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April 15, 2004 - Image 17

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-04-15

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18B - The Michigan Daily -

Weekend N 8ziBe - Thursday, April 15, 2004

THE MICHIGAN DAILY PIZZA CHALLENGE
Daily staff picks best pizza in Ann Arbor

The Michigan Daily - Wekendlau g
Random provides entertainment, laugi'

By Sravya Ch umsnflaN
and Nlamh Slevin
Daily Weekend Editors

Lying in wait in the student ghetto,
anticipating the arrival of each unsus-
pecting delivery man was the most lethal
pizza inspection team known to Ann
Arbor. Nearly 30 Daily staff members
gathered on a balmy Friday night, ready
to pounce on every slice of pizza.
Careful notes, graphic illustrations and
watchful eyes, amalgamated to create
-'The Michigan Daily Pizza Challenge.
The rules were simple: Every pizza
place in Ann Arbor that delivers would
be rated on speed, price, courtesy of per-
sonnel, greasiness and overall taste.
Within the taste categories included in-
depth analysis of the sauce, cheese, crust,
toppings and the size of the slice. We
exempted the main chains such as Pizza
Hut, Little Caesar's and Domino's Pizza.
Lastly, to maintain consistency, we
ordered half cheese and did not include
specialty items such as deep dish pizzas.
The Order
The first round of orders began at
10:40 p.m. with calls to Hello Faz Pizza,
Anthony's Gourmet Pizza, DJ's Pizza,
Mancino's, Marco's Pizza and Pizza
Bob's. Unfortunately for Pizza Bob's, its
driver was in a car accident earlier in the
evening and could not deliver pizza, thus
disqualifying the establishment. The
Daily checked on the status of the driver
the next day and was reassured that he
was doing well. Mancino's was also dis-
qualified since the restaurant on Jackson
Road closes at 10 p.m.
Since pizza places must deal with the
some drunk and , ,
confused callers, (P)JS 'WaS)
the Daily pretended mediocre.
to be of that ilk.
"Hello? I would not even a.
like to order some
jalape5os." With a creauvely i
heavy Indian
accent, a craving for
jalapenos and a
phone that often lost reception, Daily
staffers placed a call to Mr. Pizza at
11:15 p.m. Determined to maintain the
phone call, the order-taker asked us to
use a separate phone or to call from a dif-
'ferent location and finally resorted to
receiving the order by shouting into the
phone. This patience was notably absent
from Leonardo's Pizza. When a Daily
staffer pretended to be an Italian man,
the people at the pizza parlor formerly
known as Da Vinci's were less than
receptive. They noted with annoyance
that they were not Italian and actually did
not even deliver the order, which they
promised us would only take an hour.
The last round of phone calls was to
the four mainstays in Ann Arbor: Bell's
'Pizza, Cottage Inn Pizza, New York
Pizza Depot and Pizza House. Though
no one could understand what the people
at Bell's Pizza were saying, the exchange
with Cottage Inn Pizza was one of the
worst. After placing us on hold for two
minutes, the people taking the order

were curt and rude, cutting us off often.
The people at Pizza House deserve the
award for most patient for putting up
with the Daily's drunk call at 11:20 p.m.
Instead of simply placing an order, Daily
staffers decided to extend the conversa-
tion to a 10-minute dialogue about lack-
ing pants, wanting marinara sauce and
needing complete silence.
The Delivery
It was a shock that after the above-
mentioned abuse that any of the pizza
parlors delivered. In fact, all but
Leonardo's Pizza came through with
our orders. The fastest delivery person
was in fact DJ's Pizza; however, they
were also the worst because he deliv-
ered to the wrong house. Luckily, the
neighbors knew of the situation next
door and directed him our way. Since
most neighbors would not be so kind,
one should be careful while ordering
delivery from DJ's.
Marco's Pizza was a close second in
speed and was the only pizza delivered in
a truck with the name of the venue
emblazoned on it. The shadiest of drivers
was definitely the one from Hello Faz
Pizza. He drove on the street in a car
completely relying on spare tires, and
parked in front of the neighbor's home
for a few minutes. While no one could
look into the tinted windows to see
exactly what he was doing, he took a
great deal of time to get out of the car.
Tim, the delivery man from Cottage
Inn was our favorite for his politeness
and grin. Regardless of the behavior of
Daily staffers, Tim noted, "I don't
judge anyone." Michael from New
York Pizza Depot pulled up playing
loud metal music
Very and even drove ille-
Fraiky gally down the
'" wrong way on a
little one-way street.
,, Lastly, the delivery
newocre- man from Pizza
- C. Price Jones House - the most
abused by those on
the porch - main-
tained his depressed expression
throughout ridiculous comments.
The Taste
Staffers eagerly filled their cups with
their preferred beverages as the first
delivery man pulled alongside the curb.
As the first pie made its way to the
counter, hungry party-goers rushed the
kitchen in the hopes of snatching a piece.
Slices were served to blind testers first
before the vulture-like guests descended.
Though people were anxious to grab
some food after nearly a half an hour of
waiting, Marco's Pizza received mixed
reviews. On a scale from one to 10, the
overall task weighed in at only a five.
Lack of sauce, bland crust and fairly
tasteless cheese were some of the most
common complaints.
Jess Piskor remarked that the pizza
could have benefited from "more
tomato action."
His companion on the blind taste test,
senior food critic Anthea Stolz, com-

