Portland-Born Sizzle Pie Brings Metal-Styled Pizza to Williamsburg
In the culinary universe, there is one classic rivalry that is set to endure the test of time: the New York vs. Chicago-style pizza debate. For some, both options make for a satisfying slice, but if you're living in Williamsburg, we know which side you're likely rooting for: New York, New York!
However, before all you Big Apple loyalists go and use up your righteous fury dragging the legacy of the Deep Dish (Jon Stewart already did that for us, when he famously told Chicagoans that their pizza was no more than "an above-ground marinara swimming pool for rats"), focus your attention instead on the unexpected newcomer to the Williamsburg pizza scene: the Portland, Oregon-born heavy metal chainlet called Sizzle Pie.
Founded by food and drink entrepreneurs Matt Jacobson and Mikey McKennedy, Sizzle Pie is the recipient of the 2016 "Independent Pizzeria of the Year" prize, and it has just opened up its first New York-based location on 457 Graham Ave., just several blocks from the Graham L train stop.
Known in the Northwest for its metal-aesthetic (countless murals plaster Sizzle Pie's walls—the majority of which McKennedy made himself with a mix of punk and hardcore blaring through its speakers) and for its bold motto ("Death To False Pizza"), Sizzle Pie is anything but generic.
"[Matt Jacobson] and I both love the connection between the art and music worlds," McKennedy explained. "We work with a lot of musicians and artists and it sort of permeates the fabric of our business. We're just sort of being ourselves I guess!"
The chain boasts a stunning variety of slices that will easily satisfy vegan, vegetarian, meaty and gluten-free dietary needs. Also, ya'll, real talk: the names of the actual pizza options are worth a visit on their own. Be ready for "Apocalypse Dudes" (a vegan pizza with dollops of creamy roasted red pepper pepita spread, not-a-ricotta and your choice of three fresh veggies), "The Four Horsemen" (a popular vegetarian option with mozzarella, white cheddar, ricotta and goat cheese), or the "6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon" (a meaty option topped with Canadian bacon and pineapple). We think that even the most New York winter-hardened hearts can carve out some space for these Pacific Coast-slices.
"We aren't trying to say we are better or worse than anybody," McKennedy said, acknowledging the already booming New York pizza scene. "We think our pizza can hold up … We like to stay open late, and we are super involved in our communities. Not sure if that makes us stand out, but we see folks resonate with those sensibilities," he concluded.
While we visited Sizzle Pie at around 8 p.m. on week night for dinner, the chain remains open from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Monday through Thursday, and all the way until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Additionally, they not only sell whole pizzas (ranging on average between $16-$20 for a 12-inch pie), but also pizza by the slice, and even by the half slice, allowing diners to sample a wider variety of flavors without depleting their wallets or filling up too quickly.
While we personally recommend the Spinal Tap vegan slice ("The caramelized onion spread is the genius result of our head of Kitchens Mikey Williams," McKennedy praised) and the South of Heaven meaty option, your best bet is to visit the shop and see what they have on rotation if you really want to soak in the full metal-pie experience.
"I can't really pick any favorites," McKennedy said. "They're like my children. I love em all!"
Keep your eye out on Sizzle Pie for some tentatively slated art shows coming up in the near future, and for a big fundraiser they're planning in March with Planned Parenthood!
Sizzle Pie, 57 Graham Ave., Williamsburg, NY 11222, Phone: (718) 723-7437, Website: sizzlepie.com