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April 14, 2005 - Image 16

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4B - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 14, 2005
Best Pizza1Pizza House

The Michigar
Be

PIZZA CHALLENGE 2005
DAILY WRITERS PUT RESTAURANTS TO THE TEST

Big

Ten Burrito takes

on all the competition

By Ashley Dinges
and Doug Wernert
Daily Weekend Editors

Commen
ranged fr
to "sw l

Pizza. It's the time-worn college food, the w" c
one that college students look to for both a staffersc
quick meal and a late-night snack. With so as "the s
many pizza places surrounding the University lent - s
campus, the question is obvious: Which one
is the best? for the g
Enter the Pizza Challenge, a one-night event with," "a
where pizza is ordered from every major res- pizza" an
taurant in Ann Arbor to find out which one
reigns supreme. Last year, NYPD emerged as
the favorite. This year, it was anybody's con- Both Marc
test, and Weekend Magazine was determined delivery timec
to find a winner. ny's said their
About 40 Daily staffers gathered last Friday The peopl
evening to taste the best pizza Ann Arbor's cordial and p
restaurants had to offer. Five testers, one from sary delivery
each section of the paper - News, Opinion, order and tha
Photography, Arts and Sports - were desig- The only exc
nated to try a slice of pizza from each estab- where the emj
lishment. a simple "He]
The testers rated each piece on eight differ- that the numb
ent categories, listed in the chart below. Staff- Over the n
ers ordered two pies from every pizza place, pizzas from t
and the purpose of the order was not explained lishments, bri
until it was delivered. ferent restaur
The first round of calls went out at 7:45 p.m., 9:05p.m. with
with calls to Anthony's, Marco's and Pizza accidentally c
Bob's. DJ's and Mancino's were supposed to be The first d
included in this first series of calls, but there 8:05 p.m., ten
was no answer on the other line, dropping fact, every piz
them from consid- tion of Pizza
eration. p.m., one hour
placed the orc
The qui
l Marc
r4
f i

ts on the pizzas
rom "nothing special"
t." More opinionated
offered tidbits such
sausage was excel-
picy, yet not too spicy
irl I was making out
thoroughly average
id "trying to kill me?"
o's and Pizza Bob's estimated a
of 30 to 45 minutes, while Antho-
pizza would arrive in an hour.
e taking the orders were very
polite, asking for all the neces-
y information, confirming the
anking the caller for their order.
eption was the call to Mancino's,
ployee answered the phone with
[lo?" forcing the caller to verify
er was indeed for Mancino's.
ext 90 minutes, callers ordered
he remaining seven pizza estab-
nging the grand total to ten dif-
ants. The calling concluded at
calls to Leonardo's - which was
alled twice - and Mr. Pizza.
elivery arrived from Marco's at
n minutes ahead of schedule. In
zza arrived early, with the excep-
tBob's, whose pie arrived at 9
r and 15 minutes after the caller
der.
ckest delivery came from both

By Jackie Lamaj
Daily Arts Writer

The new kid on the block, Big
Ten Burrito, has won over the bur-
rito-loving hearts of students in Ann
Arbor. After its opening last year,
the small restaurant lost last year's
title of "Best Burrito" to the larger
Panchero's, located on South Univer-
sity Avenue. This year, Big Ten has
stolen the title, as well as the hearts
and stomachs of Ann Arborites.
The cheap prices, homemade tor-
tillas and the fresh-tasting chicken
make Big Ten Burrito the ultimate
spot to fulfill those lunchtime and
late-night hunger pains. And with
taxes already figured, in, you don't
need to carry around those extra
pennies.
"We are so happy that readers
voted us best burrito. Next, we want
best late-night place, once we have
that, I'll be satisfied," said owner
Adam Lowenstein.
The love affair that students are
having with Big Ten Burrito "comes
back to the food," manager Brent
Hegwood said.
"People like the fact that items
are rounded to the dollar, the speed,
convenience and that we make every-
thing fresh," Hegwood said.
LSA senior Bernie Liu expressed
similar views, saying, "The price is
right, that's for sure."
"Me and the other
owner always went
to Panchero's and
Odoba before we
opened, and now
I'm convinced
we have the
best burrito."
- Adam Lowenstein
Owner, Big Ten Burrito

