If you come for the Pizza Baby, you best not miss. That’s what a food critic learned the hard way this week.

Timothy DePeugh, food critic for Queen City Nerve, an alt-weekly paper in Charlotte, North Carolina, published a scathing review of Pizza Baby, one of the newest darlings of the city’s food scene, on February 12. The nearly-2,000-word screed declared Pizza Baby’s “so-called concept is inherently flawed,” and went on to say “day-old chewing gum has more complexity and certainly more flavor” than the shop’s burrata.

According to DePeugh, Pizza Baby purports to make “modern NY-style pizza” in the Queen City. This is the biggest issue DePeugh seems to have had is what he calls the inauthenticity of Pizza Baby’s product: Pizza Baby’s slices have flop to them that he said true New York-style pizza should not possess. The taste of the pizza, however, also bothered him.

Related: From Ex-Presidents to DA Races, This Pizzeria Gets Political

A pizza by Pizza Baby, which goes for a "modern NY-style" pie.

“If you’re going to use social media to trick Charlotteans into thinking that you’re serving something as sacred as NY-style pizza,” DePeugh wrote, “then at least make it taste good.”

As was first noted by Axios Charlotte, fans of Pizza Baby were not pleased with DePeugh’s treatment of the already beloved shop that first opened its doors in August 2023. Commenters flooded the publication’s social media channels to let their opinions be known.

“I love Pizza Baby,” one commenter wrote. “Never had a bad bite in the half dozen times I’ve gone. Also never had any impression that they were trying to be anything other than a neighborhood spot that happens to serve good pie alongside everything else on the menu.”

“Why attack a small locally owned business in such a nasty ugly way,” another chimed in. “[I’m] so over it. Build people up. Constructive criticism is more helpful [in] a society that is crumbling economically, especially in small establishments like this.”

The publication defended itself against the angry commenters, estimating that “99% of its food reviews” are overwhelmingly positive, and saying that their food critic “reserves the right to publish a negative one every once in a while.”

Editor-in-chief Ryan Pitkin told Axis Charlotte, “we stand behind [DePeugh’s] writing,” and added that the critic’s opinion of Pizza Baby didn’t necessarily align with everyone at the newspaper.

DePeugh’s opinions weren’t the only thing under fire, however. Many critiqued the way the piece was written, accusing it of being long, rambling and lacking cohesion. It’s true, there are times when DePeugh is taking shots at social media influencers in Charlotte and even at the idea of partaking in a sober January.

“A good review should make you think,” former Charlotte Observer food critic Kathleen Purvis wrote in response to DePeugh’s review, as first reported by Axios Charlotte. “It shouldn’t make you think you need to burn a person at the stake for daring to write it.”

A burrata appetizer with bread.

As for Pizza Baby, co-owner Trey Wilson told Axios Charlotte that he thought the piece was “poorly written” and “hateful,” but that the story has stayed “very busy” in the meantime.

There was no word as to whether or not Wilson and his team were taking their popular floppy pizza off the menu—we’ll assume they won’t be.

Pizza News