Easthampton Pizza Challenge: Adamo’s Pizzeria vs. Antonio’s Pizza

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We’ve made it!  Here we are in our first Easthampton Pizza Challenge week pitting Adamo’s Pizzeria & Restaurant against Antonio’s Pizza & Wings.  I lived in Easthampton for several years and Antonio’s was always my go-to for takeout pizza, whether I needed a one-off slice or enough to feed a party.  I have less experience with Adamo’s, which I’ve only had once or twice, and was never impressed enough to keep coming back.  But I haven’t had them recently, and I found out that they are actually under new management as of a few months ago, so it will be interesting to see how things currently stack up.

We’ve decided to make a slight change to the scoring system, to sort of bring it in line with how we are actually running the tastings.  Instead of having the categories be crust, toppings, and flavor, we will have the categories be just crust and flavor/toppings, and then x-factor will be the deciding vote if there is a tie.  We were finding it very difficult separating out the flavor and toppings as separate categories, so we just made them a single umbrella category.  As for the x-factor category, we were already doing this unofficially, when we would ask each other which pizza you were getting seconds from.  So we just made it official.  Crust is staying the same.

Here is our starting point:

bracket

Antonio’s and Adamo’s are both smack dab in the middle in terms of Google reviews, so it will be interesting to see how they stack up against each other!

 

Antonio’s Pizza & Wings

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They’ve got pizza, they’ve got wings. What else do you need?

I’ve picked up plenty of take-out pizza from here over the years, so I know it pretty well.  Curiously, I have never had the wings.  They’re great for slices, you won’t be disappointed, but how do their whole pies stack up?

 

Adamo’s Pizzeria & Restaurant

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The sign says new management…could be good, could be bad!

Adamo’s serves as both a takeout pizza place and dine-in restaurant.  It was pretty empty when I strolled in to pick up my pie at around 5:30pm on a monday, but the staff was friendly and it seemed nice enough.

The Pizza

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Adamo’s on the left, Antonio’s on the right

 

We decided on a meatless evening, due to one of our tasters having some bad experiences with meat pies from Antonios.  So we instead went with the classic combo of mushrooms and green peppers.  From the top, both pizzas are similarly sized and both appear to be cooked about right, but let’s see what happens when we dig in!

 

The Crust

Here is where things begin to diverge for our two contestants.  Immediately upon picking up my Adamo’s slice it went limp like an overcooked noodle.  While the top of the pizza was nicely browned, the underside was barely more than raw, and basically falling apart.  The taste of the crust was inoffensive but bland and the crumb was dense and featureless.

The Antonio’s crust was entirely different, but not entirely better.  While the pizza appeared to be appropriately cooked, we found the underside was way overcooked, rendering the crust gamey and dry. The crumb was nice and bubbly, and looked like it was going to be delicious, but once you bit into it it just sort of broke off in your mouth.  I was pretty disappointed!  But at least it had some body to it, unlike the Adamo’s pie.

Winner: Antonio’s Pizza & Wings

Antonio's Pizza Category Adamo's Pizzeria
   Crust

 

The Flavor & Toppings

My immediate reaction to biting into the Adamo’s pie (aside from the undercooked crust) was the insipid sweetness of the sauce.  I was a little taken aback by it actually, I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced a sauce this sweet.  On a positive note, the peppers and mushrooms were fresh and delicious, and there was plenty of them.  Also bear in mind that someone voted for them in the flavor category, so it can’t be that bad!

There wasn’t anything particularly that stood out about the Antonio’s flavor & toppings.  I don’t have anything negative to say about it, except that it was perhaps a bit on the bland side.  The quality and flavor of the toppings was solid, but otherwise nothing really rose above average.

Winner: Antonio’s Pizza & Wings

Antonio's Pizza Category Adamo's Pizzeria
   Flavor+Toppings

 

The X-factor & Final Thoughts

At the end of the evening, there were a few scraps left in the Antonio’s box and almost half of the Adamo’s pie left, if that tells you anything.  Sometimes a pizza can be out-voted on technicalities and still be the better pie, but today this was not the case.

I feel like Adamo’s could be a halfway decent pie if it dialed down the sugar in the sauce and figured out their oven.  Antonio’s disappointed me a little as well, with their overcooked pied.  So overall I’m a bit let down by tonight’s contestants, though that might be because I got so used to the top-level competitors in Northampton and now we are back at square one in Easthampton.  Either way, I’m looking forward to the rest of what Easthampton has to offer!

 

Winner: Antonio’s Pizza & Wings

Antonio's Pizza Category Adamo's Pizzeria
Crust
   Flavor+Toppings
   X-factor

 

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