Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy has released his first ‘One Bite Pizza Reviews’ video from Syracuse – complete with biting commentary.
Portnoy toured central New York on Friday, stopping at a dozen pizza places, including Utica, for his social media series: “One bite, everyone knows the rules.” He films himself taking a bite (sometimes more), then shares his reactions and notes on social media, looking for the best slice of a popular trend that started near the offices of his sports blogging company At New York.
On Monday, “El Presidente” posted his first video of the trip with his take on Paladino’s Pizza at Northern Lights Plaza in Mattydale. Before he could participate, however, he had to do some digging at Syracuse basketball, SU football and the location of the Salt City favorite himself.
“I’ve never been up north like here, so we’ll see how it goes,” Portnoy said. “This place, by the way, is one of the worst malls as I have been in a long time. It’s just disgusting.
But Portnoy, dressed in a colorful romper, said he was surprised at how busy Paladino was.
“It was jumping in there, it was a bump, it was stuck,” he said. “People arriving, photos. Someone said the best pizza you’ll get in Syracuse is here, so we’ll see.
The pizza was hot, so he let it cool as he began to run through the list of what he knew about Syracuse sports: Gerry McNamara, Eric Devendorf, Buddy Boeheim, and Jim Boeheim. “Land of slow, sharp-shooting whites,” Portnoy joked.
He also shouted “my guy Adam Weitsman” and tried to remember the name of former Orange full-back Rob Konrad, but was unsuccessful. (He completely left out big names like Carmelo Anthony, Jim Brown, Derrick Coleman, Ernie Davis, Dave Bing and Floyd Little, but can be forgiven because he grew up in Massachusetts and attended the University of Michigan in the 90s. He then included Melo, Coleman, Hakim Warrick, Sherman Douglas and others in a list of his 10 favorite ‘Cuse players on Twitter.)
Portnoy eventually took a few bites, hailing Paladino’s pie as “good quality football pizza”.
“They don’t play football here at Syracuse anymore,” he joked. “They used to. They don’t anymore, they just play basketball.
He said the crust was a bit mushy, but couldn’t resist taking a few more bites, breaking his own rules.
“Actually, I like it. I’ll go 7.5 (out of 10),” Portnoy concluded. Donovan McNabb days… Good pizza. Paladino’s, I would never get sick of it. I could eat that all day, be very happy.
Portnoy also visited places like Apizza Regionale, Varsity Pizza, Francesca’s Pizza and Italian Kitchen, Mario & Salvo’s, and Toss & Fire Wood-Fired Pizza, as well as Purple Banana and Shirt World on the Syracuse University hill. It appeared to give higher ratings to Utica restaurants like O’Scugnizzo Pizzeria and Slice Pizzeria, but has yet to officially release those reviews.
All of his reviews will eventually be posted on Instagram (@stoolpresidente) and YouTube (youtube.com/c/OneBitePizzaReviews).
This isn’t the first time Portnoy has traveled to upstate New York in hopes of finding his new favorite pizza. The Hudson Valley Post reports that he also gave high scores to places like De Fazio’s in Troy, Bocce Club Pizza in Buffalo and Max London’s in Saratoga Springs.
Portnoy is also no stranger to Syracuse. In 2021 he helped save Mulrooney’s in Armory Square when the bar was in danger of closing permanently amid the Covid-19 pandemic; he himself called Mully owner Joe Rainone to offer payments of $6,000 a month from the Barstool Fund to cover his expenses until he could reopen for business.