When you’re a pizza snob, you can only walk by a pizza joint so many times before you just have to go in. Even if the place looks unpromising, it’s like their sign is screaming “Come on in and give us a try.” Recently, such was the case with Pittsburgh’s Pizza Parma whose Shadyside strip center location is just down the street from my son The Philosopher’s apartment.
After a stroll through the neighborhood for some afternoon coffees, we saw two people carrying pizza boxes as we walked back home in the rain to watch a movie. I suddenly succumbed to the urge to give PP a try, and I sent the crew home with a plan of bringing something back for us to all snack on while we “flicked.”
Home was actually my only choice since PP looked to have little room if any to dine on site. (Not sure whether this is true for their other two area locations.) As I walked in the door, I was further summoned to their call by a sign overhead proclaiming that the local radio “Bubba Show” honored them as the “Best Pizza in Pittsburgh 2017.” Hmm—after my experience I’m wondering if the Russians may have somehow influenced that vote.
Inside, there was no visible pizza in sight. There were no slices, just takeout and delivery. So, chalk off that means of advance assessment. However, there was quite a bit of afternoon activity. Getting my turn at the counter, I asked the pizza dude how big the small pie was. I should have realized that his answer of “six slices” in no away addressed the size of the pizza.
The dude furthered that it would take about 20 minutes, so I sat in one of the stray chairs just outside the door and waited. In about 15 minutes, I was quite surprised when I was handed such a tiny little box containing my pizza for four. I took it back home in the rain. Fortunately, the combined facts that not everyone at home was hungry and the pie wasn’t any good, made up for the slices being so puny. PP’s small pie wound up being about the size you’d expect a selfie to be.
Well, for as small as it was, it was way too heavy with ingredients. My brain quickly started ratting off the following adjectives: puffy, cheesy, mushy and soft—and that was just from looking at it. Eating didn’t make it any better – it was just not in any way to my liking. My son, who sadly has been living off of chain pizzas, thought it was OK. Small, thick, soft and squishy slices just don’t do it for me.
As we say farewell to the city, this sour experience may very well close the door on Pittsburgh pizza for the Snob. Still, I love the town and did find some good pie elsewhere. So, bring on Philly as The Philosopher moves east to continue his studies at Villanova!
PIZZA SNOB RATING ** Why Did I Waste Those Calories?
The Shadyside Plaza
217 S. Highland Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15206