Elana, remember when we tried to cram Pizza, in all of its forms, into one “Pizza Month”…? Heck, not since Apollo Creed’s choreographed entrance in Rocky 4 can I recall such an overestimation of one’s own capabilities. And we all know how that ended.
But in fairness to us, we never really thought the idea was possible. We just figured that it would be a cool idea to devote one month towards Pizza. But since shifting our efforts into maintaining an Italian focused blog, there are now no limits as to the frequency for how often Pizza will be discussed.
And, in light of this, what better Pizza to feature than the legendary square-cut, cheese-beneath-sauce, Sicilian pie found at L & B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn; the first pan made pizza to be featured on the blog. Never mind the fact that a dispute between myself and a fellow Italian over a parking spot distracted us a bit, we were dialed in.
From the look of it, the slice merely looks like focaccia bread with some “gravy” splattered on top, yet there is more than meets the eye to this little guy. Underneath L & B’s thick tomato sauce is mozzarella cheese. Yes, cheese under sauce. Combined with the pan cooked bread, each bite has a pillowy soft, inviting nature to it. The pizza, ingredients wise, is not particularly mind blowing if one were to dissect the main players: the sauce packs a mediocre, pasty tang and the cheese does not taste much different than Polly-O.
Nonetheless, there is indeed a magic to it all. Elana and I comment on its superior “mouthfeel” – you know, that hard-to-explain quality of certain foods and drink that seem to set it apart from the rest, like a Reeses peanut butter cup? Well, this pie has it. Anchored by it’s thick, yet slightly moist, pound cake-like crust, the L & B slice becomes more addictive with each bite. And feel free to order seconds or thirds; despite the pie’s threatening look, it’s actually quite light and easy to take down. Elana’s ordering a second slice without hesitation. We are both significantly hooked.
Those expecting a charming ambiance: don’t. The inside is nothing flashy. Tables may endure a cycle of about 3-4 lunches before getting a wash down. But it’s nothing offensive; and if you came here for the scene, you’re not in the right frame of mind. L and B’s pizza is famous for a reason, and you’re missing out if you have yet to make it out there.
Movie equivalent – Top Gun