A Hamburger Today
Daily Slice: Shorty's Pizza, Tucker, GA
Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.
Set in an old barn on a congested stretch of industrial-park highway, Shorty's Pizza may not immediately strike you as the home of some killer pies. But locals who haven't given it a spin are missing out on a unique taste experience.
A Modena wood-fired oven cranks out an ultra-thin crust pie that 's been dubbed "Decatur/Tucker Style," after the addresses of Shorty's two locations. After just a few moments on the deck, the underside of the crust shows heavy charring, with a cornicione that absolutely crackles.
They don't do slices, but the 10-incher equals a satisfying lunch plus leftovers. Shorty's offers 8 cheeses, and over 40 meats, veggies, herbs, and even fruits for you to go crazy with. Can't decide? Scan the diverse playlist of "signature pies," all named for musicians: B.B. King, Jack White, Chrissie Hynde, Wu-Tang Clan, etc. Some fit their namesakes (Sid Vicious is a hardcore meat-lover's, Frankie Valli has a topping that rotates throughout the Four Seasons), while others seemingly have no connection whatsoever (Elvis is a Margherita with white anchovies). And while the wisdom of eating a Weird Al Yankovic is debatable, there are some wacky pizzas here that you just won't find anywhere else.
Take the Janis Joplin. She doesn't do anything for me as a singer. As a pizza, however, I'm a big fan. It's a white pie with sliced apple, a liberal studding of bacon, rich gorgonzola, and walnuts (although the walnuts seemed to be MIA this day) atop that crisp, cracker-thin crust. I had a tough time biting cleanly through the apple; the slices tended to pull out whenever my teeth caught hold of one, but it didn't diminish my overall enjoyment of this pie.
The Janis Joplin is even served with honey, to be drizzled across the pie's surface. Shakers of grated Parm and jars of red pepper flakes need to make way for the honey squeeze bottle. This pie made me a believer in the bear. Hell, maybe I'll give Bobby McGee another chance. I'll definitely be back to Shorty's to expand my pizza (and musical) knowledge in the future.
Shorty's Pizza3701 Lawrenceville Highway, Tucker, GA 30084 (Map)
About the author: Todd Brock lives the glamorous life of a stay-at-home freelance writer in the suburbs of Atlanta. Besides being paid to eat cheeseburgers for A Hamburger Today and pizza for Slice, he's written and produced over 1,000 hours of television and is the author of Building Chicken Coops for Dummies. When he grows up, he wants to be either the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys or the drummer for Hootie & the Blowfish. Or both.