The Greater Reno Grub and Gripe Group held a pizzathon Friday night in Reno to pick the best pizza, at least from the choices we had.
Bill and Linda were gracious enough to host so GRGAGG descended on their home with pizzas from eight places. We voted for best overall pizza and rated the pizzas based on their crust, sauce, cheese, meat topping and non-meat topping, usually meaning vegetables (I don't think anyone brought a pizza with nuts this time). A group of Chowhounds did this in 2006. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/330566
First place got 10 points, second 8 points, third got 6 and then deduct one point for each descending place until eighth got 1 point.
The top-rated overall pizza was Bistro 7. This is the place that used to be Ciao on South Virginia Street. The pizza oven was so big here it had to be lowered by helicopter. No surprise it would stick around when the business changed names.
Location Score Average
Bistro 7 Overall 82 6.31
Brugos Overall 73 5.62
Whole Foods Overall 73 5.62
Blind Onion Pizza Overall 63 4.85
Boulevard Overall 62 4.77
Black Rock Pizza Overall 58 4.46
Nik n Willies Pizza Overall 49 3.77
Pie-Face Pizza Co. Overall 47 3.62
For the individual categories, not everyone voted. So the scores were totaled and divided by the number of votes in each category.
Here are the results in the individual categories:
Bistro Seven Crust 6.82
Whole Foods Crust 6.00
Boulevard Crust 4.91
Brugos Crust 4.82
Black Rock Pizza Crust 4.64
Pie-Face Pizza Co. Crust 4.09
Blind Onion Pizza Crust 4.00
Nik n Willies Pizza Crust 3.73
Brugos Cheese 6.91
Whole Foods Cheese 6.36
Blind Onion Pizza Cheese 5.18
Bistro Seven Cheese 5.00
Nik n Willies Pizza Cheese 4.36
Boulevard Cheese 4.18
Black Rock Pizza Cheese 3.64
Pie-Face Pizza Co. Cheese 3.36
Brugos sauce 6.22
Whole Foods sauce 6.20
Pie-Face Pizza Co. sauce 4.80
Boulevard sauce 4.60
Nik n Willies Pizza sauce 4.60
Bistro Seven sauce 4.18
Black Rock Pizza sauce 3.80
Blind Onion Pizza sauce 3.11
Bistro Seven Meat 7.10
Boulevard Meat 5.80
Black Rock Pizza Meat 5.67
Nik n Willies Pizza Meat 5.10
Brugos Meat 4.56
Pie-Face Pizza Co. Meat Veggie
Whole Foods Meat Veggie
Whole Foods Non-meat 8.00
Pie-Face Pizza Co. Non-meat 6.89
Bistro Seven Non-meat 5.56
Brugos Non-meat 5.00
Boulevard Non-meat 4.56
Nik n Willies Pizza Non-meat 3.44
Black Rock Pizza Non-meat 3.00
Here are pictures of the pizzas:
Pie-Face Pizza Co.
Two different pizzas from Blind Onion:
Nik n Willies:
Black Rock Pizza:
Now for my opinion:
There were two main surprises in this for me. No. 1 is that Pie-Face Pizza would place last. I'm not necessarily a fan of Pie-Face Pizza. But I know so many people who are fans of it. They call it their favorite pizza. The thin crust is distinctive. In fact, I would have guessed RevAndy would have ranked it first. Nope. He didn't really like it. I pushed hard to get it included in the survey but no one seemed to like it. It was a vegetarian pizza, one with jalapenos, and that may have hurt it. My hope is that the people bringing the pizza would be an advocate for the pizza makers, picking one that puts their best pizza on display.
The second surprise is that Whole Foods would rank so high. For me it's just meh pizza. I've eaten it several times, although usually by the slice. It's not bad. But I wouldn't rank it near the top of the area's pizza.
I have not tried Brugo's in Reno yet. I've tried the one in Carson City. I gave some high marks to the one brought to Friday's pizzathon. But it seemed more like a pizza I respected more than one I liked. It seems like it was put together with good ingredients but I wasn't a fan of the pizza I tasted. It tied with Whole Foods for second place overall.
My favorite pizza locally is Boulevard. I ordered the combo and paid extra to get the green peppers and onions. Usually when I get that the peppers and onions are just loaded on the pizza. When I ordered it this time, Boulevard shot themselves in the foot. Look at the picture. There's not that many. At least compared to prior times I ordered the pizza. I enjoy their pizzas and I encourage people to give them a try, but the one I brought to the pizzathon was not a good representation of their efforts.
The Bistro 7 pizza did many things right. Great, distinctive crust. Nice sauce. It certainly merits our attention.
At the risk of having Mrs. RevAndy kick me for giving RevAndy a swelled head, I have to say RevAndy was absolutely right about one thing. It doesn't work well to bring pizzas to one location to judge them. Too many of the pizzas were cold by the time we got around to eating them. There were nine pizzas to judge, couting the two brought from Blind Onion. The first slices on the plate were fine. But by the time you get around to taking notes on the last slices, they were pretty cold.
When we did this in 2006, we drove to each pizza place. That was more time consuming. But it gave a more fair assessment of the pizzas. The problem with that method, of course, is that you can't do side-by-side comparisons. I guess there's no perfect method to judge pizzas.
Black Rock Pizza
2855 N McCarran Blvd Ste 106, Sparks, NV 89431
7111 S Virginia St, Reno, NV 89511