Arbutus Library hosts 'Pizza Wars'

Pizza does not immediately come to mind when thinking about a library.

Chances are, video games aren't often associated with facilities known for shelves of books and constant reminders for "Quiet!"

"This isn't your grandmother's library anymore," said Arlene Barry, a librarian at the Arbutus Library.

Tuesday afternoon, the library on Sulphur Spring Road hosted "Pizza Wars," during which 15 young judges tasted six different types of cheese pizza donated by Arbutus area restaurants.

The event culminated the library's weekly teen gaming program for ages 11-17 to play video games in a supervised environment every Tuesday.

"We were trying to find a way to really kick up our teen gaming numbers," Barry said. "We thought teens (and) food."

Laura Wilson, 12, a sixth-grader at St. Agnes Catholic School in Catonsville, was among the judges drawn to the event by the name.

"Pizza is good," she said.

Luckily for everyone, Arbutus offers a vast selection of pizza joints, many of them along East Drive, the town's main road that a short distance from the library.

"I wanted to see which I liked the best, so if I ever wanted to get pizza I know," the Arbutus resident said.

The judges sat at two tables in the library's meeting room area, tasted one slice from each of six large cheese pizzas.

They were asked to choose one for best cheese, best sauce, best crust and best overall pizza from those labeled A through F.

Wilson said she liked pizza A the best.

"I think it has the most of everything, sauce and cheese and everything," she said.

Pizza A was donated by Pizza Boli's.

Darius Alexander said he liked pizza F the best, based on gut instinct.

"That's just one thing you just know," said the 15-year-old freshman at Lansdowne High.

"You just feel it in your taste buds," he said.

He said pizza is his favorite food and that "the combination of sweet and spicy" of pizza F made it stand out from the rest.

He was not alone in his choice.

Pizza F, by Pizza Paradise, was the resounding winner of the group over pizzas from Pizza 786, Mike's, Domino's, Sorrento of Arbutus and Pizza Boli's.

That the Pizza 786 was, surprisingly, voted almost unanimously as the least favorite took some by surprise.

"The rumors I heard was that it was amazing," Darius said of 786.

Barry said the May 7 event was a great success, meeting the library's goal to get teens and younger kids more involved at the facility.

"Teen gaming is a way for us to continue outreach with our teens," she said. "Part of the library's mission is to create a lifelong reader.

"That's why we kind of did the big send off kind of thing," Barry said of pizza wars.

"It's a relationship builder," she said.

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