In order to somehow keep myself at a decent weight, I’ve enlisted a few of my fellow pizza fanatic friends to help me cover some of the Pittsburgh area. This will also get some coverage of areas as far as Greensburg, Robinson, North Hills…you get the idea.
The following entry is written by my good pal Mr. Hollowpoint. I put 100% faith in his opinion/judgement, so you can as well. Enjoy!
Where I’m at: Vento’s Pizza
Address: 420 North Highland Avenue (same parking lot as Home Depot in East Liberty)
What I ordered: 3 slices (Pepperoni with red sauce, sausage with red sauce and bacon with white sauce) and a small fountain drink Price: 7 bucks and some change
Review: I decided to try a place I had never been before to rate some pizza on a fresh slate. Vento’s Pizza (Home of the Italian Army) was my choice.
First I will go over the PROs. There is ample parking, ample seating and the prices are pretty decent ($1 per slice/.30 per topping). There are also lots of Franco Harris and other Steeler memorobilia on the walls.
And with the CONs, I will continue the rest of the review.
Upon walking inside the first thing I noticed was a giant conveyor belt oven. This is usually a no-no, but I tried to keep an open mind. I ordered my slices with a drink, and the girl behind the counter said it would be a couple minutes. I was never given my drink from her, and I was unable to grab her attention away from the conversation she was having with the cooks about getting her nipples pierced for her homecoming dance.
So I sat and waited, with no beverage to pass the time, while all of the employees of the place had an open discussion about interracial dating. I eventually caught the attention of one of the employees long enough to get my drink.
I had not eaten all day, and I had been thinking about pizza all day, so I knew that I would likely devour these slices as soon as they were ready. 20 minutes later, my slices came out the conveyor belt and I was ready to dig in.
Crust: 2/10 – This is probably the second worst crust I have ever gotten from a pizza shop (1st place goes to a shop I will review one day). If I were to compare it to anything, I would say that it was like someone took Boboli crust, and then buttered it like Pizza Hut would. It was very airy, and therefore, one of the least filling slices I have ever had.
Sauce: 3/10 – The sauce is getting a 3 rating only because in comparison, it was better than the crust. Not a whole lot of it on the slices, and the red reminded me of canned tomatoes. The white sauce might be decent, although you’d never know, as the butter on the crust over powered any hint of white sauce.
Cheese: 3/10 – Again, just not as poor as the crust. By Pittsburgh standards, this thing had absolutely no cheese on it. My cultured friends tell me lightly cheesed pizza is how they prepare in Italy. However, I am pretty sure it is not customary in Venice to try to make your patrons vomit.
Toppings: 4/10 – The only reason this category gets this high of a ranking is because the bacon was actually decent (about a 7). The pepperoni was slightly below average (5) and the sausage was complete swill(0). I have no idea how this is possible, given that they serve hot sausage hoagies on their menu, but somehow they managed to make homemade sausage leftovers taste worse than what you would grab from the freezer section at Save A Lot.
Presentation: 7/10 – I have to give them credit. This pizza looks about 500% better than it tastes.
Overall Grade: 38% – If I were to return, I would stick to a white slice with bacon. I doubt that will happen, as I am getting a migraine right now just thinking about how shitty this pizza was.
I almost stopped at Pizza Sola after I left, but felt too nauseated to even attempt it. Maybe this was an off night and someone snuck in frozen pizza trays? I doubt I will ever have the motivation to find out.
Disclaimer: If you think that my grading scale is harsh, remember that I grade each trip as its own experience. Have I had a perfect slice? Nah. I’d basically say that if something I review gets better than a 70%, I’d go again and more than likely tell you to go as well. I don’t even think my favorite pizza place would get a 100% and if it did, there would be no reason to do this blog other than my love for pizza. Remember, the quest for the perfect slice. That’s what I’m after.