True New Yorkers would no doubt tell anybody that their pizza was the very best pizza in the world, and for my money, it is pretty damn good. Yet when it comes to pizza, I rarely stray beyond my beloved Patsy’s on the Upper West Side. Wanting to rectify that – and wanting a good “fun for the whole family” activity for my family’s visit to the city – we signed up for a pizza tour of Brooklyn with Scott’s Pizza Tours. It was really fun!
Our tour began in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn, an area I don’t think I had ever been to before. We arrived early and had a bit of time to kill, so we wandered around the neighborhood for a bit. Since I’m terribly, terribly behind on blogging, this was last April (yes, really) and spring was in full bloom, so the neighborhood looked absolutely lovely.
Soon it was time to meet up with our tour group, led by the fearless Alexis, who was hilarious. He struck the perfect mix of informative and fun, being equally skilled at telling us the history of pizza and doling out comical pizza wisdom (the “snag and drag,” for instance, is how one must pick up their pizza in order to avoid losing cheese). He also gave us little notebooks to carry with us and track our pizza preferences; these contained were spaces to rate each pizza and even draw them. A cheesy (no pun intended) but fun idea.
We tried our first slice of pizza at Enoteca on Court, which had a big, bright room in back where we all sat down to eat. We watched one of the cooks work his magic with the brick oven for a bit, which we learned was warm enough to cook the pizza in just 2.5 minutes. I loved this pizza – it might have been my favorite of the day (though they were all good, really).
Next, we headed to Sam’s Restaurant and Pizzeria, which felt like old school Brooklyn in the extreme. We went back to the kitchen for a bit and watched Louis, the chef work. His no-nonsense attitude was so New York (Alexis: “Why do you do it that way?” Louis: “That’s how I learned it.”) The methods may be old school, but the pizza was fantastic: simple, unfussy, and crazy cheesy. This was probably the rest of my family’s favorite (and I did love it too!).
On our way to our final stop, we walked through Cobble Hill, another neighborhood I have sorely neglected during my life as a New Yorker. Again, this was a glorious spring day, so everything looked just lovely. I have got to make it back here more.
We arrived at the Boerum Hill branch of Sottocasa for our last slice. The all-powerful oven here cooks pizza in a whopping 90 seconds, which seems incredible. We tried a classic margherita and topped it off with a cappuccino to finish.
I’ve taken food tours on just about every overseas trip I’ve been on the last few years, but haven’t done many closer to home. My Brooklyn pizza hop reminded me of their value, as it introduced me to a slice (this time, pun very much intended) of the city I don’t know that well yet. It was a delicious afternoon!