Atlanta Pizza Quest 2014: Ammazza

Back in November a group of friends and I decided that we needed to make it our mission to find the best pizza in Atlanta.  There are actually a lot of great pizza places in town so we had a lot of work to do (and a lot of pizza to eat - not a bad thing).  Thus, Atlanta Pizza Quest 2014 (APQ14) was born. Our first three stops were: Pizzeria Vesuvius on Edgewood; Cucina Asellina in Midtown; and Fritti in Inman Park.  My friend Kerri started a blog to detail our journey.  Read our first three pizza reviews here:  http://atlpizzaquest.blogspot.com/.  I am henceforth taking over the blogging duty for APQ14.

Our fourth stop brought us to Ammazza at 591A Edgewood Avenue SE in Atlanta - which falls between Inman Park and Edgewood (obviously).  Ammazza (read a 2012 interview with the owners here) describes themselves as making "Napoletana style wood-fired pizza" in "an open, neighborhood friendly space that invites people to come and go as they please."  This translates to: they have great pizza and great beer in a casual, counter style joint.  Now, "counter style" is not really my cup of tea, but Ammazza ranked 3rd on Thrillist Atlanta's Best Pizza in Atlanta list recently so it was definitely on our list to try.  And it was my birthday so I got to pick where we ate.  Yeah me!

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Anyway, we got to Ammazza as a party of 8 and were able to secure two high top bar tables that the bartender pushed together for us (overall dining experience points!).  Said bartender (we should have gotten his name, dammit) also allowed us to order everything -- booze AND food -- through him at the bar instead of having to go up front to the counters.  That was a huge perk in my book.  Corralling 8 people's shared order up at the cash register might serve to be challenging, to say the least.

So we ordered four pizzas, two salads and two bottles of wine.  The four pizzas were:

- the Amarena (roasted cherry artisan sausage, peppadew peppers, caramelized onions, mozzarella and basil)
- the Inferno (spicy sopressata, basil, mozzarella and Calabria peppers)
- the Capricciosa (marinated artichokes, wild mushrooms, black olives, shaved ham, mozzarella and basil)
- the Prosciutto (sauce-less pizza with roasted artichokes, prosciutto, mozzarella and basil)

I think it was unanimous that everyone loved the crust at Ammazza.  It was doughy and soft and delicious.  I might be so bold to say it was one of the best I've ever had.  The sauce and cheese on all were not too shabby either.

 
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There was some ruckus about the Inferno pizza.  I think everyone thought that one was too spicy (except Beth).  I guess it was the Calabria peppers (the name "Inferno" sorta gives it away too).  It was definitely still delicious but probably too much spice when you are trying a bunch of other pizzas.  That was probably my fault.  Oops.

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But anyway, the Amarena was fabulous as was the Capricciosa.  Delicious salty ham with artichokes, olives and mushrooms.  (Ammazza uses meats cured and prepared by the Spotted Trotter in Kirkwood.)  My personal favorite was the Prosciutto pizza.  I'm not usually into sauce-less pizza but it worked and it might even go on my list of favorite dishes in Atlanta at this point (check out the rest of my list here).  Salads and wine were great too, and we even had a little bday dessert (thanks guys!) to cap off the visit.

Onto the scoring:

I remembered to bring the score sheets (with the assistance of an iPhone calendar reminder) so I passed those out and we all went to it.  To recap our scoring, there are 6 categories that are worth 10 points each for a total of 60 possible points (sauce, cheese, crust, toppings, overall dining experience and overall score).  I think my score was the highest (56 out of 60).  Low score was a 41.  The rules say we remove the high and low scores and average the rest.  So Ammazza walks away with a 47 out of 60 (78% approval) from APQ14-ers this time around.  I thought it would rate higher, but like I said before, we still have several fabulous places yet to try.

Until next time...