In Forsyth county there are some 20 local style pizzerias. Over the last two months David, his colleague, Liz Butler, and a handful of pizza connoisseurs in training went the distance in reviewing three to five pizzas at each of these establishments, that’s some 72 pizzas in 45 days! Now you’re probably thinking, “I love pizza, but why is he on such a mission?” As mentioned, David is a financial planner, owner of Financial Consultants Group with over 26 years as an investment advisor who strongly believes that “Your health is your best investment.”
In October, he turned 50 with the goal of running his first marathon in December. However, David’s feet haven’t always been his best friends. He was born with club feet and was immediately put into a cast to straighten his legs and feet. He wore braces and corrective shoes for most of his young life but he persevered. Now, this challenge wouldn’t hold him back. Preparing for those 26.2 miles takes months of conditioning and a fuel to help the body to go that extra distance. David chose pizza as his fuel, the carb of choice while he trained. Since everyone loves pizza, David invited his friends to join him on this food adventure. He found out real quick that reviewing pizza is almost as involved as preparing for a marathon. That’s because there are at least 10 different types of pizza, 11 because pizza is a breakfast food too!
Pizza is definitely a universal love language! As a local financial planner, David Fountain, is using his 50-year-old taste buds to uncover FoCo’s favorite pizzas.
Where to find the best pizza
MOST ROMANTIC PIZZERIA The Most Romantic Pizzeria is found at Bello Italian. Paril, the owner and chef, has done a fabulous job with creating the perfect atmosphere and an excellent menu with items like the Margherita pizza with fresh buffalo mozzarella with their quality house sauce which all make for an excellent date.
BEST NEW YORK STYLE PIZZA In the heart of downtown Cumming, you can get the feel and taste of the Best New York Style Pizza at Annunziata’s Cucino Italian. Grab a traditional large slice or order up the white pizza with their ricotta base secret recipe, which was very smooth and oh so tasty! Jayme and Tony are fun to talk to and will also make you feel like you’re in New York.
FAVORITE CHICAGO PIZZERIA If names like Al Capone and the gangsters of American history peek your interest, then David’s Favorite Chicago Pizzeria is Luca Brasi’s Pizzeria. Located just a few miles west of our downtown, at Bethelview Road and Kelly Mill Road you will find gangster pictures placard on the restaurant walls. The favorite pizza choice is “Mickey-The Wise Guy,” which is a flavorful red sauce with blackened chicken, applewood bacon, caramelized onion, blue cheese crumbles and Grande cheese on a hand-tossed crust. Owner and chef Richard and wife Bridgette are very accommodating and will make feel at home along with the other gangsters.
BEST CHICAGO-DEEP DISH Before we leave the Chicago style, David found the Best Chicago Deep-Dish belongs to Rosati’s Pizza and Sports Pub. The thick buttery crust is filled with mounds of mozzarella cheese and topped with a chunky Pomodoro tomato sauce that just hits the spot. David does caution the unexperienced deep-dish eaters not to eat more than three of these hefty slices.
FAVORITE HIS & HER PIZZERIA Now for those men and women that just don’t want to compromise, then David and Liz Favorite His & Hers Pizzeria is Pizza Azzurri. The Dynamite Buffalo Chicken Napoleon, with their homemade jalapeño ranch as the base. Topped buffalo chicken, pepperoni, bacon, blue cheese crumbles, red onion is David’s spicy pick. While the pizza that Liz really enjoyed was the Pera. Which was an olive oil and garlic base topped with pear, gorgonzola, bacon and fresh basil.
FAMILY PIZZERIA For those with children looking for the Best Family Pizzeria experience, then Village Italian is the perfect spot. Order up a cheese pizza for the kids, Margherita, with fresh mozzarella, basil and Parmesan for the ladies and the Meat Lovers, loaded pepperoni, sausage, black forest ham, meatballs for the guys. This pizzeria is located in the vibrant Vickery Village with a great outdoor community area for the kids to burn off some energy and yes the much-needed ice cream parlor.
FAVORITE TEAM PIZZERIA When the sports team needs a place to unwind after the game, Alessio’s Pizzeria on Windermere is the Favorite Team Pizzeria. Willie the general manager helps to see that pizzas like the Philly Cheese Steak satisfy the appetite with their house-made Alfredo sauce, topped with sautéed steak, onions, peppers and mozzarella cheese, or build your New York-style pizza for the team.
BEST TAKE OUT SPECIAL PIZZERIA For those nights you just want to enjoy pizza at home, the Best Take out Special Pizzeria is Giorgio’s Family Kitchen. Carry out pizza — always BOGO! Yes, that’s seven days a week, so order up their picture-perfect Giorgio’s Special and another favorite of choice for free.
FAVORITE ASSORTMENT PIZZERIA David often finds that he has cravings for a variety of pizzas versus just one type, if he’s speaking your language then check out his Favorite Assortment Pizzeria. That is the hand-crafted stone-baked pizzas at Sid’s Pizza & Grill. The key here is they offer an 8-inch traditional or thin crust pizza. David and Ty, one of his pizza connoisseurs in training, satisfied their taste buds with the assortment of four pizzas: DA Feast-Meat Lovers, The Cabo-Mexican, BBQ Pizza and then the Lava Bomb-Hawaiian on thin crust.
MOST UNUSUAL PIZZA For those that are looking for some unusual pizzas, the Most Unusual Pizza can be found at Vincenza’s Pizza on McFarland. Their Brazilian Catupiry Chicken pizza has shredded chicken, corn and catupiry cheese, and the Portuguese with ham, peas, onions, diced tomatoes, eggs and green olives.