The burrito is convenient as well
- you can have it on the go and at
all hours of the day.
"The one problem is that Big Ten
Burrito is only open until 4 a.m.,
so if you come home at 5 a.m.,
you are screwed" said Engineer
senior Megan Stricker. Luckily, the
restaurant reopens at 11 a.m.
Since its opening last year, Big Ten
Burrito is not only offered on State
Street. The burrito joint now sells
selections at the Michigan League's
Beanster's Cafe, Cafd ConXion in
South Quad Residence Hall and
Pierpont Commons on North Cam-
pus.
Kinesiology sophomore Caroline
Sweet, a former participant of the
Greek Week burrito eating contest
hosted by Big Ten Burrito, said
"they are delicious, hearty and a
full well-balanced meal. They have
fresh tasting ingredients, high-
quality rice and beans."
Vegetarians can even indulge
in burritos. In fact, Hegwood said
the vegetarian burrito is the most
popular at Big Ten Burrito. Even
with all the elements of a burrito, it
sells for the reasonable price of $3.
"Good protein sources for
vegetarians can be really hard to

find at many restaurants, so the
beans at places like Panchero's and
Big Ten are a fabulous option for
us," said LSA junior and vegetarian
Megan Ouellet.
Although Big Ten Burrito is
currently the "it" spot for burrito
lovers, Ann Arbor offers several
other options as well. The hot spot for
bar stars after a long night of drinks
and dancing in the South University
area is Panchero's. Runner-up
Panchero's location is prime for late
night burrito noshing.
Students on campus are very
passionate about their burritos and
where they choose to dine, said
Ouellet.
"I've seen arguments over Big Ten
Burrito and Panchero's - it gets
pretty heated," said Ouellet. "Some
of my friends have even made report
cards comparing each establishment
on various burrito characteristics
ranging from tortilla to best value,"
Ouellet said.
But Lowenstein is confident in
Big Ten Burrito's reign over the rest
of Ann Arbor's offerings.
"Me and the other owner always
went to Panchero's and Qdoba before
we opened, and now I'm convinced
we have the best burrito," he said.

Sofia Ruiz and Pedro Rodriguez pr
Y $5
Bck Cuero

0 m

ALI OLSEN/Daily
NYPD driver Hurol Ulupinar makes change for two pizzas at the Pizza Challenge.
Besides simply testing pizzas and rating Daily staffers once informed of the contest.
their personal choices, Pizza Challenge par- NYPD driver Hurol Ulupinar commented on
ticipants also interacted with several pizza his experiences as a deliverer.
deliverers. "I like the communications with people. I
Marco's Pizza driver Matt Smith was "has- like my boss," Ulupinar said.
sled" by a Daily writer who claimed he deliv- He added that his favorite NYPD pizza is
ered the wrong type of pizza and demanding a chicken pesto, but he is also a fan of Pizza
new order. Smith was friendly, albeit confused House pizza.
by a Daily photographer snapping his picture As soon as the orders arrived, Daily staffers
from the front porch. Offering a refund for the eagerly snatched up slices of pizza. Comments
mistaken pie, Smith was helpful and kind to on pieces ranged from "nothing special" to
the "rude customer." "sweet." More opinionated staffers offered
Jason Lavigne, the sole driver for Leonar- tidbits such as "the sausage was excellent -
do's Pizza, stayed and chatted with Daily spicy enough, yet not too spicy for the girl I
staffers for a few minutes after making was making out with," "a thoroughly average
two deliveries to the challenge due to the pizza" and "trying to kill me?"
accidental order. Once the results had been tabulated, a clear
Born and raised in Ann Arbor, the winner emerged. Pizza House took first place
Eastern Michigan University student in four of the eight categories, including Best
has worked at Leonardo's for about Overall Taste. The testers remarked that they
six months. He said the company thought the sauce was flavorful, the cheese
has been his favorite place to work was high-quality, and the crust was good and
at so far, in comparison to previ- crispy.
ous employers Cottage Inn and Final comments included "best yet," "tastes
A Pizza House. really good" and "most flavor." Leonardo's
"The owners are real assholes," had the weakest showing in the contest, aver-
said Lavigne of Pizza House. aging only a 1.6 out of ten in the Best Overall
As the only driver at Leon-- Taste category.
ardo's, he added that his job is In general, the testers were picky, scoring
easier because he doesn't com- only Cottage Inn, Marco's and Pizza House
pete against other drivers for above five in all categories.
orders. Overall, the Pizza Challenge was a success.
Most drivers who delivered It proved that service in Ann Arbor is quick
pizza to the challenge were and efficient, and that good pizza isn't too
friendly and willing to talk to hard to find.
E F i , ' #83 10 4 #80 -:+ i84 .4* '4 4# 4 d*'M as t 6!4as' YE^ £ c'4 t' d & r£4'-"> ! .

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WEEKEND
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