Ah, the Random Student Interview.
Though it began as a creative new
addition to the magazine, it became
an instant success with students. In
response to the high demand for more
of the beauty that is the Random,
Weekend presents the best snippets of
this year's interviews.
By Rebecca Ramsey
Interview with Jeff
10/2/03
TMD: Have you ever been told that
you look like a celebrity?
R: Um, my aunt once told me I
look like Ricky Martin a little.
TMD: I'm sure she was lying. Do
you like to wear tight pants and shake
your bon bon?
R: I only dance when I'm alone.
By Scott Serilla
Interview with Kimberly
10/16/03
TMD: If a fat 72-year-old pit bull
of a man charges you at full speed,
what do you do?
R: Give him a cookie.
TMD: What? What if you are

cookieless?
R: I don't know. I always have a
cookie.
TMD: That's a very Boy Scout-y
answer.
R: I was a Girl Scout.
TMD: What was your favorite
merit badge?
R: The one we got for going and
visiting nuns.
TMD: There's a hanging-with-nuns
merit badge? The Nunnery merit
badge?
R:-I don't know if we got a
badge, but it was exciting. They got
us presents.
TMD: So much for the vow of
poverty.
By Sean Dailey
Interview with Katie
11/13/03
TMD: OK, here's a tougher one.
With the intense jingoism in the wake
of 9/11 and our recent endeavor into
Iraq, do you think the United States is
in danger of becoming too big of a
hegemon?
R: What do you mean by hegemon?
TMD: I don't understand it either.

Let's keep going. Puppies or kittens?
By Forest Casey
Interview with Darcy
1/8/04
TMD: Did you see the new "Lord
of the Rings" movie?
R: Of course, I was there opening
night.
TMD: I thought it looked like one
of those trashy Fabio novels, especial-
ly at that part at the end where they're
sailing away and hugging each other,
you know?
R: I thought it was romantic.
TMD: Do you think when they
pulled Saddam Hussein out of his
hole that he looked more like Nick
Nolte, Fidel Castro, the Unabomber
or Santa Claus?
R: I would have to go with the
Unabomber.
TMD: Oh, come on. He looked
like Santa Claus. Like when the
troops found him, he was like, "Ho,
Ho, Ho - let's see if you have been
good boys and girls." And the troops
are all like, "Nice try, Saddam."
R: He had also been starved so
he didn't really have the bowl full

of jelly.
By Joel Hoard
Interview with Ben
1/29/04

TMD: Do you think NASA lets
President Bush drive the Mars rovers?
R: If he wanted to, I'm sure they'd
let him drive it.
TMD: What do you think the legal
limit is for driving the Mars rover?
R: For George Bush, I'd say 0.2.
TMD: Did you watch the State of
the Union address?
R: I did.
TMD: Did you see that Tom Brady
was there? Do you think he played
catch with President Bush afterward?
R: Seeing that it was snowing out-
side and there were major terrorist
attacks, they probably played catch at
the White House - in the Oval
Office.
By Scott Serilla
Interview with Courtney
3/4/04

TMD: What celebrities look most
like your parents?

t

U

Although all the pizza places put forth an admirable effort, NYPD emerged as Ann Arbor's champion.

