Pizza Wars: Searching for the Best Slice in SLC

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Outdoor Patio at Nuch’s Pizzeria & Restaurant in Salt Lake City, Utah (Photo Courtesy Nuch’s Pizzeria and Restaurant | Foursquare)

By Luke Jackson, Arts Writer

 

Pizza — it’s the stuff of the gods. It’s the modern-day equivalent to ambrosia. Each time the playful sauces and the gooey mozzarella conduct their symphonic melody on my tastebuds, I count myself among the happiest men on earth.

For me, like many, I’m sure, pizza was my first culinary love. A love that began as a fun treat at birthday parties, or when it was dad’s night to cook. As I’ve aged, the love has aged right along with me. Pizza is both a comfort food and a delicacy. Whether it’s a Hot-n-Ready five dollar pie from Little Caesars or a rooftop forty dollar Napoli slice, it will always be my first true love.

As, what some call, “a guy who likes pizza,” it was only right for me to undertake the hands-down most ambitious task of the century: find the best slice of pizza in Salt Lake City. Now, as we all know, Salt Lake is by no means a culinary hub of any sort; but this doesn’t mean there aren’t some dang good slices to be found!

I start my journey by grabbing two pies from two highly recommended restaurants. The Tony Pepperoni from Nuch’s, and The Randazzo from Brick’s Corner. What we’ve got for ourselves here is a classic pizza battle. In one corner we’ve got Nuch’s, sporting a more traditional Neapolitan-American style slice. On the other side we’ve got the deep-dish Detroit stylings of Brick’s Corner. A battle for the ages. One to be remembered.

Brick’s Corner — The Randazzo

The pizza looks absolutely stunning. The edges of the dough are fluffy and perfectly cooked. Small pepperonis lay their head on mozzarella and peak out at us under a heavy blanket of marinara. The smell of tomatoes and red pepper is intoxicating. Eyes wide, I excitedly dive in.

Then comes the crunch. Baked to perfection the texture is perfect on this first bite. The sauce runs smoothly to the back of my palate as the crispy exterior gives way to a smooth and fluffy interior. There’s a faint hint of spice that leaves something to be wanted but a strong first bite nonetheless.

I go for the second bite and alas, it’s not as rich as the first. With no crispy edge the dough is just barely too chewy. A second, hidden layer of peperoni loudly states its presence and takes away from the needed cheese. As I continue the entire slice becomes slightly too bready, leading to an underwhelming finish.

Nuch’s — Tony Pepperoni

Good heavens the smell. Nothing short of heavenly, and this before I even open the box. As the beast is unleashed I almost faint. I can hardly stand the beauty. Tony, you’ve done it!

A classic thin crust round pie. The outer crust is perfectly marbled with marks from the brick oven. The cheese is transparent enough that you can see the beautiful red sauce glowing underneath. Large slices of pepperoni smile up at me — and what’s this? The most playful little bunches of ricotta delicately sprinkled around the pie.

The first bite is nothing short of a love affair. The sauce is aromatic and fresh, like biting into a perfectly ripe tomato. It accents the chewy mild mozzarella beautifully. The pepperoni knows its place and dives masterfully into the mix of flavors. Then the ricotta makes its appearance. This bouncy little rascal changes the texture only slightly. It winks at my palate and goes down smoothly.

There is no time to savor, and I ravenously dig for the next bite. It’s equally as thrilling as the first. This is no ordinary pizza pie. I look at my wife who is entranced by the flavor. We made it. We are home.

The Verdict

Heavens to Betsy, what a way to start my search, both first challengers extremely strong. While Brick’s Corner falls short of Nuch’s, it is one of the best Detroit style pizza’s I’ve had in all my days. Truly a delight to the senses. If you prefer the Detroit style to that of New York, Brick’s Corner will surely have you covered.

However, Nuch’s reigns victorious. The Tony Pepperoni was simply a beautiful creation that knocked my socks off. The only downside is that it was not a cheap pie. Coming in around $27 for a 12 inch pizza, it is a bit pricey; but the quality was ever evident.

Congratulations Nuch’s! You win this time. Yet, the hunt has only just begun and I will be endlessly trying to knock you off your throne.

If you know the best slice in Salt Lake City, please let me know. Let us search together! We are stronger in numbers.

 

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@__lukejackson