Can you fall in love with a pizzeria without having eaten a slice there? When it comes to Carmine's Original Pizza, I almost think you can. Check out its circa-1983 exterior — so old-school it doesn't even list the 718 in the phone number on its sign. And that's before you even see the charmingly shabby ABC Afterschool Special interior.
It's a real neighborhood place, a stripped-down and minimalist slice joint with a TV going behind the counter. Arriviste Greenpoint hipsters and longtime locals rub elbows at the bench tables squeezed in to the tiny space. Walk in and you get a reminder of, or maybe a sense of, what premillennial New York or even pre-'90s New York was like.
But, hey, of course I tried a slice there. Carmine's Original Pizza is a neighborhood favorite, one that my friends in the area have often recommended.
Sort of the opposite that other old-school NYC icon, Joe's, the slice at Carmine's Original is fairly loaded with cheese. Not too much, but enough that it overpowers the sauce a little bit. You get ample greasiness, if that's your thing, along with a tangy, slightly sharp flavor. The crust is thinner than most and perfectly crisp — after a reheat, that is. And a well-executed reheat, I might add. Not too hot, just right.
Maybe a little too cheesy overall, but a good takeaway slice.
Carmine's Original Pizza
93 Norman Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11222 (Manhattan Avenue/Leonard Street; map) 718-383-0417
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