Archive for September 25, 2009
Mention pizza and people get very defensive about their favorites. We’re not talking about the chain stores that work to make cheap pizzas and sell them for pennies on the dollar. We’re talking about real parlors that are honestly trying to make good food in a flat shape. Depending on where you were raised or live, you have some geographic favorite. We’re no different.
Jeff has a soft spot for Theresa’s Pizza. He was raised in Maple Heights, a half block from the original store. He likely bought one of the first pies they made in 1969 as a teenager with money earned from his Plain Dealer route. When we were first married, we lived in Warrensville Township (now Highland Hills). Some relative of Theresa opened Augie’s and that then became out go-to pizza joint. After moving to Cleveland Heights, we had some brief flings with the now defunct House of Za, Captain Tony’s and the fabulous Diffrnt Pizza. As our list now indicates, Dewey’s has taken that paragon place, but it is facing stiff competition from a new contender, Crostita’s.
Dewey’s makes a nice, crisp crust offered with a wide variety of conventional and interesting specialty toppings. We especially like the Green Lantern (Mozzarella, Mushrooms, Goat Cheese, Artichokes, Pesto & Red Sauce), Billy Goat (Olive Oil, Mozzarella, Mushrooms, Goat Cheese, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Peppers and Tomatoes) and Socrates’ Revenge (Mozzerella-Fontina Cheese, Spinach, Black & Green Olives, Feta, Red Onions and Tomatoes. To begin, we usually share a large Peppercorn Ranch salad. Michele insists she could eat it all by herself, if it weren’t for the waiting main course. Jeff appreciates that they always offer a White/Wheat beer (currently Bell’s); the light, fruity flavor mixes perfectly with Dewey’s delicate pizza flavors.
Just recently, a new contender opened and could easily take over our top spot. Crostatas, hidden away in Highland Heights may be making the best pizza in the city. Jeff believes it is the closest he’s had to the pizza he enjoyed in Italy. Neither have much in common with the stuff produced by “Papa Donato’s Hut.” Using a wood burning oven, all the toppings stay flavorful because the pizzas take almost no time to bake. The subtle wood taste lingers. The cheese used is exquisite and the remaining ingredients couldn’t be fresher. While there are some tempting antipasti offered, we have heretofore stuck with the salads. The Caprese is a wonderful combination of tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. Insalata Caesar uses house made croutons and paper thin slices of parmesan mixed with a beautiful dressing. After first ordering the Prosciutto E Arugula pizza, on subsequent visits it has been very difficult to try the others. The prosciutto is perfect, rich in flavor and a perfect match to the crunchy arugula leaves and curls of Parmigiano reggiano. Pizza just doesn’t get much better than this. We have also tried the Classico pizza. As expected, it was very good. There are others that also sound flawless and I expect we will try them in the future, but we’ll need to get our fill of the Prosciutto E Arugula first. For desert, the Nutella Pizza can’t be beat. Imagine a calazone stuffed thick with the rich hazelnut and chocolate spread, the woody flavor ever present. Finally a pizza restaurant with a worthwhile “dolce” to end the meal.
Pizzas, even we can’t agree upon the best, but we can suggest you try them all!
List Status: Existing
http://www.deweyspizza.com/ 2194 Lee Road Cleveland Heights, OH 216-321-7355
http://www.crostatas.com/ 558 Bishop Road Highland Heights, OH 440-449-7800