Matthew Lickona 4 p.m., May 26
People from New York love Bronx Pizza. The Mission Hills shop has the Empire State crowd completely on lockdown. It might have something to do with the decor, which is a constant homage to the Big Apple; its sports teams, famous faces, architecture, and history. To be fair, there are quite a few radical pieces of flair plastered on the walls, like a vintage Rocky III poster with the Italian Stallion in full swagger.
The shop looks minuscule from without, but the interior is actually somewhat labyrinthine. There's a big porch section between two smaller dining rooms, the first of which has the pizza case and the register.
The menu is simplicity itself: they sell pizza. Slices start at $2 and whole pies start at $13.50. Soft drinks--available in only one size -- are $1.50. Bronx Pizza is definitely well within the range of "cheap eats."
I had a few slices, one of them topped with vegetables and the other a "white mushroom" with ricotta cheese and no red sauce. My first impression was that the crust was crunchy. It may be the crispiest crust I've had in recent memory, which is no small feat. They were very thin, but even after being heated up the slices didn't bend when I picked them up. I didn't even have to fold them. Crisp crust being a strong selling point for a lot of people, I can report that Bronx delivers in that respect.
The veggie slice was great for what it was, but it was the white mushroom slice that really took me by surprise. The creamy ricotta cheese, savory mushrooms, and extra-crunchy crust were an excellent combo. I went back for a second slice.
Bronx Pizza represents East Coast pizza style very well. Thin slices, crispy crust, and a "less is more" approach to toppings. The place also has a certain vibe from the staff that reflects an East Coast mentality. There's a sort of tough-guy aesthetic coming from behind the counter that seems, frankly, a little out of place in Uptown San Diego, but it's kind of a haven to transplants (of which there are many in town) who are looking for a slice that's served up without anyone telling you "no worries."
111 Washington Street