Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Better Pizza

After reading about Best Pizza in the former Brooklyn Star space (it's being "backed" by Joaquin Baca and Roberta's) on Chowhound for the past few weeks, I was determined to try a slice on my next trip to Williamsburg. Bold assertions aside, I wanted more information, yet Google searches for "Best Pizza" proved fruitless (no, I've already been to Best Pizza on First).

Then, earlier this week, Adam Kuban weighed in (very positively) on Slice, complete with a full background (mentioned above). This, coupled with the concurrent realization that the courts were closed for Election Day meant a trip to Williamsburg (on what felt like the first day of Winter) was inevitable.

Before going any further, I just want to say that I've been on a massive pizza kick lately-- so my pizza taste buds were in full effect (that means absolutely nothing, I know).

After waiting around for their 2:00 PM opening by drinking endless cups of coffee and catching up on work, I finally made my way to the quiet block where Best Pizza sits. Inside is mostly white punctuated by similarly white paper plates hanging on the walls. Each plate has an "inspirational" drawing done by pizza fans. Three guys were standing in front of the massive oven, shooting the breeze and making pizzas while blasting Biggie (and other 90's gangsta' rap). My kind of place. Before ordering, I reached to pour what I thought was a glass of water but turned out to be a Bud Light. The pizzaman said I had to drink it--OK, maybe I shouldn't have negligently poured all head (but it went down easy regardless).

Regrouping, I ordered the classic slice. Pliable, yet firm-- with no tip sag. It could maybe use a touch more sauce, but I'm really just searching for some way to criticize an otherwise fantastic slice. The regular slice reminded me of my one experience with Joe & Pat's in Staten Island (but unlike theirs, this was wood-fired), with it's thin, slightly crispy (almost crackery), chewy crust.

I love adding anchovies to sauces, but their use in the tomato sauce atop the Grandma pie was a revelation. It was also, as expected, greasier and heavier than the regular slice, but still chewy and firm like the regular pie.

Round 2. After finishing the first two slices, a white pie came out of the oven and I honed in on this beauty.

Caramelized onions added sweetness to the mild ricotta. Everything is elevated by the addition of toasty sesame seeds. Loved this slice as well.

For NY slices, they were almost completely grease free. Some might find them dry (not me). They seem to have pre-solved this issue, however, offering a mildly spicy oil to add as much grease as needed.

I'm not going to make any grand pronouncements about this pizza, but suffice it to say, they serve one of the better archetypical NY slices I've tried recently. It was nearly empty when I ate there, but soon enough Best Pizza will be swarmed by those in search of its namesake.

33 Havemeyer St
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Best Pizza on Urbanspoon


  1. That pizza post made me very hungry! Anyone have suggestions for restaurants in Paris? Friend's going there tomorrow!

  2. Damn, that post needed some edits. Any remaining mistakes are now wholly on me.

    Unfortunately neither Steve nor I have been to Paris, but I'd recommend checking out Chowhound for some recs.

  3. Actually, I have been to Paris. Went during the spring of 2008. Seeing how I was still in law school, I avoided most of the fancy Michelin restaurants but agree with Noah and think you can get some great ideas via Chowhound.

  4. Thanks! Can't wait to see your next post.

  5. So I have to temper my enthusiasm for Best Pizza slightly.

    On a second visit, the regular slice was underseasoned with a much less satisfying chew to the crust. My grandma slice had significantly less anchovy in the tomato sauce-- like barely detectable.

    Looking forward to trying it a third time and hopefully it's comparable to my first visit.