“We heard this is Phil’s favorite pizza so we had to come,” said the elderly couple walking into Joe’s Pizzeria & Sub Shop. Funny…I was there for the same reason.
Before we go on, there’s a few things we need to get out of the way:
1) I take pizza very seriously (as many of my Callaway marketing colleagues can attest).
2) I grew up in New York eating the best pizza in the world (IMHO).
3) This was my third consecutive day of eating pizza (I landed on a redeye flight at 5 a.m. Monday morning. I’m writing this on Wednesday).
So when Lefty proclaimed Joe’s his go-to spot in a few recent articles and during his Tuesday press conference, there was no question I had to go.
This is what transpired (click to enlarge):
Joe’s is located around the block from Baltusrol and looks exactly like the places I grew up eating at. This was a good sign.
Another strong omen; when you arrive and they pull out a fresh Sicilian pie form the oven. It was obviously meant to be.
Meet my boy Cameron Cook. His grandparents own the place and his muthuh is a cook there (my muthuh is also an Italian cook). He used to caddie at Balty and now he’s gearing up for a digital media internship with the NY Jets. He said its been packed ever since Phil began spreading the word, including visits from several other pros.
This is one of a few pieces of memorabilia they have displayed on the walls. A Phil-signed Joe’s Pizza shirt with a photo of Phil wearing a Joe’s Pizza shirt. Now I really want a Joe’s Pizza shirt!
I kept my order simple, as I do at most pizza places I’ve never been to; a slice of Sicilian and a slice of regular (we’ll get to this later)
I’m a “more sauce than cheese” person and this Sicilian slice was LEGIT. Perfect corner piece with plenty of sauce.
The crust was insane. The bottom was super crispy and the inside was airy and fluffy. It took three embarrassingly big bites to realize this was no ordinary Sicilian. This was major championship caliber Sicilian.
Back to the regular slice thing. Where I grew up, that’s what a slice with no toppings was called. Notice that Joe’s calls it a “plain” slice on their menu. That is also very acceptable. It’s not a “slice of cheese” Hashtag Chad, regardless of what your obnoxious Twitter poll revealed. This is a slice of cheese. (Can you please weigh in on this debate in the comments below?)
And like any decent human being, I fold my pizza. Whadduya you think I’m stoonads?
But I was just fine with the delicious za. I mean this was high level stuff. I’d actually put their Sicilian up among the best I’ve ever had. Hey Phil, can I get a sushi recommendation next?
Hey Joe’s, if you guys are interested in opening a second location inside our Carlsbad HQ, gimme a call. I think we can make that happen.