BEST ‘GET IT YOUR WAY’ PIZZERIA David and Liz got talking with another pizza lover, manager Joe Grella, and ended up finding the Best ‘Get it Your Way’ Pizzeria. Mia Ristorante Italiano at the corner of Canton Hwy. and Bethelview will go out of their way to make you the pizza of your dreams. Maybe seafood pizza is something you’d like, white clam sauce pizza or one of their specials the Turkish Boat with ricotta, parsley and two over-easy eggs. The Turkish Boat is not on the menu, but we definitely think it should be.
NEW PIZZERIA ON THE BLOCK Then the pizzeria that gets the award as the New Pizzeria on the Block, is Five Boroughs Pizza Tavern. Owner and chef, Cary, has a passion for delivering tasty flame fired New York-style pizzas. Their Manhattan pizza with spinach, sausage, basil, mozzarella, feta, onion and parmesan is a good choice. Cary also served us Diavolo Peppers which was a very nice surprise — red peppers, honey, goat cheese, basil, spicy fra Diavolo sauce and crostini.
BEST BRUNCH PIZZERIA While pizza is most often consumed for dinner, we can’t leave out the breakfast pizza. The Best Brunch Pizzeria is found on McGinnis Ferry — Mangia Ristorante & Pizzeria. The Breakfast Pizza might be the morning choice, with mozzarella, bacon, sausage, ham and scrambled eggs — David prefers eggs cracked on top and add some Cheddar cheese.
OVERALL BEST PIZZERIA Almost three months ago David began his search for FoCo’s Best Pizza, and hundreds of slices of pizza later the Overall Best Pizzeria in Forsyth County is found at Marie’s Italian Deli. Opened in October of 2012, Karen and her family have been cooking her grandmother and great grandmother's recipes for over seven years. David generally finds it hard to get excited about a cheese pizza, but theirs has found a way to spark his appetite! “Mike’s Mighty Meaty Pie” with pepperoni, homemade meatballs, sausage, smoked ham and mozzarella and “Rose’s White Pie” with ricotta and mozzarella cheeses and grated Parmesan — these pizzas are a couple of the favorites.
Fountain’s Food Adventures presented by Financial Consultants Group
So, now you know how David made training to run a marathon a fun adventure, by eating lots of pizza. He would love to receive your feedback and also ideas for his next “Food Adventure” for January. Follow the adventure or comment at Fountains Food Adventures on Facebook and Instagram.
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LET'S BREAK IT DOWN
CHICAGO-DEEP DISH Came to life in the early 1900s. A thick crust wall, similar to a pie and ingredients in reserve: slices of mozzarella lining the dough, then followed with the meats, vegetables and topped off with can crushed tomatoes. This staggering payload of cheese, toppings and sauce is baked in a high-sided oiled pan for roughly 35 minutes.
CHICAGO-TAVERN STYLE This ridiculously thin-crust pizza frequently outsells the deep-dish. This brew-pub pizza is most commonly served in a circular shape, sauce and cheese reach the very edge with fennel-infused sausage on top, and cut into squares.
COLORADO MOUNTAIN PIE Not found here in Georgia, but is well worth noting for when you do head to the Rocky Mountains. The secret is honey-kissed dough with a folded over crust.
DETROIT-STYLE This pizza originated in the '40s and was baked in a square automotive “blue steel” parts pan. Pepperoni goes down first, followed by Wisconsin brick cheese and then sauce is spooned over the pizza. The crust is thick, crunchy yet tender and airy on the inside.
GREEK-STYLE Popular in the “Pizza Belt” (Connecticut, New Jersey and New York). A heavier amount of sauce is used, which is a tangy tomato paste with a strong oregano flavor, and topped with a blend of mozzarella, cheddar or provolone. The thick and puffier crust is baked in an oiled, deep-style pan with a nearly deep-fired bottom crust.
NEAPOLITAN The original pizza dating back to the 18th century in Naples, Italy. The thin style pizza is typically topped with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil leaves, oregano and olive oil. To make it “real” Neapolitan it must be baked in a wood-burning oven at a temperature from 900 degrees Fahrenheit — so it’s fully cooked in 70-90 seconds.
NEW YORK-STYLE Probably the birthplace of the “American” pizza is New York City. These large foldable slices have a light layer of heavily seasoned tomato sauce, topped with gooey mozzarella and crispy outer crust that some say its unique flavor has to do with the minerals in New York’s tap water supply.
QUAD CITIES Well there are actually five cities at the intersection of Northwest Illinois and Southeast Iowa. These pies have a sweet, thin crust consisting of malt and molasses. A sauce with red chili flakes and ground cayenne, and a thick layer of fennel-flecked Italian sausage hidden under an extremely think layer of mozzarella.
SICILIAN A thick focaccia-like crust that is airy and a crunchier crust. This square-cut pizza has a robust tomato sauce, a dusting of cheese and often topped with bits of tomato, onion anchovies and herbs. A thinner version often referred to as grandma, or nonna.
ST. LOUIS This pizza features provolone cheese, which is a blend of Cheddar, Swiss, and provolone and a gooey consistency like Velveeta. With a sweet sauce, oregano and an overloaded, square-sliced round cracker-thin style crust that can support quite a few toppings of your choice.
BREAKFAST And a breakfast pizza can’t be left out. It commonly features potatoes, bacon and/or sausage, cheese and requires cracked, golden eggs on top.