TOP 2010: Round 2: Schenectady

TOP2010 RD2 schenectady

The second round of the 2010 Tournament of Pizza, sponsored by Sunmark Federal Credit Union, heads back to Schenectady. And we have quite the matchup in this round of sausage pizzas:

Marino's Flying vs. Pizza King

First, how we got here: Marino's Flying scored a solid victory over Fireside 71-59 and Pizza King topped Johnny C's 64-46.

There's some serious TOP history here in Round 2 Schenectady. Pizza King placed second in the entire tournament in 2008 -- but it was upset by Marino's Flying in the first round last year. Marino's then went on to win the bracket.

So, let's get to it. We head back to the fragrant Anthology Design Studio for the tasting...

sunmark pizza banner

TOP2010 RD2 schenectady closeups

A quick note about how all this works: The four judges -- Renee, Albany Jane, Joe and Daniel B -- taste the pizza blind. That is, they don't know which pizza they're tasting during judging. They taste the competitors side by side. The scoring is on a 100 point scale -- each judge represents a quarter of those possible points.

Marino's Flying vs. Pizza King

Marino's Pizza King
Crust 10 11
Sauce 15 11
Toppings 14 12
Overall taste 28 23
Totals 67 57

Post game:

And Marino's Flying takes the crown from the King again. This was a reasonably close contest, with just OK performances by both shops.

The judges dinged both crusts -- they called Marino's "tough" and criticized Pizza King's for being under-done. Both sauces got OK marks. Marino's took the lead with a sauce described as "punchy" with good basil flavor. The judges said the King's sauce was as "a bit on the sweet side."

Though it didn't necessarily show in the score, the two shops took very different approaches on the sausage. Marino's used a crumbly sausage with a distinct fennel flavor -- one judge said it "stole the show." Pizza King used thin slices of a spicy sausage, which one judge said really woke up the palate.

In the end, Marino's was just a little bit better overall. It should be noted that the King did score a victory on one judge's card and was just one point behind on another.

Up next

Marion's Flying Pizza takes the bracket and heads on to the semi-finals for the second year in a row. But OK isn't going to cut it in the round of four.

Tomorrow: the Tournament of Pizza heads back to Troy.

Special thanks again to the Anthology Design Studio on State Street in downtown Schenectady. Its space is beautiful and the people there are very helpful.

+ Results from Round 2 in the Saratoga bracket
+ Steve's picks for Round 2
+ Results from Round 1 in the Albany bracket
+ Results from Round 1 in the Troy bracket
+ Results from Round 1 in the Schenectady bracket
+ Results from Round 1 in the Saratoga bracket

The 2010 Tournament of Pizza is sponsored by Sunmark Federal Credit Union, which now offers banking from mobile devices. They even have an app for iPhones and Android phones.

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