Absolutely incomparable, delicious pizza found in…. West Virginia!?!?! Parkersburg, West Virginia, at that! Welcome to The Pizza Place. Be prepared for the most delicious pizza you’ll ever have in your life.
The location I began with as a child: hidden in a not-so-appealing food court in a mall even less appealing, (think Sears, tacky country decor shops- Christmas outfit for your yard goose, anyone?!?, and Burger King), is the most unusually delicious pizza I’ve ever.had.anywhere. It’s completely unlike pizza in any other geographical arena; it literally has no comparison.
I consider myself well-traveled (in the US anyhow) and have sampled pizza from all corners of the country. It’s not like my other favorite pizza: traditional and simple, thin-crusted NYC pizza. And it’s not like Chicago’s famous hand-tossed, deep dish contraptions. I hate to say it’s “West Virginia Style” because it’s simply its own version and I’m not quite sure WV has its own style of much; particularly pizza.
The owners, Frank Scotto Rinaldi, Guiseppe Scotto Rinaldi, and Michele Scotto Diluzio, all have very Italian names, so it can be assumed they use traditional recipes in their famous Sicilian and Neapolitan pizzas and though they refer to themselves as the best “New York Style Pizza in the tri-state area” (Ohio, WV, & PA), I must say, this is not NY style pizza- at least none I’ve ever had. It’s better. And different. And I can’t quite put my finger on how. Maybe this is what it tastes like in Italy, but I will say it’s unlike any I’ve tasted within the perimeters of the states. And if you ask anyone who lives nearby, they will tell you the same thing. It’s simply the best.
There are only three locations of The Pizza Place and all reside in Parkersburg, West Virginia. I’m not sure what makes this particular pizza so deliciously unique- but I will say, WHEN (not if) you venture aimlessly to this rather boring town solely for the pizza, you MUST get a “corner slice of pepperoni.” That’s the section the locals go for and rightfully so. It’s very thick, very cheesy, and the oh-so-sinfully-yummy pepperonis curl up like little canoes and fill with grease. Local’s rule: do NOT dump the grease & do NOT blot your pizza with a napkin to absorb excess grease. Eat as is and distract yourself from all things bad (and good) in life. Break-ups. Hangovers. Promotions. Being HIV negative. This pizza is the answer for both celebratory functions and the relief for the most difficult things in life.
*Sidenote: I must say, I’ve had this pizza more times than I could begin to count, yet never thought to write about it till today. I’ve found that when people live somewhere or at least near somewhere, they have tendencies to overlook the local treasures available to them. Today, I am in Austin, Texas, having just moved here yesterday, and had a random craving for The Pizza Place’s pizza- conveniently (sarcasm), I’m 1400 miles away. And devastated. Moral of the story? Take the time to embrace the local treasures you have under your feet. There are certainly more than you may realize.
By: Ashley Halligan
(Photo from: thepizzaplace.org)