There's always room for more pizza!
DiPasquale's might be the most Italian-est place in Baltimore. (Noah Scialom / June 24, 2014)
We had many commenters commenting on the City Paper website in regards to my Personal Pizza Pilgrimage, and also, the First-Ever Pizza Bracket (where The People voted for their fave pie) about "hey, what about this place, what about that place, it is great, how dare you, fraud, blah-blah-blah, etc." People get angry about pizza! But it's only because they have some pizza they love and really think is The Greatest, and they're just trying to help! It's all about the pizza! So in that spirit, I decided to go in for seconds, based on the suggestions (demands) of the Commenters, and also a coupla places personally recommended to me, plus a coupla places I wanted to cover the first time but there wasn't enough space, and unfortunately I couldn't get to all the recommendations this time around either, so don't get mad because I left your place out! I could write a kabillion words about pizza, man, but since I'm getting paid by the word, there's a limit, you know? But there's no limit to how much pizza I can eat! Arrrooooo!!! Let's go!
OK, I'm doing this alphabetically, and last time we opened up with Angelo's in Hampden, and now Angelo's is closed, and that makes me sad, so I hope there isn't a Pizza Curse on being the first one in my Pizzapendium, and I hope maybe Angelo's opens up again someplace else, because I will miss their giant pies! R.I.P. (Requisat in Pizza.)
The first place I wanna talk about is Alonso's (415 W. Cold Spring Lane,  235-3433, alonsos.com), which was suggested by Mr. Evan Serpick, of Baltimore, America, and wowee, this is the place that is famous for the hamburger the size of a football, but oh boy, the pizza here is great! The pies are thin-crust, all the way out to the edge, but they are dense, man, the rich flavor of the cheese and the nice bright sauce, like on their "Old Fashioned," which is simply a plain cheese pie with marinara, I never woulda ordered a pizza at this place, but I will be back to try 'em all. The Bacon Cheeseburger pie is crazy, man.
Some people got crazy on the CP site because I skipped Bagby Pizza Co. (1006 Fleet St.,  605-0444, bagbypizza.com), even though it was one of the contenders in Pizza Bracket, so while I was down at the Bin 604 picking up some special Bootlegger New York Vodka I ordered because I'm fixin' to make a batch of Experimental Artisanal Purple Jesus for a crawfish boil I'm going to, I stopped in and hit up Bagby Co. for some serious Gourmet pies, namely, the Gourmet Vegetable Pizza, and the Gourmet Meat Pizza, and while it doesn't have the G-word in the title, I also checked out the "Roasted Lancaster Mushroom Pizza," and that name alone puts it in the Gourmet category, but yeah, Bagby's makes some tasty pies, just the right amount of char on the crust, and top-shelf toppings. There are like four kindsa cheese on the Vegetable one (Grana Padano, mozzarella, provolone, and asiago), and it's beautiful. If you're going to a movie at the Landmark Theatre, stop in here and get fed before you fill up on popcorn, which you know you're gonna do anyway.
Another place I heard about from commenters is Bartender's Pub (2218 Boston St.,  534-2337, bartendersbaltimore.com), and, well, I just thought it was a bar, but they are slingin' some serious pizza action in there! Danny, our very friendly and personable Bartenders bartender, let us know one of the pies we ordered, "The Big Bill," would take a bit longer on account of it is an everything-left-in and nothing-left-out affair, and the distinctive thing about the Large William, if you will, is it has these little sausages on it, along with all the regular stuff you'd expect on an EBA (everything but anchovy) pizza, and I guess they are li'l salami shards, and it elevates this pie to another level of satisfying bar munch. Very nice! I also took a crack at their Margherita, which sports heirloom tomatoes, and it's, again, the thing that puts this pie on a plate of its own, the tomatoes practically liquify in your mouth, and it's like the freshest sauce explosion you ever ate.
Another bar-centric place is Birroteca (1520 Clipper Mill Road,  708-1934, bmorebirroteca.com)-also a Pizza Bracket contender-and right away, this place is super-successful, and most of the time I've been here the place is just too fucking slammed, so if you like the super-busy, super-noisy vibe, be my guest, but also, check it out early in the evening on a Monday, that's when it seems to quiet down some and, yes, I realize that by saying "go on Monday," it might end up being busier on a Monday, but maybe I'm not telling you the day when it's actually a bit quieter in order to get more people away from that day, hah? Just kidding, maybe. Anyway, look, they have a meatball pie there, the "Double D," and there's like two meatballs on each slice, and it's a garlic-and-basil bomb, good times. The mushroom pie is also a knockout, very cheesy-buttery, and it's got walnut pesto, which is really healthy, I think, walnuts. Seriously, I'd go on a Monday, it's too crowded.
A place I've never hit when it's crowded is Chazz (1415 Aliceanna St.,  522-5511, chazzbronxoriginal.com), and if you have avoided this place because it's all "Inner Harbor East"-touristy, you should give it a try. The people there are nice, casual, and you can eat at the bar and watch the O's game, which is what I did, while enjoying one of their delicate coal-oven pies. I got a "Classic NY Pepperoni," but it's not that stereotypical idea of a NY pie, it's got a delicate crust, definitely the kinda pizza that's great the next day, and they put red pepper, grated parm, and oregano on the table for a reason, give it a shot after your second or third or, uh, fourth or fifth slice.
