This just in! You can get good pizza in South Florida! (Also, in lots of other places that aren't New York City.)
The bulk of the "Best of" issue is a carefully curated collection of the best and brightest of what Broward and Palm Beach counties have to offer. We have meetings, discussions, and arguments, before choosing the winners. The biggest category - and we at Clean Plate Charlie might argue, best and most important - is food.
And, of all the food-related 'Best ofs', the most contentious category is always pizza.
This is even more true when it comes to the Readers Choice selection for pizza. No matter what we pick -- no matter what you all pick -- we're always wrong.
See, nowadays, we have this lovely poll that allows everyone to vote easily and clearly (and without comment) on all their favorites, including pizza. Once upon a time, back in the dark ages of the early aughts, the Readers Poll was voted on through comments on the blog posts. A poor human (can you guess who?) was assigned the unenviable task of counting those votes.
No category received more comments and, yet, fewer votes, than Best Pizza.
"You can't even get good pizza down here!"
"Everyone knows the best pizza is in NYC!"
Here's the thing. First of all, there is plenty good food outside of New York City. Many of us have been to New York. Many Floridians are transplanted New Yorkers. Many of us native Floridians are the offspring of New Yorkers and every year were packed into the Caravan with two brothers, six suitcases, and the family dog and driven up the east coast of the United States to spend summer vacation.
New York is great, really, but -- brace yourselves -- it is not the only place in the world that makes good pizza. (For one, there's this place called Italy.)
You might be picking up on some Floridian resentment, but it's well earned. Anyone raised in the Sunshine State knows, you can't eat a slice of pizza in South Florida in peace. There you are enjoying a hot slice of cheese pizza by the beach, grease running down your sunburnt arm. It's mixing with sand and the roof of your mouth is scalded, but you're in such cheesey, saucy bliss, you don't care.
Inevitably, some uninvited, unwanted stranger with a familiar accent has to disabuse you of the notion that the pizza you're enjoying is actually any good.
Annoying New Yorker: "Ugh! What I wouldn't do for a slice from [insert name of random, tiny pizza place]! You can't get good pizza outside of New York."
Annoyed Floridian: (Could you say that a little louder, the owner didn't quite hear you.)
ANY: "You know why the pizza in New York is good?"
AF: (If you say it's the water...)
ANY: "It's the water."
AF: "OH MY GOD! Did you think of that all by yourself?! How original! I have never, ever, ever heard that before!"
Second of all - and more importantly - this is the "Best of Broward-Palm Beach Readers' Poll" - comparisons to NYC pizza are completely irrelevant and totally unwanted.
Besides, you walk into almost any local pizza joint in the tri-county area and the owner/pizza maker behind the counter is going to have a thick New York accent. So, while you might think you are expressing some hometown loyalty, you're usually just insulting your own.
Fortunately, the Readers Choice poll is now automated. No counting of comments. No aspersions on Florida pizza or the hardworking (mostly New Yorker) pizza makers. Still, we know how much you guys like to tell us how bad the pizza is here and how good it is...Where again? So, have at it in the comments. Tell us all about the water. Name your favorite NYC hole-in-the-wall pizza place. Then, go to our Readers' Poll and actually vote.
(If you stubbornly refuse to believe there is good pizza to be found here, here's a list of some pizza places you should try.)
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