I had the opportunity to sit down with Pittsburgh’s favorite Pizza guro Laine Carey, also known as @pittsburghpizza. October is considered National Pizza Month so we thought, why not sit down and pick the brain of the Pittsburgh’s very own pizza professional? Laine loves going to different pizza joints in and all around the city. She loves trying different places and seeking out the best pies Pittsburgh has to offer. Laine is FUNNY and knows a good pizza pie when she sees one. Follow her pizza journey on Instagram and in the meantime check our conversation about all things pizza.
Who makes your absolute favorite pizza?
“My favorites are always changing. That being said, the pizza I grew up on was Mamma Lucia’s in Northway Mall (now, the Block at Northway) – this location has since closed. The one in Wexford is almost as good, and when I crave their Sicilian, NOTHING else can satisfy my craving. Their classic NY style pie is also amazing.”
Who makes your favorite pizza on the outskirts of town?
“Rockaway Pizza in White Oak is another fav of mine. I have probably a half dozen favorites at any given time in the city of Pittsburgh proper, so I’m loving these categorical questions to help me break it down!”
What is your favorite traditional pizza topping?
“Girrrlllll, I think we all know it’s ronis. I love the spice and texture they add. When I’m feeling crazy, black olives!”
What Pittsburgh pizza joint offers the most unique pie?
“Wow, great question. I guess now is a good time to admit that I’m actually pretty boring…since I try so many different pizza places, I try to keep it simple so that I’m experiencing a universal standard at each spot, if that makes sense. I love the Greenpointer from Pizza Taglio and just about any pie with hot honey.
The Splittsburgh from Lelulo’s (which, admittedly, I still don’t know how to pronounce) also rocked my world.”
Who has the best sauce? Why/Can you describe it?
“WOW OK – we’re getting into the hard hitting questions. I love Badamo’s sauce so much. Maybe I just love the whole Badamo’s package – I eat there at least once a month because I live so close to their Northside location.
La Tavola in Mount Washington has a really wild sauce on their Nonna Pina’s pizza. It’s oniony and almost tastes meaty…that has really stuck with me. So good.”
Who has the best crust? why/Can you describe it?
“Driftwood is the first place that comes to mind! My usual stance on crust is that I like it, but sometimes am guilty of leaving it on my plate (just trying to save all the real estate in my tum for actual pizza DON’T @ ME). At Driftwood, I’m all about that sourdough crust, all day baby.”
Which pizza shop has the best vibe/atmosphere?
“Relatively recently, I visited Tomato Pie Cafe for the first time. It is the cutest, dreamiest place, especially in the summertime. You’re surrounded by fresh herbs and string lights, and there’s an adorable screened-in patio in the back. It’s also right in the middle of North Park.”
Which pizza shop is best for a date night?
“Pizzeria Davide, Driftwood, and Monte Cello’s all seem like cute places to have a Lady-and-the-Tramp-esque moment, except with pizza slices instead of spaghetti.”
Which pizza joint deserves more attention?
“So many! I always say that Pastoli’s and Napoli in Sq Hill deserve more hype, just because they’re always outshined by Mineo’s and Aiello’s.
Capezzuto’s in Greenfield is an awesome tiny spot as well. Big Jim’s is another well kept secret.
“There are so many little great pizza spots in Pittsburgh, which is why I love doing what I do so much! I’m always open to LITERALLY all recommendations and suggestions, because everyone in PGH has their favorite neighborhood pizza and I’m on a mission to try them all.”
What is your favorite side to enjoy while eating pizza?
“Shannon Daly: The next Diane Sawyer?? These are such good questions. Well, I always chug water with my pizza. Other than that, I love a good salad to feel like I’m tricking myself into being healthy. Also, it’s hard for me to pass up garlic knots.”
Have you ever met a pizza you didn’t like?
“Yes, but rarely! If I don’t like a pizza, I don’t post about it.
I’m not a food reviewer, a negative nancy, or a pizza snob. What’s the saying?: even when it’s bad, it’s good? I genuinely love pizza, but I acknowledge that not all pizza is created equal. I’m just here to boost the Pittsburgh Pizza scene and facilitate the conversation, ya know? AND do what I love – eat a lot of pizza.”This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
This is a great piece. No pun. Keep them coming Shannon.