The Original Pappas Pizza (not to be confused with Pappas Pizzeria) is located in the heart of Stamford downtown. Known for its signature 10" personal pies, its perpetual buy five, get one free promotion, and its offering of half cooked pies for your home baking enjoyment, The Original Pappas is quick to distance itself from "its imitator's recipes and/or practices." Pappas claims to be "The ORIGINAL AND BEST," and as a public service, we're determined to verify at least the latter of those claims.
Establishment. Pappas boasts a diverse menu with pasta dishes, wedges, and appetizers in addition to its signature pizzas. Incidentally, they also boast a hallway-sized dining room with cramped tables that can barely handle a large pizza, let alone a party of three or more. Cleanliness is questionable as Pappas relies on its loyal patrons to bus their own tables and doesn't put on a big fuss if they do a mediocre job (how nice of them). On the way to the restroom, situated in a remote back corridor, one might notice a conspicuous shower curtain obscuring what looks to be cleaning equipment, but may easily be an organ trafficker waiting to hack you to death and harvest your kidneys. But seriously, try the pizza.
Pizza. Pappas' pizza is pretty good. The pan crust is buttery and golden brown while the sauce is very flavorful and perfectly portioned. The cheese is average, but it cools far earlier than the rest of the pizza (notably the painfully hot sauce) and thus lends itself to one of the many texture issues that plagues this pie. This pizza was also overwhelmingly greasy to the point where the second slice was noticeably less crispy than the first because it became so soaked with oil (if that's your thing, that's not necessarily bad). These issues might be avoided by ordering two or three of Pappas' small (10") pies, which are admittedly better. The meatball topping was obviously once a meatball, as it carried the unique flavor that one cannot get out of ground beef and was rather tasty. Hot out of the oven, Pappas' pizza is respectable, but as it loses temperature and starts stewing in its own grease, weird things may happen.
The bottom line. Pappas has pretty good pizza if you eat it quickly, and—as the less than inviting atmosphere suggests—you will.
Hits the Spot: 6/10
Large Cheese: $10.75