Saturday, July 5, 2014

Make a Pizza Deal

Pizza Deal
519 E 25th St.

The injunction to make a “pizza deal” might sound like crass consumerism. The image is of two businessmen clasping hands after reaching an “understanding” in a smoke-filled backroom – indeed, the clasped hands rise above the facade of Pizza Deal like a new, hard-bargaining sun. But this is a deal that benefits all of us, unlike any other deal going down in the halls of power. The deal is between molten cheese and oregano. The deal is between tangy sauce and spongy crust. Ultimately, the deal is an experience generated within your own brain, where neurons make deals with each other, convincing you that there is a unified external reality in which the taste of pizza anchors you to agreed-upon forms of collective human existence.

Successful deal-makers

The establishment known as “Pizza Deal” on 25th and Greenmount is the best pizza that we've found in the Greenmount/Barclay/Harwood/Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello area. If you live nearby, this might be the pie that you should consult whenever you need a true and honest pizza.

We know this because Pizza Deal is endorsed by a true and honest man, our friend Scott, who's been making Pizza Deals for years now and reaps the dividends of these deals every day, in the form of robust health, good fortune, and upstanding citizenship. Scott feels that Pizza Deal is “expertly consistent,” delivering a satisfying pie that shows mastery of the basic components of pizza.

Pizza Deals are made in a one-room building which, on an early-July evening when we visited, was very hot. There's no seating, just the kitchen and a plexiglas booth where you stand to place your order, and a slot where money enters and pizza comes out. The woman who took our order seemed very happy to see us and not at all ruffled by the extreme temperature. “These people don't cry about the heat,” Scott explained of Pizza Dealers.
Must make pizza deal

We obtained an extra large pizza with mushrooms and olives for $13. This is a substantial pizza. Its base is a thick, chewy, sightly dense crust that still has the right amount of fluff and softness. Scott suggested that the pie is “underdone just the right amount.” Atop that is a generous amount of sauce that carries a hint of sweetness. The cheese is springy and supple – Pizza Club believes that real mozzarella is in use at this establishment. We were very pleased with the crust-sauce-cheese ratio. “I always feel like there's not enough sauce,” Katy explained, but Pizza Deal does not skimp. 

The toppings were standard for fast-food pizza. “The mushrooms are often more fresh than other shops,” Scott explained. “I bet they take them right out of the can, instead of letting them sit in a tub all day.” The only thing that kept this pie from reaching the ideal of takeout pizza is that it was a bit too salty.
Reach for the ideal -- the pizza-deal

The fact that Pizza Deal makes such solid crust is especially intriguing because, like most fast-food pizza joints, they get their dough from an outside supplier. We guessed that they might use Nino's, which is located nearby down Loch Raven. Although many pizza places in the city use this dough, they still produce different crusts. How is this? Scott proposed a metaphor: “Duron gives all the painters paint, but all the paintings don't look the same.” Indeed!

“I was skeptical,” Alishea said, “but Pizza Deal hits the spot.” This is a solid basic pizza, suitable for everyday consumption and affordable to boot.

6.5/8 slices