Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Great Baltimore Pizza Pursuit 2013: Buca Di Beppo

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 surprise entrant Buca Di Beppo. Click here to see how the last entrant fared.

I wasn't planning on including Buca in the Great Baltimore Pizza Pursuit, but after tasting their stuff during lunch last week I thought they deserved a mention. A future review of Buca di Beppo as a whole will be posted at some point in the future. Please keep in mind that despite the picture showing 3 types of pizza, the only one under consideration here is the cheese pizza.

Droop Factor - It's a bit hard to score this one when it comes to Buca's pizza. The pie was fairly small and it wasn't cut into the traditional triangle pieces. Because of this, droop factor really doesn't come in to play and so I'm giving them a 1 by default.

Score - 1

Greaseification - This pizza was greasy, but in a totally delicious way. I've mentioned the fine line pizza walks between grease gross and grease great. Buca di Beppo's was grease great.

Score - 1.5

Aroma - I realize this category is kind of BS, but it's my party and I'll make stupid criteria if I want to. Pizza either comes out smelling fantastic, or it comes out smelling really good. Because the pizza we got came with two other types of pizza attached to it, it's hard to evaluate the sexy aroma of the cheese alone. To be fair, I'm also giving a default score of 1 here because I can't be sure that that I wasn't influenced by the meaty aroma that was the godlike pepperoni.

Score - 1

Cheese - Buca's cheese was extremely tasty. Salty, creamy, greasy, and delicious. The pizza was cooked just the right amount of time to the point that the cheese started to get those beautiful little browned areas here and there. Really tasty stuff.

Score - 1.5

Sauce - I REALLY enjoyed the sauce. I enjoyed it so much I hit the caps lock button when I typed really in the previous sentence. There was ample tomato sauce throughout. The flavor was bright and acidic and there was an underlying flavor of garlic that a lot of the other pizzas I've been eating could have benefited from.

Score - 2

Crust - Buca's crust was quite delicious as well. It was thinner than usual and I really enjoyed that. This is a pizza you can eat without feeling like you're eating a bread anchor. They put a nice brown on it and overall it was a crust well done.

Score - 1.5

Overall Score - 8.5  out of 12

As you can see, Buca Di Beppo scored very well. Without the default scores of 1 for a few categories, this one would be right up there at the top. I visited them during lunch break because I had a coupon and wanted a cheap lunch. I left surprised as hell at how much I enjoyed their pizza. Walked in with chain restaurant bias. Walked out thrilled that I can walk there from work any day of the week.

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