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TulaneLSU
TBD Fan
Member since Aug 2003
Member since Dec 2007
11044 posts

TulaneLSU's Top 10 pizzas of Auburn, Alabama
Dearest Friends,

As we continue to pray for our dearest of dearest friends, OWLFAN, and donate to his worthy cause, I feel almost guilty having eaten more than ten pizzas in the last four days. But then I step back and ask myself, “Would my dearest of dearest friends, OWLFAN, approve of this quest for excellence?” The answer, of course, is a resounding yes.

You may be following my journeys through the state of Alabama on the Travel Board. If you have, you are familiar with TulaneLSU's vacation to Goodwater, AL and TulaneLSU's Top 10 signs of Ashland, AL. Today, I bring the focus back to Auburn, AL, where much of the focus will be in coming days. Mother, Uncle, and a few others are here and we are enjoying the Hotel at Auburn University, whose review is forthcoming.

The moments after you exit I-85 going north on College your eyes are filled with multitudes of new, yet very cheap hotels. The impermanence of these soulless buildings with any number of well known national hotel names calls to mind the cardboard playhouses I used to construct after Christmas from discarded boxes that father would inevitably take to the garbage later in the week. Everything about these buildings and rooms is superficial.

Image: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49887937728_22ba921f5a_k.jpg


Pizza is not to be found on this path to town. It is only when one goes beyond the superficial and enters the heart of town that one finds the town’s essence. Walking downtown Auburn, a quite handsome little town, one realizes that the town pairs with pizza like guanine and cytosine. Pizza, not lemonade and cookies, is the defining cuisine of Auburn. Bodda getta pizza pie.

Image: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49887936303_a7024720d8_k.jpg


Most of you know that I love pizza and consider myself a pizza connoisseur. While I would like to teach the history of Auburn’s pizza, as I did with TulaneLSU's history of pizza in New Orleans, I simply do not have the knowledge to do so. I also would like to do a top 40 list of pizzas, as I did with TulaneLSU's Top 40 pizzas in the U.S.A., but time prevents me. I have had the opportunity to rank the top 10, however, which is what I present this evening:

10. Papa John’s

Image: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49887936698_022e689893_k.jpg

I tried to get a slice from Johnny Brusco’s Pizza, a chain out of upstate New York, but they were closed. I have little doubt Johnny Brusco’s would replace Papa John’s and its sweet sauce and heavy dough. But as it is, Papa’s takes #10.

9. Little Italy Pizzeria thin slice

Image: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49888766632_03ddb2342b_k.jpg


Image: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49888766482_8b79c02d14_k.jpg


Our concierge recommended this place as “the best pizza in town.” Since 2008, Little Italy Pizzeria has been serving the north side of campus pizza pies and pizzas by the slice. It is a short walk from Toomer's Corner, just past the pharmacy and the hardware store, across from the Episcopal church, of which I have a great story which I will tell in coming days on one of the boards of TD.

When I ordered I asked the helpful server which he recommended: the NY slice or the Sicilian. He replied, “They’re both popular, but I like the thin.” I took his advice.

The nice part of this slice was that it was ready to be served after a two minute reheating period in the oven. Not that long ago it was rare to find pizza by the slice outside New York and New Jersey. I am grateful that many places throughout our country now offer this personal meal. The not so nice part of this pizza was how it tasted. The cheese was bottom of the barrel mozzarella. The sauce was uninspiring and the crust was dry. It cost about $3, but was not close to as good as $1 slices in New York.

8. Mellow Mushroom

Image: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49887937163_7aa2df9287_k.jpg


Last night was my first Mellow Mushroom experience. I had never heard of it before this trip. It was okay. The crust was much to bready for me. The toppings were good. The cheese was of average quality.
This post was edited on 5/12 at 10:17 pm


TulaneLSU
TBD Fan
Member since Aug 2003
Member since Dec 2007
11044 posts

re: TulaneLSU's Top 10 pizzas of Auburn, Alabama
7. Royal Doner chicken calzone

Image: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49888766952_7013cc6d77_k.jpg


Located next to Eddie’s Calzone’s just up the street from Toomer’s is Royal Doner, a Middle Eastern restaurant, but mostly a takeout reminiscent of corner kebab shops in the UK. While this is technically a calzone, I used a scalpel I brought to slice it lengthwise and open it like a pizza. Voila! It’s a pizza. The sesame seeds were a nice addition. The crust was partly pilodough, lending a sweetness to the bread that was dessert-like. The filling was cheese and moz with red sauce. The chicken was freshly pan grilled yet lacked much flavor.

