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Tour de Slice: Schenectady

March 8, 2018

Thankfully it still feels a bit like winter, because the FUSSYlittleBLOG’s winter tour is finally here! The name of this tour has been shortened for the headline of today’s post. If I called this the Tour de New York Style Pizza Slice: Schenectady Edition it wouldn’t fit on one line, and we can’t have that.

Plus the word slice should absolutely imply New York style pizza. And if it doesn’t, this probably isn’t the tour for you. Or maybe it’s the perfect tour for you, because this would be a fantastic introduction to thin crust pizza by the slice.

We’ve already had a period of nominations, and readers have weighed in with their thoughts on what this tour should and should not be. I’ve taken it all into consideration, and am looking forward to getting this show on the road.

Now whip out those calendars and write down this date, in pen.

Saturday, March 17. Yes, I know that is St. Patrick’s Day. Depending on who you are, this event will either be a good way to lay down a cheesy, bready base for a lot of green beer and Irish whiskey, or it will serve as counter programming to the drunken masses roving around the bars of the Capital Region.

Our day is going to start in the only place it possibly could Pizza King. And we’re going to start relatively early. While Pizza King opens at 10:30, we’ll aim to have our first slices at 11am.

You should plan to show up a few minutes before then, and you should bring a pen, and plenty of small bills for you pizza slices. It’s equally obnoxious to pay for your slices with a credit card, as it is to have a parade of eaters come in paying for individual slices with Jacksons.

It might also be a good idea to bring a printout of this map.

If you want to bring friends along with you, the more the merrier. Slices aren’t really meant for sharing, but if you’re sufficiently intimate with someone—and you share the same pizza eating style—then go for it.

What are you going to be evaluating? Well, that depends on how you like your slices.

This is one of those tours where there is a lot of flexibility baked into the system. My request though is that you try and keep a consistent theme throughout the day.

I’m going to eat cheese slices at every single stop. Some of you might like a simple topping. Others might want to go for something like buffalo chicken, or meat lovers. White pizza is a thing, and it’s a thing I actually endorse. My personal goal will be to not judge participants based on their toppings choices. But just go into this knowing that not all pizza toppings may be available at all locations.

Maybe we’re asking for trouble starting at Pizza King, but it’s a central location, and literally in the shadow of City Hall. It’s hard to get more Schenectady centric than that.

The first part of this tour will be on foot, and that route will resemble the slices we’ll be eating. After Pizza King, we’ll hoof it to Isopo’s on Erie Boulevard. And then we’ll walk back to right around where we started to try out the slices downstairs at Nico’s.

Then we hit the road.

Our fourth stop brings us to Paulie’s Pizza on the north side of town. It’s beloved by people on Yelp, and it’s totally been off my radar. So I’m very excited to give this one a try. This is the dark horse entry to be sure. But how can we not give the Yelp darling of Schenectady a seat at the table? Seriously, it’s higher rated than Marino’s. Plus people insist that it’s New York Style, and Marino’s is decidedly too thick to qualify in my book.

The finish line will be at the I Love NY Pizza on upper Union Street, which is my current favorite slice shop in the Electric City. We’ll see how it holds up when eaten side by side with the best New York style slices in Schenectady.

Man, this is going to be fun. And it will be a fantastic learning experience too. By the end of the tour we’ll totally have a better appreciation for all the delicious pizza available to us locally, plus we’ll have gained a personal understanding of how minor differences in crust, sauce, and toppings can have a major impact on the experience of eating a pizza slice.

Maybe it’s the crispness of the crust, the saltiness of the sauce, the caramelization of the cheese, the grind of the sausage, the herbs sprinkled on top, the puffiness of the end crust, the distribution of the toppings, or the foldability of the slice.

That last one isn’t going to be an official judging criteria, since people eat their slices differently. Instead, we’ll be looking at simply the bottom crust, the end crust, the sauce, the cheese, the toppings (if any), and the shakers (if any).

For the record, I typically don’t shake anything on my pizza slices. And I never do when trying a place out for the first time.

So, who’s in? Just let me know, so I can print out enough scoresheets. And if you have any questions, don’t be shy. I love questions. Any that are posted here are likely to be answered far more quickly than those that are still languishing elsewhere on the blog.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2018 2:56 pm

    I’m in.

    Cheese slice or maybe pepperoni, I’ll have to think on that.

    I’m also going to suggest that we end the tour with a beer somewhere in spite of the additional carb load. Because, you know, pizza, and beer. And after five salty slices, a beer will make for a good palate cleanser. The Horses Lounge on McClellan is just a few blocks down from I Love.

    • March 8, 2018 2:59 pm

      I’m secretly hoping that someone goes buffalo chicken. There is so much variety in those slices. Sausage might be more revealing than pepperoni. But white broccoli would also be interesting.

      • March 8, 2018 8:22 pm

        For the longest time, I was not a fan of pepperoni but I’m coming around. It is the most popular pizza topping, and I’m starting to think the unwashed masses may be on to something.

  2. Zena, Goddess of Fire permalink
    March 8, 2018 5:29 pm

    I’m in tentatively. You know – so much pizza, so little time!!! Green pepper, mushrooms and onions. Steve: BEER YES!!!

  3. Alex C. permalink
    March 9, 2018 12:02 am

    My girlfriend and I are in. I am likely to take Ed Levine’s advice from Pizza: A Slice of Heaven and go with sausage for my slices.

  4. March 9, 2018 4:23 pm

    So I’m shocked and surprised as I didn’t know of this site, this pizza walk just came across my Google News Feed on my phone, and yet these foodies apparently don’t know about the best eats.

    How is it that no-one in Schenectady knows of the best pizza, not only in Schenectady County, but the Capital District as a whole? It’s right in your back yards on State Street, yet somehow got left off of your list and didn’t even make The Daily Gazette’s top pizza pick!

    • March 9, 2018 4:29 pm

      I think you are talking about Marino’s. If you are, I think you will be pleased to see my top pizza pick under the #518 Recos:

      But you may also be interested in the further reading on Pies v. Slices:

    • March 10, 2018 9:01 am

      Law Student,

      “Best” is highly subjective. I have my own best five Capital Region pizza list and not one is in Schenectady, and I grew up in Schenectady (just blocks from Marino’s). The Electric City is near and dear to my heart.

      Anytime you want to sit down over a pie and discuss who makes the best pizza, and why, I’d be happy to do that with you. I can make a very good argument for why you won’t find it in Schenectady.

      Anyway, this tour is about a very specific thing. It is not about who makes the best pizza.

  5. Megan B permalink
    March 9, 2018 8:17 pm

    Brian and I are in he’s going to do sausage. I’m between white pizza and Sicilian slices. I know pizza king and isopos both have them but not sure about the others.

    • March 9, 2018 11:41 pm

      Sicilian? I feel like that needs an entirely separate scoresheet… and possibly an entirely different tour. No?

      • Megan B permalink
        March 13, 2018 10:14 am

        Probably, though its the type of pizza I grew up with for slices, they’ve started calling it detroit style which is very odd for me. Question then becomes white pizza with Tomatoes or white with Broccoli. There seem to be different opinions on the subject.

  6. Buffsoulja permalink
    March 11, 2018 11:41 pm

    I am in (mary is tentative)

  7. Benjamin Maggi permalink
    March 12, 2018 9:27 am

    I am in, as is my wife Sarah. No idea what type we are doing, because my favorite (Hawaiian) likely won’t be at all 5 places. That is a risk you get when you start being creative with the toppings.

  8. ericscheirerstott permalink
    March 16, 2018 6:24 pm

    I’ll do it, if it kills me

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