Judges Decide the Best of Coral Springs Pizza Contest

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Joe Coniglio, Jon Fishman, Ron Malanowski, and Terri Bennett enjoy a slice during the pizza contest at Pasquale’s (photos by Adam Baron)

More photos on flickr

By: Dan I. Cook and Sharon Aron Baron

They came. They saw. They ate pizza. Lots of it.

Almost 30 judges from around Coral Springs filled three different restaurants on Saturday to find out which one served up the best pizza in town and they weren’t disappointed. After all, these were the top three finalists chosen from 19 restaurants in a reader’s poll.  Along with a different mix of people, there was obviously a difference of opinion as well.

However, before the judging was started, we went over a few issues, and this one being the most important: our goal was not to beat up any of the three restaurants. Each of these places deserved to be in the hunt for best pizza in Coral Springs. We’re very proud to say we received no discounts or free items, and we paid as any customer would and tipped the waitstaff accordingly, which is the way it should be when you are trying to promote businesses in your community. This style of judging has ever been done in South Florida and we’re very proud of that.

The Winner – Pizza Time Italian Restaurant  

Congratulations to Pizza Time Owner Joe Russo (left) with waiter Jose Waiter

Congratulations to Pizza Time Owner Joe Russo (left) with waiter Jose Ladino

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The scores were close, however, the numbers do not lie and there was ultimately one restaurant that came out slightly on top of the others and that was:  Pizza Time Italian Restaurant located at 11504 W Sample Rd, Coral Springs, FL 33065.

Here’s what some of our judges had to say about the pizza at Pizza Time:

“The pizza was outstanding. Truly amazing. The crust didn’t fold in the Italian style I know and love but everything else about it was great.”Gregory Caveccia.

“”Great sauce, plenty of cheese.  Great taste. Could be a little more well-done – more crispy. Dough is very tasty.”  – Carl Carrasco.

“This pizza slice was HELLA good!”Marcos Hilera.

“Cheesy gooey deliciousness. Soft chewy crust with a perfect combination of cheese and sauce.”Ron Malanowski.

“Edge had a little bit of a burn on the crust, but wow! The taste was amazing. Soft, chewy cheesy. Wow. Definitely would get pizza here.” Terri Bennett.

Pasquale’s Pizza & Subs

DSC_3142 Our judges also loved Pasquale’s located at 10337 Royal Palm Blvd and had great things to say about their pizza as well.

“Perfectly crispy crust.  Reminds me of growing up.  Great chew and perfect balance.”Harrison Kantor.

“One word. Speechless.”Ross Kuruc Jr.

“Great dough, sauce, wonderful flavor. My favorite.”Rod H.

“Easily my favorite. Great balance in the sauce.  Thin, crispy, tasty crust.”Paul Osterhout.

“Great amount of cheese. Crust wasn’t too hard nor too soft. Great sauce. Pasquale’s has a pizza in my heart.”Darren McEwan.

Pepperoni Grill 

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The service and presentation was great at Pepperoni Grill located at the Royal Eagle Plaza at 9174 Wiles Road and their pizza was tops with many of our judges.

“Nice presentation. Great balance of sauce, cheese and dough.  Easy to eat, not oily. What a slice of pizza should be.”Angel Hilera. 

“Crust was perfectly balanced between the crunch and chew. Great balance of flavors for the sauce.  Just the right amount of stretch and pull in the cheese.”Harrison Kantor. 

“The pizza from the first second it came out looked amazing. The crust and the dough were perfect, the pizza folded neatly in half like the ideal Italian pizza should.  The service was amazing and overall taste was too.”Gregory Careccia.

“Compliments to the chef. Pizza was delicious.  I’m definitely returning with my family.”Denise H.

“Very thick crust that folded neatly.  The pizza came out smoking hot and was perfect without any seasoning.  The cheese pulled off nice and neat and had great texture.”  – Gregory Ohl.

About Our Judges

Thanks to our judges who volunteered. We had a great mix of people from the community who provided feedback and ranked the pizza several factors: Crust/dough, sauce, cheese, overall taste, and overall appearance.  We appreciate them giving up their Saturday and having fun with our contest!

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Fred I. and Murray Kanner

Kim Pekala – Teacher at Coral Springs Charter
Steve Pekala – Coral Springs Resident
Angel Hillera– Coral Springs Resident
Marcos Hilera – Student at Coral Springs Charter
Gregory Caveccia – Varsity Lacrosse Captain and Senior Class Secretary of Coral Springs Charter
Denise H. – Administrative Assistant at the Broward Sheriff’s Office
Rod H. – Coral Springs resident, retired
Ross Kuruc jr.– Student Broward College
Max Baron – Student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas
Anna Pieras -Student
Paul Osterhout – Web Programmer
Gregory Ohl – Senior Class President Coral Springs Charter School

Marcos Hilara, Anna Pieras, Denise and Rod H.

Marcos Hilara, Anna Pieras, Denise and Rod H.

