Wandering around Carroll Gardens with a posse of serious eaters we came across what could only be described as a pizza kiosk attached to the longstanding watering hole P. J. Hanley's. It turned out to be the slice annex of the adjoining South Brooklyn Pizza Company. Good-looking Di Fara–esque pies and slices were being made in a conventional pizza oven by a Mexican pizzaiolo, who would then hand the pizza to the P. J. Hanley's barkeep. The south-of-the-border pie man was putting three kinds of cheese—mozzarella, grana padano, and fontina—on his plain pies, along with fresh basil leaves, followed by a quick pour of olive oil.
The slices we had that day were quite extraordinary. The crust was crisp yet pliant and cooked all the way through. Discrete areas of sauce and cheese dotted each pie. (Follow-up visits, however, have revealed consistency issues; sometimes the crust is cooked properly, sometimes you encounter raw, gummy patches.)
"These look like Di Fara slices," I said to the pie man. He shook his head. He obviously didn't know Di Fara. "This is the kind of pizza I learned how to make in Mexico," he said in halting English.
So if you're looking for a fine slice in Carroll Gardens, where should you go?
To the Irish bar P. J. Hanley's, for a most excellent Mexican pizza. Makes perfect sense, doesn't it? Like Cindy Adams says, "Only in New York, kids, only in New York."
South Brooklyn Pizza to Go
451 Court Street, Brooklyn NY 11231 (at 4th Place; map) 718-852-6018