Pizzapalooza: One Man’s Quest for the Perfect Slice

Cary, NC — I recently concluded Pizzapalooza, my personal quest to find the slice of pizza in Cary/Apex that most reminded me of the slice of pizza experience I had growing up in Brooklyn.

14 Contenders, All Based on a Classic Slice

Gary Yellin, the man behind Pizzapalooza.

The criteria were simple. I would only sample places that served slices, and I would only sample cheese pizza. 

I went to each place around lunch hour so the pizza would be fresh, and I ate it in my car as soon as I received it, so that it would be hot.  I have a thing about not wanting to let my pizza get to room temperature unless I’m eating it right out of the refrigerator the next day.

I only considered places that served slices. Several places which were recommended by a number of people don’t serve slices, so I wasn’t able to consider them.  These included V Pizza, Daniels and Pizzeria Faulisi.

My Ideal Checklist

I was looking for a thin and crispy crunch, with a nice char. I wanted to taste a hint of oregano, basil and garlic.  My perfect slice has the right ratio of cheese to sauce, and I want the cheese to be golden brown.  Once I fold the pizza and tilt it towards my mouth, I want a drop or two of olive oil to fall onto my tongue, guiding the slice towards my mouth for the perfect bite.

All About Preference

I tried pizza places recommended to me by members of the Downtown Cary Facebook group. I was not trying to find the best pizza in Cary/Apex.  That is very subjective and differs from person to person.

For example, some of the pizza places that some people rave about received some of the lowest ratings on Google.  The place that I like the best will differ from what others like best. In the end, it’s about personal preference and one’s opinion, and opinions are never wrong—they just differ.

And the Winner Is…

Having said that, the slice of pizza that I liked most was from NY Pizza in the Bass Pro shop shopping center on Harrison. They’ve been there for 30 years, and their wall is filled with awards. Their owners and management have over 100 years of pizza experience and it shows in the quality of their pizza. 

One bite of their pizza told me that their awards were justified.  Everything about their slice screamed “New York” to me. There was very little to find fault with. If you grab a slice from them after reading this article, please mention Pizzapalooza to them to show the effectiveness our group can have on helping small businesses!

Rounding out the top group were Namolisi, Salvio’s, and Anna’s. Out of the 14 places I tried, I didn’t have a bad slice at any of them. I’ve lived in Cary for more than 30 years, and we have come a long, long way when it comes to food choices.

Pizzapalooza shows that one doesn’t have to travel to the Big Apple to get a good slice of pizza.

Story by Gary Yellin. Photos courtesy of Yellin and Ashley Kairis.

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