FEDERAL HILL PIZZERIA BOB & TIMMY’S makes one of the five best pizzas in the United States, according to the June issue of GQ magazine. COURTESY BOB & TIMMY’S
By Denise Perreault
PBN Staff Writer
NEW YORK – Who has the best pizza in America? That’s up for debate, but Providence is certainly among the contenders.
Award-winning food writer Alan Richman, writing on his blog and for the June issue of GQ, ranked Providence fifth among the “Top 10 Pizza Cities” in the U.S.
Richman ranked the pizza served at two Providence eateries as among the 25 best pies in the nation: Bob & Timmy’s at 32 Spruce St. and Al Forno Restaurant, 577 South Main St.
Richman said he traveled more than 20,000 miles to sample almost 400 pizzas in more than 100 restaurants around the country to research his article. Providence ranks fifth in his assessment of the Top 10 Pizza Cities, behind New York, San Francisco, Detroit and Chicago.
The wood-grilled spinach and mushroom pizza at Bob & Timmy’s, owned by Jose Sanchez and Rick Remeika, came in a more-than-respectable fifth on Richman’s list of the 25 best pizzas.
“The crust appeared too skinny to be interesting, but it seemed about the best flatbread I’d ever eaten,” Richman writes. “The vegetable toppings were remarkably fresh … the pie I loved most had three cheeses, the dominant one being feta, which adds tang and saltiness.”
Ranked ahead of Bob & Timmy’s were pizza pies in Chicago, Brooklyn, San Francisco and Phoenix, in that order. Richman discussed the pizza at Bob & Timmy’s on a May 22 broadcast of NBC’s Today Show in a segment hosted by Al Roker.
At Al Forno, owned and operated by Johanne Killeen and George Germon, the “grilled pizzas are more than legends; they’re beauties,” Richman said, ranking Al Forno 18th on his list.
“Our roasted eggplant pie consisted of creatively arranged toppings on a flat and irregularly shaped crust … dabs of impossibly delicious tomato sauce intensely flavored with eggplant … and shreds of mild, bright scallions that added a feathery texture,” he said.
In an introduction to his rankings, Richman wrote about the seven distinct kinds of pizza, such as deep-dish, stuffed and pan. He calls grilled pizza, which he noted was invented at Al Forno, “the most curious of all” and “too wonderful to be dismissed as a regional peculiarity.”