Dave ‘El Presidente’ Portnoy, right, congratulates Coast to Coast manager Anthony Ludovici-DeBrigida on his shop’s 7.7 score. CONTRIBUTED.

On Jan. 11, Marathon’s Coast to Coast Pizza Company received an unexpected visit from Dave “El Presidente” Portnoy, founder of the popular sports and pop culture media company Barstool Sports. 

In recent years, the self-professed “media mogul” has drawn national attention for his “One Bite” pizza reviews, in which he travels the country sampling pies from highly-recommended eateries – even launching a dedicated smartphone app in the process. 

Portnoy sampled the shop’s basic cheese pie, awarding it a score of 7.7 on his notoriously difficult 10-point rating scale. Praising the “good, quality football pizza that you could never get tired of,” he clarified that his rating pitted the shop against renowned eateries in New York City before closing with a final bold statement.

“I defy anybody to find better pizza in the Florida Keys than what I just found.”

Some online commenters and friends of the eatery speculated whether “El Pres,” an avid New England Patriots fan, subconsciously deflated his score after viewing Philadelphia-based general manager Anthony Ludovici-DeBrigida’s tattoo: a piece depicting Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham’s game-clinching sack of then-Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in Super Bowl LII. The tattoo inspired Portnoy to humorously use a colorful string of obscenities to describe Ludovici, none of which can be printed in this newspaper.

The review has garnered nearly 3 million views across various social media platforms since its online debut on Jan. 19. In the days since, Coast to Coast has reported its highest-grossing sales days since it first opened in the spring of 2022, selling out of all available pizzas several times. 

It’s opportune timing, as the shop was forced to close its doors for more than four months due to building repairs with several lengthy construction and inspection delays. It reopened on Dec. 30, just 12 days before Portnoy’s visit.

Portnoy’s most recent trip through the Keys also included stops at Tavernier’s Enrico’s Pizza and KRUST, Key Largo’s The Pizza Slice and Big Pine Key’s No Name Pub.

Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.