y

mended Marco's for at least limiting the
puddles of grease on the pizza despite its
other shortcomings.
Less than 10 minutes later, pizza No.
2 arrived, and staffers once again
crowded the kitchen for a chance at
another piece. Before the Anthony's
driver had time to pull away, our pizza
experts were digging into their second
slice. Most staffers could not even
muster the words to describe the poor
quality of this pie; their grimaces of dis-
gust were enough to judge. Needless to
say, Anthony's received the worst rating
of all the pizzas tested.
DJ's pizza fared slightly better, rank-
ing right around the average range.
C. Price Jones, another Daily pizza
connoisseur, explained, "(DJ's was)
very mediocre. Frankly, it was mediocre
in its mediocrity -not even a little cre-
atively mediocre."
Others agreed, saying the sauce was
too sweet for their tastes, and the cheese
was slightly rubbery. However, they did
admit the toppings were not as objec-
tionable as the rest.
The next pie, a Hello Faz specialty,
received many of the same complaints.
Daily Arts writer Hussain Rahim felt the
toppings were "fresh and yummy," but
the crust could have been softer.
Mr. Pizza also lost the ratings war,
coming in at a generous five. Staffers
were unimpressed with the quality of the
toppings, but granted, they were
jalapefios. Yet, the toppings were not the
most offensive part; it was the rest of the
ingredients that seemed subpar.
"It was like I had a cold tennis shoe
in my mouth," said Kylene Kiang, refer-
ring to the taste and texture of both the
cheese and crust.
Taste testers were torn in their ratings
of Ann Arbor classic, Pizza House.
While some ranked its pie as high as a

nine, others gave it only a four. Some
praised Pizza House for its non-greasy
texture and adequate amount of cheese.
However, others were not appreciative of
the excess of toppings; large chunks of
Italian sausage strewn over every inch of
cheese overwhelmed many tasters.
After the drinks had been flowing for
more than two hours, Bell's Pizza arrived
as the seventh competitor of the evening.
Ripping into what should have been a
mixture of tomato goodness and dairy
delight, staffers debated its quality with
what one might call fightin' words.
Some argued that the burnt cheese and
dry crust were undoubtedly its downfall,
but others, such as Kiang, reveled in its
unique flavor.
"The burnt cheese (provided) crispity,
crunchity goodness," she said.
Cottage Inn, the eighth contestant,
earned a second place position thanks to
its balanced blend of dough and sauce
and the refreshing courtesy of its person-
nel. Kiang raved, "Tim (the driver) is the
kind of guy you want to introduce to
your parents"
Despite its pros, staffers were unsure
whether to accept the incredible
amount of grease pools as a positive or
negative attribute.
Rounding out the evening and snag-
ging the title as Best Ann Arbor Pizza,
the New York Pizza Depot pie averaged
a strong eight in staffers' opinions. Jones
noted the thinness of its crust, saying it
was "like butter."
Piskor offered the ultimate compli-
ment, claiming the pie could have
come straight from Sicily. "(It was) a
separate taste sensation wholly differ-
ent from the rest."
As staffers left the party, bellies satis-
fied and heads swelling, the feeling was
clear that NYPD was the champion of
Ann Arbor's diverse pizza scene.

and the winners are...

Best Businesses
Best Art Supplies: Ulrich's & Michigan Book and Supply
Best Athletic Shoe Store: Bivouac
Best Bank/Credit Union: U of M Credit Union & TCF Bank
Best Bicycle Sales: Two Wheel Tango
Best Books: Borders & Shaman Drum Bookshop
Best Bowling Alley: Colonial Lanes
Best Cab Service: Blue Cab Company
Best Camera/Photo Shop: Ritz Camera
Best Camping Gear Shop: Bivouac
Best Car Dealer: Saturn of Ann Arbor & Varsity Ford, Inc.
Best Cellular Service Provider: Sprint
Best Compact Discs: Borders & Wazoo Records
Best Computer Store: Computer Showcase & Best Buy
Best Copy Store: Dollar Bill Copying & Kinko's
Best Customer Service: Cafe Ambrosia
Best Dry Cleaner: Armen's & Busy Bodies
Best Florist: Chelsea Florist
Best Furniture Store: Art Van
Best Gift Store: Middle Earth-
Best Grocery Store: Meijer
Best Haircut Aveda
Best Hardware Store: Stadium Hardware
Best Health Club: Bally's
Best Hotel: Bell Tower & Campus Inn
Best Jewelry Store: Schlanderer
Best Laundromat Busy Bodies
Best Liquor: Village Corner
Best Men's Clothing: Bivouac & Urban Outfitters
Best Moving Company: Two Men and A Truck
Best Musical Instrument Store: Herb David Guitar Studio
Best New Local Business: Potbelly's Sandwiches
Best Outdoor Apparel: Bivouac
Best Packaging Store: Mailboxes, Etc.
Best Place for a Piercing:7 Heaven & Pangea
Best Place to Pamper Yourself- Aveda & Relax Station

