Monday, December 21, 2009
Week 8: Pie vs. Pie (Big Bite vs. Pizza Experts)
My apologies to the regular pizza blog readers for the delay in posting the results from last Friday's pizza competition; it's been a busy past few days. Friday's pizza competition was the final competition of the first round, as well as the final competition for the year since this coming Friday begins Christmas break. Obviously there was a lot of hype leading up to this event, which seen Big Bite going up against Pizza Experts. A record number of judges were in attendance. More notably though was the fact that Mutema and Sam, who both took the day off work, not only showed up for the event, but brought a guest judge each. Obviously this shows a tremendous amount of dedication to the bracket. Sam went so far as to pick up both pizza's, although there were some complaints regarding the lateness of the pizzas arriving. According to Sam the reason for the lateness was due to a bottle neck at Big Bite. When ordering I had requested the pizzas to be ready for pick up at 11:45am. Sam was there at that time and had to wait 15 minutes for the pizzas to come out of the oven. Another notable anecdote was when Sam was finding a parking spot at Pizza Experts. Upon seeing an acquaintance abruptly pulling his car into a spot without the use of an indicator Sam jokingly told him to "use a signal next time". The acquaintance, not recognizing Sam, unleashed a fury of F-bombs while walking away in response to the comment. The guy never got the joke. But Sam did get the pizza. Unfortunately on the way back there was an incident that resulted in one of the pizza boxes tipping, resulting in topping slide on a couple pieces. Fortunately though this was a Big Bite pie. When he finally returned to the office Sam was heard to comment that he won't be making any more pizzas runs. I suppose making a pizza run on his day off gets him off the hook.
Judges this week included: Howard, Chuck, Stephen, Mark, Mutema, Ryan (who lives out of province), Sam, Kathryn, Josh, Heather, and myself. Initial reaction seemed to indicate that people were impressed with Big Bite in that it wasn't horrible, as expected. My impression of Big Bite was that it's sauce was more like a spaghetti sauce and the crust, while not as substantial as the Big Bite pizza slices I've had in the past, did pack a doughy punch. More so than the Pizza Experts which had a thinner soggy dough texture with a sweeter sauce. Toppings were comparable with most of the gripes resulting from the "fake" crumble bacon on both. For me it was a tough decision. Everyone anticipated a landslide for Pizza Experts, and the result reflected this as the Experts dominated with an 8-3 result. I however did not find the winning pizza of "Expert" caliber. I think the underdog should have won since it had exceeded expectations and provided a respectable pizza. If living up to the name was a criteria I think the outcome may have been different. One interesting tidbit Sam mentioned was that Big Bite has a new oven with a conveyor that passes the cooking pizza through different temperature climates for optimal results. Meanwhile Pizza Experts continue to churn out the same soggy pizza I had in buffets while in high school. I thought it was mediocre then as well.