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Pizza In Sacramento

June 18, 2013

I love most everything about Sacramento.  But one thing worried me when I first moved here:

Would I be able to find good pizza?

You see, I’m very very picky about my pizza.  I can’t help it.  I grew up on New Jersey pizza.  Every time we visited family in New Jersey we ended up getting pizza for one meal.  Plus we had pretty decent pizza when I was a kid in Maryland.

Then we moved to southwest Virginia and I stopped eating pizza.  Because really, when your option is Domino’s that just doesn’t count.  There was one place a couple of towns over with decent pizza,  but we didn’t get there often.

My Mom actually thought that I didn’t like pizza, that’s how little I ate it.

When I moved back to Jersey after college we had an amazing pizza place near work.  Some days the highlight of my day was leaving the office and meeting my Dad (who worked nearby) for a slice.

After living in Baltimore for 17 years I had identified my pizza sources.  And now I’m starting over again.

Fortunately, I have a partner in crime.

Remember Walker C?  She grew up in New York, and she has equally high standards when it comes to pizza.  Bonus, Walker C gets and reads the Sacramento Bee every day.  She found this article.   We have made it our mission to taste all the contenders on the SacBee list and select our favorite.

So far we’ve been to the following:

1. Masullo – This is very good pizza.  It leans towards the artisanal side.  Meaning it’s more destination pizza rather than “grab a slice” kind of pizza.  The pizzas are smaller with very high quality ingredients.  It’s delicious and I’d go back in a heartbeat.  The interior or Masullo is interesting.  They have a few small tables, but most of the restaurant is devoted to large family style tables, so you may end up in a very interesting conversation!

2. Matteo’s – Just average.  I may go back to Matteo’s in the future for dinner.  It’s got nice ambiance and it’s close to home.  Plus they have a dog-friendly patio.  I just won’t order the pizza there.

3. One Speed – Similar to Masullo, they focus on artisan pizza.  Again, delicious, but not what I have in mind when I want a slice of pizza.  One Speed would be a terrific date place – they have a few charming outdoor tables.

4. Giovanni’s –  I’ll go out on a limb and say that so far Giovanni’s is the pizza that best matches my search criteria.  The crust is thin, the sauce is well seasoned.  Yum, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.  This is pizza like I remember it.  However (and it has to be said), Giovanni’s is not a destination.  The ambiance leaves much to be desired and the place is often full of kids being kids.  So go off hours if you need your pizza hot and fresh, or pick up Giovanni’s and enjoy it at home. Giovanni’s serves 4 sizes of pizza: small, medium, large and NY style Jumbo.  You can guess which size we order.   (So far Walker C and I have been to Giovanni’s twice.  They have two locations, so we felt – in the interest of research – that we needed to test both sites.  They are equally good.)

5. Wenelli’s – How this place made the SacBee list is beyond me.  For starters, here is a picture of our pizza.  What is that yellow stuff?  Did they actually put cheddar cheese on a pizza???  And what the heck happened to the crust?  Why is this pizza puffy and dome shaped instead of flat with a crust handle for each slice?

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Look how thick this crust is.  Yuck!

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To be fair I have to say that Wenelli’s was packed the night we went.  So apparently there are more than a few misguided souls who prefer this type of “pizza”.  I guess to each his own.

So there’s where I am with my pizza research.  Walker C is out of town right now, but I’ll be sure to bring you further updates as they occur.

If I can help one frustrated Sacramentan pizza eater, then I’ve done my job.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 18, 2013 7:46 am

    Yum. Just looking at the pictures makes me hungry and I just had breakfast!

  2. Joanne Jensen permalink
    June 19, 2013 3:03 am

    Hey, Juice–what is the opinion of Pete’s here in Sacto? I am not a qualified pizza gourmet, but I have liked what we get at the J street Pete’s or the one in Natomas. I am also glad you and Chloe are Sacramento Walking Sticks now! And you even made a pizza buddy among our crowd! Yay! Hope to see you at a walk again soon.

    • June 19, 2013 11:59 am

      Ooh, I’ll have to add Pete’s to my “to-try” list! Stay tuned Joanne!

  3. June 19, 2013 9:39 am

    But, does Giovanni’s have a side order of meatballs with sauce so we can really feast on our pizza? And how are they?

    • June 19, 2013 12:00 pm

      Clearly I need to return to Giovanni’s to investigate the meatball situation…

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