All photos Laura Hayes
All photos Laura Hayes

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I gave my co-worker Matt Cohen several shots of Bulleit Bourbon. Then I kidnapped him. Blindfolded him. And threw him in my car. The mission? Find out if jumbo slice preferences are impacted by sobriety.

We drove to four purveyors of the oversized cheesy triangles, and Cohen ranked them on the fly from one (worst) to five (best), complete with tasting notes about the cheese, sauce, and crust. Three days later he tried them sober (but still blindfolded) and ranked them once again.

Cohen says a good jumbo slice should have solid dough. “I don’t want to feel like I’m eating cardboard,” he says. “A good balance of cheese and sauce is important. And flavor. Flavor is the most important thing.”  

The results show Duccini’s as your ride-or-die when drunk and Pizza Mart as your pal when you’re stone-cold sober.

Tipsy Taste Test

First place: Duccini’s Pizza (1778 U St. NW)

Score: 5

Price: $6

“Oh man, that sauce. Really good sauce. Mmm. Good crunchy crust. Doughy but not too raw. Cheese is good. I just only want to eat this jumbo slice. Try it. That’s a damn good jumbo slice right there.” 

Second place: Pizza Mart (2445 18th St. NW)

Score: 4

Price: $5.50

“Mmmmm. That’s a hot but good pizza. Good dough. The dough is thick enough that it doesn’t just feel like I’m sopping up cheese. The cheese tastes good and not like canned. The sauce is plentiful but not flavorful.” 

Third place: Bestolli/Pizza Boli’s (2455 18th St. NW)

Score: 3 

Price: $5.50

“I like the cheese. Not a lot of sauce. Consistency of the dough is good, though it’s a little too thin for my liking. It has a really good texture, but it’s flavorless. The crust is mediocre. In fact, the sauce is pretty bullshit on this.”

Fourth place: Jumbo Pizza (1344 U St. NW)

Score: 2.5

Price: $6

“The crust is solid. I’d give the crust a four, but the sauce and cheese tastes kind of like plastic.” 

Sober Taste Test

First place: Pizza Mart

Score: 4.5

Combined score: 8.5

“Mmm that’s a better slice. It has a good amount of cheese. It’s got a lot of herbs and seasoning in the sauce.” 

Second place: Bestolli/Pizza Boli’s

Score: 3.5

Combined score: 6.5

“This is good. Again, sauce isn’t that flavorful. Good cheese. It tastes like a very generic slice of pizza. There’s nothing special about it.”

Third place: Jumbo Pizza

Score: 3

Combined score: 5.5

“Really cheesy, light on the sauce (like me today). The crust is kind of dry and stale.” 

Fourth place: Duccini’s Pizza

Score: 2.5

Combined score: 7.5

“I am not a big fan of this pizza. The cheese tastes like plastic. It doesn’t have a lot of sauce. It tastes like store-bought, almost. It doesn’t taste fresh, and the sauce is too salty.”