Pizza is versatile and ubiquitous, seen in many restaurants in West County. It is versatile because it can have a variety of crusts, sauces, toppings and cheeses. Some like the Chicago deep dish or St. Louis-style thin crust with provel cheese, and others swear by New York-style pizza with a thick foldable crust and real mozzarella cheese.
Whole Foods Market 1160 Town and Country Crossing Dr., Town and Country
At Whole Foods, you can shop in different countries in the same aisle, from the sushi bar to fresh gelato to the pizza station. One of the great things about the pizza here is the choice to have a whole wheat crust. The crust had a complex and nutty layer of flavor, but I am the type to choose whole wheat bread over white bread any day. It was not particularly crispy, but decent. The sauce was had an irritating quality, making my mouth uncomfortable (it might have been too much salt or parmesan cheese). The flavor was overpowered by that unidentifiable quality in the sauce. The mozzarella cheese was golden brown and cooked well in their large ovens, but not particularly flavorful. The texture of the cheese had no stretch or elasticity, making it a little cardboard-ish.
The good: The whole wheat crust had a delicious flavor.
The bad: An ingredient in the sauce made it unpleasant to eat. The mozzarella cheese left something to be desired as well.
Dewey's Pizza 1312 Clarkson Clayton Center, Ellisville
Eating at Dewey's Pizza is a unique experience. There is a large picture window looking into the kitchen, cooks expertly tossing pizza in the air, as kids and adults alike pass by and watching in amazement. Dewey's has a variety of pizzas such as the delicious the Edgar Allen Poe, which has garlic, olive oil and black olives with goat, mozzarella and fontina cheeses. For comparison, I chose the Dewey's original (cheese pizza with tomato sauce). The sauce had a lot flavor and some heat, the oregano in the sauce was evident as well as other spices. The crust was unremarkable and almost a little mushy. The mozzarella cheese had decent flavor, but didn't have the stretch and elasticity that some quality mozzarella has. The pizza stands they place on the table are a little crooked. My pizza slid off and fell behind the booth. The waitress immediately came over (she said that happens all the time—not my fault) and had the cooks make a new one at no extra charge.
The good: The sauce was excellent and watching the cooks make the pizzas was fun.
The bad: The crust was not crisp, and the cheese was not as flavorful as it could have been.
East Coast Pizza 17304 Chesterfield Airport Rd., Chesterfield
As a New Yorker, walking into East Coast Pizza was like walking into a pizza shop at home. The red pepper flakes on the table and the garlic powder reminded me of going to eat pizza with my dad. The crust was crisp and flavorful, but foldable. There is something about the brick they cook it on that makes this pizza special. The sauce, unfortunately, was a little bland even with the garlic powder, which was a little disappointing. The cheese, however, was phenomenal. Bubbling from the oven with irresistible texture, pulling you in for another bite. There were some golden brown spots on the cheese from the cooking process, further solidifying the quality and authenticity of the mozzarella cheese. Chesterfield Patch did a full review of East Coast Pizza, for those intrigued further.
The good: The crust and the cheese were unique (at least in St. Louis) and amazing in flavor and texture.
The bad: The sauce really needed more seasoning.
The winner: East Coast Pizza wins because of its superb quality, texture and flavor of both the crust and the cheese.