If it weren’t for the recent news of the latest New York City Pizza War, I may have never gotten to visit what is now called Joe’s Pizza of Park Slope. Following similar battles involving the names Patsy and Ray, this one was about the use of the name Joe’s in Brooklyn by the guy who used to make pies at the renowned Joe’s Pizza in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, home of the world’s best NY slice.
There’s a lot you can read about this legal battle on-line that I won’t go into here. But, what’s strange about this one is that this place in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood has been around years longer than you think it would take for someone to get perturbed. Well, it got my interest since if this defendant Joe’s makes pizza anything like the original plaintiff Joe’s, it’s gonna be good. After all, would they be fighting if the pizza sucked? Well, it sure didn’t.
I made my journey back in March of this year when the place was still called Famous Joe’s of the Village and even had a website. Driving into Brooklyn for a Monday lunch time slice, I found yet another bustling commercial neighborhood in this ginormous borough. Later telling this tale, I learned that it seemed everyone knew of Park Slope except little old me. Busier than I expected, I had to circle the block a few times before I found metered-street parking a block away from Joe’s middle-of-the-street store front.
Yes, back then, Joe’s sign resembled and had the same colors as the one in the Village. But come on, who cares? It’s not like there was a master secret behind making a Joe’s slice. Why couldn’t they just let this guy make a living? While I understand their reputation and all that, for some reason, this just didn’t seem like a big deal to me. Were people going to stop driving into Manhattan from Brooklyn just to get a slice at Joe’s in the Village? When you consider how much great pizza can be found in Brooklyn, you start to suspect that there’s another reason that this war started. (By the way, there a Joe’s copycat on the left coast in LA for which some kind of arrangement may have been made.)
Inside, unlike the small one-room joint in the Village, this somewhat weathered place has a counter in the front to the left side and a room with seating in the back. There I went to wait after I ordered a plain cheese slice ($2,.75) upon entering. I dug the cool “Pizza Zone” arcade game that they had in the back for entertainment until my slice was ready.
Well, the first thing I’d like to say about this marvelous specimen of a slice, is that like they do at the Joe’s on the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge, they ain’t afraid to cook their slices. This one was tastefully toasted with black burn marks on the bottom to show for it. It was also delightfully thin all the way through and all its ingredients were just wonderful. With a crisp crust that still was so chewy and such a delicious taste on top, this was as about as perfect as an NY slice can be.
Well, what did you expect? Did you think that the guy that use to make the best New York slice in the world forget how to do it? Joe’s Pizza in Park Slope is great and I would not pass on trying it. OK, maybe it doesn’t knock the original Joe’s off its throne, but its damn good and at least there now seems to be peace in the latest New York City pizza war.
PIZZA SNOB RATING ***** Sets the Standard
Joe’s Pizza of Park Slope (formerly Famous Joe’s of the Village)
483 5th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215
[no current website]