Darren McEwan – Senior Class President Coral Springs High School
Ron Malanowski – Physician Recruiter at Medpartners in Coral Springs
MJ – Nurse
Terri Bennett – Registered Nurse
Joe Coniglio – Grocery Retail Improvement Specialist Publix
Carl Carrasco – Deli Manager at Doris Market in Coral Springs
Adam Baron – Personal Injury Attorney
Murray Kanner – Retired 30 year resident
Fred I. – Retired from the Mai Kai Restaurant

Gregory Caveccia, Hunter I. Gregory Ohl and Darren McEwan at Pepperoni Grill

Gregory Caveccia, Hunter I. Gregory Ohl and Darren McEwan at Pepperoni Grill

Jon Fishman – English Teacher North Broward Preparatory School
Ross Kuruc – Captain with Pembroke Pines FD
Lisa Kuruc – Office Administrator at Coral Square Pediatrics
Hunter I. – Student FAU
Harrison Kantor – Sous Chef – The Cook and the Cork Restaurant
Dan I. Cook – Legend
Sharon Aron Baron– Editor Coral Springs Talk

Special Thanks

Harrison Kantor, Paul Osterhout and Carl Carrasco at Pasquale's

Harrison Kantor, Paul Osterhout and Carl Carrasco at Pasquale’s

We would like to thank all of our judges and to all three restaurants. We had a great time at each place. For this being our second judging event, everything went smoothly.

We would like to want to personally thank Manager Brandon and his staff at Pasquale’s Pizza & Subs and owner Michael Weingard and his staff at Pepperoni Grill. They were the most gracious hosts and we really appreciated the warm welcome we received. The manager of Pizza Time was also fantastic by allowing us to sit in a side room to do our judging. We understand it’s a pain in the ass to have 30 folks come in and only eat four large pies, so a big thank you to all three restaurants.

Verdict

Lisa and Denise serving up a slice of the winning pizza from Pizza Time

Lisa and Denise serving up a slice of the winning pizza from Pizza Time

As you can see there were no losers here. It was easy to see why these businesses received the top three votes. Interesting side note, a lot of the judges including me had never eaten at Pepperoni Grill. Our loss. I can say this: They gained more customers for sure, which is important to me and my goal about assisting the businesses in our community.

Lastly, I got the best email from Leah B. regarding her dad Murray wanting to be a judge. Murray doesn’t have email, and Leah’s mom passed away in January. Leah wanted her dad to get out and feel special. Well, I’m happy to report I took Murray underneath my big wing and he will always be a judge on anything I do. Welcome to the madness Murray, now don’t lose your cell phone in case I call.

Next up will be Best Wings in Coral Springs. Look for that in a few months folks and Stay Hungry!

More photos here

 

About Sharon Aron Baron

Sharon Aron Baron Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and writer for Coral Springs Talk. CST was created in 2012 to provide News, Views and Entertainment for the residents of Coral Springs, Parkland and the rest of South Florida.

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  • Peter Tours

    Next time try Nicks New Haven Pizza – our favorite

    • jhkilroy

      yelp reviews sure say otherwise about that place…

    • peter tours

      Actually after the few pizzas we got from Nicks I am inclined to take back my earlier recommendation

  • Dan I Cook

    I like Nicks I go there at least once a week. They didn’t make the top three in votes.

  • aszure42

    I used to live like 3 blocks from Pizza Time when I was in high school. That place was great.

  • George Marrone

    Thank you to the judges for a great contest, you’re absolutely correct in saying that they’re no losers and everyone benefited from the experience. Thanks to the faithful customers, without you we wouldn’t have successful restaurants. I’m sure we can all say it’s a pleasure serving you.

    • Dan I

      We are lucky to have your businesses in Coral Springs. Your post is professional and very humble. I know you George and I know you wanted to win. Your winning attitude, love of the community, and the special attention you and your staff provide to your customers is the reason why me and my family will always be customers of your restaurants. Thank you for your post.

  • Lori R.

    I love this article!! Brings me back to home and wonderful memories. My friends and I ate so many times at Pizza Time and Pasquales while in HS. I now have my own family and live far away in GA…but man I was craving some fresh tomato pizza from Pizza Time and Zepoles from Pasquales as I read this. Thanks!!! So happy that both businesses are still around and doing so well

  • jmsprings

    Our standards here are so low. With so many great food cities evolving we only have fancy fast food. I agree with Nicks as the best pizza but come on with the rest of their food. Try Buccan in palm beach then we’ll talk.

    • Dan I

      That place in Palm Beach maybe better. I’m not here to write the best of South Florida. I’m here to write about my home town, Coral Springs. Go to my Yelp reviews for stuff I write outside of Coral Springs.

  • Phil

    Pasquales? That’s like fast food pizza, edible and nothing special. There are far better pizza places in Springs than Pasquales.

    • Dan I

      Did you vote?

  • Joe

    Annie’s makes a really good pizza too.

  • Anthony

    Pizza Time in Coral Springs does serve excellent food. But the attitude of the owner Joe Russo is despicable. The man does not care about customers at all. When I brought it to his attention that his website was malfunctioning (for three days in a row), he obviously became frustrated with his own ineptitude and told me not to order from there ever again. Not a problem. I refuse to support a business that is owned by such a callous and rude individual.