Tournament of Pizza 2009
Renée, Albany Jane, Daniel B, Joe
After this week's final in the 2009 Tournament of Pizza, sponsored by Sunmark Federal Credit Union, we talked with the judges about the highlights -- and the pizza places they would have liked to have seen in the field. And, yes, the video includes an appearance by the mysterious Albany Jane -- though we've protected her identity.
There's also a cameo by Otto, AOA's office dog. And Renée might have done the robot.
Nunzio's vs. Pasquale's
Nunzio's -- the champion of the Saratoga bracket -- charged into the final round with a 75 in its broccoli-ricotta showdown with Troy's I Love NY. That's the second-highest score in the entire tournament. Who had the best score? Yep, that's right: Pasquale's, last year's champ, whose sausage pizza in Round 2 score an 80. The New Scotland Ave shop narrowly knocked off Schenectady's Marino's 58-54 in the semifinals.
So, this is it. In this final matchup the pizzerias get to choose which pizza they'd like to send into competition. And, as one judge commented, the choices by Nunzio's and Pasquale's were "ballsy."
We wouldn't have it any other way. Let's eat.
The 2009 Tournament of Pizza, sponsored by Sunmark Federal Credit Union, continues today with the much-anticipated semifinals. Here are the match-ups in this final four of broccoli ricotta white pizzas:
I Love NY vs. Nunzio's
Pasquale's vs. Marino's
Here's a quick recap of how the tournament got to this point. Pasquale's and Nunzio's posted tournament-high scores in Round 2 (80 and 74, respectively). Can they make it through this round to meet in the finals?
There's only one way to find out!
The Tournament of Pizza so far
Results in the semi-finals of the 2009 Tournament of Pizza, sponsored by Sunmark Federal Credit Union, come out of the oven Tuesday. The semi-finals will be a contest of broccoli-ricotta white pizzas.
What? You haven't been following the Tournament of Pizza? Here's a quick recap to get you up to speed...
Pasquale's vs. Marisa's
First, how we got here. Pasquale's bested The Fountain, its New Scotland Ave neighbor, 63-47. Marisa's topped Little Anthony's 62-43.
So, the stage is set for quite the showdown. Pasquale's is the tournament's returning champ. Marisa's is a favorite of local food bloggers. Both pizza places had almost identical scores in the first round.
Bring it on!
I Love NY vs. Jimmy's
First, the path leading here. I Love NY was able to top 'Vliet favorite The Purple Pub 63-54. Jimmy's squeaked into the second round on the first tie-breaker in a 39-39 grudge match with Latham's Vintage.
So, you gotta think I Love is the big favorite here. Will things hold to form?
That's why we eat the pizza.
Nico's vs. Marino's
First, how we got here. Nico's beat out Latham entry Ario's 59-45 with a pie that was consistently just a little bit better. Marino's pulled a shocking 62-59 upset over Pizza King, last year's tournament runner-up
So, who wants the crown?
Bring on the pizza!
Nunzio's vs. Venezia
First, a quick recap of how we got here. Nunzio's topped its fellow west sider West Ave 67-52 on the strength of its crust. Venezia, out of Clifton Park, upset D'Andrea's, last year's bracket winner, in a stunning 51-18 victory.
Can Venezia keep up the momentum? Will Nunzio's post another strong showing?
Let's eat some pizza.
The Fountain vs. Pasquale's
Marisa's vs. Little Anthony's
Can the neighborhood favorite take down last year's tournament champ (and New Scotland Ave neighbor)? Will Marisa's represent for the suburbs? Will Little Anthony's play big?
There's only one way to find out. Let's eat!
Purple Pub vs. I Love NY
Jimmy's vs. Vintage
Can the Watervliet tradition topple last year's bracket winner? Will the 'Burgh represent against Latham?
Let's eat! The judges gathered in downtown Troy to taste...
Nico's vs. Ario's
Marino's Flying Pizza vs. Pizza King
Can Nico's hold off its competitor from Route 7? Will the Pizza King -- #2 in the entire tournament last year -- reign again?
There was only one way to find out. The judges assembled at Proctors for the tasting...
D'Andrea vs. Venezia
Nunzio's vs. West Ave
Can defending bracket champ D'Andrea's hold off a challenge from the suburbs? Who will prevail in a showdown of westside shops?
The judges gathered at Mare in downtown Saratoga for the tasting...
Two ingredients are needed for the Tournament of Pizza: pizzas and judges.
The panel of judges, which has been expanded this year, is after the jump.
Also: a little bit about the tournament's new scoring system.