Las Vegas, of course! Earlier this summer I found myself in Sin City for work, and what business trip is complete without sampling some of the local pizza fare, ammiright? Before embarking, I knew my top priority would be Metro Pizza, established in 1928 in it's early form by the fathers of John Arena and his cousin Sam Facchini.
(courtesy of Metro Pizza)
In 1980, John and Sam ironically left New York City and bought "Original New York Pizza" in Las Vegas, which would eventually become Metro Pizza. There's a great interview with John on Pizza Therapy; I really admire the guy's devotion to pizza and making a quality product.
Penny Pollack and Jeff Ruby listed Metro Pizza in the nation's top 10 pizzerias in their book Everybody Loves Pizza- and one look at Metro's menu might give you an idea why: on a similar but completely different note to Tony's Pizza Napoletana in San Fran, Metro offers an impressive variety of pizza styles.
Along with their own unique style of pizza, John and Sam offer Chicago-style stuffed pizza, speciality pies inspired by pizzerias across the globe, and classic New York-Neapolitan pizzas a la Lombardi's and Patsy's back east. That being said, I don't think I visited the "right" Metro Pizza, which was located inside of a combination casino/motel/brewpub.
I knew instantly that something was amiss when I took a seat (one of about 10) after ordering, but was told I had to move if I wasn't a paying customer of the adjoining budget steakhouse. This was primarily a take-out only joint, and its menu sadly did not have the latitude that their website (and presumably other locations) suggests. Oh well, I ordered two personal pies: one plain, one sausage, and two beers. And yes, I was alone, just me, myself and pint.
25 minutes later, here it is: very cheesy, very bubbly, and very... good. I know, it doesn't look like a pizza from a top-tier pizzeria (and it's probably the exception considering their impressive menu), but it was shockingly light and perfectly cooked.
This combined with another two beers (on the house!) I was given once my pizzas arrived (did I mention it was buy one-get one Tuesday?) brought my total tab of two pizzas and four beers to... $11.28. WHAT?! As weird as this place was, I loved every part of it.
Would I rank Metro in the top 10 of American pizzerias? From this visit, no, but I won't rest until I return and have the proper sit-down Metro Pizza experience.