U.S. Pizza Team (USPT) member Jamie Culliton was spinning dough in an acrobatics competition at the Pizza Expo when it happened: Dave Portnoy’s glowing review of The NONA Slice House dropped on the One Bite Pizza Review site.

“Dave Portnoy is good for business,” Culliton later told PMQ while he was still in Las Vegas. “I’m sure the guys at home are getting absolutely smashed” by One Bite fans.

Culliton’s pizzeria was frequently packed before Portnoy, who toured a number of pizzerias in the Tampa Bay area in early March, took notice of it. In fact, on the day he popped in for a visit, Portnoy remarked on the throngs of people filling the restaurant. “This place is jammed,” he said. “We’ve been to, what, 10 places? Nothing has the crowd that this place has had.”

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The lines got even longer after regional media outlets reported on Portnoy’s visit. “Business just went through the roof just because he came,” Culliton said.

Portnoy first tried Culliton’s New York-style cheese pizza, giving it a strong 7.8. “I sometimes get nervous—he’s, like, such a pizza artisan—that if I didn’t go 8, he’d slit my throat. But 7.8 is fair.” He described it as a “super standard football pizza, very down the middle, no tricks, good undercarriage.”

But Portnoy wasn’t done yet. Culliton offers a trio of pizza styles and brought out an Old World-style Margherita pizza for the influencer to try. And that one, Portnoy decided, merited a stellar score of 8.1. “This is very good,” he said. “The crisp is there….This is almost like Trenton, New Jersey, the tomato pie area, which I love because it’s crispier…This is excellent!”

Finally, Portnoy dug into a Detroit-style slice—not his favorite style, as most One Bite fans know—and pronounced it “great.” He added, “Now for me, it maxes out at 7.9 for my personal taste….If you like Detroit, you won’t find a better Detroit [pizza].”

According to Culliton, Portnoy later told him that 7.9 is “the highest [score] he can give a Detroit-style [pie] because it’s not really his style.”

Culliton added, “Every time I compete with our Detroit-style, we’re in the top 10, actually the top 7, so we’ve got one of the best Detroit pizzas in the country by far. I’ll put it up against anybody’s.”

Food & Ingredients