Pizza Palooza Results: Here is The Best Pizza in Billings
Hundreds of Billings pizza lovers descended on The Depot Sunday afternoon (9/10) for the inaugural Pizza Palooza. The event, organized by Magic City's Best and The Depot featured pizzas from eleven restaurants and food trucks. Chefs arrived early to prep their dough and ingredients for the pizza festival, which opened at 11 AM for VIPs and noon for General Admission.
Pizza is highly subjective.
Everybody has their favorite kind of pizza. Some love deep dish style, loaded with so much sauce and toppings that you need a fork to eat it. Others prefer a thinner, crispier crust. The panel of fourteen judges at Pizza Palooza generally agreed on three things that constitute a good pizza: great crust, flavorful sauce, and the appropriate amount of quality cheese.
Cooking pizza on a portable pizza oven presented a challenge.
Scheels provided portable, propane-fueled Ooni pizza ovens for the event. The judges thought there may have been a bit of a learning curve for some of the chefs at the event who are accustomed to cooking on traditional pizza ovens at their restaurants.
A few of the pizzas we sampled during the blind tasting would have likely scored higher if they were fully cooked. Since the restaurants could only cook one pizza at a time, the panel of judges sometimes had mixed levels of doneness on the samples we received. Occasionally, half of the judges received an undercooked slice of pizza, while the other half got perfectly cooked crusts. This likely created scoring anomalies.
Let the tasting begin.
As guests began strolling through The Depot doors, the judge's table settled in for the monumental task of tasting and ranking each entree on a scale of 1 to 5, loosely based on the EAT (Execution, Appearance, Taste) method of scoring.
And the winner is...
The top three scores were very close, but edging into the #1 spot for Best Pizza in Billings was the entry from Pie Guys. This pizza joint is constantly reviewed as one of the best in the Magic City, and they brought their A-game to the competition. #2 went to Jason Haagensen and his team at Diamond X, with their delicious Honey Badger Pizza. Third place was the tasty, creative pie from Copper Onion Bistro. Blaze Pizza finished a respectable 4th place. Diamond X also won the People's Choice Award.
Thank you to everyone who participated: MAD Pizza, Blaze Pizza, Hooligans, Temptations Food Truck, Local, Diamond X, Pyror Creek Food Truck, Dax's Wingz & Thingz, Copper Onion Bistro, Cia Mambo and Pie Guys.