How 'Bout Them Knockers: Scalini's Pizza & Pasta

Scalini's Pizza & Pasta
2021 Abrams Road

Promised delivery time: 45 minutes
Actual delivery time: 43 minutes

The Score
Semi-attractive delivery guy wearing hipster glasses: 4
Creative choice of vegetables: 7
Lukewarm pizza: -3
...that came from three blocks away: -3
...and he drove: -1
...and there's a $2 delivery fee: -5
Then again, we were too lazy to walk over there: 1
Ability to keep the cheese and meat off the vegan side of the pizza: 17
Best crust in the world (without actually trying all the crust in the world): 50
It's Scalini's: 20

Total: 87

Overall Standings

Nandina Asian Tapas 93
Roti Grill 88
Scalini's Pizza & Pasta 87
Spiatzas Pizzeria 80
Zini's Pizzeria51
LA Gourmet Pizza47

When someone else is paying for your pizza, that person (in this case, my mother) has the veto.

"Not Piggie Pies," she said with finality--even though neither of us have ever eaten there. It was cold, and the cute pink cartoon pigs cavorting around that restaurant's website made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. "Their crust is thick," she added. "I don't like thick crust. It's gooey."

Thick? Gooey? Are we talking about pizza or molten chocolate cake? And just where did you get your information?

As is often the case with our elders, they have their favorite places and stick to them. We would order from Lakewood's tried-and-true Scalini's ("thin crust," my mother said with an approving nod). And it might even get here faster, since the restaurant was only a couple of blocks away.

But we were a little too optimistic for a chilly Sunday night.

The polite man on the phone told us it would take 45 minutes for our $16.94 hybrid pizza creation: Half vegan (all the veggies and no cheese), half mushrooms, beef and cheese. We played Scrabble while we waited. My stepdad groused expressively (he's an avid user of huge, erudite words) about how long his pizza was taking and frowned at me for scribbling notes.

When the pizza finally came, it wasn't as hot as we would've liked--after all, we were just blocks away from Scalini's...and the delivery guy (who said he didn't get lost) drove. It shouldn't have taken him more than 45 seconds to get there.

But that's what a microwave is for, right? As we sampled the somewhat unconventional veggie pizza half--eggplants, squash, onions, black and green olives--I realized just what my mother had meant about crust. It's just that she should have made it more obvious. She should have said 'Alexa, there simply is no crust that compares to Scalini's.'

I would have scoffed--making and serving pizzas paid for the adventures of my mid-twenties, and I happen to think I know a good crust when I smell one. In the end, however, I would have been as much of a believer as I am now. Crunchy yet soft, perfectly salted, with a delicious hint of garlic...I've never had anything like it.

There are crust avoiders and crust fiends--you know the type; they go around scavenging everybody's leftover bits of uneaten crust--and I speak only to the latter: Prepare to enter a new world of euphoria with Scalini's magnificent version.

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