Pizza bagels -- even the tiny, frozen snack variety of your childhood -- are so stupidly, insanely good that there's a strong chance you're too busy eating the crap out of them to ever stop and wonder about how they fit the traditional definition of pizza. Enjoying delicious pizza bagels shouldn't involve much critical thought. Whether pizza bagels are technically pizza is an important question better left to pizza experts... you know, because we all need to know now.
In a new episode of Thrillist's original series, Really Dough?, host Scott Wiener dives mouth-first into the debate with co-host and noted pizza purist Mark Iacono of Brooklyn's Lucali pizzeria. Scott finds perhaps the ultimate pizza bagel at Baz Bagels in New York City's Little Italy. The melty masterpiece is made with Baz's garlic bagel, Di Palo tomato sauce, grande mozzarella cheese, and shredded basil on top. After taking a few bites, Scott admits the pizza bagel has the three core ingredients every real pizza should have: dough, sauce, and cheese. But when it comes to the dough requirement, the garlic bagel is throwing him off -- despite how delicious it is. Is it a pizza, or is it a bagel?
Unable to bring himself to declare it pizza, Scott brings another pizza bagel over to Mark's Brooklyn kitchen, so he can weigh in. Remember, Mark's definition of pizza is strict -- "You walk into a pizzeria, the smell should punch you in the face. Sauce, cheese, and dough." -- so the pizza bagel's chances are already pretty slim. He nonetheless agrees to try the pizza bagel, and well, his initial reactions aren't promising.
"It tastes... like a bagel with sauce and cheese," he says. Check out the episode (shown above) for his verdict.