The Great Pizza Quest: By The Numbers

Yes, our pizza issue is hitting the stands right now. And in just a few short hours, we’re going to have a whole lot more pizza available for you at But in this little bit of lag between those two mileposts of greasy, sauce-stained journalistic excellence, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at just what went into the production of this singular guide to Philadelphia’s pizza scene–a by-the-numbers accounting of what we did, how we did it, and the complete eyes-wide-open insanity which lay at the center of this unique investigation into the city’s pizza-shaped culinary heart.

Pizzas Consumed: 1,110 (estimated, assuming two pies per visit per restaurant, plus return visits and multiple-pie orders)

Calories (in pizza) eaten by Philadelphia magazine staff, interns and freelancers over the past 3 months: 603,840

Staff, interns and freelancers involved in research: 30

Average caloric intake per researcher: 20,128

Recommended caloric intake per day: Women 1200, men 1800

Calories burned by food editor while writing 500-plus pizza reviews: 925 (you burn 37 calories per hour typing. The rest is just math)

Calories burned by art director while pulling out his hair over the toppings photos: 2100

Calories burned by editor-in-chief while debating appropriateness of the phrase “skeevy, dangerous hell-hole” to describe a particularly picturesque pizza restaurant: 210 (arguing burns 105 calories per hour)

Psychics consulted during research: 1

Lawyers consulted during editing: 2

Interns grossly over-used during project: 3

Homeless people consulted during project: 1

Threats of divorce made by writer’s significant others: 1 (at least)

Complete strangers entertained in writers’ homes, then forced to eat and review pizzas: 2

Total area covered (in square miles, roughly): 5,307

Miles driven/walked/cabbed during research: a billion

Meetings held specifically about the pizza project: a billion

Time (in man-hours, estimated) required to eat and critique 1,110 pizzas: 2,700

Restaurants visited: 547

Restaurants reviewed: 501