4301 Veterans Memorial Blvd
Metairie, LA 70006
Napoleon's Rating - **/*****
We have plenty of great food to brag about in New Orleans, but for a long time pizza hasn't been in that number. That's why I was excited to discover Brooklyn Pizzeria. Owner Todd Duvio seems focused firmly on recreating a convincing New York-style pie in Metairie. Whether it comes as one of his huge, whole 20-inch pies to feed the family or as just a slice to grab on a busy day, this pizza comes closer to the New York ideal for thin-crust, floppy pizza than anyone else in the area right now.
Brooklyn Pizzeria has moved a few times since opening in 2005. Most recently, it took over a former Lee's Hamburgers location and now looks pretty much like the standard, casual pizza parlor, with low ceilings, wobbly tables and red-and-white checkered table clothes. It's small and pretty bare, and about what you'd expect.
At the main location near the Clearveiw Mall, you place your order at the counter and you get a little numbered sign to take to your table. When the server shouts your number, dinner is served. It's a no-nonsense, high-volume place. There is a second location on Veterans closer to Bonnabel that is take-out only and offers drive-through service for slices. The ability to get a good slice of pizza without even leaving your car is new and novel around these parts.
Salad is the traditional primer before pizza, and the Italian salad here is pretty basic - lettuce, mozzarella and provolone, chopped-up salami and black olives with Italian dressing. There are chicken wings and cheese sticks, but if you really need something else before your pizza just get an order of the garlic knots, which are plugs of pizza dough baked with garlic butter.
The pies at Brooklyn Pizzeria are currently my favorite in town, and the key is the crust. It's great hot out of the oven at the pizza parlor, it's great served by the slice and it's great the morning after, eaten cold out of the fridge for breakfast or reheated in the toaster oven or office microwave for lunch. The crust stays soft and is foldable, and there is a bubbly lip ringing the outer crust, or what some people call "hole structure." The cheese is applied evenly but not so thick that it overwhelms the crust. Sauce is the only weak spot. It is sweet and thin and I wanted it to be a little more flavorful. This is not a gourmet-style pizza restaurant, and it is definitely not out to reinvent pizza or come up with some new flavor sensation. So it follows that the selection of toppings are quite ordinary. There's no seafood or red beans or specialty Cajun sausage. This is fine with me, since my feeling is less is more when the pizza is fundamentally as good as this.
Stomboli and calzones are essentially pizzas wrapped up in a different format. These are fine, but they're not going to lure me away from the pizza. Sandwiches are a different story. The meatball and the chicken parmesan subs are both pizza parlor classics, and the muffuletta is a hearty rendition with plenty of meat and a strong olive salad. Pastas are ordinary, and use what tastes like the same lackluster sauce as the pizza.
In the unlikely event you have room for more after a Brooklyn pizza, the restaurant stocks the pizza parlor standards of cheesecake, tiramisu and cannoli. As with the appetizers, though, the best choice for dessert is an order of cinnamon knots made from the house pizza dough.
The 20-inch pizza starts at $14.50 for plain cheese and goes up to $22 if you pile on up to six toppings. A personal pizza with two toppings costs $7 and most of the pastas are less than $8.
If you've been searching for a local pizza parlor that can answer the craving for a New York style pie, this is the place to go in New Orleans. It's obviously not the same as walking up to a neighborhood pizza parlor on a Brooklyn street corner, but Brooklyn Pizzeria is currently our leading local producer for New York-style pies.