MENTION FROZEN pizza and most of us think of the utilitarian discs found in the supermarket freezer case, not wood-fired creations meticulously crafted by top pizzaioli. “If you would have told me [a year ago] I would be doing frozen pizza, I would have told you I have a bridge to sell you,” said Chris Bianco, chef-owner of Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, Ariz., credited with some of America’s best pies. But with his restaurants operating at half capacity during the pandemic, Mr. Bianco began supplementing earnings by freezing his celebrated pies and selling them nationally through the delivery site Goldbelly.
There are as many fast-food pizzas out there as there are stars in the sky (and we’re only partially kidding). If you start digging into the world of pizza chains, you’ll soon get lost in a myriad of crusts, toppings, and specialty concoctions—not to mention prices.
While most fast-food pizza chain offerings run anywhere between $10 and $18, we wanted to search high and low to discover just how pricey pizzas can get—and what exactly you get with a pie that sets you back more than $20. (We’ve previously done the same with burgers, chicken sandwiches, and fries).
Of the many vibrant characters along Joe Kurowski’s pizza-making journey, none are as vivid as Baffo. A 50-year-old Neapolitan pizzaiolo nicknamed for his prominent mustache, Baffo made dough every morning at Italy’s famed Pizzeria Dal Presidente, refusing to measure anything and calculating the mixing time by his cigarette breaks. He was an absolute genius.
Kurowski found himself working alongside this mustachioed gent after landing in Naples for a friend’s wedding. Having left the practice of law a short time prior, Kurowski was sure that he wanted to become a professional pizzaiolo, so he set out to Brooklyn and the famed