Dave Portnoy’s lost weight.
The Barstool Sports founder has eaten a slice of pizza every day for the past two years and , ironically, said he’s dropped some pounds since he started the habit. “Before, I’d order a pizza for dinner and eat the whole thing. Now I eat a slice and get it out of the way. It’s made me eat less.” But the slice-a-day practice isn’t just for fun: he also reviews each slice on camera in a series called “One Bite With Davey Pageviews.” The videos have taken on a life of their own, even outside his duties of running an online sports conglomerate. What began as a contest between friends (one eating tacos daily, Portnoy taking pizza) has grown into a cheese, sauce, crust-take monster. So in honor of National Pizza Day, we could think of no better person to offer his thoughts on how to order pizza for a big group of people, what defines a great slice, and—the ultimate question—whether Chicago or New York has the best pies.
How will you be celebrating National Pizza Day?
I’m going to this place called Pizza Barn in Yonkers. They have gigantic slices. It’s basically a slice that’s the size of a whole pie.
I’m sure people are looking forward to the review. When did you start doing the “One Bite Reviews?” Did sports get boring or something?
I was living in Boston and it was a contest with myself and Big Cat (Barstool‘s Dan Katz) and we were arguing: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be? He said tacos. I said pizza. Then we went a couple weeks and that’s all we ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I started rating the pizza and people just loved it. I started in Boston and then I moved to New York a couple of years ago, and decided I’d eat every slice in Manhattan.
Can you confidently say pizza is the best food?
Without a doubt. Everybody likes it. It’s the perfect food. It’s god’s gift to food.
When you’re going to do a review, it seems you usually find good takeaways from a slice, but what can just make a slice bad.
I mean, if it’s too floppy or super greasy. I don’t love it. Too much cheese, I actually don’t like that. It’s all in the eye of the beholder though. I’m a crust guy. If it doesn’t have good crust, I’m not a fan. But, even a bad slice is better than almost anything else.
During these past few years, has there been days where you don’t know if you can stomach another slice?
It’s not the eating. I love the eating part. When you have to travel further and further to get to these places, that’s the pain now. In a weird way, I eat less now. I’ve lost weight since I moved to New York. Maybe people should eat a slice every day.
Speaking of the Super Bowl and with March Madness coming up if you’re having a big group over how should you attack ordering pizza for the party?
If you have a big group, get a bunch of cheese pizzas. It’s the gold medal slice. If someone starts complaining, like oh you didn’t get pineapple or peppers or something, that just means they aren’t too into pizza. You judge a pizza place on their cheese slice. So, for a big group lead with the cheese. Then you can throw in a pepperoni or peppers and onions. In a big group, cheese is the first thing that disappears.
Don’t take toppings orders from people.
Well, you can. I say go five and three. Get five cheese and then get fancy with it.
If you are ordering big and get a bunch of pies, what chain would you order from?
If you’re ordering chain, you’re a person with poor taste. Everyone lives near a pizza place that’s better than a chain. They can’t stand up to a local pizzeria. And they’re almost the same price. The cost is negligible, dude. Unless you’re getting a dollar slice, there’s no real money difference between a chain and your local pizzeria.
What celebrities that have done with reviews with you were on the same level of knowledge and love?
It varies person to person. Miss Universe, Olivia Culpo, was just on and her family owns Woody’s in Boston. They have like a brick oven outside their house. She was very knowledgeable. Julian Edelman and Guy Fieri took it very seriously. Jon Taffer from Bar Rescue probably knew the most about pizza of anybody. Most people are fans of Barstool and the series so they come prepared.
Lastly, I think I know the answer to this but settle the score: Chicago deep dish or New York pizza?
I don’t do the deep dish. I’m very much on the New York side of things.