It's no secret I'm a fan of most of the content by Barstool Sports and have been for years.  I actually look forward to this time of year because that's when Barstool President Dave 'El Prez' Portnoy (the pizza review guy) comes to the Capital Region for a good portion of the summer.

Dave spends many days at the track, nights at Saratoga bars and restaurants on Caroline Street, and any free time he has left doing reviews of the hidden pizza gems in our backyard.

Say whatever you want about Portnoy some find him crass, cocky, and obnoxious to say the least, but there's one thing about this guy you can't deny; what he has done for mom-and-pops across the country is the stuff of legends and will be talked about for generations.

But not just his pizza reviews.  The Barstool Fund that he created during the pandemic has raised over 41 million dollars for over 440 small businesses that were literally weeks, even days away from having to close up shop when Covid hit.

Just ask Frankie Scavio owner of Paesan's Pizza about that.  While Scavio's business was never in jeopardy of going under, Frankie says that Portnoy's frozen pizza review of their pie during the pandemic "changed his family's life."

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Scavio said that pizza sales after Portnoy's review went through the roof and crashed his website.  Overnight, they were shipping frozen pies internationally.

Recently, Portnoy visited Paesan's Pizza at their Latham store to give their fresh pie a review. The best part of this review wasn't the score, it was the fact that Portnoy -  in a hurry to make it up to the track -  waited for Frankie and his family to fly up to Latham to meet and greet the man who Scavio hails as a hero.




But it was Portnoy's review of DeFazio's in Troy that blew my mind - and probably theirs as well.   I've watched hundreds of his pizza reviews and I think I've seen him score pizza higher than this maybe 3 or 4 times.  Side note: I can't believe I've never eaten it before - that needs to change.

Anyway, back to Portnoy.

He basically put DeFazio's on his Mt. Rushmore of pizza saying that he'd rather sit and eat their food outside in Troy than Napa Valley.  A bit of an exaggeration perhaps, but who cares, Portnoy knows what he's doing.  When he visits a place and gives even a mediocre score, the business sees a 10-15% pop in sales.

So what's the impact of a Portnoy review and score like the one he gave DeFazio's?  That's yet to be determined, but for a place where hungry patrons gladly will wait an hour or two for their meal, I would think the wait this weekend might be longer.

But after watching this review, I'm ready to fire up their website (assuming it hasn't crashed) and order up half of the menu.  Props to Dave for not only supporting and saving local businesses but for inspiring my Friday night fat face food journey.

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