A little late to the game, while flipping the channels on someone else’s Direct TV, I recently came across The Pizza Show on The Vice Network, a channel I don’t get at home. I managed to catch a few enjoyable episodes that I thought were perhaps more fun-loving than informational. However, I did come away with the knowledge that the show’s host, Frank Pinello, was born and raised a pizza guy, used to work at Roberta’s and now has his own happening pizza joint in Brooklyn.
The boldly-named Best Pizza sits in a quaint cozy area in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Mrs. Pie and I made our way there one Friday night and were quite surprised to find this oasis of a neighborhood in the otherwise nerve-racking-to-travel-through borough. Driving down Havemeyer Street, a friendly night watchman even helped us navigate into our free parking spot just across the street.
As we approached the stylish retro store front and observed the obviously-pleased patrons dining out front, my pizza radar told me we were in for something special. With a menu that only had a handful of items other than pizza, I was convinced solid that Best took its pizza seriously. The inside décor of the small hip room included a collection of customer-colored paper plates and small shelves lined with jars and cans of ingredients. The purpose of the Nutella jars however remains a mystery.
Having heard somewhere about their white slice ($4.75), I knew what to recommend to Mrs. Pie. On the other hand, I stayed on my normal course with two plain cheese slices ($3.75 each). While Best’s slice may have a “New York” look to it, it is “Brooklyn” all the way, and they top it off with a single large basil leaf to remind you.
My slices were full of char on both the bottom and end crusts, but surprisingly, they were soft and not at all crisp. But, other than the surprise, I found it to be a wonderfully delicious tasting thin crust. If only the crust had a little crunch to it, I may have never gone home that evening!
But, on top was where the Best’s slice really scored. The tomato sauce just killed with its fresh flavor. My tongue also detected at least a squirt of some tasty olive oil in the mix. In true Brooklyn fashion, the Mozzarella was blotched-on. As expected, it was less cheese than you’d find on an NY-slice, but more than you’d usually find over here. It was also a bit odd how the cheese on top looked like it cooked more than the crust on the bottom did. Nonetheless, it was all-in-all a uniquely fantastic and almost iconic creation that I can’t wait to try again.
Best has been around since only 2010. With its proprietor now making a name for himself in the pizza world, it won’t be long for this place to become a New York legend. For now, it is certainly a must-visit destination for any pizza lover. Not only will you love the pie, but the whole vibe of the neighborhood, staff and customers makes for a totally pleasant experience. I wished I lived on the block!
PIZZA SNOB RATING ****1/2 Nearer Perfection
33 Havemeyer Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211