Near my office, we have three pizza places located within close proximity of each other – One is across the street from the other two, and the other two are in the same building (albiet a bit down the street). Clearly the demand for pizza is not being met if three pizza shops are packed so close together. One of the pizza shops is even fairly new, as it just opened up recently. They also serve up similar cuisine. Aside from pizza and calzones, they all serve grinders*, hot wings, and “dinners,” though Belmont Pizza has Italian themes and Theo’s does things like steak or fish and chips.
* I’ve stolen the concept of the Pozterisk from Joe Posnanski. The Pozterisk, for those not in the know, is defined as such: Pozterisk (PAHZ-tur-isk), noun. An aside that has nothing whatsoever to do with anything but is thrown into the middle of the story because the author thinks it’s funny. I don’t think this is particularly funny, but I did want to digress for a moment and say that my preferred method of referring to long, torpedo-shaped sandwiches is the term grinder. This is because our regional grinder place was called Angelina’s Grinders, and, well, that’s what you get there. I don’t care if you use hoagie, sub, wedge (yes, one of my coworkers calls them a wedge occasionally), or whatever, but if you walk into a shop with the sign “Grinder” on the front, you should call it a grinder.
I usually get grinders at Theo’s and pizza at Belmont Pizza. When walking into each place it’s pretty clear where the emphasis is for each. Theo’s has the grinder stuff up front, and it definitely doesn’t feel like much of a pizza place. Belmont Pizza, however, fits in with most “Pizza House” type places that I’ve been to in New England, with fake wood paneling, pizza ovens up front, and the overwhelming smell of marinara. They also make more of a Sicilian type pie than Theo’s, whose pizza and calzone remind me a lot of Regina’s – kinda greasy. However, they do have good chicken parmesan grinders at Theo’s (and cheesesteaks too), so they get my business on that front.
We decided to try the new place, Thyago’s, last week because we were dissatisfied with the latest calzone we got from Belmont Pizza. The calzone style at Thyago’s is quite different – they’re pre-cut (a style I’ve seen often) and the marinara sauce was a bit watery. Blech. The actual chicken was good, but there was an overload of greasy cheese, and the crust wasn’t crunchy enough. It was all right, but not enough to unseat Belmont. Hey, if they get business, power to them I suppose.
In either case, I’d rather eat at any three of these places than Domino’s. Support your local pizza places, because often you’ll get better food and you’ll be keeping your local pizzeria in business.