2017…we’ll take a cup of kindness yet..

2016I barely made it online in 2016, with my first post in late November.
But I’m here now..

I may not have a ton of online content to reflect upon, but I still feel obligated to
a “year’s-end” post.

Lets make this a “look ahead”, as well as “a year in review”.

So, what happened here on OCtG?
I took a wonderfully doughy, NJ Pizza Tour (NJPT’16).
I composed an OCtG Manifesto ,
and I think I’m starting to find my voice.

So, what pizza-ness did 2016 bring the 518?

We suffered through another year without an AOA Tournament of Pizza. “sadface
That’s OK…Maybe we needed a rest, time to regenerate and grow some new pizza talent (including some awesome new pizza-centric bloggers).

2016 brought us some new pizzerias and pizza styles.
Some good, some bad, some significant, others not so much.
Some will make it, some will be gone and forgotten this time next year.

Locally, we saw a small, but perhaps significant increase in wood fired ovens.
To name a few..
Restaurant Navona on New Scotland Avenue seems to have some promise. They rather quietly opened their doors and have been humbly “raising the bar” for good local pizza (and food).

Napoli Don, and their across-the-street-neighbor, Mia Lucci’s Wood-Fired Pizzeria, on Central Avenue in Colonie are touting wood fired pizza.
Mia Lucci’s boastfully claiming “#1 Best Wood Fired Pizza In Albany”
(but that’s a post for another day – remember, I’m trying to stay positive here).

and of course…
Our very own “hometown pizza hero/blogger/pizzaiolo/backyard mason”
Jon-in-Albany lit the first fire in his very own backyard WFO!
I’m expecting great things from Jon and that oven in 2017.
(YES, that was shameless flattery in hopes of a future pizza party invite).

Jon and his Masterpiece (opus de profectus)
Jon and his Masterpiece
(opus de profectus)

And, most recently, although they’re not wood fired, and barely opened before 2017, I’m very hopeful for Donna’s Italian Restaurant.
I’m sure Clark House Hospitality, and Nick Ruscitto won’t disapoint us in 2017.


But whether you recognize it or not,
2016’s most significant “518-Pizza-event” was the introduction of
Blaze pizzerias.

You may not care for their pizza, but you should still recognize their significance.
Blaze represents a shift in how we see pizza.
But this shift isn’t unique to 518, we’re actually a bit behind on this.
The local success of Blaze (and they ARE successful) represents
the 518’s acceptance that PIZZA-IS-COOL..

Pizza isn’t just for friday nights anymore.
Pizza is no longer taken for granted.
Pizza is in the midst of a rebirth.
This is a wonderful thing.

So what can we expect for 2017?
Locally speaking, 2017 is already promising some new pizza faces

The old Creo in Stuyvesant Plaza has become a Jacob & Anthony’s; another Marinello’s restaurant.
I haven’t been yet, but I see some interesting pizza on their menu and I think they’ve got a wood fired oven.
I’ll give it a try soon.

Also promised in 2017 is a national, California based chain/pizza joint (BJ’s Brewhouse),
in the old Sears Tire Center in the Colonie Center parking lot.
As they put it..”a Southern California twist on the Chicago-style pizza”
Looking at their website, I’m thinking Pizzeria Uno, but we shall see
(remember; stay positive)

Also hinted for 2017 is Uncle Maddio’s Pizza.
Ambituously promissed in three locations – Albany, Saratoga, and Troy.
As their website puts it….”The original “create your own pizza” joint”.
In my book, that distinction goes to Cosmo Kramer in June 14, 1990
(but that too, is a post for another day).
But those franchises may not actually happen;
the alleged franchisee recently opened “Which Wich”, sandwich shop on Wolf Road.
Not sure if he’ll commit to both brands.

I’m hopeful that 2017 brings a few new, independent neighborhood shops as well.

Nationally 2017 was a good year for pizza.
2016 US pizza sales were through the roof, the “big four” killed it..
(all probably somehow related to the election year)
We saw a pizza box made of PIZZA!
New Zealand saw pizza delivered via DRONE!
My Paesani in Naples broke a Guinness record for longest pizza!
Norma, (One of the sweatest women in pizza) took home
the USA Caputo Cup for “NY Style”.!
We also saw a significant rise of the fast-casual genre (blaze and others).

and of course OCtG). hit the interwebs!!
(is that one considered local, national, or international news?)

So what can 2017 expect from OCtG?

I plan on spending the winter months eating my way through the great pizzas of Troy.
I’m excited.

After Troy, maybe I’ll go see what’s happening in the Schenectady pizza world.
I imagine I’ll hit a few more NJ joints.
I completed a Boston tour a few months ago, a post has been percolating.
And, maybe a Connecticut Pizza Tour..you know, just because.

I stumbled across a cool app/website (DAYTUM) that will help track, and chart all the pizza I eat in 2017.
I expect that will make the 2017 “year’s end” post easier to write in 12 months.

Bring on the OCD.. Can I really track every slice I eat?
Bring on the OCD..
Can I really track every slice I eat?

At some point I’ll grow tired of pizza-talk and move on to other things.

I need to focus some time on the website design, and layout,
some WordPress training, SEO, site promotion, and boring techie stuff.
Maybe someday, more people than just you, and my mom will read this stuff.


I’m really hoping that 2017 gives OCtG opportunity to live up to that Manifesto.


I’ll repeat myself here…paraphrasing some of what I say in my OCtG Manifesto..

I hope in reading about my experiences and my opinions, you’ll think about your own experiences differently.
I hope together, we can determine what we each really love, and why.

I know there are a ton-o’ blogs out there, all competing for your time.
Just give me a chance, check back every now and then,
follow me on Twitter (@OneCheesetoGo), and send me your insight
(but keep your grammatical edits to yourself).

I sincerely appreciate you, and your interest im my words.
I hope 2017 treats you with kindness.

Now go eat some pizza …cheers!

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