TUESDAY, APRIL 5: WE HAVE A WINNER >>>
After three weeks of voting the Weekly Volcano readers have picked the most popular pizza joint in the South Sound.
The Tournament of Pizza Championship match pitted longtime Tacoma favorite Katie Downs Waterfront Restaurant against the Westside Olympia powerhouse Apollo's Pizza & Pasta.
Yesterday's championship battle saw the most online voting before dinnertime (5 p.m.) of the tournament. Katie Downs had a commanding lead by time the voting switched to the live ballot voting at 6 p.m. during the Tournament of Pizza Party Inside The Schooner Pub in Lakewood. At the party, folks filled out pizza voting/raffle ballots when they weren't pounding beers and screaming at the televisions. The pizza voting couldn't help but supercede the ugly NCAA Men's Championship hoop game in which UConn held the Butler Bulldogs to a title-game record-low 18.8 percent shooting.
But, as promised, we tallied the on-location votes during halftime of the hoop game, which ended up dead even.
Representation from Apollo's Pizza & Pasta and Katie Downs were in the house. Apollo's arrived early with a stack of piping hot pizzas. The Olympia pizza joint passed out free slices to the crowd, showing their hospitality and their skill at pizza pie perfection. The Katie Downs crew arrived halfway through the first half of the basketball game - also sporting pizzas. The crowd didn't leave hungry. The free pizzas were a surprise to all. The Weekly Volcano would like to extend a special thanks to The Schooner Pub for being cool with the pizzas.
At halftime of the basketball game, Pappi Swarner jumped behind the bar, grabbed the house PA, and gave away 10 or so raffle prizes, most to the lucky former Clover Park High School coaching staff contingent in the house.
The Weekly Volcano staff quickly downed their drinks and tallied the ballots. After combining the ballots with its 79 percent vote lead accumulated online, the winner of the 2011 Tournament of Pizza was announced:
Katie Downs Waterfront Restaurant.
Both South Sound pizza joints will be receiving Tournament of Pizza trophies after completion of the engraving. Also, look for an upcoming feature on Katie Downs in the Weekly Volcano.
Katie Downs congratulates Apollo's Pizza & Pasta for a good battle.
Katie Downs Waterfront Restaurant staff
So it's official: Katie Downs is the winner of Weekly Volcano's 2011 Tournament of Pizza. Eat it up, South Sound.
We would like to extend a special THANKS! to al Forno Ferruzza Traditional Sicilian Cuisine for sponsoring the Tournament of Pizza. When you are in downtown Olympia, stop by al Forno Ferruzza for a slice or two.
Also a big thanks to The Schooner Pub in Lakewood for hosting our Tournament of Pizza Finals party last night. Good times.
But most of all, thanks to all the awesome folks who voted. You rock.