Pizza Walk With Me

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Pizza Review: Fiori's Pizzaria in Brookline

Dan TallaricoComment

Fiori’s Pizzaria was founded in 1979 out in Brookline, Pennsylvania. It’s a few miles outside the city of Pittsburgh, but some would say it’s the top 99 of the top 100 reasons to drive through the a tunnel. Here’s a portion of the list right here:

  1. Fiori’s Pizzaria
  2. Fiori’s Pizzaria
  3. Leaving to greet the Pirates at the airport as they return from a World Series victory
  4. Fiori’s Pizzaria
  5. Fiori’s Pizzaria
  6. Fiori’s Pizzaria

It’s been hyped up to me since I started this blog. “Have you had Fiori’s? You’re not a pizza journalist if you haven’t.” Okay, maybe, but that’s not what my associates degree in Pizza Journalism says. The other day I recruited my pizza pal Adam to escort me into the greasy, bustling, cheesy den of Fiori’s Pizzaria.

There’s Adam with our prized pizza. Doesn’t it look like an angel? It emits a golden glow. The cheese is perfectly melted and the crust is perfectly browned as if spray painted by a top-tier food artist. Even at a slant the pizza grips to the pan with a sense of purpose. As if to say, “Only the chosen pizza eater can pull a slice from this ancient metal.” We must’ve been the chosen ones because when we were done there wasn’t a slice of pizza left behind to tell the tale of the Fiori’s Pizza Massacre.

So the pizza begins like you’d expect. You lift a slice into the air and gravity pulls down on the slice hungry for a piping hot meal. Not today gravity. Despite some cheese dripping off to the the side, the rest of the package is solid. There’s some give to the crust, but not enough that leads to a complete pizza breakdown. You could build a house on this crust except you’d have to worry about a sinking foundation in about three years. Which, all things considered, isn’t that bad. You know, for pizza. 

The cheese steals the show here. It’s goopy, delicious, and a bit sweet. The sauce is humble. It seems to exists only to keep the crust separated from cheese. Are they mortal enemies? Will the pizza implode if it weren’t for the sauce? Possibly (Sauceibly?). 

I spent a lot of time chewing through the cheese. If you’re familiar with Mineo’s then you have an idea of what Fiori’s taste like. I’d say that Fiori’s is more of a focused pizza; there isn’t a pool of grease and the cheese is easier to handle than a handful of ice cubes covered in olive oil. It’s a delightful experience.

But then you get to the crust and you begin to wonder what is it you’ve just put into your mouth. Your tastebuds feel betrayed. Was the rest of the slice just an illusion? How could 9/10ths of a pizza be near perfection but the handle taste like literally nothing. The crust has no flavor. At all. It’s just chewy matter. A simple handle so you don’t get cheese and grease on your hands. It’s better off being tossed to the side or recycled. It spoils a delicious pizza. Perhaps Fiori should work to build a pizza home out of the crust instead of having customers eat it?

The motto at Fiori’s is “We fix you up” and it’s certainly true. It’s some of the best pizza I’ve had (aside from the crust) and it’s the perfect pizza environment. There’s a pinball machine and a friendly staff. There’s a large window in the pizza-making area so you can watch the dough mature from flour and water into a pizza being. It’s a grand pizza experience and if you’re in the area you’d be a fool to not check it out.