February 10, 2015 was a fateful day this year, for two primary reasons. The first reason was that I would be turning 20 years old. The second reason, was that Gannon was holding the annual Pizza Competition, and we all know what that means.
I arrived at Gannon’s Yehl Ballroom with the AEE (Aaron Eats Erie) crew, comprised of Edge staffer Adam Miller and my longtime lady friend, Jess Viera. There was only one glaring issue for my journalistic mission of the day: I wasn’t hungry. I mean, I could eat, but Adam and I have been eating healthier as of late (I know, ruin the whole column, why don’t I) and hitting the gym, and the idea of force-munching seven slices of pizza at 11 a.m. felt nearly unappealing. There’s even a part of me that questioned how much food would be thrown away at the event and how many people on the streets of Erie would go without food that day.
My solution was to put a few pieces in my body for substance and try small bites of everyone else’s pizza, in order not to waste. On my first outing, I took pieces from local bar Slugger’s as well as Hungry Howie’s — an honest mistake, as I’ve had Hungry Howie’s plenty of times.
Hungry Howie’s was fine, as chain restaurants often are, and their butter-cheese crust was impeccable. Slugger’s is where we really hit white, cheesy gold. Slugger’s pizza was doughy, fresh, and honestly *spoilers* my favorite pizza of the event.
From there, and this may seem like a blog cop-out, the rest of my pizza experience was a sea of good, not great food. None of it was bad, and most of it was good, but nothing hit me like that piece from Slugger’s did. To be fair, I came in with an embarrassingly small appetite, but those first two pieces did get me ready for more. The sauces were varying degrees of sweet, crusts crispy to slightly burned, but at the end of the day, I would be leaving with a single new favorite pizza joint in Erie.
Gannon’s Annual Pizza Competition is an awesome deal for students to eat an abundance of pizza for pretty cheap ($5, and they take GU Gold), as well as a great opportunity for bars and restaurants around downtown Erie to reach out to our community. Don’t take this writer’s words/appetite for it. I’m training now for two reasons: to look good for my brother’s wedding in September and to become Gannon’s primary pizza judge.