Peter’s Blog: Pan Pizza Crawl, Part One: Brooklyn
As promised, here’s a recap of my recent pan pizza crawl through Brooklyn and Manhattan, as choreographed by the indomitable Scott Wiener, founder of New York Pizza Tours (and regular contributor here on Pizza Quest). Background note: I am currently working on a book, scheduled for release next year, all about pan pizzas. These include focaccia, schiacciata, Sicilian, grandma, and the increasingly popular Roman and Detroit-styles. On this all day, epic crawl with Scott (an others who joined us along the way) my two main targets were Emmy Squared, which has been garnering national press for their interpretation of Detroit-style pizza, and the iconic L&B Spumoni Garden which, I am embarrassed to admit, I have never visited before. Along the way Scott introduced me to a number of other amazing places, ending our trek in Manhattan at the Sofia Pizza Shoppe (birthplace of the Doughdici pizza (12 hour final rise in the pan), to which I will devote a separate post next time.
I’m going to let the photos do most of the work here, and say thank you in advance to folks at Best Pizza, L’Industrie, L&B Spumoni Garden, J&V Pizza, Villabate’ Alba, Emmy Squared, and Sofia Pizza Caffe, as well as to Fornino (where we didn’t eat but got to see Michael Ayoub’s impressive ovens and commissary kitchen). Also, thanks to Adam Kuban (formerly of Serious Eats and Slice.com), Alexis Guerreros, Jason Feirman (Idreamofpizza.com), Jenny Bello (Pizza a Casa Pizza School), Omar Qadir (The Pizza Man of Pakistan), Tom DeGrazia and Matt Porter (Sophia Pizza Caffe), Massimo Laveglia (L’Industrie), Frank Pinella (Best Pizza), Joey and John Mortallaro (J&V Pizza). I mention them now as a prelude to the following photo journal of our day.
Part of the joy of a pizza crawl (or any similar crawl, whether focused on beer, wine, cheese, or anything else for that matter) is the opportunity to geek out on our shared obsessions and have a rolling, progressive party. Scott and I met at Best Pizza, Frank Pinella’s small slice shop in Williamsburg, where we were soon joined by Adam Kuban, the prolific pizza writer and, now, creator of Margot’s, a periodic pop-up proto-type that expresses his love for classic bar pizzas, and that may someday soon manifest as a brick and mortar restaurant. In other words, he’s not just writing about pizza but also walking the walk. From there we just kept adding to our crew, as you will see below. And remember, this is just Part One, the Brooklyn portion of the day. Next time I’ll focus on Sofia Pizza Caffe in Manhattan, and offer a commentary on my overall impression of this amazing pizza crawl with Scott and the gang. As always, it not just about the pizza but it’s really about the quest…..
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Pizza Quest is a site dedicated to the exploration of artisanship in all forms, wherever we find it, but especially through the literal and metaphorical image of pizza. As we share our own quest for the perfect pizza we invite all of you to join us and share your journeys too. We have discovered that you never know what engaging roads and side paths will reveal themselves on this quest, but we do know that there are many kindred spirits out there, passionate artisans, doing all sorts of amazing things. These are the stories we want to discover, and we invite you to jump on the proverbial bus and join us on this, our never ending pizza quest.
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