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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The best in town – Bada Bing pizza

Having worked in The City, I know a thing or two about pizza. The first is: the crust matters. The second is: if you want it to taste like a real pizzeria style slice, you have to heat it twice.
Yes, twice. Let me explain.
When I was working in The City south of Wall Street, used to go downstairs for lunch to the pizzeria two doors down. When I got there, I would point at a slice behind the counter, and the pizza guy would take the slice and stick it in his big Baker’s Pride™ oven for two or three minutes. Then he would plate it and charge me $2.50.
Result: the perfect slice. The cheese is bubbly, the crust is crispy – the perfect consistency to fold with a snap.
I would eat it right on the sidewalk in from of the place. Coupled with a cold soda and lunch was served, downtown style.
When I moved to Westchester, I tried to find a pizzeria that could duplicate that perfect combination of bubbly cheese and crispy crust that I so loved in The City. I could never find it. I would open the box, pull out a slice and frown. The crust was soggy.
I complained loudly and vigorously to anybody that would listen and always got the same response: it’s the water. The water in The City makes that perfect crust.
I accepted that reasoning – for a while. Then, I thought the whole process through and had the “Aha!” moment. The pizza was already made and was sitting out more or less cold, waiting to be reheated when I walked in off Broadway. In order to duplicate that oh so perfect slice, I would have to duplicate the procedure, right down to the oven. But how?
Answer: a pizza stone. I would buy the pie, then let it get cold just the pizza guy did, then re-heat it on a blisteringly hot pizza stone that had been sitting in my over at 500 degrees for a half an hour. The results were good; I could make my slice was almost as good as what I got downtown.
But there were caveats. Mass produced pizza is too much like bread and rises too much to work on the stone. Ditto anything frozen. The only pizzas that really worked right were from pizzerias that used high gluten flour that wouldn’t rise too much.
Which of course, lead to The Search – where to find the best pie.
The results are in: Bada Bing on Glenwood South right here in Raleigh. It has the perfect combination of sauce to cheese and crust that heats up perfectly on the reheat. And the use a high gluten flour for the crust so it isn’t bread like.
And it’s good, really good. Their pies are utterly unpretentious and probably as good as any I’ve had in The City. So if your diet allows for a pizza, take the drive downtown. The drive is worth every bite.

Bada Bing Pizza
222 Glenwood Ave. Raleigh, NC
(next to Tobacco Road) |
Phone: 919-754-1050
Location: Glenwood South
Cuisine: New York style pizza
Rating: *****
Prices: $
Atmosphere: Take it to go
Noise level: Does it matter?
Mon-Thur:  11am - 8pm
Fri-: 11am - 3am
Sun: 12 pm - 8 pm
Reservations: Are you crazy?
Other: Cash and credit cards.

We rank restaurants in five categories: Extraordinary***** Excellent**** Above average*** Average** Fair*

Badabing Pizza on Urbanspoon

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