I’ve always been a bit frightened of Brooklyn. I was convinced if we visited this particular borough of New York that we would be caught up in a robbery, become the unintentional victim of a drive by, or be gunned down in the street for wearing the wrong colour. However, it turns out that Brooklyn is actually the natural habitat of the hipster. Hipsters aren’t scary at all! They have furry faces and scrawny arms and with my distinct weight advantage, I could definitely take one in a fight.
We’ve wanted to visit Roberta’s in Brooklyn for a number of years on the recommendation of Chef Ramirez who along with the rest of the staff at Brooklyn Fare, hailed it as the best pizza in New York. We originally intended to pay a visit after attending The Brooklyn Brewery tour, but unintentionally got so drunk that we had to head back to our hotel for room service and a tactical vomit/nap. When a couple of the waiters at 11 Madison Park began gushing similar praise about this Brooklyn pizzeria, we knew we had to venture back.
From the outside it looks like a non-event. Covered in graffiti, its interior is protected behind a crummy red curtain. Once inside, it is homely and inviting – the pizza oven grinning knowingly as you perch yourself on one of the wooden pews.
Roberta’s have a great beer menu. As a new beer convert I wanted to try the saison which is brewed especially for them. Served in a jam jar which would annoy some folk, but I try not to let such items of insignificance bother me. It was delicious; not too hoppy with subtle hints of spice.
We shared some olives, which for me were far too tart, the marinade over-powering their natural flavour. Plus I had three mouth ulcers which made eating them quite an ordeal. Mr P was mouth ulcer-less though and disagreed.
The pizza arrived and what a beauty is was. We shared the El Supremo (sausage, pepperoni and green pepper) but added anchovies, because if you don’t have anchovies on your pizza then you deserve to be slapped in the face and I had three mouth ulcers which would not withhold such an attack.
The base was the star of the show – delicious in its own right with a slight char from the oven. The toppings weren’t over bearing - even the salty anchovies didn’t detract from its doughy platform. The people were right. This wasn’t just the best pizza in New York, this was the best pizza we’d ever eaten.
Pizza has been ruined for us. Nothing will ever be as good. We‘re just not going to bother eating it anymore and I’m a little sad.
Service was relaxed and friendly and it’s very apparent that all the staff enjoy working at Roberta’s as much as we enjoyed eating there.
So a visit to New York is incomplete without a trip to Roberta’s. You probably won’t get shot and you can play the best beard competition. Our winner had a twirly moustache too.