Mimmo’s Pizza vs. Roberto’s Pizza

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Welcome to Week 3 of the Valley Pizza Challenge and it already feels like we’re starting to settle in!  This week we’re going to be spending time with a couple of pizzas from Mimmo’s on Pleasant Street and Roberto’s, also on Pleasant Street.  I’ve eaten the pizzas at both of these places before, though only once at Roberto’s, and although Mimmo’s gets a certain amount of grief by my fellow locals, I’ve found them both to be reasonably good in the past.  So let’s get right to it and see how they stack up!

Here is where we are after two weeks:

bracket-done

 

Since I (Adam) picked up both pies this week, I’ll write about my experiences at both places.

Mimmo’s

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Neither nestled, nor tucked

 

The sign out front says Largest Slice and they aren’t kidding.  This place is known for their huge slices, and there really isn’t anything else in town like it.  Sure, it’s pretty sketchy inside, but when you walk out of there with a slice the length of your forearm for $5, you won’t be thinking about anything except eating some delicious pizza.  When I used to live nearby I would come for the meatball subs, and would often get one of their epic party sized pizzas when I had lots of people over, and they never disappointed.  Additionally, they are usually super quick getting your order ready, and in this case they quoted me a 20 minute time at around 5:45pm on a monday night, which they delivered on.

 

Roberto’s

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Two signs for the price of one!

 

I’ve only been to Roberto’s twice before this test and both times I’ve left unimpressed.  The interior sports a decent bar and plenty of seating, but I’ve found the food to be lacking in the flavor department, and the dine-in service was pretty slow both times.  The one constant, however, is the friendly staff, which I’ve noticed each time.  In this case I was quoted a 25 minute turnaround and received my pizza promptly when I showed up.

 

Pizza

This week we decided to go a new route and get a two-topping pizza, sausage and green peppers.  I can’t claim any brilliance on this one as I got the idea from eat-this-town.com, which is a Halifax-based pizza blog I was recently introduced to.  I like the idea of getting a vegetable and a meat on the same pizza as it gives you more variables to consider and to allow pizzas to stand themselves apart.

image1

Roberto’s on the left, Mimmo’s on the right

 

OK so the first thing you’ll probably notice in this picture is how tiny the Roberto’s pizza looks right up close to the Mimmo’s pizza, and it really is dwarfed!  The Mimmo’s pie is easily 18 inches proud and the Roberto’s pie is maybe 14″, though the price difference is only a few dollars (Mimmo’s was around $18, Roberto’s around $16).  One thing I want to stress is that Roberto’s is foremost a dine-in restaurant and not really built for take-out, and I think their pizza reflects that.   Upon opening it didn’t look especially appetizing, and reviving it in the oven didn’t really help it much.  On the other hand, as I’m looking at the picture of that Mimmo’s pizza now, my mouth is starting to water!  But looks aren’t everything, how do they taste?

 

Crust

Right off the bat we were all mesmerized by the Mimmos’ crust.  It had great chew, just the right amount of salt, and was perfectly cooked.  This is the best crust we’ve had so far, it really is a standout.  The only problem was that due to the size and the way they cut the pizza, there aren’t a lot of slice options with a good ratio of non-crust and crust.  Some of the end pizzas are just about right but then you end up with some corners that are almost all crust, and the middle slices with no crust.  For a pizza this size, this is probably the only way to cut it that works, as long slices would probably be hard to maneuver, but it is still something to consider.

The Roberto’s crust was pretty disappointing.  I’m not sure if it would have been better as a dine-in straight out of the oven, but we found it to be a little too thin, dense, and crispy, to the point where some of us didn’t even finish it.  The flavor was fine, but there really wasn’t much positive to be said for it otherwise.

Winner: Mimmo’s Pizza

 

Mimmo's Category Roberto's
Crust

 

Toppings

This was much more of a toss-up and we ended up with our first no votes in this competition, which we decided to allow on the spot.  Some of us liked the fact that you could see and taste the green pepper on the Mimmo’s pizza, whereas on the Roberto’s pie is was chopped up finely and tucked under the cheese (and definitely less noticeable).  Most agreed that the sausage on the Roberto’s pie tasted less fatty, and on neither of them do you really get a whole heck of a lot.  The toppings on the Mimmo’s pizza seemed especially sparse.

Winner: Tie

 

Mimmo's Category Roberto's
Toppings

 

Flavor

The Roberto’s sauce had a strong almost vinegary flavor that I actually enjoyed, but others thought a bit “bitter” and and maybe too strong.  However, the notes for the Mimmo’s pizza was that the sauce was sweet and it tasted “junk foody”.  I don’t think there was a clear winner as both had very different styles, but in the end one did end up with more votes.

Winner: Mimmo’s Pizza

 

Mimmo's Category Roberto's
Flavor

 

Mouthfeel

While the Roberto’s pizza had strong flavor and the cheese had a decent texture, most preferred the mouthfeel of the Mimmo’s pizza, saying there was “more to it” and it had “better chew”.  The combination of the great chewy crust and good helping of cheese and sauce on the Mimmo’s pizza really gave it a great mouth feel.

Winner: Mimmo’s Pizza

 

Mimmo's Category Roberto's
Mouthfeel

Final Thoughts

The story of this week’s challenge is definitely crust.  It just goes to show that if you create a great crust, you’re already most of the way to a great pizza.  And this week, Mimmo’s really shined with it’s crust, and that made it rise above the Roberto’s pie, which to be fair actually has a lot going for it.  It was said once or twice during the meal that the Mimmo’s pie is exactly the kind of pie you get take-out pizza for: chewy, cheesy, and delicious!

 

Mimmo's Category Roberto's
Crust
Toppings
Flavor
Mouthfeel

 

Winner: Mimmo's Pizza (11 votes)

 

Loser: Roberto's Pizza (2 votes)

 

Winner: Mimmo’s Pizza

Week 3 Corrected Bracket

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