Take a deep breath of that signature Picasso’s magic dusty sprinkle (coincidentally my former stage name) and take a journey with me behind the doughy navel. Wild, crimson, saucy strokes. Interlocking geometric crispy, salty pepperoni. A creamy mozzarella masquerade of shapes and sights. A masterpiece of SexySlices flashing movement and genius from every angle. OK, maybe shallower breaths of the dust, yeah?
It's a pie so famous some Spaniard stole the name and style, nearly ruining a family tradition with some rather unsavory art. Certainly visually enchanting, we’re here today to ask ourselves if this multi-location pizza powerhouse is more than just a pretty face. Does Picasso’s have the bite to back its beauty? Is it more important than Cubism? The Albright-Knox isn’t returning my phone call to answer those questions.
Dough: A hybrid thin and fluffy dough baked in a square pan that lends this pie a slight Detroit-style flair of crisped corners and edges enrobed by a bubbly blend of cheese and sauce. Checkered in varying hues of brown, this has dynamic flavor and compensates for its doughy, puffy undercarriage with crunchy edges and a sharply crisp pepperoni layer. It’s a near-perfect marriage of flavor and texture that ties the whole pie together artfully.
Cheese: A SexySlices Standout: Magic dusted with a proprietary blend of what I’m guessing is Parmesan, oregano and garlic, these gooey, ropy pulls of deep molten mozzarella will shift your dermatologist to a speed dial contact. Bubble-pocked and browned over the perimeter of this square pie, the cheese trapped against the pan contributes a crispy, salty crunch to the “Detroit flair” of Picasso’s pizza. Unlike most classic Buffalo pizza spots, the dreaded black burnt “cheese charcoal” that sometimes appears below the pie in this format is kept to a minimum, if present at all. To those of you who to enjoy that grit, please seek help and stay away from my children.
Sauce: These slices are drenched in a silken sea of thick, pungent red sauce. I like looking like a vampire during my pizza experience and this sauce makes my cape seem less conspicuous as it oozes crimson from the corners of my mouth and onto the bus stop bench. The recipe is a Buffalo-style staple that’s got a signature slight sweetness, which keeps the category to the low “A’s” for my savory preferences. But if you’re into the staple regional style, Picasso’s sauce is likely a dead ringer for you.
Pepperoni: A SexySlices Standout: It don’t get better than this, folks. Thick, thin, long, short, chewy on the inside, yet shatteringly crisp along the edge and doled out in such abundance it nearly qualifies as Atkins-friendly. Enhancing each bite the way a topping should, these pepperoni sit atop meat mountain as my current favorite.
Overall: (A+) Buffalo pizza royalty pioneering a style all its own. If you’re venturing out from your longtime family favorite, this is the place I’d send you first.
A cheese and pep magnum opus, Picasso’s slices are the prettiest ponies in the SexySlices stable and have long been in my Top 3. An ocular assault of pizza power that would make their namesake proud. Pop the lid on a sheet of this primo product and watch the potluck grow cold around the geriatric stampede storming the ace in the hole offering you slaved over a 30-second phone call to prepare (better luck next year, Alice).
The visual enticement of the magic-dusted Picasso’s pie is well-backed by its quality composition that rings through with each successive inexplicable bite into your sixth slice. Never underdone, it’s the pinnacle of molten salty, crunchy, funky, slightly sweet consistency that’s topped with that extra umpf of magic dust. This is the pie I find myself most often recommending to anyone looking for a taste of the coveted Buffalo Pizza because it just never seems to slip. Paint me impressed, Picasso’s. Or like one of your French girls, I’d just like a portrait, really.
• • •
Address: 2193 Union Road, West Seneca (668-1111).
Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Lunch deal: 2 slices and a 20-ounce pop, $8.14.
Large cheese and pepperoni: $23.70.
Deal: $21.70 large cheese and one topping, digital coupon.
Exotic pizza: Spaghetti & Meatball Parmesan ($30.95, large) with garlic butter, Parmesan, oregano, marinara, spaghetti and chopped meatballs.
Other locations: 6812 Transit Road, Williamsville; 5413 Broadway, Lancaster; and 4154 McKinley Parkway, Blasdell.
@SexySlices remains anonymous, but is on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Follow and contact @SexySlices there, plus check out the extensive archive of 200-plus pizza reviews.