The Chazz place is pretty Italian, but DiPasquale's (3700 Gough St.,  276-6787, dipasquales.com) might be the most Italian-est place in Baltimore, they got Italian teevee on, they're playing Italian music, they got all kinds of crazy special Italian imported stuff for sale, and so I went for something less along the lines of American pizza, and got the Caspian, with Italian tuna, capers, black olives, red onions, and olive oil, and the crust is delicate, all the way to the edge, and it melts in your mouth, man, and it almost turned me into an Italian, seriously, I started trying to say Italian things about how great this Caspian pizza was, wow. Squisito! Delizioso!
OK, one more Italian place that commenters were all over was Italian Gardens (814 Kenilworth Drive, Towson,  821-0292, italian-gardens.com) and it's in the Kenilworth Mall in Towson, so I wasn't gonna do it because I wanted to stay closer to the city, but I did some Dundalk places last time, so I figured I'd give it a shot because they do "Chicago style" and "NY style," and quite frankly I found it to be overrated. The Chicago one was a little on the dry-doughy side, but super-filling, a good deal, and the NY style was fine, but I wouldn't suggest making a special trip, unless you want to go and then maybe tell me I'm full of crap and don't know anything about pizza, in which case, knock yourself out, you're gonna get some pizza, so everybody wins!
Another place where I wasn't completely tracking with the recommendation is Pizza Deal (519 E. 25th St.,  889-9400, pizzadealbaltimore.com), one of those Food Bunker places with the 3-inch plexiglass, and the first time I went, it was Pizza No-Deal because the oven was down, but I went back the next day, and I dunno, maybe I mighta not ordered well, I got the Meat Eater, with all kindsa meat on it, but it was just kinda OK, but I got the Vegetarian, and that was nice because it's all your typical pizza vegetables, plus sliced tomatoes, plus, the hot peppers are more tangy-hot than fire-hot, and it ties the whole thing together nicely. I'm gonna give 'em another shot and go for the Deal Unique, because it's a mix of meats and vegetables, and it has a "Secret Sauce." I shoulda ordered that one. Anyway.
The same guy who told me to check out Pizza Deal also said Pub Dog (20 E. Cross St.,  727-6077, pubdog.net) has great pizza, and this place is all about Dogs, pictures of Dogs, stuff about Dogs, and all the pizzas have Dog in the name, like Frog Dog, Atomic Dog, Old Yeller (yikes), and they're all kinda Stunt Pies, gimmick pies, so in the interests of Science, on the recommendation of the very nice waitress, I went for what she said was her go-to pie, "'The Original' Wing Dog Pizza," which is basically the last kinda pizza I would ever order because it has Buffalo Wing Sauce, mozzarella, green onion, smoked gouda, and "Spicy Marinated Buffalo Chicken with Cool Ranch Dressing." I mean, if I want beers and chicken wings, I'm gonna have beers and chicken wings, not beers and a pizza with chicken-wing meat dumped on it, but I gotta say, beers and "'The Original" Wing Dog Pizza," is pretty fucking good, each thing complements the other, and I think after many-many beers, this pizza would hit all the correct drunk-munch notes and you will bark like a dog and roll over so somebody can rub your belly, arf! I wanna make one suggestion, though, with respect to the whole Dog theme, Pub Dog should do a pizza with hot dogs on it, right?
The place that people freaked out the most for being omitted from the voting-bracket for pizzas has gotta be Johnny Rad's (2108 Eastern Ave.,  759-6464, johnnyrads.com), and I left it off my list last time because my brother-in-law works there, and so it'd be, like, a Conflict of Interest for me to say how much I like it, OK? But I'm not taking the fall for leaving it off the bracket! Go yell at somebody else! So consider, again, I haz Conflict, but meanwhile, this is the place that the most people complained about being off the lists.
Alright, the final omission from last time matches up with the first one, Alonso's, because it's another place I never woulda considered for pizza, which is Tooloulou (4311 Harford Road,  627-8090, tooloulou.com), because I thought it was all Louisiana-y and stuff, with alligator po'boys, which is true, but the pizza here should not be missed, man, I went for the day's special, the "Farmers Market Pizza," and wow, it was a whole farmers market on there, for reals; Asian-style slaw, roasted pork belly, sauteed shiitake 'shrooms, grilled leeks, mozzarella, with a white sauce and a swirl of Sriracha on top, this pie is my New Best Friend, seriously, and as sort of a balance, for Simplicity, I sampled the Tooloulou Margherita, with really nice fresh mozzarella pesto and a pile of flavor-bomb teensy cherry tomatoes, perfect. Who knew? Tooloulou! Thanks readers and commenters, the Baltimore Pizza vistas are seemingly endless!, so if you still want to tell me where to go, pizza-wise, write in or add a comment on the CP internets. Pizza!