Any Way You Slice It

Ambience: pizza's secret ingredient.

| November 20, 2008

What makes pizza taste so good? Is it the crust, the sauce, the toppings? It's all of these things — and sometimes it's none of them. But pizza just tastes better in a place with a good vibe or funky atmosphere.

Don't take my word for it — go see for yourself.

A Slice of ... Egypt

New York Pizza & Sub is located to the right of the Lowe's parking lot on Perkins near Summer in a small, nondescript building with a few picnic tables out front. Inside, the tiny dining area is sparsely furnished with patio furniture, a large TV, and a stereo.

Salah, the owner and sole employee of New York Pizza & Sub, can be found in the kitchen. His lively personality more than makes up for the lack of décor. A native of Egypt, Salah has been making pizzas for 18 years, the first seven of which were in New York.

Walking into New York Pizza & Sub can be a bit disorienting. It feels more like a friend's house — a friend who really likes to talk and makes great pizza.

And what about the pizza? Expect the standard New York style: thin and chewy with a nice crusty handle, light tomato sauce, gooey cheese, and sold by the slice.

New York Pizza & Sub, 4523 Summer (761-7771)

Nautical

The Cove is the perfect place to enjoy an old-fashioned cocktail, suck down a few oysters, watch a movie you've never heard of, and smoke 'em if you got 'em. The nautical interior that once filled Anderton's definitely sets the Cove apart from other late-night bars. It's cozy, cool, and full of surprises.

In addition to oysters and other light fare, the Cove has a small selection of pizzas on the menu. The most notable is Jim's Ultimate Oyster Pizza. Yes, oyster pizza. The crisp crust is topped with a spinach Rockefeller sauce, marinated artichokes, goat cheese, bacon, and half a dozen freshly shucked oysters. Like the bar itself, this pizza offers a new twist on an old favorite. Best of all, you can enjoy your pizza with a shot of absinthe or a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

The Cove, 2559 Broad (730-0719)

Elvis-style

A wall of Elvis at Broadway Pizza - BY JUSTIN FOX BURKS

Broadway Pizza has two dining rooms, a jukebox, a few big TVs, a Ms. Pac-Man, a racing-car game, a stuffed-animal-grabber game, a '70s-style candy vending machine, and a couple hundred pictures of Elvis. Minus the flat-screen TVs, it feels like 1977 inside. (I consider this a plus.)

The menu offers many pizzas with unique toppings for people interested in taking a walk on the wild side (e.g., the chili and taco pizzas) as well as the standard fare for those who like to keep things simple. Whether you go crazy or play it safe, you can rest assured that each pizza is going to taste pretty damn good, arrive cut in squares, and be accompanied by a bowl of pepperoncinis and green olives.

Broadway Pizza, 2581 Broad (454-7930)

R.I.P. (Rest in Pizza)

Top Five Pizza Places that Will Be Forever Missed

5) Chicago Pizza Factory — Remember when the Chicago Pizza Factory was a bustling restaurant and not a sad, empty building?

4) Shakey's — The perfect place to celebrate after a soccer game. I can still hear the sound of my cleats on the floor as I run to the front to grab a pizza.

3) Pierotti's — The standard meeting place for my philosophy class study group. I always scored the last piece of the group's communal pie. My friend swears there were Gummi Bears on the buffet.

2) Squash Blossom — I could never convince my mom that pizza was actually healthy, but the Squash Blossom kitchen crew changed all that.

1) Pat's — Getting buzzed in, wondering if Mrs. Pat was asleep or dead, giant hunks of meat toppings, roaches, a pool table, beer, open all night ... how did this place ever go out of business?


A Broadway pizza - BY JUSTIN FOX BURKS

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