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It's a big, wide pizza world out there. And as much as we'd love to be everywhere at once, such feats remain stubbornly limited to the realm of imagination. What better way to bridge the divide than by asking you, dear readers, to tell us what's great?
The good, the bad, and the ugly in pizza this week.
Opened just over a year ago, Best Pizza has fast become one of our favorite pizzerias in New York, and yeah, it's mostly because they serve some of the tastiest by-the-slice stuff around. Since opening the shop, the menu has expanded ever-so-slightly to include sandwiches and a single salad. But man, oh man what good sandwiches those are. Check out everything they've got on the menu.
As a writer for the people, I often try and suppress my inner pizza snob. I try and pretend that all pies are created equal, and that there is goodness to everything on a crust. Sometimes I even manage to convince myself. After all, if tens of thousands of people enjoy eating buffalo chicken pizza, there's got to be something good about it that I'm missing, right? Well today, I'm letting diplomacy take a little breather and laying out a few of my hard and fast ground rules about pizza toppings.
Here's the tweet that inspired this post:
Yes, @alexandrak, such a post does exist, and if your boyfriend finds what I'm about to write all TL;DR, he can check it out: The 10 Best Pizzas in NYC » That's a solid list, no doubt. And if his NYC pizza research stops there, I'm sure he'd be happy. But I think simply dropping a best-of list on a New York newbie does him a bit of a disservice. After all, he's moving to a pizza mecca. I think a little context is in order.
If you were at Sandwich Fest two weeks back, you most likely picked up an amazingly delicious meatball sub from Best Pizza. After running into Pizza Obsessive alum amusebouche1 at the festival, I couldn't get those hot seat questions out of my mind. Luckily, I was able to find a willing interviewee in pizzaiolo and Best Pizza (reviewed here) owner Frank Pinello.
When deciding on this list, certainly history, setting, and pedigree had an impact, but in the end, it was all about the flavor. We didn't care whether the joint was 80 years old, or 8 months old, as long as they served a tasty pie. And here they are. Our favorite pizzas in the city. A mix of the old, a mix of the new, a representation of most of the boroughs, a bit of something delicious for everyone.
Williamsburg's Best Pizza has been getting a fair amount of attention for its pizza (oh, and these guys liked it, too). But head pizzaman Frank Pinello says he doesn't listen to the hype. He says that if he's doing something right—or something wrong—his customers will tell him about it personally. Seeing how we can't get enough of the Pickled Vegetable Pizza—and everything else served at Best Pizza—I'd say he's doing something very right. So right, in fact, that I raced over to Best to learn how to make the pickled veg for this awesome pie. This is a pickling recipe and pizza recipe in one—the best of both worlds!
When: Monday, January 24, 2010, at 7 p.m.
Where: Best Pizza, 33 Havemeyer Street, Brooklyn NY 11211
Cost: $125 per person for 3-hour class; sign up here »
[Photograph: Adam Kuban] "That's one hell of an oven these guys are working with. Wish I could cook in something like that," said dmcavanagh in a comment on my Best Pizza review today. What I didn't show you all, though, is the surplus oven real estate that extends into the Best Pizza backyard area. You can see it above. That's all oven, folks. Unused oven. See, that's an old coal-fired bakery oven. The back half of it, which extends about 15 feet into Best's backyard, is walled off from the portion that's actually used. (Best Pizza uses wood, too,...
[Photographs: Adam Kuban] Best Pizza 33 Havemeyer Street, Brooklyn NY 11211 (North 7th/North 8th streets; map); 718-599-2210; best.piz.za.com Getting there: Closest train station is Bedford Avenue L train Pizza style: Somewhere between New York–style and Neapolitan-American Oven type: Wood-fired oven cooks the pizza, with reheats done in a small gas-fired oven The skinny: Backed by the folks behind Brooklyn Star and Roberta's, Best Pizza makes use of an old bakery oven to make some really great wood-fired pizzas that defy easy categorization Notes: Best Pizza has recently started delivering its pizzas; I know where I'm calling next time I'm...