6. Ariccia Cucina Italiana pepperoni

Image: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49888456466_f16fa14bc6_k.jpg


Located within The Hotel at Auburn University, Ariccia is the only Auburn wood fired pizza. The sauce is San Marzano based and fabulous. Really, this sauce is worthy of a top New York pizzeria. It’s not quite as good a Rubirosa’s sauce, but close. The crust on this pizza was a bit doughy and needed a longer char, but the dough itself was quality. The cheese was average. The pepperonis made the pizza too salty, and on a good pizza, pepperonis are really only detractors. $12 for this 10-12” pie was a deal.

5. Domino’s

Image: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49888767262_4e2e3a86c3_k.jpg


Even in a pandemic in Auburn one can get a great three topping large for $7.99. I sadly have forgotten the name of my pizza creator, but whoever she was she did the town, the university, and Domino’s proud. Pepperoni, roasted red peppers and spinach are the way to go.

4. Little Italy Pizzeria Sicilian slice

Image: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49888767672_3f516f2fb9_k.jpg


Image: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49888767482_4a9d9b603d_k.jpg


Undeterred from my previous night of a subpar thin slice, I gave Little Italy Pizza another shot. This time the service was less friendly, but the pizza was quite a bit better. The crust is voluminous on appearance, but quite vulnerable to the lightest of pressure between the teeth. It has a nice crunch but does not cut the palate as some grandma slices. Is it on a level with Prince Street or L&B Spumoni Gardens? No. Its cheap sauce and cheese do not allow for it. However, the crust was surprisingly good.

3. Ariccia Cucina Italiana Margherita pizza

Image: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49888767952_e11a1b3a7b_k.jpg


Image: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49888456936_85b33e4d9a_k.jpg


If the crust had been woodfired to a charred finish, this pizza would have been the top ranking. However, the pizzaiola took it out the oven 90 seconds too soon. The sauce and cheese were perfect. The crust was the only thing I can critique in a negative way. Even as it was, Ariccia’s Margherita would be top 5 in New Orleans.

2. Royal Doner Auburn pizza

Image: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49888457541_7f7c50937a_k.jpg


Image: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49887938453_3452e3b91c_k.jpg


As I window shopped with Mother, I came across Royal Doner’s menu posted in its window. The item “Auburn pizza” grabbed my attention -- both the name and the picture. I was not disappointed. The crust was a pita that could have used a little more firing for taste. Nonetheless, it held up surprisingly well to a heavily topped pizza. The red sauce was unmemorable, as was the scant cheese. However, the toppings were phenomenal. Fresh roasted peppers and mushrooms stole the show. There was quite a bit of roasted lamb or mutton slices throughout. All in all, it was an odd pizza, but a deliciously odd one.

1. Ariccia Cucina Italiana porchetta pizza

Image: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49888768792_a4299b724f_k.jpg


Image: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49888457746_49385a51d2_k.jpg


Everything Domenica in the Roosevelt tries to be Ariccia is. Ariccia is a class hotel restaurant serving excellent wood fired pizzas. The porchetta pizza has the same delicious San Marzano based sauces as all of the establishment’s pizzas, and that sauce should be bottled and sold it’s so good. Smoke mozzarella is in abundance but not excess. The roasted pork and arugula go well together. I thought the fig balsamic drizzled atop was a little too sweet for my liking and cut the acidic sauce down too much. Next time I would order without the balsamic. Whoever cooked this pizza did a perfect job on the crust with a perfect char. Weather affects pizza crust tremendously, and I think the less than perfect dough from the previous days was a result of not adjusting to the weather.

Friends, enjoy your eats every day and please give thanks to the God who provides them.

Faith, Hope, and Love,
TulaneLSU
This post was edited on 5/12 at 10:12 pm


LSUballs
LSU Fan
RayVegas LA
Member since Feb 2008
33032 posts

re: TulaneLSU's Top 10 pizzas of Auburn, Alabama
Shut up


BigPerm30
Chicago Cubs Fan
Member since Aug 2011
16933 posts

re: TulaneLSU's Top 10 pizzas of Auburn, Alabama
If you gave a shite about Owlfan you’d do the top ten tacos places in Houston or the top ten lawn services or roofing companies.


alajones
LSU Fan
Derptown
Member since Oct 2005
30937 posts

re: TulaneLSU's Top 10 pizzas of Auburn, Alabama
So there’s 3 decent pizza places in Auburn?


bigpapamac
South Alabama Fan
Mobile, AL
Member since Oct 2007
21053 posts

re: TulaneLSU's Top 10 pizzas of Auburn, Alabama
I wouldn’t go that far Although to be fair, Auburn actually has a decent restaurant scene for being such a tiny college town.


