Friday, March 30, 2007

Pizza Roma

Not long ago, I told a very well traveled friend, Mr. C, that Pizza Grosso was my favorite pizza in Prague.

I was shocked, shocked to hear that he knew a better place for a fast slice. He said, no question, Pizza Roma, at the I.P. Pavlova tram stop is better.

I questioned this.

"I've had both. Pizza Roma is better," he said.

"So have I. You're just wrong."

You can imagine where it went from here. Talks broke down. Agreement could not be reached. A stalemate.

So much division and strife in the world. And now this. For my own peace of mind, I decided to go back and investigate.

Pizza Roma is not that big, and it is a bustling place. I.P. Pavlova is one of the busier public transportation hubs in the city, with Metro line C and a multitude of tram lines.

Pizza Roma pies are pre-cooked, sliced, and lined up at the counter under lights. They have a number of topping choices. They move out fast. The last two times I was there, they did not reheat the pizzas before serving.

The slices I got were warm, but not hot. Both times, they would have benefited greatly from extra heat. The cheese was rubbery. The crust was soft and thinner than Pizza Grosso's. No crunch. I must have crunch.

Then, there's the sauce. It was also on the thin side and really lacked for seasoning. The main flavor that stood out was saltiness.

The slice wasn't bad. It's still a better choice than the nearby McDonald's or KFC. The pizza is OK if you are in a hurry. Or hungry very late at night. Or drunk. This is the customer base for this pizza.

Sometimes, less is more. Sometimes, it's not. Especially if you're talking about less pizza for more money.

Pizza Roma charges 35 CZK for a pepperoni slice, which is 1/8 of a 45-centimeter pizza. Plain or mushroom is 30 CZK. Pizza Grosso charges 30 CZK for 1/4 of a 50-centimeter pizza. BIG difference.

Pizza Roma's slices do have more pepperoni slices on them. The dripping, red oil from them will also destroy your clothes -- watch out.

Another plus for Pizza Roma is that it is open until 4:00 am. Pizza Grosso is only open until 9:00 pm. Pizza Roma has a number of other things to eat, like gyros for 50 CZK. Pizza Grosso has a gyro place next to it.

Anyway, after one slice at Pizza Roma, I walked over to Pizza Grosso and had another pepperoni slice. It was nicely reheated. I took a bite.

Oh, the lightly crunchy crust. The kick of oregano. The size.

For me, the debate was settled. I'm still hoping I can reach consensus with my friend. But, there's no need for further talks.

Pizza Roma
I.P. Pavlova tram stop on Jugoslávská
Prague 2


Grant Podelco said...

I'm a big Pizzeria Rugantino fan now, but when I was living in Prague back in the mid- to late '90s, THE place to get pizza used to be Pizzeria Kmotra, near Narodni Trida. It really was very good. Or at least that's how I remember it. But I haven't been back in many a year. Does anyone know, is it still tasty?

Anonymous said...

since I'm all for thin pizza (and I work nearby) pizza Roma is my favorite place to get slice, but I sincerely prefere when I'm lucky enough to catch it fresh out of the oven. Try the 4 formaggi next time.
>>I'll try the Pizza Grosso, although the name sounds strange, still better than Pizzeria Grosseto! (It's like calling a Texmex restaurant 'minneapolis' or something like that)

Brewsta said...

Although the sauce didn't impress me, I thought a properly hot slice from Pizza Roma would be a very different experience.

But on two visits, I had the same experience -- barely warm and rubbery. I did ask them if it was hot and they always say yes. Would have to get pushy to have them throw it back in the oven.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that I was out at the Metropole mall near Zlicin today and had a couple of slices of pizza in the food court at a place called Villa Italian Kitchen, or something like that.

It advertises itself as authentic New York-style pie, and I'll be damned if it wasn't some of, if not the, best pizza I've had in Prague.

Great thick, chewy crust, pepperoni, sausage (real U.S.-style sausage), mushrooms, etc. Excellent, excellent pizza. And easy on the wallet, too, at around 50 CZK for a huge slice laden with toppings.

Yes, it's at a mall food court, but it's actually worth a trip out there if you're really into pizza and are hankering for a New York pie.