The rules of The Great Baltimore Pizza Pursuit are simple. Each category is worth 2 points (allowing for half points). The only pizza I'm considering is the basic slice of cheese. At the end of the year, the highest score wins the coveted Baltimore Bistros and Beer's Great Baltimore Pizza Pursuit title. This week's entry is Chazz: A Bronx Original. Click here to see how the last entrant fared.
Droop Factor - If you look at the picture above you can tell there is some serious grease going on. I haven't seen anything that shiny since I took in my reflection after 9th grade football practice. Chazz makes a dense greasy pizza so it was a nice surprise when the crust held up. Droopy mess denied!
Score - 1.5
Greaseification - We're back to that fine line greasy pizza likes to walk between sloppy mess and unhealthy deliciousness. Unfortunately, the pizza I had on this day was a bit too greasy. Normally, I have no problem mowing through a pizza but in this case I was full after only a slice or two.
Score - .5
Aroma - I used to think that I loved the smell of sauce, herbs, and toppings but this Pizza Pursuit has taught me that I also long for a quality bready crust smell. Chazz has that in spades. The smell of a coal fire oven baking a pizza ain't so bad either.
Score - 1.5
Cheese - The cheese on this pizza is what I like to refer to as "Ninja Turtle Cheese". If you're my age and a dude there is no doubt you know what I'm talking about. It's that cheese that is super stringy....something every Ninja Turtle pizza had back in the day. Little Doug was digging the stringy cheese. It was creamy and salty, but there might have been a little too much for my taste to bump the score up a notch.
Score - 1
Sauce - Chazz has an excellent sauce. The tomatoes are bright and acidic and they top it with just the right amount. However, the high dosage of cheese overshadows the awesome sauce. A little more balance between cheese and sauce would go a long way with me.
Score - 1.5
Crust - I was really disappointed by the crust. Yes, it held up when I gave the droop test and it's not that the crust tasted bad. It's just that everything on top kind of ruined it for me. The crust was weighed down with so much cheese and sauce that by the time I was eating my way through the pizza the crust was falling apart rather than breaking and giving me that cracker bite I expect from a coal oven baked pizza.
Score - 1
Overall Score - 7 out of 12
Please note that this score only reflects my views of their cheese pizza and not the restaurant as a whole. In the future I plan to review my entire experience and you'll be happy to know that the rest of my visit was better than expected and has me intrigued for future visits.
If you're a fan of Chazz's and you're baffled at the mediocre score you should know I'm baffled as well. I went in expecting to LOVE the pizza, but it just didn't turn out that way. Perhaps it was what I call the "Jurassic Park" effect. As a kid I hyped that movie up in my head so much that when I saw it for the first time I was nothing but disappointed. That Raptor being smart enough to open doors pissed 12 year old Doug off. But I gave the movie another chance and over time it became one of my all-time favorites. Perhaps, Chazz will follow the same pattern, but for now they fall to the middle of the pack in The Great Baltimore Pizza Pursuit.