Wild Card Bracket, Round 1: Barbecue Pizza vs. Deviled Eggs
Is it fair to compare a barbecue pizza to deviled eggs? Maybe not. But in the Barbecue Brackets’ Wild Card Bracket, anything goes. Let’s meet the contestants!
In this corner, Coletta’s, a South Parkway stalwart since 1923, and their barbecue pizza:
And in the extreme Eastern corner, holding it down for G-Town, the Germantown Commissary’s deviled eggs:
Let’s get it on!
Coletta’s claims to be the originator of the barbecue pizza, which is entirely possible given how old the restaurant is. Whoever the evil genius was that decided to drop pulled pork onto a pizza was definitely an extreme foods pioneer. It seems like they tried to cram an entire pulled pork shoulder onto my personal-size lunch special pizza. It was impossible to eat without a fork – every time I picked up a slice, half of the meat fell off. While it could have done with a little bit more sauce (the pork was tender, but a little dry) and a bit of cheese, the overall effect was kind of amazing. It’s truly a Memphis original. (7.5 points)
There’s nothing barbecue about the Germantown Commissary’s deviled eggs, but when I was setting up the brackets, people kept insisting that I try them. I’m glad I did – they were nearly perfect. The filling was smooth and had a mustard-y tanginess. A few barely-noticeable bits of pickle added a contrasting sweetness. If these were on a table at a party, I would probably eat way more of them than would be socially acceptable. (8.5 points)
There’s something wonderful about the service at Coletta’s. It’s not that the waitresses tend to call you things like “honey” and “baby”. It’s not that they’re super friendly (occasionally, they can be borderline surly). It’s their familiarity with their customers, the way they treat everyone like a regular, the way they tease you for failing to clean your plate. The service is exactly what you’d expect from such an old school establishment: quick, efficient, a little quirky. (8.5 points )
The last time I went to Commissary, I was disappointed by the service. I was there during lunch rush, but it still felt disorganized and halfhearted. I’m glad to say that things were a little better this time – the service was fairly quick despite the huge crowd. It was still a bit absent minded, though (nothing major – just the wrong drink order and having to ask for the check a few times). (6 points)
If you’ve ever wanted to eat on the set of a mob movie, you need to go to Coletta’s. The decor seems like it’s barely changed since the restaurant opened. I recommend eating in the grotto, a blue-painted room at the back of the restaurant with stonework, statues, twinkle lights in the ceiling and girl groups playing on the stereo. (9 points)
If you’ve ever wanted to eat on a train, eat at Germantown Commissary. The dining rooms are narrow and cramped, with one big aisle running down the middle. When I was there at lunch, it was so packed that I started to question whether or not the other restaurants in Germantown were completely empty. It’s not a bad thing, though – the walls are decorated with all sorts of Germantown ephemera, and you can overhear some awesome conversations. (8 points)
Coletta’s has one of the best lunch specials in town: Your choice of lasagna, spaghetti or a one-toppping personal pizza with a salad and drink for $7.25. (8.5 points)
The deviled eggs at Germantown Commissary are a side item, and they’re priced at .30 apiece. Not bad, not bad. (8.5 points)
Coletta’s barbecue pizza squeaks by for the win with 33.5 points to Germantown Commissarys’ 31 points.