Scott's Pizza Tour Pizza News
Speaking of Wheated, there’s a century-old bread oven in the basement! Just a couple weeks after signing the lease on the space, owner David Sheridan discovered this amazing antique built into the building’s foundation. It extends into the backyard, which is cemented over. The oven hasn’t been used in decades but it’s far easier to leave it in place than it would be to have it removed. The door was made by Dumbleton and Son in Brooklyn. Photo #3 shows the interior arch of the oven and the final shot is the light box (but it look more like something from a ghost hunt).
Just some sexy shots from my first visit to Wheated in the Ditmas Park section of Brooklyn. This place is the product of years of backyard testing and research by owner David Sheridan. Some lucky pizza tours have even had the chance to visit his backyard with me for early testing before he even signed the lease on this space! His dough is made by hand and uses 100% natural fermentation. It’s also a pretty serious bourbon bar! I don’t remember all the names of the pies we had but just show these photos to your server and you’ll be good to go. Enjoy!
905 Church Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11218
Open 6-midnight every day except for Monday!
Watch as I stumble through this Swedish TV segment, having no idea what these guys are saying even when it’s in English. At least I got a bunch of free pizza out of the deal!
Last week I celebrated my annual “Two Days on the Beach” vacation and somehow managed to spend a significant portion of it visiting pizzerias along the Jersey shore. Here’s a rundown.
My first stop was the famous Vic’s in Bradley Beach. It’s an old school Italian American joint that is most accurately embodied by this beautiful neon sign. The pizza is a pretty typical bar pie and even though it was better than the last one I had (with the Pizza Patrol back in 2009) it wasn’t anything worth traveling for. They advertise “tomato pie,” a term used for pizza in the Trenton area. This makes a ton of sense because I-195 runs a straight route from Trenton to the Monmouth County shore area, so folks often escaped the NJ capitol for sandy serenity in towns like Bradley Beach.
But if you do end up in Bradley Beach looking for a quick slice, Ferraro’s Famous Pizza just a block down the road is an excellent choice! They have a Ferraro’s Favorite (or something like that, not exactly sure what they call it) with cheese on first and chunky tomato on top. It’s excellent. Be sure to ask for basil to be added post-oven, it really brightens up the pie.
Slice at Ferraro’s on Main St in Bradley Beach.
On a drive down to see some friends in Mantoloking, we stumbled upon another “tomato pie” joint simply called Brick Oven. They weren’t open for lunch, but I grabbed a photo of their cool sign because of the amazing appearance of yet another Winking Chef.
The final pizza stop was the most anticipated of the journey. Porta in Asbury Park was recommended to me by Keste/Don Antonio’s Roberto Caporuscio, food meister Don Magee and lots of people via Twitter. Word on the street is it turns into a nightclub so get there before 9pm if you want to eat without drinks being spilled on your pie.
We got there at 6:30 on a Friday and there was already a 30 min wait, so we attempted another run on Saturday at 6 and were seated right away.
Porta in Asbury Park, NJ.
It’s a HUGE place with two Neapolitan Gianni Acunto ovens that reminded me a lot of Antico in Atlanta, but it’s more subdued. They serve pretty typical Neapolitan pizza with a slight tilt toward what Americans might expect. The crust isn’t too soft and toppings were definitely not sparse as they are in Napoli. Our margherita pie tasted great and was clearly made with quality tomatoes and oil, but I could have done with less cheese. I’ll definitely go back on my next visit to Asbury Park.
The Jersey shore is packed with less-than-desirable boardwalk pizza that only tastes good after a day in the sun or a night of intoxication but these spots are solid regardless of your state of mind.
The “upside-down” slice at NY Pizza Suprema is not to be missed. So called because the cheese goes on before the sauce, it is a slice whose crust is light and crisp. The sauce is thick, rich and savory-sweet, and the mozzarella practically melds with the dough, giving it a unique texture. NY Pizza Suprema: 413 Eighth Avenue, New York NY 10001
I 100% agree, this one’s my favorite slice at Suprema and one of the absolute best Sicilian slices in NYC. Right across from Madison Square Garden, too!
Queens food ambassador Jeff Orlick leading a midnight street food tour.
Last week I went on a Midnight Food Crawl down Roosevelt Ave in Queens with local food ambassador Jeff Orlick. We hit a bunch of food carts, trucks, booths and even a couple semi-legal shopping cart vendors. This isn’t the Manhattan food cart scene, so we’re not talking about grilled cheese and Korean tacos and wood-fired pizza and funky ice cream — these are traditional dishes made by immigrant families just trying to make ends meet. Jeff translates the cuisine to people like me who need a nudge before going off my personal culinary map.
One stop we made was a new Dominican truck and one menu item really stuck out — PIZZATON. It starts with “pizza,” so how bad could it be? This wasn’t my top dish of the night but it ended up being one of the group’s favorites.
I’ll let Jeff explain:
"That pizzaton had a smashed green plantain shell, with tomato sauce, cheese (not sure what kind), shrimp [or] chicken, and I believe it had peppers in it too (don’t have a close enough photo). Plantains are something that’s sometimes used instead of bread, like on the patacon, which is basically a sandwich but with plantains instead of the bread (it’s the banana version of a chimichurri)."
The menu. Pizzaton is item 5-6.
It was pretty tasty, but more a bunch of stuff with cheese melted on top than anything. This truck claims to have invented the dish and I have a feeling they’re not making that up. Keep your eyes peeled for more PIZZATON at your local Dominican food purveyor.
And check out Jeff’s awesome food tours in Queens. I promise this is not a paid endorsement, I just really enjoyed the tour!
Lesson #1: There is a magazine devoted to pizza. Actually, there are several. The one I write for is called Pizza Today. There’s another one called PMQ’s Pizza Magazine. There is also a Canadian pizza magazine called, you guessed it, Canadian Pizza Magazine! Italy has five last time I checked and both China and Australia each have their own version of PMQ’s Pizza Magazine. These magazines are all for the food industry more than they are for people who are just really into pizza, although I’ve been reading them and learning a TON even before I started running pizza tours and judging pizza competitions.
Lesson #2: I write a column for Pizza Today called “Man on the Street.” It has been about 2 years since I started sharing my view as a professional pizza consumer with the magazine’s readership, which consists of some 40,000 pizzerias across the country. My columns let pizza operators know what’s going on inside the minds of their customers. Read it here!
Lesson #3: My monthly column won a prestigious award! The kind folks at Pizza Today entered “Man on the Street” into a competition run by the Trade, Association and Business Publications International (TABPI). I took home a bronze medal in the Best Regular Column category at the 2013 TABBIE awards. A magazine called Elevator World took home the gold for what I’m sure is a thrilling column. My warning to Elevator World: next year YOU’RE GOING DOWN!!!
There are about 30 leftover pizza tour slices in my freezer right now. Time to heat up the frying pan.
It would be silly if I didn’t post a photo on tumblr from the pizza tour I did today for some of tumblr’s finest interns!