Pizzaz Pizza inhabits a small storefront on South Ave., near the intersections of W. Brighton Ave. and Valley Drive on Syracuse’s southwest side. I don’t know how long it has been at this location, but I believe it has been at least 15 years. This is strictly a takeout and delivery operation, with street parking only on the very busy South Ave.
I picked up a cheese slice at lunchtime on a weekday, which was 1/8th of an 18″ pie ($2.00 incl. tax). There really wasn’t any display of pizza, there were just a couple of pans up high on a pizza shelf, above some balls of dough that appeared to be in plastic bags. The pan baked crust averaged about 1/4″ thickness, and was barely thicker than that at the rim. This was an entirely average crust, with essentially no taste to speak of.
Sauce was virtually non-existent, likely because it was prepared far in advance, giving lots of time for the sauce to absorb into the cheese and crust. There was redness on the top that made it look like there was sauce below, but I couldn’t find any, just some tell-tale flakes of spice to indicate that there had once been sauce present. And of course, without sauce there was no sauce taste. Would the cheese save the day? Sadly, no. It was rather oily, salty, and tough.
In my opinion, this is one of the worst things about pan baked pizza: there is always the temptation to prepare many of them in advance and let them sit for hours before baking. Yes, it makes it possible for fewer people to manage a high-volume pizza operation at crunch time, but the taste suffers.
Overall, this was entirely average, even below average pizza. I think some amount of salvation could be found by fresh preparation, but I can only go by what I was served. On the Pizza Geek scale of 0 to 5, this rates 2.5 slices.
Summary – Pros: inexpensive. Cons: oily, salty cheese; absent sauce; tasteless crust.
What do YOU think? Have you tried Pizzaz Pizza? Are you a regular? If so, why? Click the comment link below and tell us about it!