Sunday, May 31, 2009

Final Reminder: Join Us Today For First Mission

We're heading out for our inaugural mission to commence The Great Las Vegas Pizza Quest. You can join us between 12:30 pm and 1 pm today at the Café at Canyon Ridge Christian Community after the 11 am service. CR is at 6200 W. Lone Mountain and Jones. I'll be the guy with the chef's hat on. You won't be able to miss me.

We don't know where we're going. We can figure that out once everyone is assembled.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

There Are NO Bad Pizzas

We believe that any establishment who dares to mix flour, water, egg and a little salt to form a dough, top it with sauce, cheese and an assortment of nicely chopped ingredients cannot fail. There are NO bad fresh pizzas. There are pies that might not live up to our expectations. But even the weakest of finds can still be a delight, even cold for breakfast the following morning.

We are not out to disparage any pizza makers. If we find the steaming offering to be less than desired, we hope that our comments will be looked at as constructive, rather than destructive. If our taste buds were not happy on an initial visit, we promise to return in six months and give the establishment a second chance to wow our buds.

Our evaluations will attempt to be objective, that is why we will always start with a pepperoni, sausage and black olive pizza. (This is based on my 8-year-old daughter's preference.) A truly empirical study must have its benchmark, and that is ours. Although, depending on the size of our expedition team, we may be ordering a larger selection of topping combinations or house specialty pizzas.

We'll be examining the flavor and texture of the dough and crust. Sauce samples will be requested from the kitchen. With our finely calibrated eyeballs, we will gauge the quantity of cheese and check it for gooey elasticity. The game breaker could be - the sausage. Brown morsels of greasy spiced meats will be masticated slowly, seeking to find hidden flavors that are only produced by exceptional sausage recipes.

Another requirement for out research - the pizza must be eaten dine-in. No cardboard shall touch our specimens. Ambiance of the pie shop will be absorbed and noted. Staff, service, and the overall customer experience will be jotted into our pizza journal. And we will check the restrooms!

We don't care if you have a thousand pie shops across the universe. We are here today at your joint in Sin City and we want PIZZA! We hope it's good. Actually, we hope it is the Grail. The Holy Grail of Las Vegas Pizza.

Posted by Roger Blazic

A Higher Calling Inspires This Noble Quest

At some point in everyone's life, we are called by a higher power. Our hearts stir and our innards feel compelled to act. My soul has been burdened with this for years. Thirteen years, in fact. Ever since I left my neighborhood on the west side of Cleveland, OH, I have felt a huge void. My spirit has longed for fulfillment. I've made sporadic attempts to fill that void, but now a swelling drive has welled up in my throat and forced me to act. Yes. I must find the best pizza in Las Vegas.

This is a quest not many are prepared to take. Committing my Sunday afternoon's every single week until the Holy Grail is found will be a long, arduous and tasty journey. I don't expect too many casualties. Please pray for me.

Every noble pursuit in life needs a competent and hungry crew to support the endeavor. I have my young second grade daughter by my side. My co-pilot, Sam has agreed to join the quest. At first, he was reluctant to give up our bi-weekly meetings at the salad bar for a much heavier, greasier and cheesier challenge. But I was able to whack the balsamic vinegar from Sam's hand, shove his chick peas aside and club some sense into him with a firm but tender zucchini. After forty-five minutes of low carbohydrate torture, Sam succumbed. A Senate investigation has already been scheduled.

Our signature pizza to test is a regular crust pepperoni, sausage and black olive pizza. (My daughter's favorite. I need to comply with my muse.) However, if we can locate other well-honed taste preferences in the desert, we will petition them to join us. Right now, we have a pressing need for a vegetable pizza aficionado. Science needs to know if the mushrooms are fresh or canned? We also seek a highly discerning meat specialist. And lastly, we need someone to go where even I have only ventured a few times against the sage advice of my advisers - pineapple and ham pizza.

We need to be very precise here. We won't have time to order salads or bread sticks. Although, we do feel strongly that anything starchy, greasy, warm, doughy thing covered in butter and garlic should be studied.

Our first expedition will be Sunday, May 31, 2009. We're going to meet in the Café at Canyon Ridge Christian Church - 6200 W. Lone Mountain Rd. @ N. Jones - after the 11 am service - approximately 12:30 pm. We'll hang around until 1 pm as our search party assembles. While we're waiting for our crew to congeal, we'll try to determine the location of our first gastronomic dig.

After the expedition, a review will appear here. A new expedition will be planned immediately for the following Sunday. So that we can tap into the wealth of taste buds in the high desert, we will move to the southeast quadrant of the valley. Each week, we will move to a different quadrant.

If you feel inspired by this quest and are considering donning your best red-and-white-checkered bib to join us in a pursuit with a noble and honorable calling, just show up hungry.

For all explorers, we recommend bringing cash. If we are seated as a group, we will not be asking for separate checks, except for alcoholic beverages. And this group is only for the classy customers. We tip 20%.

If you're not quite sure if you are up to this challenge, you have to ask yourself if you have what it takes to live up to our motto. We'll eat every pie until we die. Are you still hungry?

For more information, see the Group on Facebook.

Posted by Roger Blazic