Beware the cheesy triangles of the Illuminati pizza cult

I recently hurt my ankle. No biggie, but it was enough that I needed a day off it on a sofa with some Netflix. Totally kicking and screaming, of course.

I didn’t want to get into something new or too heavy, and I wanted to pick a TV show so I wouldn’t have to think of something new to watch every two hours. So I settled on rewatching season one of “30 Rock” since it’s silly and light and I could sporadically read throughout.

Besides the jokes being a little less punchy that season than I remember, also evident was the fact that Liz Lemon and her staff ate lots of foldy New York-style pizza.

Having worked next-door to a Sbarro’s for several years, I had mixed feelings on foldy pizza. It was good for a 15-minute lunch break, but it was a disservice to local pizza loyalties.

While most Mahoning Valley residents are born and bred to prefer local pizza over chains, we are also trained to enjoy thick, cheesy, gooey pizza over its thinner counterpart.

I’ve written about local pizza fandom for Tribune Cooks (“The Value of Pie,” 1/27/10). Friends of mine had a Pizza Wars party, where everyone brought favorite pies from their hometown, and we voted in different categories.

As a Warren native, I brought a trusty Sunrise Inn pie. Brier Hill pizza is indigenous to the Valley, and its tasty mix of rich sauce and green peppers is unique to local pizza joints.

But the cheesy, foldy goodness of the “30 Rock” pizza won’t escape my visage. A quick consult with Facebook left me with a dozen pizza suggestions for a thin-crust pie, some places I haven’t tried yet. MOAR PIZZA PLZ says the lolcat section of my brain.

The Internet is probably 85 percent pizza by now. Of course, the Illuminati has something to do with the permanence of pizza in our lives: it’s a triangle, it mysterious, it amasses a loyal army. Look for the hidden pizza imagery on the dollar bill and the “Mona Lisa.”

With my remaining column inches, I will sing the song of pizzas fair, of slices brave and true:

Sunrise Inn, your crust is a recipe secret worthy of the Illuminati.

Everyone goes to Pizza Joe’s for a reason – their tasty cheese and rich sauce.

Ianazone’s, you made my years at Warren G. Harding good ones with your after-school slices.

Uptown Pizza, you are too close to my house for my own good. Primo sauce.

  • Brothers, you offer both New York-style and Sicilian, but your deep dish is the ultimate indulgence.

Avalon Gardens downtown, it’s good to have you back, and better than ever.

Wedgewood, you always remember our name and have our pie ready as soon as we walk in.

Elmton, your leftovers from my dinner last weekend were great warmed up the next day. Such yummy.

Domino’s in Champion, your carry-out special is perfect for my lunch break. If ordering online sends my pizza habits to the Illuminati, I don’t wanna be right.

  • Inner Circle at YSU fostered much love and swallowed many jukebox quarters during college.

If you try a pie at MVR, you might run into its favorite customer, Jim Tressel, who has his own tortellini there.

Cocca’s: A pizza cult I could join, a sauce you could eat by itself.

Westgate, you proved the only thing better than pizza is four pizzas. In one.

Tangiers in Struthers was a pleasant surprise. Couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of it before a year ago.

Much pizza. So cheese. Many happys. So triangles.

“Ghostbusters” was just on. Occult aficionado Dan Aykroyd has his own line of vodka he says was filtered using “spiritually charged” crystals. A triangle of magic pizza and some Illuminati vodka – get the Ghostbusters on FaceTime in case I need rescued from another dimension.

What’s your pizza loyalty? Tell me at