I've been eating a lot of pizza lately. Over the past couple of weeks, I've made two trips to Brooklyn M.C.'s for both pizzas and calzones, stopped by Famous for a slice, and one night, too lazy to think it through any further, Laura even called in an order to our neighborhood Papa John's, which was delivered like an Italian airstrike within twenty minutes.
Then, a few days ago, I got in on a pizza party featuring pies from Sexy Pizza. I've eaten Sexy Pizza often, sometimes without even realizing it. Something about the place (the name, I'm guessing) makes this a popular spot for provisioning parties and events, makes it a perfect spot for afternoons when nothing sounds easier than a simple pie and a couple of cold beers.
Sexy Pizza opened last fall, and I had my first taste of its pizzas while the joint was still young enough to be panicked by a little trade — but it's since found its sense of balance. The shtick here (as at so many other pizza parlors) is the re-creation of the archetypal New York thin, and Sexy makes its run at East-in-the-West immortality by rounding out its menu with calzones, stromboli, meatball sandwiches and — a genius invention — "Ball in a Hat," which is essentially a single-meatball meatball sandwich wrapped in dough and baked.
1018 East 11th Avenue
But any pizza joint must live or die on its pie, and Sexy Pizza does a good (if not singular) version of the classic outer-boroughs red-and-white, which I've eaten in my office, in my car, at events and even hunched up on one of the stools in Sexy's own boxy dining room. The hand-tossed crusts are thin without crossing the line that separates traditional thin crusts from cracker or artisan varieties and have an excellent, bready flavor without the weird bite of cornmeal that can wreck an otherwise great bone. The handmade sauce is sweet, the cheese of an excellent quality and the ingredients laid on thick. Most important, the pies are greasy — imbued with that magical orange goo that separates the great pizzas from the merely good.
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Sexy marks the spot.