Monday, January 17, 2011

Do pizza restaurants in São Paulo deliver - to Niterói?

Jana’s post describing the wonders of pizza in São Paulo and Ray’s full on reference guide to perfect pizza in SP comment got my stomach growling. 

It’s true, what Ray said, that pizza here in the Rio area sucks.  What they try to pass off as pizza just makes me shake my head: crappy crust, a full tablespoon of tomato sauce (if you’re lucky), a pinch of cheese, absolutely minimal vegetables or pepperoni evenly spaced apparently to make it look bountiful.  And if you are getting an extra fancy pizza with everything: one green olive placed right in the middle.   Did you see my previous post about ready-to-use pizza crusts at the grocery store?

Now I know we USA folks are fat and we don’t do portion control very well and we like our pizzas loaded, but not counting a Super Bowl Sunday bonanza extra large pie, I’m thinking every pizza in the US has more going on than what we find here.  To be fair, we have not visited every pizza joint...

We live directly across the street from a restaurant that hosts an all-you-can-eat pizza and pasta format every night.  We’ve been a couple times but have given up.  Actually, when we do go (usually for someone’s birthday) I eat the pasta and salad bar with maybe a little slice of chocolate strawberry pizza for dessert.

When Luiz and I want pizza we pick up an uncooked pizza from the bakery down the street and then add sauce, vegetables, pepperoni, cheese, etc. Then it resembles a real pizza.

I will tip my hat for the dessert pizzas, however.  Very clever.

Luiz has a cousin who got rich operating two delivery-only pizza outlets.  He used to joke that he used practically no ingredients and could sell it for a fistful of cash.

Zackary's unbeatable deep dish pizza.

If you’re thinking of moving to Rio or Niterói, check and see if Zackary’s Pizza in Oakland, CA is selling franchises.  Now that’s pizza! Then come open your shop near my apartment.  Please.

A delicious meal in a slice.

Rio and Niterói residents, do you have a recommendation?


Rachel said...

I so hear you Jim! I have had pizza at the mall, delivery, and anywhere else I see them. Great crust, perfect amount of cheese, and all different kinds of toppings. I had really been missing white pizza with spinach!

And I wonder why I put on weight ;)

The Reader said...

Go to Macae, Jim. Head immediately to Lucca's. Best. Pizza. in Brazil. period.

No, it's not American style, but the flavor is so amazing you will totally forget that. Seriously.

Aside from that, SKIP the Dominoes Pizza in Rio (total joke) and find a Pizza Hut. It comes close to approximating a US style pizza. Sort of. At least in the thicker crust, more sauce thing.

One other thing -- we have a friend who embarrassed the crud out of me by asking for his pizza with "more sauce, less cheese" (here it's heavy on the cheese) -- and they do it. And then it is a little closer. So, put on your huffy American, picky snob outfit and try that if you get really desperate. Me, I'd stick with the homemade version. Or take a pushy friend.

(still -- Lucca's is worth the drive. Go. My mouth is watering just thinking about it......)

Danielle said...

How sad for you carioca imports, with such limited access to good pizza!

Paulista pizzas and California pizzas are both good in their own right, and for different ways. Hell, I just love food.

Oh, and also, it was super nice to read about Zachary's pizza on a Brazil blog. Many a college night was spent gaining weight there. My life's sort of coming full circle. :)

Anonymous said...

I've had good pizza in Rio and in Salvador da Bahia, but usually at "artisanal" places where they hand-toss each pizza. It helps to get something simple, like a margherita. The ingredients (mozzarella, basil) are often fresher than you would get in the US.

Cantina do Gaúcho, located near the Casa 579 guesthouse in Santa Teresa makea a great pizza for the money.

Lapa has a good brick oven place, though I don't remember the name. It's probably on Mem de Sá or nearby.

The pizza rodizio places deal in such a high volume that I don't expect quality pizza from them.

Zachary's pizza doesn't appear to be anything a New Yorker (or Italian) would call pizza. It looks more like the deep dish casseroles usually referred to as "Chicago-style" pizza.

Anonymous said...

