PLAINVILLE - Pizzas flew off the tables at the Plainville Chamber of Commerceâ€™s Pizza Feud Thursday, but after all the participants had their taste, Dâ€™Marieâ€™s Pizza came out on top.
The VFW was packed with about 150 pizza connoisseurs munching on sample slices from local eateries but, ultimately, the peopleâ€™s choice for Best Overall was Dâ€™Marieâ€™s.
â€śIt feels very good to win best overall,â€ť said Rose Borges of Dâ€™Marieâ€™s. â€śI was very surprised.â€ť
Other category winners were decided by a panel of judges: Assistant Town Manager Shirley Osle, Kevin Connellan of Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Center, Peggy Lee of the Rotary Club and Bob Frazee of Thomaston Savings Bank.
Best Meat Pie went to West Main Pizza.
Best Cheese Pizza was awarded to Vero Pizza.
Best Specialty Pizza was claimed by First & Lastâ€™s broccoli rabe pizza.
Best Crust was won by Pizza Pie.
Best Sauce was earned by Mangiaficoâ€™s.
Participants included Dâ€™Marieâ€™s, First and Last Tavern, Mangiaficoâ€™s, Pizza Pie, Vero Pizza and West Main Pizza.
Agnes Kaleodis, who has owned West Main Pizza with husband Pete for 48 years, brought out cheese, meat lovers, an opa opa Greek pizza and chicken scampi pizzas.
â€śWe love to do this,â€ť she said. â€śIt gives people a chance to try our pizza. A lot of our customers like getting together at the restaurant. Everybody knows each other like family members.â€ť
Sal Mangiafico of Mangiaficoâ€™s brought out a â€śgrandma pizza,â€ť a white pizza, a meat loverâ€™s pizza, a spinach and ricotta pizza and a veggie pizza.
â€śWe were here the last time this was held,â€ť he said. â€śWeâ€™ll be here as long as we have stuff to give away.â€ť
Mangiafico said that people like the thick crust of his Sicilian-style pizza and the â€śtop shelfâ€ť ingredients.
Rose Borges came to the Pizza Feud representing Dâ€™Marieâ€™s Pizza, which she said is run by her mother Danielle and Freddy Orellana, a friend of the family.
â€śItâ€™s a good opportunity to get our pizza out there,â€ť she said.
Dâ€™Marieâ€™s brought out a chicken fiesta, a veggie, a cheese and a meat lovers pizza.
Nicole Lavoie, manager at Pizza Pie, said she is excited for people to try their pizza. Pizza Pie brought a cheese, buffalo, meat lovers and margarita pizza.
â€śPeople love the wood-fired taste,â€ť she said.
Christina Pascale, manager of First & Last in Plainville, brought out pepperoni, cheese, eggplant, broccoli rabe and barbecue chicken.
â€śPeople like us because weâ€™re so traditional,â€ť said Pascale. â€śOur first location opened in 1936 in Hartford and we have the same recipe. We have five locations and the owner of our location also owns Avon and Glastonbury.â€ť
Geoff Bergen, manager at Vero Pizza, brought put a cheese, meat lovers, margarita and toscana pizza. He said people love the â€śquality ingredients and good sauce.â€ť
â€śWeâ€™re excited to be here and weâ€™re excited that the Pizza Feud is back in business,â€ť said Bergen.
The event drew many first-time participants eager to try Plainville pizza.
Ron and Corrine Willard came to the pizza feud for the first time this year. They said they had been to Dâ€™Marieâ€™s Pizza and West Main before.
â€śWeâ€™re looking forward to it,â€ť said Corrine Willard. â€śSome friends are coming down to meet us here and we decided to give it a shot.â€ť
The Willards both said their favorite pizza topping is sausage.
Joan and Paul Fournier of Bristol came to the event to support the VFW.
â€śWeâ€™re from Bristol and after we saw it in the Bristol Press we decided to come here to support them,â€ť said Joan Paulette. â€śWe havenâ€™t had Plainville pizza before so weâ€™re sampling.â€ť
Tori Companik and Gary Berman said they had just moved to Plainville a year ago and it was their first time at the pizza feud.
â€śWe came here from Milford and havenâ€™t been to any Plainville pizza places yet,â€ť said Companik. â€śThis is a good opportunity to try everything.â€ť
Frank Battista said he really liked Mangiaficoâ€™s veggie pizza.
â€śIt just melts in your mouth,â€ť he said. â€śTake it from an overweight Italian - itâ€™s good.â€ť
Kelli Bigelow was also a first-time participant.
â€śIâ€™ve always wanted to come to this,â€ť she said. â€śItâ€™s a great way to try local pizza places.â€ť
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-974-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.