Food. It is necessary for survival, a representation of culture and often a focal point at gatherings of friends and family. It is a central part of life.
And The Northern Light wants to know where the best college-friendly food in town is. In this six part series, TNL will explore some of the best food from locally-owned restaurants that we can find, and rate it based on factors unique to that particular dish.
Part 2: The Best Pepperoni Pizza
Pizza is one of the foods most associated with college students and Anchorage has plenty of pizza places to choose from, both locally owned and chain restaurants.
TNL ordered five pepperoni pizzas from five local establishments, and while two employees made certain that the pizza was void of labels and identifying insignia, the rest of TNL participated in a blind taste test, so that preferences and survey results were based strictly on taste rather than restaurant favoritism. (All pizza photos by Daniel Jackson.)
1. Uncle Joes
Uncle Joe’s Pizza provided the undisputedly best pie. The crust was neither too thick or too thin and had flavor, there was just the right amount of pepperoni on top, the cheese wasn’t too greasy and didn’t smother the flavors of the pizza and the sauce tasted as though it had been crafted by heaven-trained sauce artisans. Coincidentally, Uncle Joe’s Pizza also provided a free two-liter of Coke for being late on their delivery. They were one of the first pizza deliveries to arrive. The Uncle Joe’s that TNL ordered from is located on Tudor Road between Dale Street and Florina Street
2. Moose’s Tooth
It may come as a surprise that the most renowned pizza joint in town came in second place; but while Moose’s Tooth excels in creativity- blending of flavors, presentation and overall originality- they fall short when going back to basics. The cheese was too thin, the crust was burned and thin and the sauce was relatively bland (though not nearly as bland as other pizzas tested). The pepperoni itself, however, was some of TNL’s favorite. If pizza fans want to order from Moose’s Tooth (which doesn’t deliver), order one of their specialty pies. Moose’s Tooth is located on Old Seward Hwy. near 36th.
3. Napoli’s Pizza
TNL had mixed feelings about this pizza. Some liked it, others disliked it, and those that liked it had different reasons why. The one thing that was consistent was that all testers believed Napoli’s pizza had an abundance of cheese. Some testers liked this while others preferred a thinner layer, contributing to the divided opinions on the pizza. TNL was also split where the crust thickness and flavor were concerned, some liking Napoli’s thicker crust while others did not. Give it a shot, especially if you like tons of cheese. Napoli’s Pizza is located on Bragaw Street and 16th Ave.
4. Pizza Olympia
Like Napoli’s, Pizza Olympia produced a pie that TNL had trouble agreeing on. Those who liked the sauce loved it, and those who did not were highly critical. Most TNLers felt the same for the crust, but all testers lost the taste of the pepperoni in the other flavors, and wouldn’t have recognized it for a pepperoni pizza unless they peeled the cheese off. Pizza Olympia, located on Spenard Road near the corner of Northern Lights Blvd., is a Greek and Italian restaurant- so if their pizza doesn’t do it for you, don’t be afraid to try the rest of their menu, which is typically quite good.
5. Guido’s Pizza
Unfortunately for Guido’s, their pizza is sub-par in almost every way. Their sauce tastes like tomato paste from the can, their crust is devoid of all flavor, and their pepperoni is completely tasteless. The cheese, also flavorless, is piled so high that it nearly cancels out the slight flavor of the other parts of the pizza. Steer clear from this pie, but don’t be discouraged from the restaurant itself: most testers had tried other Guido’s dishes in the past, and loved them all. Some places just aren’t meant to produce pizza. Guido’s is located on East International Airport Road, near Fairbanks Street.