I moved to San Francisco from New York a few months ago, and it's been fantastic. But despite it all, there's one thing I've been missing: A good New York-style slice of pizza. And I'm not talking a sit-down-at-the-table-order-and-wait-thirty-minutes type of slice. I'm talking the kind of slice that you grab on your way out of the train station or late at night while stumbling home from the bar. The kind of slice that can be hot and in your hands for a couple of bucks and a wait of no longer than five minutes. Luckily, it turns out there is great pizza by the slice in San Francisco. You've just gotta know where to look. I visited over 30 pizzerias and tasted over 40 slices of pizza to find the best in San Francisco and the East Bay.
The Latest in Pizza
Growing up in New York, I'd never eaten a meatball pizza. Pizza is for eating out, meatballs are home cooking. It wasn't until I tasted the meatball pizza at Motorino and then at Best Pizza in Williamsburg that I discovered how great the idea is. But like all mashups, there's a bit of finesse to getting it right.
Of the myriad styles of pizza we've got in this country, St. Louis-Style has got to be the most maligned.* Its thin, unleavened cracker crust bears no resemblance to the real dough that great pizza is built on. It gets loaded high with toppings that span all the way from edge to edge. It's so unbalanced that it has to be cut into squares just to be able to support its own weight. And let's not get started on that Provel cheese—if it can even be called cheese, am I right? And yet, ever since tasting for the first time I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I've finally figured out why I love it so much. St. Louis-style pizza is not pizza. It's a big, pizza-flavored nacho. Hear me out.
Every year since 2009 I've compiled a roster of eight pizzas and/or slices from the past year that I still crave weeks and months after the fact. Here's my 2014 rundown.
Kale turns crisp, sweet, and nutty when exposed to the high heat of a pizza-ready oven. In this white pie, we pair it with two cheeses (for a mix of more nutty flavor and some creamy stretchiness), plenty of garlic, and a little heat.
A couple months back I got a message from a longtime Serious Eater with an intriguing idea. We all know that copper is the king of cookware with even better conductivity than steel, right? So what would happen if we were to bake pizzas on a slab of solid copper?
Pumpkin and pizza are not the most common bandmates, but I'm gonna try and convince you that they should get together and jam out a bit more often. My proof: this sweet-yet-savory pumpkin pizza with gentle warm spices, three cheeses, and a little sage.
Last week, after publishing a recipe for a cast iron-baked, tortilla pizza, it was suggested that I just fold it in half and make it into a quesadilla pizza. What if I took that concept, and tweaked it just a bit? It gives birth to the pizzadilla (or is it a quesadizza?), that's what. This is what happens when a pizza and a quesadilla make sweet, sweet love: Cheesy, greasy, crisp-edged glory.
In the catalog of easy, cheat-y pizza recipes that start with some form of pre-baked bread base, flour-tortilla pizzas ranked pretty low on my list. But after this week, all that has changed and I'm now going to take the position that given the proper technique, a couple of tricks, and the aid of a cast iron skillet, flour tortillas are actually the best way to make quick thin-and-crisp, bar-style pizza at home.
To make the best chicken Parm sandwich, just start with the best chicken Parmesan. Our version uses a buttermilk brine for extra juiciness and flavor. We take the leftovers and pack them into a full-sized loaf of toasted ciabatta, adding some extra sauce and cheese to keep the bread moist before cutting it up into single serving slices. This is a chicken Parm sandwich so good it's almost worth making the chicken Parm fresh just for the sandwich.
Cast Iron Cooking: The Easy Pull-Apart Pepperoni Garlic Knots That Will Forever Change How You Entertain
Who doesn't like knotted bites of tender, chewy, golden-brown pizza dough that are tossed in butter with flecks of garlic and herbs clinging to the nooks and crannies? Now imagine those same garlic knots, but with flecks of crisp, spicy pepperoni worked in, along with the kind of golden brown, crusty bottom that only a cast iron skillet can impart. And let's throw in the wafting steam and moist, tender center that pull-apart breads come with, and oh, how about two different cheeses? Sound good to you?
Over the last year, we've spent a whole lot of time speaking to Jonathan Goldsmith, of Chicago's Spacca Napoli, about his amazing journey from clinical social worker to world-class pie man. Among other things, we discussed the chance encounter on a plane that changed the course of his life, the legendary pizzaioli he's studied and befriended in Naples, and the power of food to connect people. But mostly? We just talked about pie.
Damn if Atlanta didn't go and turn itself into a bona fide pizza town when no one was looking. Pie fanatics could do a lot worse than booking a flight to Hartsfield-Jackson International and immersing themselves in our city's pizzascape for a few days.
A few months back, we discovered that the waffle iron is the best way to reheat pizza. Today, we're gonna show you that it's equally good at producing ready-in-15-minute pepperoni pizza-flavored treats as well, and all it takes is four ingredients: frozen puff pastry, pizza sauce, pepperoni, and shredded mozzarella cheese.
Serious Eats is now more than seven years old, and like most seven year-olds we grow and change in spurts. Over the next few weeks and months, we're going to be making some changes at Serious Eats to focus on what we do best: helping you discover and create great food experiences. Here's what to expect.
We're all here because we love pizza: the taste, the smell, the people who make it (or making it ourselves) and the friends we eat it with, the ingredients that go into a good pie and the sight of a piping hot slice. But when did you fall for it?
Tucked in with a smoke shop, a car stereo dealer, and a vendor of coins and firearms, Campania is pumping out top 10 list-caliber pies and may just be the best-kept pizza secret in town. For now.
Some pie-centric highlights from the SubReddit, Drunken Cookery.
Get your pizza fill with these newsworthy bites.