Harfing down pepperoni pizza in spanking new formalwear doesn’t have to be an activity isolated to your arraignment. It was big news to me when the man in the top hat passed me a slice, so I’m spreading the word as it was spoken so you can indulge outside the usual parameters, as nostalgic as that annual “drunk and disorderly” at the Buffalo Bills game may be.
Living within the delivery zone for 10 years running, Mister Pizza has been my long-standing arm candy escort to functions steeped in grandeur like Cheektowaga tailgates, my Aunt Barb’s funeral and a few shameful front-seat slice sessions in the parking lot outside the shop.
After all these years, will it still treat me like a regal Rubenesque lady I am? Let’s strap on the dancing shoes.
Dough: If you’re not up for a toothsome chew in a mastication master’s class, I suggest you slide your dentures out and look elsewhere for your perfect pie. I want a good chomp on each bite, and Mister Pizza typically executes that perfectly, though this time around they pulled the oven rip cord early and sacrificed some of that bounce to mush toward the middle, hurting the score.
Cheese: An Olympic-sized mozzarella moat, the pizza crafting people across the countertop at Mister Pizza are clearly playing craps with cheese-packed palms over the product. We’d be streaming 7s if they gave it the proper heat to string and strap as it should, but alas this one just rolled past “heated through.” Though snapping where it should stretch, it’s still got great flavor and chew, pulling its weight on the pie.
Sauce: Robust and punchy. This is a bold sauce with an acidic tang and is a prominent flavor you don’t have to hunt for. I’m spotting herb speckle from across the room like they’re Cinnamon Toast Crunch swirls. It’s the taste you can see, baby. Thinner than most in a city of often pasty sauce, it’s right where I like it from a consistency standpoint as well. A teaspoon more per slice kicks this into perfection.
Pepperoni: Raft the greasy seas in the vessel of your choosing, because Mister Pizza has everything from the familiar inner tube, to the oblong canoe cut that’s a favorite of the more buoyant boys such as myself. Love to see the variety of shape, size and placement of pepperoni making each bite a strategic decision. Exactingness and pizza shouldn’t often associate. Harder char and a half a fistful more for top marks.
Overall: (B+) A high B+, Mister Pizza has held my No. 1 spot before and I’m sure down the line I’ll eat another one that will seat it there again. My bar for Mister is excellence, and though this one wasn’t its best, it’s still a darn good pizza.
Like a crazy ex-lover, at first thought poignant memories of the good times brown and bubble their way to the surface. Steamy evenings draped in satin sauce rousing hazy imagery of yourself and pizza tangled together as one cohesive, overly full, unit. Are those pepperonis? Did you even own a top hat? When it’s at its best, it very well may be the best and is undoubtedly in my Top 3. But linger too long and the images stain. Remember when it came home plastered and upside down at your doorstep? Or when it let itself go during its busy season and got doughy? Or showed up an hour late to your birthday?
In my years of ordering, the “off pies” are very few, this one just barely slipping. But do we make up? Do I go back to it? A must-hit and a forever favorite, I’ll always love you, Mr. P.
Address: 1065 Elmwood Ave.
Hours: 9 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Lunch deal: Two cheese slices and a 20-ounce pop, $7.
Large cheese and pepperoni: $19.45.
Deal: Mini Pak ($34.55). Large cheese and one-item pizza, 20 wings, one blue cheese, celery and carrots (add $1.80 for barbecue and specialty wings).
Exotic pizza: Shrimp Scampi Pizza ($21.45, large). A mixture of oil, spices and a blend of four cheeses, topped with crisp sliced Spanish onions, sweet peppers, jumbo tiger shrimp and bacon.
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