Pepperoni lovers across the nation are already salivating over food guru Alan Richman's latest article in GQ magazine, which hits newsstands today. In it, Richman delivers his verdict on the 25 best pizzas in the country, and - to no one's great surprise - ignores nearly everything outside of Chicago and New York City, the two great pizza bastions of mankind (or at least the United States).
It's even less surprising when one takes into account the blog that Richman posted yesterday, in which he laid out his choices for the ten best pizza cities nationwide. New York City topped the list and food cities San Francisco and Chicago were in the top four. The only surprise at the top? Detroit at number three, showing that the city is capable of doing something other than destroying the economy and rusting.
For those unwilling to click through the entire slideshow to see the pizzas that Richman chose as his top 25, here's a recap: None of them are remotely near Houston, so don't get excited. The East Coast bias doesn't just exist in sports coverage.
Of the 25 pizzas, 13 of them were concentrated along the Eastern seaboard: five in New York and two each in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Philadelphia and Boston. The Midwest fared slightly better, with four pizzas in Michigan alone and one (the top pizza, at that) in Chicago. The West Coast nabbed five: three in San Francisco and two in the rest of California, while lonely Phoenix snagged the number four spot on the list.
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Whither the rest of the country? The article states that Richman traveled to only ten cities -- the ones he mentioned in yesterday's blog -- in search of the best pizzas, which seems a shame. But Richman himself admits that, in a way: "I know what you're thinking: You didn't visit my favorite pizzeria. You missed the best. I was forced to be merciless about this, because everybody I know has one of those, and everybody believes his is unsurpassed."
Richman ate 386 pizzas at 109 pizzerias; only 25 made the cut, of course. It makes you curious about which other 84 pizzerias he visited and which pies he tried there.
If Richman had visited Houston, it would have been interesting to see his take on our institutions as well as our newcomers, since the top ten on his list were all fairly new pizzerias. The Bada Bing at Pink's Pizza, the pear and taleggio pizza at Dolce Vita or the Starburst at Star Pizza - what would Richman have thought of those?
These are fruitless questions to ask, of course. But the question remains for our city to answer: Which Houston pizza should have made the top 25 list?