Elite Eight: Vote in the Ultimate Pittsburgh Pizza bracket

A Pittsburgh Pizza Expert weighs in on where you should be eating pizza right now — and offers bracket predictions.

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Incline Illustration
Rossilynne Culgan

Update, Nov. 10: Introducing the Ultimate Pittsburgh Pizza Champion: Vincent’s Pizza Park 

Update, Oct. 28:  Vote for the Ultimate Pittsburgh Pizza bracket champion

Update, Oct. 21: Final Four: Vote to show your love for Pittsburgh’s Ultimate Pizza

Best job in Pittsburgh? Pizza journalist.

For Dan Tallarico, of Lawrenceville, this moniker is his night-and-weekend gig (by day, he works in marketing at Matrix Solutions), and he takes this professional passion very seriously. On his blog Pizza Walk With Me, Tallarcio has spent six years reporting on Pittsburgh’s pizza scene and posting videos of himself dining on and describing pizza.

“I think it’s a really powerful food. It’s this comfort food that’s been part of your life when you’re happy or sad,” Tallarico told The Incline. “People are incredibly passionate about pizza. Every exciting thing in your life is punctuated with pizza. Before you even know the value of money, you know the value of pizza.”

What a poetic way to think about pizza — as a punctuation mark to life events.

Think about it: Win a Little League game? Get pizza. Complete a “Book It!” task? Go to Pizza Hut. Have a tough day at work? Have a slice (and a beer). And when it comes to places to find those slices, Pittsburgh really delivers.

“It’s great that Pittsburgh has so many awesome pizza places,” Tallarico said.

So as you can imagine, he’s got some feelings about our pizza bracket.

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Meet Dan.

Courtesy Dan Tallarico

Q: What are your thoughts on The Ultimate Pittsburgh Pizza Bracket so far?

A: “The fact that Driftwood Oven isn’t winning this thing is the biggest travesty.”

Other upsetting upsets: Spak Brothers and Slice Island both being nudged out in the first round. But the fact that this competition can even happen is a big deal to Tallarico.

“Five years ago, probably half this list didn’t exist. That’s amazing that Pittsburgh pizza has come that far.”