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

Tony's Pizza & Pasta
18918 Midway

Promised delivery time: 50 minutes
Actual delivery time: 33 minutes

Scoring Summary:
Real Italian accent on other end of line: 15
Knocking 17 minutes ahead of schedule: 17
Chance that arriving that far ahead of schedule can interfere just a bit: -5
Simpson's-fast-food-clerk voice from Clark Kent look-alike delivery guy: 0
Awkward chatter from young Clark that included the word "magic:" -4
Box lid crushing edge of pizza: -6
Pretty decent pizza, nonetheless: 66

Total Score: 83
(Tony's bumps Panda Delite from the Top Ten)

Top Ten

Nandina Asian Tapas 93
Philly Connection 90
i Fratelli Pizza 85
Tony's Pizza & Pasta 83

See complete 2009 standings here

We're conditioned by the likes of Domino's and Little Caesar's not to expect much from pizza, other than some necessary alcohol absorption during an afternoon well-spent in front of the TV. In fact, some develop a severe dependency of such chains during college, one that's difficult to shake. And so, we learn to accept pale, chewy, hastily baked dough and cheese flavored toppings.

The one-page slick someone from Tony's stuck in my door promised a pie only slightly more distinguished. I mean, they offered feta but misspelled the word. One could easily assume "fetta" is similar to "krab," right?

The delivery guy's arrival didn't help first impressions much. A near exact double of the young Clark Kent, he had all the social graces of Jim Carrey and threw out exaggerated phrases like a game show host. When it came time to take a scraping of my card, for example, he exclaimed "time for a little magic."


Now, I'm rather picky about pizza when I'm eating for, well, fun. (Professionally, as you know, I must put personal preferences aside.) I really can't stand cold pizza, and Clark's early arrival gave my oven little time to heat up. I'm not really a fan of New York style--the very kind Tony's claims to serve. And dough scythed clean of toppings or otherwise desecrated hardly looks appealing.

Naturally, whoever boxed up my order smashed one side of the pie, dredging up cheese and sauce, leaving a slimey white section gashed by the lid's edge.

But that's about the only thing really wrong with Tony's pizza.

The flavor finds a welcome balance, despite an underwhelming use of herbs. Toppings are decent and the cheese stark and milky, approaching what good mozzarella lends to a pie. Meanwhile, the crust teeters somewhere between too dry and too glutenous--and seems to work nicely thanks to scorched streaks and obvious attention to timing.

It's not truly New York style, this Tony's pizza. The crust is a bit too substantial to roll up and eat like a calzone while you sway down the sidewalk to a dubbed Bee Gees soundtrack. And there's no need to squeegee excess grease.

And all that is fine by me.

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