Mike's Pizza Reviews
An Explanation Of Mike's System
I rate pizza on six different categories, as explained below. Every
pizza gets a score from 1 to 10 in each category; the lowest possible
score is 6 and the highest possible is 60. I've never eaten a 60, but
I've come close! I've divided all possible scores into eight different
ranges of total pizza eating experience - in general, I will only
recommend pizzas that fall in the four highest categories, as shown at
the bottom of this page.
Additionally, if a pizza scores below the lowest average value in that
range in any category, it is scored one rank lower regardless of total
points. In other words, Good pizzas have at least a 7 in each
category, Great pizzas have at least an 8, and a pizza that does not
have at least 9 in all categories can never be better than Great. This
imposes a very high standard for the Rising Star and Superior classes
All pizzas are ordered at the place of business - all pizzas are
ordered "small" size for take out. Speed timing begins immediately
after the order is placed and ends when the pizza is in the hands of
the reviewer. The pizzas are then taken from the establishment to be
eaten and measured further.
- The heart of every pizza, in
my opinion; watching people toss away uneaten crusts makes me cringe -
but it's understandable when they don't taste very good. This
category indicates the type of crust used to make the pizza, and the
numerical value indicates how well the pizza makers create it.
Typically crust falls into one of the following categories: Napolitan
(thin crust), Greek (thick, rounded crispy crust), Sicilian (thick,
chewy crust), or Chicago (deep dish).
- This category represents all
things that go between crust and toppings. This could be red sauce,
oils, a number of varieties and mixtures of cheeses, or even barbecue
sauce; it can be anything that is part of the "basic" pizza. Many of
the truly complex and rich flavors of a pizza can reside in its base,
hence it is worth evaluating separately.
A pizza without toppings can still be a great pizza - but variety is
the spice of life, and pizza experience can be greatly heightened by
the choice, quantity, and quality of toppings. Pizza makers who do
not offer a great variety of toppings are not penalized, nor do they
lose or gain points based solely on the weight/volume of toppings!
Uniqueness is rewarded, as well as creative combination of toppings.
Technically, cheese is not considered a topping - but extra cheese
- Like it or not, pizza is
primarily a convenience food - no matter how gourmet a restaurant
would like to make it! It is the ultimate take out meal, and it is
completely appropriate to rate a pizza based on the amount of time it
takes to prepare and serve. Unlike other factors, this measure is
fairly concrete: the minimum possible time to prepare a pizza is
realistically somewhere around 15 minutes (around 7 minutes to prepare
and 8 minutes to cook)... giving the servers another 10 minutes to
cool/hand off the pizza is also quite fair. To be completely
impartial, this only counts for pizzas picked up at the establishment,
not for delivered ones.
If a pizza can be ready to eat in 25 minutes or less, it will receive a
9 in this score; if it is ready in 20 minutes or less, it will receive
a 10. For every 5 minutes after 25, the score will drop by one point
- 8 for 30 minutes, 7 for 35, 6 for 40, all the way down to a possible
1 for waiting over a full hour.
This factor is also somewhat more concrete that the other metrics; it
is easy to calculate value by dividing the price of the pizza by the
area of the pizza (Pi * r^2). Small pizzas are always purchased, and
size does not vary much on a regional basis, so this value only
changes when there is significant deviation from the standard. When a
pizza barely fits in the box, it scores big! While toppings are
considered part of this measure, pizza value is usually judged on a
case by case basis and not on a complete by weight or by volume
comparison of all pizzas everywhere.
|area of 12" pizza||
|area of 11" pizza||
|area of 10" pizza||
|area of 9" pizza||
|area of 8" pizza||
This metric takes into account all other indefinable measures and
represents an overall number that reflects the total pizza experience.
Score ranges: *
* Please take note - as stated above, if a pizza falls below a certain
average value in any category, it is downgraded one level.
Back To Home Page
Back To Top
The information on this page is copyright ©2000-2002
by Mike Caprio, mikecap@theWorld.com. Permission
to quote passages or use information herein is granted for personal,
non-commercial use only. All other uses must be approved of in writing
by the author and copyright holder. Unauthorized use will be
prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law under the Digital
Millenium Copyright Act