This might be the place in Lapa, but I'm not sure.

Jim said...

Thanks for the references all.

Danielle - I think Zackary's should be GLOBAL!

Anon - you are right that Zackary's is a Chicago style pizza. All the more reason I love it. But it makes sense that it would not be replicated in typical pizza joints.

But a guy can dream...

Jana @ Paper plains said...

Ahhhh Chicago style pizza... just reading about it makes my pequods/giordano's/malnati's mouth water. Its nice to know we paulista's or paulista wanna be's have one up on you guys up there in beautiful Rio. You get all the amazing topo, beaches, visitors want rio... whats in sao paulo? ... we get all the italian immigrants and therefor GREAT pizza =)

Stephanie said...

Love your pizza post! Zacharey's looks insanely delicious. I must add that things have improved here in the pizza dept. over recent years. Vespa in Leblon makes a very decent pizza, the crust is thicker than the usual, has a little bit of sweetness to it and you CAN ask for extra sauce or less cheese without embarrassment if you opt to order a whole pizza because they make it right in front of you (they have normal and spicy sauce to choose from and regular or whole wheat crust). Their by-the-slice pizza is good too, about R$6 for a huge slice, love the mushroom one. Worth checking out if you're in the area, not mindblowing but good. In the past I've also found good pizza at Braz and Capricciosa in Jardim Bot and once or twice have been to a Pizza Hut to order a deep dish with extra sauce! Wasn't bad (the one in Barra was better than the one in Copa). My best Chicago-style experience in Brasil has been at a chain called Coco Bambu, the one in Fortaleza. It's not actually their pizza but their bruschetta which is enormous and made in a small casarole dish, it's a deep dish baked pizza, REALLY GOOD.

Stephanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anita said...

In Rio and Niteroi you have to be picky to find a good pizza. I have always made my own pizza, my parents too. In Holland the pizzas are nothing, they use "analogical cheese" (fake cheese) on them, just like in America. This goes for restaurants and frozen pizzas. A lot of people in Holland buy the Indian Nan bread and build a pizza of it, or make their own (there are also excellent packages with mixes for pizzas to which you just have to add water or water+eggs in order to make the basis). I don't know why but the Dutch's favorite is fruit-de-mer (yep, they say it in French).

GingerV said...

the unfortunate thing is that taste is totally individual. And taste in Pizza is totally individual. Pizza here is NOT Pizza. It is crispy cracker with cheese and basil or basil and over cooked tomatoes on it. The Reader is right Lucca's has good brasilian pizza. and Foccaca. and fish in Salt and a great wine list. I don't think I would go to Lucca's for Pizza. why don't you make your own.... pizza crust is not difficult. (not after seeing your cooking at home a couple of days ago) I know you can do it. tomatoe paste or sauce is pretty good (pomadora is a good brand) mozzarella cheese is good , italian style peperone is good here. try to make your own and let us know.

me I wait to get to Houston then have a large, with everything, dominoes delivers.... the best for my taste. (my daughter loves American Pizza Hut.... terrible- which just proves my point.!)

Jim said...

Stephaie - I'm going to make a little Google map with your recommendations identified - and put it in my wallet every time we go to Rio, just in case.

I miss my pizza stone. I had one in the States and for some reason chose not to bring it with us. It cooks the bottom of the dough perfectly. A little crispy, never soggy. But I'll get over myself and just make some pizza... Next time we go to the Municipal Market in Belo Horizontes I'll pick up a soapstone round - I've seen them in use at pizza places in Ouro Preto.

Stephanie said...

Here are the websites with some photos. All three are better than average for sure!

Anonymous said...

hello Jim
I am sorry you are having bad experiences with pizza!! I live in the south and I love the pizzas here!! Love a la carte , buffet , etc so many delicious options !! I heard Capricciosa and Braz are good. Best of luck!!

I love the brigadeiro pizza from Pizza Hut and chocolate with sprinkles and strawberries on top at buffets!!

Have u tried the buffet at pizza hut for lunch? I love the bacon one , the brigadeiro and the 4 or 5 cheeses!!