1020 Portion Rd., Ronkonkoma, Long Island
You wouldn't expect the best pizza in the known universe to be found in Ronkonkoma, in the nether reaches of Long Island, in a strip mall with a funeral home, a tattoo parlor, and a golf supply store. So that's not where you will find the best pizza in the known universe. I'm not going to say I was bitterly disappointed, we don't need to get all touchy-feely here. What I'm saying is that there are moments in life when one looks to pizza to restore one's faith in the benevolence of the cosmos and the essential goodness of humanity. I was searching for redemption and/or transcendence. At the same time, I realized that pinning any kind of broader metaphorical significance to this pizza was probably a bad idea, and in this I was correct.
My friend Colin grew up in Ronkonkoma and he has repeatedly made statements about Pizza Stop preparing “the best pizza in the known universe,” “pizza that far surpasses any human capacity to enjoy pizza,” etc. etc. I never in my wildest dreams hoped to be able to test that claim, but in the interest of making the best of things, I decided to seek out Pizza Stop after a long day of moving my grandma and her extremely numerous worldly possessions from Brooklyn to a retirement complex. If you've ever been to a Walmart on Long Island and purchased multiple jumbo-packs of Depends, you know the psychological territory we're dealing with here.
So let's stick to talking about pizza. I consider myself a person of science. The claim was that Pizza Stop serves the best pizza in the known universe. Through systematic observation and experiment, I believe that I have disproved this claim.
In order to get a representative sample of Pizza Stop's product, we ordered a fresh pie with broccoli, peppers, and onions. The crust was somewhat doughy in the middle, although it did perform well around the edges. The sauce was probably not great, since I didn't notice it enough to write anything down while taking notes and I don't remember it now. The cheese had a good elasticity factor, and tasted fresh, as did the toppings which seemed to be recently sauteed. All of this made for a satisfactory pizza experience. I've had worse pizza. But you know what, I've also had better pizza is the thing. I've had much better pizza. So this was kind of like climbing to the top of some guru-mountain in Tibet and having a stupid New Yorker-cartoon scenario play out where the guru is actually a cat or the guru tells you to try different lipstick or some shit like that.
4/8 slices: just stay in Baltimore.