'Bar pie extravaganza': Portnoy visits Buddy's, Damien's, J's Flying Pizza, Ultimate
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy has been making the rounds throughout the South Shore and now the Brockton area.
Since posting his review of Stoughton's Denneno's Pizza on Dec. 20, ahead of the business' late-December closure after nearly 70 years in operation, many of Portnoy's reviews have been at area establishments.
Portnoy has done hundreds of pizza reviews for his One Bite Pizza Reviews, a YouTube channel with over 1.17 million subscribers, over the last decade. His first recorded review was of Town Spa Pizza in Stoughton.
Now, Portnoy typically releases a review video every weekday and each one garners hundreds of thousands of views.
Portnoy, in one of his videos, called his recent ventures a "bar pie extravaganza," with most of the current videos featuring businesses offering bar-style pizza.
"You're going to need a mathematician's hat to figure out how I'm scoring these pizzas versus each other, because I'm taking the people into account, I'm taking the places into account and I'm taking the pizzas into account," he said.
Here's what he had to say during some recent reviews of Brockton-area pizza places.
Buddy's Union Villa pizza 'really good'
Timing was not great for Portnoy when he visited Buddy's Union Villa in Easton, in a video released on Jan. 12.
A large group of young Hingham athletes were finishing up lunch at the Easton restaurant as Portnoy picked up his cheese pizza to review.
"These Hingham kids have reinforced my decision not to have kids, times 1,000," he said.
The children gathered outside Buddy's as Portnoy tried to review the pizza, often being louder than him talking on video.
"I love the looks of that," Portnoy said as he opened the pizza box.
"This is really good," he said after his first bite, trying to concentrate despite the noise of the kids.
Portnoy said it was hard to think to give a score, but ultimately gave an 8.2.
'Pizza is very good' at Ultimate Pizza in Easton
Bar-style pizza is what they do at Ultimate Pizza on Turnpike Street in Easton.
The business' logo makes mention of it and the website states the restaurant is known "for our famous bar-style pizza."
Portnoy says bar pies are his second favorite type behind the style found in New Haven, Connecticut.
"It's one of those bar pie places without the bar," Portnoy said in the video posted on Jan. 11. "That is anti-style points."
At first glance, Portnoy liked the look of Ultimate's pie, but said it needed "a little more crisp."
"This one is not old and cool at all, it's just churning out bar pies. There's no atmosphere to speak of," Portnoy said. "But the pizza is very good."
All things considered, he gave Ultimate an 8.1.
'I love this guy': Portnoy rates J's Flying Pizza in Bridgewater
Portnoy visited one of the more unique local bar pie businesses, J's Flying Pizza on South Street in Bridgewater, in a video posted on Jan. 10.
The business, which opened in 1974, operates out of a garage.
"It's weird, because it looks like the guy's doing it out of his house," Portnoy said.
But he was immediately impressed by the pizza once he opened the box.
"This is how I like it – charcoaled, well done, the crisp," he said.
Portnoy said he was even more impressed with owner Stephen Yannone's story.
Yannone told Portnoy that he donated about $900 to the Barstool Fund during the COVID-19 crisis. Portnoy created the fund to help small businesses impacted by the pandemic.
"When you were doing that, I thought that was the best thing ever," Yannone told him. "It took me three months to do it, but I had my nephew send it in. I said, tell him if we can, we're going to do $200 for the next three months. And we did. I think what you did was awesome."
Portnoy said it was "crazy" because it was clear Yannone didn't just have $1,000 laying around to give at one time.
"He's working his ass off out of the side of his house, slinging pizzas on a Sunday," Portnoy said. "To save up to donate because you want to help other small businesses during COVID, I think that speaks for itself."
Taking a few quick bites from the driveway, Portnoy gave an 8.1.
"I love this guy, I love his story," he said.
'Bar pie vibes' at Damien's Pub in Hanson
Portnoy visited Damien's Pub on Spring Street in Hanson in a video posted on Jan. 9.
"You can tell it's bar pie, bar pie vibes, but newer," he said of the restaurant that opened in 1998.
At first look, Portnoy said it appeared the Damien's pie had less grease than some of the others. He's known to use a napkin to wipe some of the grease off the top of pizzas.
"Tiny little slices, I love it," he said. "It's good."
Portnoy said that you can really tell if he's going to love a pizza based on the char.
"Give me the char," he said. "This one's missing it, but it's still great."
It was a 7.9 for Damien's.
Enterprise senior reporter Cody Shepard can be reached by email at email@example.com.