so it’s not too ridiculous, but goddamn. I like pepperoni and these are ok, but they’re edging on that NY style pepperoni where they haven’t really been cooked enough and they’re kind of floppy. One or two had some char, but to maximize flavor they really needed to be originally cooked in tandem with the pie.

Casualties of pizza. The slice was at critical mass. This was inevitable, but not a bad thing. Scooping these up and eating them with the crust was nice. That’s a pro move. Tell your friends.

Guzzo’s cheese is good, but its in shoddy distribution in some spots. Here is a mud-flap of it as thick as a cell phone, which is of course just fine. However, it did make the dough a little less cooked under that particular spot. It’s squeaky, greasy, and delicious, but as you’ll see in the next shot…

…sometimes the layer gets a little thin. It also might be the whitest cheese I’ve seen since Week 1 at Wiseguys. I don’t really know how that factors in. Just an observation. This isn’t Sophomore Lit class, man. Not every subtle note has reason or implication. Get over yourself Hester Prynne. Speaking of scarlet, have a look at that rosy sauce.

Guzzo’s has a nice amount of sauce and it’s got some flavor, but it isn’t unique. I know I’ve had this several times before. It was grainy, acidic, and gave me wicked heartburn. Reminded me initially of Prima’s sauce.

A little darker and dryer than the whole pie would have been because of the oven reheat. Good call on pizza man snagging this out of the oven when he did. A minute more and it would have burned. Stopping the cooking while the dough stared longingly into the abyss allowed it to sit at the peak of doneness. Nice crispness and dark bready flavor. Hot damn.

The rule of 3rds is commonly misinterpreted as a photography term, when it actually refers to pizza dough. The top 3rd should consist of wetter, chewier, more gelled up dough, while the bottom 2/3rds consists of a dry, fluffy, bubbly layer, capped on the ass by a crispy shell. Boom. They highlight their “Homemade Dough” a lot on their menu, and I can see why. It’s excellent. I really hope homemade dough isn’t an uncommon thing, though. Anyhow, this is nicely done, Guzzo’s. Let’s see where the rest of it falls.

DoughšŸ„–: (A-/A) Simple yet exceptional. A very difficult thing to do so well)
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CheesešŸ§€: (B) Good flavor, but patchy and no bubble. Averages out)
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SaucešŸ„«: (C+) Grainy, acidic, and nothing unique.
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PepperonišŸ–: (C+) Nice quantity, but throwing it on last-minute hurt texture flavor.
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OverallšŸ•: (B-/B)

When it comes to slices, Guzzo’s is a little bit of a 1 trick pony with their outstanding dough. Just from the way the slice reheat process went down, you can tell they’re REALLY tailored more to whole pizzas. Both the Pepperoni and Cheese scores took hits because of it. The sauce, however, just simply isn’t for me. Damn shame sometimes that I’m not doing whole pies, because I would love to try one from Guzzo’s, particularly the “Kaisertown Deluxe”. Two meat choices, seasoning, lettuce, tomato, special sauce, all FOLDED and sliced. I’m not even sure how that works. Breaking new ground, boys. Thanks, Guzzo’s! Catch you next week for #42.