Dear New York: Your pizza is overrated. Sincerely, The Unvegan. Yes, that’s right. It’s probably not the most original thing to say, but if New York leads the world in pizza I can only agree in terms of quantity. Yes, there is good stuff there, but the water is a damn myth and I have found plenty of amazing pizza elsewhere, especially in Pittsburgh. Take for example, Proper Brick Oven & Tap Room in Downtown Pittsburgh, my most recent pizza experience to continue setting the tone for great pies.
A quick glance at the menu might give a hint as to why I enjoyed Proper Brick Oven so much: the Carnivore. This was a pizza topped with house-made sweet and hot Italian sausage, pepperoni, house-cured bacon and mozzarella with tomato sauce. Yet, while any pizza place can make a meaty pizza (except for you, Dinette), Proper Brick Oven delivers on it in spades. There was another pizza on the menu I would have loved to try, the Igneus Bambino, but I was too full to take them both on at once. Next time bambino, next time!
The pizza is cooked in a proper brick oven (shocking right?!) until the outer crust gets chunky and crispy, while the under crust becomes hard enough to handle the onslaught of meats. And here’s where my only real complaint comes in: some parts of the outer crust are just too big in proportion to the rest of the pizza. I respect the uneven-ness of the pizza crust because these pies aren’t made by machines; it’s a damn good outer crust and I’m not asking for more cheese or meats, just for them to be pushed a bit farther toward the rim.
Nonetheless, I had no complaints when it came to the taste of the pizza. Even though it looks like the meats are thrown on haphazardly, there was a nice balance that I appreciated even on some of the less meaty bites. Plus, the cheese and sauce came in perfect quantity.
On top of that, I had the chance to try out their Blueberry Panna Cotta dessert. While my regulars will recognize I’m not typically the dessert type, this dessert served me well in delivering on two sweets that I actually love – blueberries and custard. The flowers were also edible, but that just seemed strange to me.
Proper Brick Oven has definitely earned its recent popularity and despite uneven proportions I would be happy to take on another Carnivore in a second.