The
-i

Best Public Golf Course: Stonebridge Golf Club
& University Gold Course
Best Realtor: Ann Arbor Realty & Campus Management
Best Place to See and be Seen: Mr. Greek's
Best Shoe Store: Footprints & Mast Shoes
Best Sporting Goods: Dunham's
Best Store Display Window: Middle Earth
Best Tanning Salon: Campus Tan
Best Test Prep: Princeton Review
Best Textbooks: Shaman Drum Bookshop & Ulrich's
Best Thrift Clothing: Value World
Best Travel Agency: STA Travel
Best University Fan Apparel: Steve & Barry's Sportswear
Best Used CDs: Wazoo Records
Best Women's Clothing Store: Bivouac
Best of Dating
Best Date Movie: Love Actually
Best Inexpensive Date: The Arb
Best Pickup Bar: Scorekeepers
Best Pickup Line: Don't I Know You From Somewhere?
Best Place for a First Date: The Arb
Best Place for a Rendezvous: The Arb
Best Place to Break Up: The Diag
Best Place to Meet a New Mate: Class
Best Public Place for Sex: The Graduate Library
Best Rejection Line: This is My Boyfriend
Best Restaurant for a Date: Gratzi
Best Unique Date Idea: The Arb & Sledding
Best Entertainment
Best Dance Spot: Necto
Best Radio Station: 93.1 WDRQ
Best Movie Theater: Michigan Theater
Best Video Store: Campus Video
Best Live Music Club: Blind Pig
Best Concert in the Past Year Dave Matthew's Band
Best Local Band: Oblivion
Best Local Festival: Art Fair
Best Restaurants
Best All You Can Eat: Mongolian BBQ
Best Bagels: Einstein Bros. Bagels
Best Bar Drinks: Rick's
Best BBQ: Mongolian BBQ
Best Breakfast: Angelo's
Best Brunch: Gandy Dancer

Best Burgers: Blimpy Burger
Best Burrito: Panchero's
Best Cheap Beer: Scorekeepers
Best Cheap Eats: Potbelly's Sandwiches
Best Chinese Food: China Gate
Best Chipatis: Pizza House
Best Coffee: Amer's & Starbucks
Best Cookies: Mrs. Fields
Best Deli: Zingerman's
Best Dessert: La Dolce Vita
Best Dinner: Real Seafood Company
Best Fries: Wendy's & Red Hot Lovers
Best Greasy Spoon: Blimpy Burger
Best Greek Food: Mr. Greek's
Best Happy Hour: Rick's
Best Hot Dogs: Red Hot Lovers
Best Ice Cream/Yogurt: Stucchi's
Best Indian Food: Raja Rani
Best Italian Food: Palio
Best Korean Food: University Cafe
Best Late Night Munchies: Pizza House
Best Lunch: Potbelly's Sandwiches
Best Mexican: Tio's & Panchero's
Best Microbrew: Arbor Brewing Co.
Best Mid-Eastern Food: Jerusalem Garden
Best New Restaurant: Potbelly's Sandwiches & Totoro
Best Outdoor Eatery: Goodtime Charlie's
Best Overall Bar: Rick's
Best Overall Restaurant: Gratzi
Best Pizza: NYPD
Best Place for Folks to Treat Real Seafood Company
Best Restaurant for Large Groups: Pizza House
Best Restaurant Service: Gandy Dancer
Best Romantic Restaurant: Gratzi & The Earle
Best Salads: Pizza House
Best Seafood: Real Seafood Company
Best Sports Bar: Scorekeepers
Best Steak: Chop House
Best Subs: Jimmy John's
Best Take Out: Pizza Bob's
Best Vegetarian Food: Seva
Best Wings: Mr. Spot's
Best of the University
Best Athlete (Female): Elise Ray
Best Athlete (Male): Chris Perry
Best Bathroom: League

Best Blow-
Best Camp
Best Camp
Best Comp
Best Co-op
Best Cours
Best Dorm
Best Frat tc
Best Lectui
Best Librar
Best Place
& Law Li
Best Place
Best Profes
Best Reside
Best Sorori
Best Speak
Best Sports
Best Sports
Best Studer
Best Studei
Best Thing
Best of
Best Apartr
& Opper
Best News
Best Online
Best Searct
Best Univer
Best Websi
& aiesec
Best of
Best Apartr
Best Daily C
Best Excusi
Best Excusi
Best Fad: C
Best News
Best Place t
Best Place t
Best Place t
Best Slang:

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