By Phil Brown, Contributor
Perhaps there is nothing as stereotypically associated with college students as a take-out pizza. Pizza is a meme, a trope, something harped upon in every conceivable way. But there’s a reason for the hyperbole, and the reason is that pizza is delicious, a perfect fast food, great hot or cold and relatively cheap. Pizza is the best. But what is the best pizza?
On Saturday I decided to put a local pizza service provider through its paces. Picasso’s Pizza is the second-closest take-out pizza establishment to my house, and at 50th and Center, lies within easy distance from campus. It offers a menu of basic pizza toppings, specialty pizzas, wings, and burgers.
I ordered a 12” Picasso’s House Pizza on a lazy, snowing Saturday afternoon. The respondent communicated clearly and was helpful, and there were no problems with the order itself.
Due to the lack of staff at the time, however, I was told that there would be no option for delivery until 5 p.m. It’s worth noting that I ordered at 2:40 p.m., which isn’t really a usual time for pizza and shouldn’t have necessarily expected anything different.
Not to be dissuaded, I made the harrowing seven-minute bike ride down to Center myself, and I must say it was worth it.
When I arrived at Piccasso’s location at 50th and Center, I was immediately encouraged by the delicious smell as I walked through the door. The building’s interior is clean and bright, and while it’s not designed to eat in, nevertheless gives a good impression of the running of the place. The sole worker there was friendly and quickly had my order ready.
I immediately sat down at one of the two chairs in the establishment to grab a bite while the pizza was hot and fresh out of the oven. The Picasso’s House Pizza, the variety I ordered, is a relatively simple affair: just a cheese blend of ricotta and mozzarella and marinated tomatoes.
While the ingredients are minimal on this particular pizza, the results are maximum. First, Piccasso’s crust is excellent. It was pretty soft when fresh from the oven, but held together well and wasn’t undercooked. As it cooled, it became nice and chewy, a perfect crust consistency. The flavor, obviously important, was also top-notch.
The toppings on this variety were also great. I usually go for the meat toppings, especially pepperoni, when I get pizza, so the simple tomato and cheese combo on this one was a nice change of pace. The ricotta and mozzarella were delicious, especially when the pizza was hot. And the tomatoes were juicy and tasted fresh, with the marination adding a bit of spice to the combination.
Picasso’s was affordable at $12.99 for a 12-inch specialty pizza, a better price than it’s closest competitor, Valentino’s To-Go.
The specialty pizza that I had was delicious, and while I can’t speak directly of the quality of any of the other toppings you might choose, the crust was also excellent, and I think any of the choices , at $10 for a one-topping, would knock your current cheap pizza provider out of the water. Certainly superior to the Digiorno in your freezer.