I've done John's of Bleecker Street, waited in line and received my half-full water glass and gotten in a tiff with my friend because he insisted we'd ordered too many toppings (he's a little b*tch, mind). Still, I deemed that pie to be the New York Standard by which all others are measured. Enter Roberta's. "An institution," she said. "Sooo. Gooood." she said. Fine, fine. A short stroll from my abode off Myrtle-Wyckoff--the truly cool area of Bushwick, I might add, going on my first week in the hood. Yellow cursive adorns the unsuspecting doorframe, and is that a barn, or a, a, a "metalworks"?...we entered arm-in-arm as my sweet baby girl and I are wont to do and were greeted by the kindest young woman, ready to meet our every need, the most pressing being that of a table, directly followed by a stiff IPA to rid myself of the mid-afternoon tremens that had gripped my terribly addicted soul (*shame*). A 30- to 45-minute wait! No. God. No--yes, sweetness, give her your cell, and then it's directly to the bar for us. We snaked our way through the establishment, which was far more spacious than I could have gathered from outside, complete with an outdoor bar, a tented picnic area, and the cozy restaurant-proper. The lady opted for tequila; I for my IPA. Can securely in palm, mental state was restored, and now hunger fully made itself known. *Surprise!* They'd completely highballed us on the timetable--as soon as we got the drinks, we received notification our table was ready. The lady remarked that she hoped we could sit somewhere side by side, and though I shared those sentiments and all the crass sub-table-ean performances such an arrangement might allow, I knew it would be space-inefficient and we'd be best off staring into each other's beautiful faces, mine perhaps slightly more, in terms of objective attractiveness, symmetry and all that, standards just terrible but which I suppose I'll accept as compliment if someone offers... Indeed. Cozy table for two in the mid-back. Another beer for me, and some more tequila for my sweet little mama. And, hell, let's get into it while we're at it. Your boy needed meat--the Beastmaster appeared to be the move. The old pro went with her Margherita, and a late addition of some prosciutto crudo, which she made sure to confirm with our helpful server was, "You know, the thin one." Pies arrived in ~seven minutes--nice--and then it was on. Crust was light, fluffy, airy--I actually don't understand how it was so airy. All my experience with woodfired pies tells me this could not be, and yet, the puffy dough seemed to release pockets of fine fire-infused oxygen into my willing mouth with every mast. Sauce and cheese were offered in perfect and harmonious ratio. Meat, caramelized onions, and jalapenos provided a sweet, savory, and spicy kick that damn near made me lose my cool and declare my love for this pie to fellow patrons immediately. If there were a single knock, it'd be the pricetag, but for a special hungover treat where nothing else will do, I suppose shelling out $18 to stave off my detoxing angst and return my spirits to baseline is reasonable. Feeling restored to some discernible degree, the lady and I decided to test our luck at a thrift store down the way, but now, riding the sluggishness of two desperate hair-of-the-dog imbibements and no longer safe within the confines of Roberta's, we began to grow sullen and headed for the L when a walk would have most certainly been the right move. But that's not pertinent information here! Or is it? A testament to the ability of Roberta's to bring people together, to unify through a love of great pizza, and in this way, remind them of why they love each other? Yes. Roberta's, I believe this is what you've accomplished, and I thank you for it.
Chad T. on Mar 8, 2016