Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A tale of two pizzas: Sbarro NYC vs. Sbarro Prague

While in New York in June photographing businesses for Nelso, I was walking down 34th Street and came across a Sbarro. Knowing that there are now Sbarro locations in Prague, I decided to stop in for a slice to see how it compared to the pizza they serve in Prague.

While eating, I tweeted about it, thinking that the author of a popular food blog in Prague might be interested in such a head-to-head comparison. However, I had to admit that I didn't really remember exactly how the Sbarro pizza in Prague tasted, and so would need to try the Prague version again before rendering a final verdict.

Soon after, I was back in Prague, and headed over to the Sbarro location in the Flora mall to complete my taste test. I ordered the same thing I ordered in New York (a slice of pepperoni), and added a slice of deep-dish because I couldn't resist. I sat down in the dining area of the food court, took a sip of my Diet Coke, and braced myself for the disappointment of eating a lame imitation of NYC pizza in Prague.

But the facts are that the slice of pepperoni pizza I had at Sbarro in Prague was very similar to the one I'd had in New York. So similar, in fact, that I don't think a New Yorker would have noticed the switch if I'd served the Prague version on 34th Street. There can be slight differences pizza-to-pizza and day-to-day even at the same location, but if you still believe that the Sbarro pizza in the U.S. is markedly better than the Czech version you're probably romanticizing the version in the United States.

So, if you're looking for a slice of New York-style pizza in Prague, the Sbarro in Prague might work. Of course, Sbarro is not the best of the NYC pizzas (try this list), and it's a particular style that won't appeal to many Europeans (especially the deep-dish versions), but I'll be back for more when I'm in the area.

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