Thanks to a friend at work that I like to call “Pizza Mike,” I recently discovered the “One Bite” video blog about pizza that comes courtesy of the folks at Barstool Sports. This brash but entertaining series has proven to be both interesting as well as a source for new material for this old-fashioned word-blogger. The first place they visited that I just could not resist was the tempting and fairly new Sauce Pizzeria in Manhattan’s East Village. (They also have a second spot down on the Lower East Side.)
The early evening winter weather was quite manageable, so I set out on foot from the heart of Greenwich Village heading up Broadway and turning right on 12th. I first couldn’t resist a stop at the way cool Strand Bookstore on the corner. Eventually, I made my way to Sauce which is between 2nd and 1st where the street becomes more cozy residential than crazy commercial.
From watching the Barstool video, I knew that I would be getting into something a bit gimmicky. The idea of getting a cup of “Grandmother’s Tomato Gravy” in which to dip my pizza failed to arouse my interest as much as how good their slice looked.
I ordered my $3.00 plain cheese slice at the counter in the small room of only three tables and sat at a counter stool looking outside the front window. It didn’t take much time, and my long narrow, and blotchy Brooklyn-looking slice came colorfully served on a white paper plate atop a red and white piece of wax paper with a small cup of “gravy” on a red cafeteria tray.
Being a novice as to the cup of tomato sauce, I failed to see the sign mentioning that it was for your crust, and I actually dipped early on finding the vodka-like concoction to be quite tasty. I did have some left at the end for my “pizza bones,” and I sopped up as much of the sauce as I could. All in all, this was a minor bonus to what turned out to be an incredibly good slice of pizza.
I was eventually flabbergasted by this slice after the initial downer of the fact that the heavily-charred crust was not at all crisp or crunchy making this slice soft and floppy. But man, this sucker was a flavor extravaganza! I wish I was able to go through all the nuances of where all this great taste came from, but let’s just leave it at being a big wow. I couldn’t hold my words in and had to share my enthusiasm with the guy sitting next to me who agreed with my wild assessment.
Well, this now makes pizza places I’ve heard of called “Crust” and “Sauce?” Is there a “Cheese” out there? All kidding aside, Sauce is great, and you need to go there and take your friends. Don’t let the gravy-in-the-cup gimmick turn you away. It’s a well-made and great-tasting slice.
PIZZA SNOB RATING ***** Sets the Standard
345 East 12th Street
New York, NY 10003