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Instructables Pizza Off 2008 Answered

I turned 25 this past week and celebrated my Birthday by organizing something that I've wanted to do for a long long time - a Pizza Off!

A Pizza Off is an event where the participants order as many pizza pies as possible from as many different pizzerias as possible, bring them all to a central location at the same time, (Instructables HQ of course) and then eat them all and test which ones they like best!

It's not something that you can do on your own, do to limitations of space, time and belly, so I was grateful when the entire Squid Labs community decided that this sounded like an awesome idea to them as well.

The rules were simple (taken from the original email announcement):

  • You must bring a pie with you. Think of it as a ticket for entry - if you plan on partaking, you've got to have a pie. We (as in the royal I) will allow sharing of one pie per two people. Ideally each person would bring their own pie, but I'm no tyrant.
  • Your pizza must be from your favorite SF pizza joint. The pie you bring says something about who you are, so drive the extra mile to the place that's a little further, but twice as good. Each and every person in this building is beautiful, and your pizza should be too.
  • You and your pie must arrive promptly at Instructables HQ at 1:00.
  • You can bring whatever type of pizza you like, from whatever pizza joint you think is best. Ideally we'd all get plain cheese pies so we could truly compare, but if you've got to have something fancy on your pie, rock out.
  • This event is all about two things: pizza and excess, so if you're thinking, oh I don't really need to bring a pie, it will be too much food...I'll just eat some pizza and stand around the table - you're wrong. This event only works if we hit critical pizza mass, so I'm counting on each and every one of you to help.

When Tuesday rolled around, we ended up having 15 different pies from 13 different pizzerias! There were gourmet pizza pies from local worker owned bakery Arizmendi, traditional Italian cheese pies from North Beach, deep dish pies from San Francisco and East Bay favorite Zachary's, thin crust brick oven pies from Pizzeria Delfina and even Indian food pizza - which actually turned out to be an awesome flavor explosion!

I almost made it "round the pizza world", but then some late entries showed up and the crusts caught up with me. There was a huge happy turnout, plenty of ravenous mouths, delicious pizza of all kinds and we all lived to tell the story of the first ever Pizza Off - all in all I'd call it a huge success!

For anyone who doesn't already know, I love NY style pizza, and in my opinion, the best NY slices in San Francisco are from Arinell's on Valencia, so that's where I got my pie from. Everyone had their own favorites though, so I won't presume to report on any definitive results from the testing. I will say though that there's a pizza type for everyone, and I am never ceased to be amazed by the magic and wonder of Pizza.

We're planning on having future Food Offs testing out other ubiquitous tasty foods. Some of the first things that I'd like to test are:

  • Pad Thai
  • Egg Rolls
  • Pho
  • Burgers
  • Ice Cream
  • Coffee
  • Ribs
  • Burritos
  • Tacos

Anyone else ever do anything like this? Find 15 friends who are as crazed about food as you are and make it happen!



9 years ago

Me=a child wanting to go to hq which can't go unless somebody buys a ticket from TR to SF

Christy and I cheated by bringing a salad. Take that pizza-eaters!!

Was it a salad pizza?

Take that pizza-haters!!

You're not a very good example then... No wonder you are the founder!

Sweet, I just ate a 16" pizza, came home my mate said to hop over to his, we all started drinking and two of the guys work in another pizza place so we got loads of pizza, then I ate 2 1/2 pizza tonight, not to mention criss cross fries and pizza garlic bread...

When I was much younger I ate like that too. Even up until not long ago, my wife wondered how I could put all that "stuff" into an area the size of 2 fists LOL Now I can't even have the pizza much unless it is without cheese, etc...

Blah! I can hardly eat a half a pizza before I die!

No, I mean, how is it possible for a human being to put all that away without literally busting a gut? Seriously! =D

Heh. You mean waffle fries? That sounds like fun. painful though.

I saw Erics "Build a pneumatically actuated Yeti in a cage for a Halloween Haunted house" yeti cage hanging up in one of the pics

lol that looks like fun, i went to a pizza party before... it got very messy........ i hope you recycled the boxes!!! lol

Man. I am going to have one of these soon.

*sigh* I am going to have to REALLY cut back on my cheese intake. And I love cheeses of all kinds.

You are making me think of brie. I love brie.

I digest almost as fast as it;s possible for me to eat so my stomach isn't full for long...

So, where was the best place?

Pizza is my kryptonite. When I saw this post I couldn't resist a slice or two. I wanted to eat healthy(ish) pizza, but I ordered a Meat Lovers from PizzaHut instead. :-( :-)

Arinell's!! I never thought cheese and bread could be this good. Thank you Noah for geezering for us all. You da (older)man. -bg!

Welcome to old age ;-). That pizza is making me drool.

Couldn't resist had planned a nice light salad for dinner, ended up having Boston style pizza with pepperoni and anchovies, yummmm.


10 years ago

I just got home and I'm starved; these photos are killing me...


10 years ago

I saw one pizza picture with a utility knife beside the box, I hope you didn't cut the pizzas with it.

Oh man, Pizzapalooza for the win! That was fun Noah, Happy Birthday.

We did something similar once. We went to Pizza hut (about 15 of us) and ordered as much pizza as we could afford. We stayed there until it was nearly all gone. We mainly ate meat feasts (the only kind of pizza) and so it was called "Mega meat mastication mayhem". We all managed a large each, before we had to resort to nibbling in between the sips of pepsi. The remaining slices got put in a box, heavily labelled with random words and then given to someone who couldn't make it. We decided that since his window was open, we should just throw the box through. We duct taped it up, and ran away before he appeared at the window. Apparently that got eaten too.

Well, you can just p...Oh, pizza off....

What a cool idea.

I know, for the next one, get people to bring over their own-made burgers, raw, and barbecue them together.

Possibly over a specially-built rack of Rubens tubes as the grill.

Hey this sound like a fun and original birthday ! (at least, that's the first time I've heard about "Pizza Off") =o)

BTW, happy new year of life, and happy new quarter of century to you ! =o)

Questions :
1) How is it to be 1 quarter of century old ? (Personally, I found it frightening ... the next quarter will be 50 ! aka half a century ! )
2) Would you have accepted a "home-cooked" pizza ? =o)


10 years ago

Heh. For entertainment value, you should have had them all delivered; all at the same time! I've mentioned having "odd" food tastings at parties: apples, rice, tuna, noodles, butter, bread, chocolate (ok, chocolate isn't so unusual.) I think in some ways tasting the "simple" foods is more interesting. ("Apples" was the most interesting, followed by "rice." Noodles didn't work very well. Tuna was impressively boring.) During an earlier job, we did champagne tasting. Each friday for a while we'd break out a bottle of "reference champagne" and a bottle of something else in the same price range. (nowdays we'd probably run afoul of anti-alcohol rules.)