Jump to the main section.

TOP2013 RD2 Schenectady pizza closeups

TOP2013: Round 2: Schenectady

TOP2013 RD2 Schenectady

The 2013 Tournament of Pizza -- sponsored by The College of Saint Rose -- continues its Round 2 tour with a stop in the Schenectady bracket.

The pizzerias in this head-to-head matchup of veggie pizzas (green peppers, mushrooms, onions, black olives):

Giovanni's - Scotia - winner of the Round 1 pool of new-to-the-tournament shops

Mario's - Niskayuna - the returning bracket champ, who had a first-round bye

Can the Scotia shop wrest the bracket from its fellow suburban competitor? Or will the ever-treacherous veggie round be too tall a challenge?

We head back to the headquarters of the Mop & Bucket Company...

Saint Rose Tournament of Pizza ad 2013 in post

A quick note about how all this works:
The judges taste the pizzas blind. That is, they don't know which pizza they're tasting during judging. They taste the competitors side by side. Each judge assesses the pizzas by crust (5 points possible per judge), sauce (5 points), toppings (5 points), and overall taste (10 points). Each judge represents either 1/4 or 1/5 of the possible points, depending on the number of judges present. However many judges, all scores will be according to a 100-point scale.

How this year's brackets were selected.

If you'd like to get a closer look at the pizzas, there are large-format closeups above -- scroll all the way up.

TOP2013 RD2 Schenectady judging

Round 2 Schenectady

Post game

The veggie round continues to vex.

Crust
Giovanni's was able to improve its crust score in this round, rising 2 points from Round 1. Judges called it "dense," "thick," "not soggy" -- and one judge commented, "[it] has character." But a few judges scored down for either being too thick, or too uneven in thickness, in their opinions.

The judges thought Mario's crust started to sag under the weight of the toppings. But its other qualities -- including a "pleasantly chewy" end crust and good flavor -- helped it post a score to equal to Giovanni's.

Sauce
Here's where the matchup started to separate. The judges thought Giovanni's sauce was too sparse ("almost undetectable in spots.") Mario's scored points for "well-distributed" sauce that "plays nicely off the veggies."

Toppings
Giovanni's toppings didn't keep up, in the judges' estimation. They thought there were too many veggies, with peppers that were "too thick" and mushrooms that were "chewy." Mario's also got tagged for loading up on the toppings, but the judges were generally more positive about what was there, praising how the combo of veggies worked together. Mario's peppers -- in varying colors -- were called a highlight. And a judge commented that Mario's pie had "bright, fresh" flavors.

Overall
In the end, Giovanni's pizza just didn't light up the judges. One called it "substantial," but commented that it didn't register with much flavor. And Mario's, on the relative strength of the veggies and sauce distribution, managed a victory.

But, it wasn't a bad first TOP showing for Giovanni's. Any time you win a round, you know you're doing something right.

Up next

So, Mario's advance to its second consecutive semi-final. The River Road restaurant will face the winner of the Albany bracket.

Tomorrow: the Tournament of Pizza heads back to Troy.

Thank you, thank you

TOP2013 RD1 Schenectady MopCo space

Many thanks to the Mop & Bucket Company, especially Peter Delocis, for hosting us in their rehearsal/class space at their studio on Union Street in Schenectady. MopCo's improv shows are Friday nights at Proctors.

The 2013 Tournament of Pizza is sponsored by The College of Saint Rose.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

Gawking at the new Schenectady train station

In a bit of a surprise the new Schenectady train station opened this past Wednesday, a few weeks ahead of the announced schedule. The $23... (more)

A little push up the hill

Wrapped into my update this past week about what it's been like to use a bike as one of my primary ways of getting around... (more)

A collection of castle day trips

This part of the country is dotted with castle-like structures, full of history, mystery, romance, and fairytale. Here's a handful of castles that are within... (more)

Classics of Science Fiction at The Linda

A multi-day get-together called Classics of Science Fiction will be at The Linda in Albany November 1-4. Blurbage: Guests include authors, artists, podcasters, cosplayers, business... (more)

Cuomo leads in Q-poll, NTSB still hasn't examined limo from deadly Schoharie crash, Schenectady and GE

Q-poll shows Cuomo with strong lead The latest Quinnipiac University poll shows Andrew Cuomo with a 23-percentage point lead over Republican challenger Marc Molinaro. [Spectrum]... (more)

Recent Comments

I ride every day to work, and also after work for exercise. I love the concept of being a person who happens to ride a bike. There's a level of bike riding, with the high performance gear and sleek clothing, that makes riding seem like its not for everyone. I try to avoid markers like that, and always wear regular clothing/shoes/backpack with dumpy-looking bike. One concession is bike gloves.

A little push up the hill

...has 1 comment, most recently from Danny C

Today's moment of mural

...has 3 comments, most recently from Rich

A year later I'm still using a bike to get around town -- here are a few thoughts about how that's worked out

...has 13 comments, most recently from Randal Putnam

It's looking like it could be a relatively warm winter. Probably.

...has 2 comments, most recently from Jeff D

Now is a good time to get a flu shot

...has 5 comments, most recently from Beck