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The perfect slice of cheese pizza is a subjective thing.

Obviously, New York pizza reigns far superior in my mind than does a thick Chicago pie. And New Yorkers especially are very opinionated about their slices--weary politicians have learned their lesson by trying to use a fork and knife instead of the real-deal fold-and-bite style. The cheese should be slightly salty, the crust brown and not too thin (but with a good bite)--and, goodness, don’t add sugar to the sauce.

In short: a real NY slice is heaven--and I'm pleased to report that I've found it at the aptly named New York Slice Company.

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Cooper-Levey Baker will be pleased to know that New York Slice Company has quite the meal deal, which is what first lead us to this non-descript pizza place between an abandoned former Sweet Bay and a Bealls store. Little signs point you to the restaurant, where you can get two slices and a can of soda for $4.95--but warning: the pizza is so good you will probably order a large to go. After gobbling down two slices, I knew I had to return--and soon. 

New York Slice Company offers a small (four slices), medium (six slices) and large (eight slices). After sampling a few slices on my own, I brought two young pizza aficionados to help me assess the Meat Me in NY pie (pepperoni, sausage, meatball and bacon) and a white pizza with ricotta, provolone, garlic and mozzarella. Leave it to a seven- and nine-year-old to hit the nail on the head with their reviews. (Highlights include “The balance of garlic to cheese works for a tasty bite,” from budding nine-year-old food critic Quinn Tonini and “Meat Me in NY is so good, it makes me want to go to New York even though I have never been," from seven-year-old Logan Tonini).

And then there is my review: “This is some of the best cheese pizza outside of NYC.”

We also ordered a Greek salad, an enormous salad piled high on a metal pizza pan with a tangy homemade dressing. And for those looking for something other than a slice, there are “'zones” (or calzones; order the Supreme, with mushrooms, onions, green peppers and pepperoni with a side of the perfect bright red sauce).  There are also two oven-baked subs. We tried the Italian dip, with thinly sliced tender roast prime rib, green peppers, onion and mushrooms and a side of jus. So good.

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Pasta selections are simple, and I'm thrilled to be able to get baked stuffed shells, a New England dish I've missed until now. New York Slice Company's version features three giant pasta shells filled with ricotta and topped with that great red sauce and mozzarella cheese.

The one disappointment was the chicken fettucine alfredo. Honestly, New York Slice Company doesn’t need it on the menu--instead, they should focus on the calzones, pizzas and subs.

There are lots of daily specials beside the one I mentioned earlier, too. Look for a whole pizza deals and other options for a slice, a salad and a drink. And the owner, Brad, and manager, Christopher, are as nice as can be. 

NY Slice Company, 501 N. Beneva Road, (941) 366-8125 | www.nyslicecompany.com

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