So Brian came by the house the other night to hang with my boy and I and we decided to take on pizza number 2. We are not only going to various pizza joints around the county and beyond, but we are also going to have pizzas delivered, in order to give you guys a good idea of where the best pizza can be found. As we mentioned in our first article on pizza, B. and I will both score the pizza individually and then add our scores to give the pizza a grand total. Then the pizza will be placed on our pizza chart where you will be able to see where it compares to the rest of the pizzas we have sampled thus far.
Remember the 5 points of pizza scoring: crust, sauce, toppings, cheese, and overall. On to Hungry Howie’s…
Hungry Howie’s – Ventura, East End near Saticoy.
I busted out the pizza coupons for this little journey and we found a pizza deal to best suit our judging qualifications. Howie’s had a great deal going on. One large 3 topping pizza, and an order of their cheesy bread for 16 bucks. Of course as most of you know it ends up being more than that, with uncle sams cut, and the ever present delivery charge. Free delivery is becoming extinct. You’re almost more likely to see a bald eagle helping a panda get across an unpolluted river with drinkable water than get a pizza delivered for free.
Howie’s phone service was polite and courteous. They have a system to remember your name and address which I think is a pretty cool feature in the pizza world. I stuck to the parameters of our pizza scoring system and ordered a large sausage, pepperoni, and mushroom, and we got the cheesy bread to try an appetizer.
Howie’s has a unique feature with their pizza. You can actually order it with a flavored crust. The flavors are butter/cheese, ranch, sesame buttered, onion, garlic herb, and hot Cajun. We went with the butter/cheese as it sounded the best for our topping picks. If anyone ever tries the hot Cajun or onion please let me know.
Pizza arrived in 42 minutes, pretty damn good timing if you ask me. I’d say anything in between 40 minutes and an hour is good timing. Anything after an hour is too long and anything before 30 minutes is questionably fast.
The cheesy bread was pretty good. I like it when you get the cheesy bread sticks with the side of sauce to dip them in. They were a tad bit greasy and could use more garlic, but they were ok. They are actually perfect for kids. My son loved them more than the pizza.
Dough – I felt the dough was a bit dry and had this odd, dusty, flour texture. The butter/cheese was definitely a necessity. Without it, the dough would be bland for sure. I’m of the opinion you shouldn’t have to flavor crust and it seems that with Howie’s it might be a necessity.
Cheese – The cheese was moderately greasy and was weak on flavor. I’d say they are using a cheap mozzarella and need to change up to something with a bit more moisture and flavor.
Sauce – Again, another pizza place that barely gives you any sauce. Are pizza joints afraid of giving people sauce now? This is only our second pizza and already a trend has started. Luckily they give you a side of marinara with the cheesy bread. It gave us a sample of the sauce that is absent from the pie. After sampling the marinara I discovered why they don’t give you much. It’s bland, and reminds me a lot of ragu. I am immediately suspicious of any sauce that comes in a sealed container from a factory. That screams processed. Mikey no like processed sauce. Mikey wants homemade sauce, like grandma used to make.
Toppings – This is Howie’s saving grace. The toppings are actually very good and you get plenty of them. The mushrooms had this great meaty flavor. The pepperoni had zip and was very zesty. The sausage was full, flavorful, and was actually juicy. The pepperoni and sausage went great together.
Overall – The pizza was average. It was sliced and portioned well and arrived closer to hot then cold. It wasn’t as bad as say, a dominos pie, but it needs work. These non-chain pizza joints need to have a better pizza. They can’t compete with the pizza huts and dominos on price, so people need to know they are getting more for their dollar when going with a non-chain. Hungry Howie’s is riding the line and is dangerously close to not being able to compete.
- Dough – 5
- Sauce – 5
- Cheese – 6
- Toppings – 9
- Overall – 6
- Dough: 7 – It was a little too limp for me, even without the sauce. But I did enjoy the parmesan crust.
- Sauce: 3 – Barely any on the pizza and the stuff in the little carton wasn’t enough to make up for it.
- Cheese: 6 – Good amount of cheese, and it didn’t overwhelm the toppings. But still pretty average.
- Toppings: 9 – Best part of the pizza by far. Now I remember what mushrooms are supposed to taste like. -1 for the pepperoni being a little rubbery though.
- Overall: 5 – Overall, wasn’t horrible, but didn’t have any sauce. Toppings were great as was the hint of herbs added to the cheese.
Mikeys total score – 31
Brians total score – 30
Total score – 61
Place on the PMS scale: Donnie Brasco, and dangerously close to Mickey Blue Eyes.
Better get with it Hungry Howie, Hugh Grant is just around the corner.