I’m from New York. I should know a thing or two about pizza. Then again, in NY pizza is a thin white crust, doughy around the outside, a bit of tomato sauce, and as much cheese as you can physically fit on top of it, so much that if you’re not careful the hot cheese will dribble down to your shoes. That’s why we fold it in half to eat it, not to mention the fact that the slice is huge, and sometimes covered in pepperoni.
Carefully crafted Chicago style pizza is a delicacy for me. Gino’s East in downtown Chicago makes a fantastic pizza. It takes an hour to prepare, and the crust is crisp and flakey around the edges, and has a full flavor, a bit like a pastry. The dough is thick, which is why the long baking time, and the cheese and toppings are melted together throughout the top of the pie, almost like a bread-based quiche.
California style pizza makes use of the state’s abundance of fruits and vegetables. The pizza has a very thin crust, and the focus is on the toppings. Tomato sauce isn’t necessarily the base. It could be BBQ sauce, a white alfredo sauce, or any kind of creamy sauce that will hold the toppings together. Like Westernized sushi rolls, the creativity is in mixing different ingredients to create a unique taste. Of course there are the classics; the margarita, the hawaiian, meat- and veggie-lovers, but there are also tasty combinations involving seaweed, Thai chicken, or anything else you can throw on there!
Hell’s Pizza in New Zealand is similar to the California style, mixing up combinations of at least 5-6 ingredients per pizza. The Damned is my favorite selection, with fresh avocado, pineapple, mushrooms, big chunks of cashews, toasty camembert cheese, and I generally substitute the onions for crushed garlic. The seafood pizza, The Underworld, with mussels, calamari and prawns is another favorite of mine. I haven’t been disappointed with any of the pizzas I’ve gotten at the Queenstown location. They use a wholemeal crust, baked to a crispy perfection and the ingredients are fresh and tasty.
Unfortunately I didn’t have as good of an experience at the Auckland Quay St location. The pizza itself was barely edible, highly greasy and the ingredients had no flavor whatsoever. Apparently the quality of the pizza varies widely amongst Hell’s locations all over New Zealand. If you’re in Queenstown, I highly recommend trying a snack sized pizza; $10 for 6 small slices is the perfect size for lunch, a late night snack, or a light eater. They also have a tasty selection of sides, like kumara chips – yum!
Hell PIzza in Queenstown is located next to Joe’s Garage, in the same laneway as Cowboy Bar and Barmuda, and just around the corner from Night ‘N Day.