When Bro said that he could have eaten another slice after our visit to L&B Spumoni Gardens, he should have known that The Pizza Snob always has a another plan. On my list of Brooklyn joints to visit was Lenny’s Pizza. In business since 1953, John Travolta made Lenny’s famous in Saturday Night Fever, the 1977 movie about the disco days. In the film’s opening credits, Travolta’s on-screen character, Tony Manero, orders up two slices at Lenny’s window. He then proceeds to lay them atop one another and prance down 86th Street doing some “double-decking slice strutting.”
I was surprised when Siri told me that Lenny’s was also on 86th just a few miles from L&B. So, we headed back into the dense commercial district and found a parking spot right in front. It sits in the middle of the block under the noise of the elevated subway platform.
Lenny’s has been around since 1953 and is your typical East Coast pizza place offering and delivering the usual quick Italian wares (hot and cold heroes, pasta, and salads). The counter sported two layers of specialty slices under glass. Something that you didn’t see at the time of the movie was their awning trendily boasting “Whole Wheat Products and Health Plates.”
Not in a “double-decking” mood, we each ordered a single slice ($2.25) at the counter from the wait staff who all strangely wore red Cincinnati Reds baseball caps. Across from the counter, there it was as I expected—a picture of Travolta. A quick reheat of our slices, and we retreated to a table in the back.
My extra hot plain cheese slice looked spot-on perfect. I spotted a nicely-charred bottom crust as the slice folded perfectly right into my mouth. From first bite, I knew that Tony Manero was on to something—this was a killer slice of pizza! The top was seasoned with flavorful oregano and gently oiled. The aforementioned crust was crisp, chewy, and delicious. The fresh ingredients were all assembled in the perfect dimensions and, best of all, cooked with precision. Without a doubt, Lenny’s serves a classic Hall of Fame slice.
Bro, who can sound a bit like Tony Manero, agreed saying, “That was a good one!” Visiting Lenny’s may not have been on our agenda for the day, but it sure made our great pizza adventure even better. I urge you to give Lenny’s a try, and if you are game, go for the double-deck challenge. It’s now on my personal bucket list of things I need to do as The Pizza Snob.
PIZZA SNOB RATING ***** Sets the Standard
1969 86th Street Brooklyn, NY 11214