Which Local Restaurants Serve Up the Best Pizza? Here’s the answer!


Students from three Journalism classes enjoy and rate pizzas in Room 113 in December. (Photo courtesy of Loren Burrows)

Bailey Thompson and Giovanni C. Bucca

Over the course of several days during the second marking period,  members of The Streak newspaper staff rated and decided on the best pizza from nine restaurants in the immediate Washington area.

After five days of pizza taste tests and much discussion, 25 students in the Journalism program voted that Enzo’s Bar and Grill had won the contest. 

Rated on cheese, sauce, crust and overall taste, and given a top possible score out of 5 Blue Streak lightning bolts for each category, Enzo’s ended with a strong score of four lightning bolts, leaving a 0.4 difference between the restaurant and second-place Leo’s Pizza Italian Restaurant. Leo’s finished with a score of 3.6 bolts, edging out Dicola’s Pizza by a 0.1 score difference.

Pizzeria Mama Maria came in fourth with 3.4 lightning bolts. Ciao Pizzeria and Burger Co. took the fifth place spot with a 3.2 rating, followed by Sal’s Pizza in sixth with a score of 3. From there, student pizza judges saw a small drop in scores, with Domino’s Pizza earning a 2.4. Mario Pizza averaged 2.2 lightning bolts, while Little Italy scored 1.9 to round off the list.

The Streak’s pizza rating project was funded by an anonymous benefactor who is not associated[ with the restaurant industry. No Journalism or school funds were used in the project.

Two cheese pizzas were ordered from each restaurant for taste-testing. Tastings were performed during Journalism I, II and III class in Room 113 during Block 7/G. Students filled out Google Form electronic rating sheets as they tasted the products.

Doing the actual rating and tasting of the pizza was harder than the staff had originally thought. While the staff planned to taste-test pizza from all nine restaurants in two days, it ended up becoming a four-day event. Certain places sometimes did not answer their telephones or were closed at unexpected times. The staff faced numerous issues that only prolonged the process. 

Journalism teacher and newspaper co-adviser Andy Oakley ordered and collected the pizzas at the high school’s front entrance each of the four days.

“The hardest part of getting each pizza was making sure each order was taken correctly,” he said. For example, one restaurant delivered its two pizzas at 1:30 p.m., with just two minutes left in the class period, instead of at the requested 12:30 p.m. delivery time.

All of the pizzas were of the plain variety to make sure that there was an even playing field. This stipulation ensured that no pizza could be an outlier and push a lackluster base pizza over the edge with superior toppings. 

Part of the reason the newspaper staff decided to launch this tasting project was to support local businesses. Students recognized that businesses had been struggling due to the prevalence of COVID-19, so patronizing pizza establishments could contribute to the economy.

“We didn’t choose this project just for fun,” said senior and Staff Reporter Layla Tomasula. “We chose to do it to help businesses during COVID times.”

Many of these pizza places have been around since newspaper staff members’ parents were growing up, and they are family-run businesses. The Streak newspaper staff created this review in hopes of helping all of them and aid them in these dark times.