Here’s the discourse everyone from coast to coast was enraptured with on Sunday: Is Seattle pizza really bad? It all started when the Twitter account for New Jersey — well known for its sass — replied to a photo of a pie from Breezy Town Pizza that a customer had recently praised. Trolled New Jersey, “This is not pizza this is a cry for help.” (The pie also was initially mislabeled as being from Windy City Pie, Breezy Town’s similar Phinney Ridge sibling.)
The tweet received around 50,000 likes and almost 6,000 retweets, along with plenty of piling on in the replies.
Chicago-style is not pizza. It’s a tomato soup casserole in a bread bowl with 4 pounds of cheese that takes like a year to make. Give me a crackling Jersey crust that you can fold and eat over a garbage can with a piece of wax paper on an 11-cent paper plate any day of the week.
— TripletDad (@DadTriplet) March 7, 2021
And some engaged in some general Seattle pizza bashing.
Seattle is the most frustrating city for pizza.
There’s a local pizza joint on every other corner but 95% of it is unabashedly mediocre
The good stuff is a needle in a haystack
— ManicSocratic Emeritus (@Manic_Socratic) March 8, 2021
But the pie had several defenders jumping into the Twitter fray as well. For years, Seattleites have flocked to Breezy Town and Windy City for their variety of thick pies made with a caramelized crust. Windy City, in particular, built a loyal following back in its pop-up days before becoming a popular full-fledged restaurant, and has earned praise from the likes of renowned chef and food writer J. Kenji López-Alt.
For its part, on Monday, Breezy Town took to Twitter to defend its honor, as well as correct the record. The restaurant said the dark-looking crust is from “the Maillard browning reaction,” noting that beef brisket, socarrat in paella, and well-crusted smash burgers all have the same look. The restaurant also described its pie as more of a hybrid Detroit-Chicago style, along the lines of Pequod’s pizza, rather than the deeper dish of other well-known Chicago pizzerias such as Lou Malnati’s.
All in all, the restaurant didn’t seem too put out by the East Coasters and Midwesterners throwing shade, though.
“At first I was disheartened at the response to the photo, mainly because I figured with the recent rise in popularity of Detroit-style pizza, people would be used to seeing [dark caramelized crust] by now — but then I remembered it’s the internet and they let all types there,” owner Dave Lichterman tells Eater Seattle, adding that he’s already planned a menu response. “Breezy is also going to have a special, extra blasphemous pizza today [March 8] to shoot back at The Jerz’s attempt to gatekeep pizza. It’s called Gates Open, Peas Come In and it’s a riff on carbonara with peas, which is great, but pisses off Italian-food purists, which makes it even better.”