A Pizza Journey

Today we’re welcoming guest blogger Nick Fassler, Real Time Farms’ summer MBA intern. Nick is currently an MBA/MS student at the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan. When he’s not doing school work or helping us, you will probably find him eating pizza…

Margherita pie at Punch Pizza in St Paul, MN

Most folks who know me have at some point experienced me ranting about this or that amazing pizza place that they need  to try. I’m not sure exactly where this obsession started, perhaps as a boy in Brooklyn eating at my favorite pizza place, Roma Pizza (which at the time I thought was the best in the world, but I realized after returning there a few years ago that it is just pretty good NY pizza).

More recently, this obsession led me to convince my wife, Emily, to take a slight detour through Los Angeles (Pizzeria Mozza) and Phoenix (Pizzeria Bianco, my all time favorite) on our move from Oakland, CA to Ann Arbor, MI (which is decidedly not even close to on the way). And when we were back visiting New York, there was no way I was going to miss the amazing school bus tour of NY pizza led by my high school friend Scott. Since moving to Michigan for grad school, I’ve been in a search for great pizza and luckily have found it at Supino Pizza in Detroit and the brand new Mani Osteria in Ann Arbor. All of this on top of my own adventures making pizza, with my favorite recipes coming from Cook’s Illustrated and Peter Reinhart’s American Pie (a fun read which is half pizza journey and half amazing recipes).

Luckily, I’ve kept fairly good photographic records of my pizza obsession, which I present below for your enjoyment. And at the very bottom of this post (if you make it that far without running out the door for the closest pizzeria), you can check out my current top five pizzas in the country.

The "Rosa" with pistachios, red onion and rosemary from Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, AZ

The NY slice worth waiting two hours for at Di Fara Pizza in Brooklyn

Clockwise from top-left: cracker-thin pie from Well's Brothers in Racine, WI; surprisingly good, but expensive mushroom pie from Via Napoli in Epcot Center; one of many amazing concoctions from Cheeseboard Collective in Berkeley, CA; and a squash blossom and burrata pie from Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles.

My own pizza creation - potato, red onion, radish and smoked mozzarella

And finally, what you’ve been waiting for…my current top five pizzas in the country (this list is subject to change without notice):

  1. Pizzeria Bianco (Pheonix, AZ) – the “Rosa” with pistachios, rosemary and red onion
  2. Di Fara Pizza (Brooklyn, NY) – the holy grail of plain NY pies
  3. Pizzeria Picco (Larkspur, CA) – the “Marin” with razor thin potatoes and garlic
  4. Supino Pizza (Detroit, MI) – the seasonal “Rooty Giuliani” with celery root and garlic
  5. Cheeseboard Pizza (Berkeley, CA) – an infrequent daily selection with cilantro, corn, lime, and feta cheese
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