Deconstructing Joe

Before you get heated up over which is better, New York thin-crust or Chicago thick-crust pizza, Star Pizza (2111 Norfolk, 713-523-0800, and 77 Harvard, 713-869-1241) has solved the problem by making both. To complicate matters, however, there is also the decision of whether you prefer a white or whole wheat crust. No matter what's the preference, there's one thing upon which everyone agrees, and that is Joe's special pizza. The marinara sauce that covers the base has fresh tomato pieces mixed in it, striking a perfect balance between acidic and sweet. The mozzarella cheese is not extra-greasy, so the pizza is not so soggy. The rest of the toppings -- spinach and lots of garlic -- make this the star pizza attraction, even for those who haven't eaten their spinach since they were forced to by their parents.

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Paul Galvani