We just rang in a new year, and with that welcomed millions of resolutions. Resolutions of losing weight, eating right, exercising, yadda yadda. This article isn’t about that. This article is for when you’re sick of eating lettuce and just want a friggin’ piece of pizza.
Not to mention, in case you didn’t know, we are in the midst of National Pizza Week, so what better way to celebrate than reading about the finest pizza McKinney has to offer?
Flashback to a chilly, windy night in December when a group of about 90 of McKinney’s finest endeavored on the 2013 McKinney Square Pizza Crawl, a vision brought to life by our very own local celebrity and wine expert, Andy, the McKinney Wine Merchant himself. The idea was born after three new pizza joints flocked to downtown McKinney in late 2013: Amato’s on the Square, Brothers Pizza, and Mellow Mushroom, joining the duo of reliable old standards Cadillac Pizza Pub and Sauce on the Square.
The pizza crawlers were divided into groups of 15-20, and each started at a different restaurant to begin our pizza rotation.
DiningWithDeliaJo.com’s group started at Brothers Pizza, the newest of all the restaurants. My group and I definitely enjoyed the presentation at Brothers far above anywhere else. “Doc” Vrancini, the owner himself, welcomed us and shared with us a little about his restaurant, his passion, his family, and his pizza. Brothers Pizza serves up traditional NY style pizza, with perfectly formed crust, delicious homemade sauce, and fresh, flavorful toppings. I was salivating over the delicious pepperoni and sausage slice I was served by Doc, piping hot out of the oven. Due to the time limit, we kind of left Brothers Pizza hurried, but happy and excited about what we had tried. We also later learned that Doc donated the pizzas, which was a super cool touch, especially for the “new guy” on the square. But hospitality and philanthropy aside, Brothers pizza spoke for itself, and it’s crisp savory crust, made it a slice to remember, even though it was our first stop.
On to stop number two: Cadillac Pizza Pub. The buzz around me suggested that this was already a pre-chosen favorite amongst my group. We were welcomed with delicious goat cheese stuffed mushrooms (my personal favorite appetizer of the evening) and some queso dip served with fritos (probably my second favorite).
Cadillac’s pizza offerings were steady contenders in my book. With a thin, crispy crust and cut into smaller pieces, their pizza felt less heavy than those others we sampled through the night. Their All-American pizza featured pepperoni, Italian sausage, turkey Canadian bacon, local bacon fontina, and a house blend of mozzarella.
Our group’s third stop was Mellow Mushroom. To our dismay, the group ahead of us was seriously SLACKING on their time management (Tsk, tsk) , but the hostess worked quickly with other staff and the manager to get us together another large table. Major kudos for that quick recovery. We had a little bit of a wait for our food, but Mellow Mushroom was a great stop for everyone to chill for a moment, and “mellow” out.
Mellow served us two unique pizzas, the indulgent, truffle oil drizzled “Holy Shiitake” and the “Thai Dye” with grilled curry chicken, Thai chili sauce, and a surprisingly perfect crunch of cucumber. Then they brought us two more pizzas since we had to wait! Awesome all around.
Following our slight delay in order to try and let the group in front of us get ahead of us again, and thanks to my husband going ahead and checking with Sauce on the Square to see if the group had cleared out ahead of us yet, we ventured over to Sauce to nosh on two more types of pizza. They served up a rich and robust 4 cheese (goat cheese, fontina, parmesan, and mozzarella) and a so-so supreme pizza, which were alright, but their crust seemed leagues behind the three previous stops. However, I’ve dined at Sauce on the Square many times before, and never once tried their pizza. Their portobello fries and pastas are outstanding. So let’s just say I’d stick with other stuff upon return visits.
Bellies full, and leaving part of our group behind to finish some frozen cocktails without getting a brain freeze, we travelled to our last stop for the evening: Amato’s on the Square. The staff was prepared and quite organized and welcomed us upon our arrival. They improvised the seating situation and seated us quickly downstairs at a couple of tables. Service was prompt and friendly. Amato’s Italian sausage was an excellent pizza topping, but that was about the only part of the pizza I was impressed with, sadly. The crust was lackluster and sauce was nondescript. At first I thought our group just felt that way because we were full and it was our last stop, but as you’ll see, we weren’t alone in our thinking.
In closing, a huge shout out to the Andy from McKinney Wine Merchant for putting together this event and for donating the wine at the BYOB pizza joints. All proceeds went to benefit the Community Lifeline Center in McKinney.
The long-awaited results are as follows:
#1 – Brother’s Pizza
#2 – Cadillac Pizza Pub
#3 – Mellow Mushroom
#4 – Sauce on the Square