TOP 2010: Round 2: Albany

TOP2010 RD2 albany

The second round of the 2010 Tournament of Pizza, sponsored by Sunmark Federal Credit Union, closes out with a stop in Albany. This is an intriguing match-up

Paesan's Guilderland vs. Pasquale's

First, how we got here: Paesan's topped The Fountain 70-58 and Pasquale's beat Lou-Bea's 68-38.

Paesan's is facing a formidable challenge in this round. Pasquale's sausage pie last year posted the highest score in the history of the TOP. But we're not eating last year's pizza.

So let's get to it.

sunmark pizza banner

TOP2010 RD2 albany 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.

Paesan's Guilderland vs. Pasquale's

Paesan's Pasquale's
Crust 10 14
Sauce 12 17
Toppings 10 17
Overall taste 20 30
Totals 52 78

Post game:

Little things tripped up Paesan's. The judges called the Guilderland location's crust "chewy" and complained it was too thick. They thought the sauce was OK, but would have liked more of it. And they liked Paesan's cheese ("really tasty"), but took issue with its sliced sausage. The judges said it lacked seasoning and concluded there just wasn't enough of it (one judge called the sausage coverage "skimpy"). It's not that the judges didn't like Paesan's pie, it just didn't light them up.

The judges had a much different reaction to Pasquale's -- despite a few stumbles. They praised the New Scotland Ave shop's crust for its crunch along the edge and "beautiful oven cooked bottom," but they criticized it for being soggy in the middle. And two judges noted what tasted like a faint chlorine note to the crust. It was all up from there, though. The panel loved Pasquale's "vibrant" sauce, which one called "delightful" and another said was "so good." And they praised the "meaty chunks" of sausage, which they described as "well spiced" and "generous." Concluded one judge of Pasquale's offering: "a great slice!"

Pasquale's score of 78 in this round is very good -- tied for best in this year's tournament. But it falls just shy of its record-setting 80 from last year.

Up next

The two-time champ heads to the semi-finals for showdown with Marino's Flying from Schenectady.

Semi-final results will be out next Tuesday.

Many thanks to everyone who helped with the logistics of the first two rounds. We really appreciate it.

Earlier:
+ Results from Round 2 in the Troy bracket
+ Results from Round 2 in the Schenectady bracket
+ 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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