Hi! We’re Shelton and Sophie. This year, we’re bringing you a comprehensive review column that lets you know which local restaurants are worth a visit. Each issue, we’ll pick a type of food, then select three businesses around Cleveland to review. Each business gets rated on a five star scale in a variety of categories, which range from atmosphere, to taste, to convenience. This issue, we’re reviewing pizza. At each shop, we ordered a classic slice of cheese as well as one other flavor specific to the restaurant. Happy reading!
Scottie’s Pizza Parlor
Scottie’s was small and cluttered, but in the best way possible. Art, doodles, and cartoons were papered over the walls, leaving almost no empty space. Scottie’s also takes an active stance when it comes to political issues, displaying signs in their restaurant welcoming refugees and immigrants. We appreciated their choice in music, with a playlist featuring SZA, Lauryn Hill, and Daniel Caesar. Overall, the atmosphere was fun and laid back. 4 slices.
With only four tables and a couple stools by the window, Scottie’s wasn’t built to accommodate very many people. While waiting for our slices, we had to stand and wait for a spot to sit, along with a handful of other customers. Not only was this inconvenient, but it also made it hard not to feel rushed when there were people waiting in line for a table. That being said, Scottie’s is near Cleveland and service was quick. 2.5 slices.
While at Scottie’s we ordered two slices, cheese and marinara. On the cheese slice, the mozzarella was stretchy and gooey, just how we like it. Next up was the marinara, which was a cheeseless slice topped with basil leaves. Even though the marinara seemed boring at first, Scottie’s really nailed the sweet and tangy sauce and made this pizza stand out. 5 slices
Scottie’s pizza crust was everything it should be ー crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, with a slightly burnt exterior that gave the crust a smoky taste. 5 slices.
2.50 for Cheese
2.50 for Marinara
Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB)
HUB was casual and inviting, with plenty of seats and cheerful music. However, it’s not your average family restaurant. The interior felt almost industrial, with exposed metal piping and cement walls. The high ceilings and multiple floors made HUB feel very spacious. 4 slices.
Since HUB is more of a sit-down type restaurant, the wait time was definitely longer than the others. 15-20 minutes for a slice of pizza isn’t great for lunchtime, however HUB redeems itself with waited service and plenty of places to sit. 3 slices.
We enjoyed HUB’s cheese slice because cheese pizza is fundamentally enjoyable. However, as far as cheese pizza goes, HUB didn’t do anything special. The cheese was too oily and there wasn’t enough sauce, resulting in a mediocre slice. Next up was HUB’s weekly special, which was definitely unconventional. Instead of sauce, this slice had a layer of hummus underneath several different types of vegetables. We had high hopes for this adventurous take on pizza, but were unfortunately let down. After being baked in the oven, the hummus was pasty and dry, while the vegetables lacked flavor. 2.5 slices.
The crust was bready and golden-brown, but a little bit soggy. It didn’t hold its own against the weight of the pizza toppings. Overall, it was average. 3 slices.
$4.00 for Cheese
$4.95 for Weekly Special
The soft pink lighting and groovy music worked to create a feeling of warmth in Atlas pizza. Fairy lights were strung around the restaurant, which made the spacious interior feel snug and homey. There was a variety of places to sit and a variety of things to do, with Ms. Pac-Man and other arcade games in the corner of the restaurant. 5 slices.
We only waited 3 minutes for our slices. Atlas is a bit too far from Cleveland for lunch, but it can be done if you have access to a car. 4 slices.
The cheese slice at Atlas had a perfect ratio of cheese to sauce. The one thing we would change would be the stretchiness of the cheese ー it was missing that gooey goodness we look for in a pizza. We also ordered a piece of “The Garden of Earthly Delights,” which was topped with mushrooms, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and green peppers. The veggies weren’t soggy and lended the slice some nice flavor. 4 slices.
Atlas’s pizza crust was crispy and nicely browned. The interior was flaky and delicious. Our only complaint was that it was a little too thin and crunchy, but that comes down to personal preference. 4.5 slices.
$3.25 for Cheese
$3.75 for The Garden of Earthly Delights
Pizza was hard to judge because of its innate deliciousness ー even the crappiest slice of pizza is still better than most foods. We enjoyed the convenience and atmosphere of Atlas, and the creativity of HUB. However, Scotties really blew us away by delivering two slices of nearly perfect pizza. Not only have they mastered the basics, with flawless cheese, sauce, and crust, but they also keep their prices low. That being said, we’d happily devour a slice from any of the three.