Daily Slice: Baggio's, Fort Lee, NJ
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.
It's highly doubtful that Baggio's has ever advertised itself as "the place to go if you've just had dental work done!" But if the longtime Fort Lee counter spot and BYOB restaurant ever decides it needs a new slogan, it can certainly deliver on that promise.
I was on deadline for so many things and couldn't miss my pizza date with the Bergen County standby (which expanded into the next-door space in 2011), even though a shiny new chomper had been installed in my grill just a few hours ago. But hey, I could still taste, even if I figured I'd be knife-and-forking it through the crust.
Turns out I shouldn't have worried. A Margherita slice ($3) came out of the deck oven floppier than a straw sun hat that got caught in a freak summer thunderstorm, with a crust so soft I wondered for a second if it had even been cooked through completely. Disappointment mingled with relief when I realized this was something I could sink my teeth into, even with freshly installed fake teeth.
The sauce was fresh and studded with crushed tomato bits, though I caught the counter guy lobbing mozzarella cubes—not fresh slices—onto a pizza in progress. And the sad, lone sprig of basil that decorated my slice seemed more of an afterthought than an artistic decision.
A serviceable slice was redeemed by the garlic knots I added onto my order on a whim. Fragrant and yeasty, slicked with butter, fresh minced garlic, and a healthy sprinkle of parm, it blew the pizza out of the water. Baggio's is known for its thin crust, but I'll leave the wan slice behind next time I'm stopping through and go straight for the knots.
About the author: Casey Barber is the editor of Good. Food. Stories., a freelance food writer, and a transplanted Pittsburgher making the most of the Garden State. Find her on Twitter: @GoodFoodStories