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Paul Allen
Notre Dame Fan
Montauk, NY
Member since Nov 2007
62482 posts
 Online 

re: TulaneLSU's Top 10 pizzas of Auburn, Alabama


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TulaneLSU
TBD Fan
Member since Aug 2003
Member since Dec 2007
11044 posts

re: TulaneLSU's Top 10 pizzas of Auburn, Alabama
Friend,

It has been a long time since I last visited Houston. If I do make it over there, I will, perhaps due to your request, make such a list.

Yours,
TulaneLSU


t00f
Tulane Fan
Eating with a mask in the zone
Member since Jul 2016
37758 posts

re: TulaneLSU's Top 10 pizzas of Auburn, Alabama
No offense my Bama brothers, but Auburn is really not a great town to hang out in.

Shocked they had 10 pizza places to even select from.
This post was edited on 5/12 at 10:41 pm


Paul Allen
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Montauk, NY
Member since Nov 2007
62482 posts
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re: TulaneLSU's Top 10 pizzas of Auburn, Alabama


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TulaneLSU
TBD Fan
Member since Aug 2003
Member since Dec 2007
11044 posts

re: TulaneLSU's Top 10 pizzas of Auburn, Alabama
Friend,

You are quite wrong about that belief. Auburn is a better college town than Baton Rouge. As a college town, it is superior to New Orleans. I pity all those Tulanians from out of town who waste much of their time at The Boot. Besides Audubon Park, there is not much within walking distance of Tulane. Auburn is the best pure college town in the SEC I have visited. It is somewhat, on a less grand scale, like Princeton.

Yours,
TulaneLSU


auzach91
Atlanta Braves Fan
Smyrna, GA
Member since Jan 2009
32216 posts

re: TulaneLSU's Top 10 pizzas of Auburn, Alabama
No hungry howies no care.


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Walt OReilly
LSU Fan
Next Year U
Member since Oct 2005
117800 posts
 Online 

re: TulaneLSU's Top 10 pizzas of Auburn, Alabama
Been up there twice. Didn’t have a good time at all. Ended up just going to ATL one trip


Hogwarts
Arkansas Fan
God’s Country
Member since Sep 2015
13106 posts

re: TulaneLSU's Top 10 pizzas of Auburn, Alabama
You ate at ten pizza places? Fatty


The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
29235 posts

re: TulaneLSU's Top 10 pizzas of Auburn, Alabama
Pal,


My work finds me in Auburn, Alabama 2-3 times a year, and I too choose to stay at the Auburn Hotel & Conference Center. Being an Alabama graduate, and former long time resident of Tuscaloosa, I am likely one of those rare birds that appreciates the college town feel of Auburn. While I detest their sports ball teams, I have many friends, family, and acquaintances that are Auburn graduates and Auburn fans.

While staying at the Auburn Hotel & Conference Center, I have indulged myself at the bar there for some adult libations and dining, including many pizzas. I found your reviews of the pizzas from Arricia Cucina to be spot on. Every pizza I have enjoyed from there has been slightly undercooked, or worse I had one that was completely still raw in the center. I mentioned this to the friendly mixologist behind the bar and she promptly sent it back and requested a replacement. The replacement was also undercooked, though no longer raw in the center.

I have not dines at any of the other establishments you mentioned, though I have had many pizzas from various Mellow Mushrooms around the region.


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LSUBoo
Bowling Green Fan
None. None more black.
Member since Mar 2006
83422 posts

re: TulaneLSU's Top 10 pizzas of Auburn, Alabama
Friend,

Thanks for saving me the trip to Auburn, Alabama. Due to your exhaustive research, I now feel as though I have been there and tried all of these pizzas.

I remain grateful,
LSUBoo


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132
iwantacooler
Member since Aug 2017
489 posts

re: TulaneLSU's Top 10 pizzas of Auburn, Alabama
quote:

Auburn is the best pure college town in the SEC I have visited

Starkville says hi.


rutiger
New York Yankees Fan
purgatory
Member since Jun 2007
19368 posts

re: TulaneLSU's Top 10 pizzas of Auburn, Alabama
quote:

quote:
Auburn is the best pure college town in the SEC I have visited

Starkville says


Auburn and starkvville are 2 of the most boring college towns ive been too.

I have had a few good meals in auburn (cant say the same for starkville) but they sure as hell werent at some shitty pizza place.


Pettifogger
Atlanta Braves Fan
Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone
Member since Feb 2012
59786 posts

re: TulaneLSU's Top 10 pizzas of Auburn, Alabama
Friend -

Thank you for not promoting Pieology.

Pieology is an offense against our Lord and is not supported by any true Auburn man. Once, years ago, it was the site of a beloved establishment known as Bodega, with many good souls employed therein. Rarely a day passes that I don't think of it.



GoCrazyAuburn
Auburn Fan
Member since Feb 2010
29442 posts

re: TulaneLSU's Top 10 pizzas of Auburn, Alabama
1. Little Italy



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