NY Style Pizza-By-The-Slice, $2.35 -- Lunch in Newport Beach
The Pizza Bakery -- Thin Crust NY style pizza but they also have California style toppings. The crust is better than most. A real pizza dough (1/4" thick) with a pizza crust crunch and chew yet you can still fold it like they do in the "City." The sauce is very good and it is spread very thin -- no after taste. The cheese is top quality but IMO they put more cheese than needed on our large pizza and the result was the cheese overpowered the taste of the dough and sauce. My sons felt the cheese was just right but, "What do they know?" They were born in Cal -- not Brooklyn like me. We added pepperoni and fresh mushrooms and that resulted in slices about 3/4" thick. A little less cheese and the slices would be a perfect 1/2" thick IMO. The pepperoni is of the large round / thin sliced type. The mushrooms were my son's idea and were good but I would have liked a little less of them because they add moisture to the crust. That is why I do not like garden stuff on my pizza -- moisture. With more meat (sausage, pepperoni) you would get more oil but that is OK for a true pizza. Our pizza had a very large end crust with no sauce or cheese but then I also noticed it is a larger pizza than the menu says it will be. I guess the big crust is for holding it.
After we ordered we waited twenty min for the pizza to be made. That is a good sign for NY style pizza because any place that hands you a something in 15 min or less is handing you -- "something," but it is not fresh made pizza. Slices take lees time because the pizza is made ready for you to order the toppings and then it is baked. When they were making my pizza I took the time to read the menu and notice what the other people seated inside the place were eating. Most locals seem to have one or two slices with various toppings -- not a whole pizza.
This place sells NYC size slices (2.35) and offers two categories of toppings -- "Classic" -- 60 cents each and "Gourmet" -- 85 cents each. I counted 23 Classic toppings including the standard meats and "fresh" mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, Roma Tomatoes, Broccoli, Capers, Ricotta cheese, Red Onion, and more. Eleven Gourmet toppings include feta cheese, artichoke harts, Goat cheese, Sun-dried tomatoes, Anchovy filets, chicken sausage and more.
They also have subs, salads, spaghetti and lasagna but I did not try any of those. I will return for the pizza when I am nearby. This is a Perfect lunch stop for a drive along the beach towns or before or after a nature drive through Back Bay Newport..
I think the 8 different lunch specials would be hard to beat any place but considering the Newport Beach address this might be the best lunch deal in town. I noticed one slice w/ bottomless drink -- $3.50. Add one topping -- $4. Two slices w/ bottomless drink $5.75. One slice w/ one topping & lunch salad w/ drink $6.75. A lunch salad w/ lo-cal dressing and drink is $5.
They also have 7 "Pizza Favorites." One I will try next time is the, "Margherita" -- no sauce, Roma Tomatoes, Olive oil, Fresh Basil and Garlic. 12" -- $15.14, 16" -- $19.50. I normally do not order vegeterian items but this sounds good. I might even add some feta. That sounds like a california pizza to me.
Good address to keep in the map book.
The Pizza Bakery
1741 Westcliff Drive
Newport Beach, CA
North of PCH -- Between Irvine and Dover
I finally had a chance to try out the Pizza Bakery for lunch yesterday, and it was quite good. I ordered one of the lunch specials, the one slice with one topping, with salad and drink.
The salad was better than I was expecting, having more than just lettuce, tomatoes, and grated cheese. I forget the exact ingredients, but there were things like avocado slices, garbonzo beans, and a few other items. The salad was quite large and filling.
I was a bit worried that the one pizza slice would not be enough for me, but it turned out to be a huge slice that looked like it was 10" long, which meant it was cut from a 20" pizza. The pizza slices were also freshly made as ordered, so we had to wait about 10 minutes for our pizza slices, instead of being made ahead of time and sitting under a heat lamp. I ordered my slice with the pepperoni topping, and it was quite good. Lots of cheese, crispy crust.
At $7.50, the lunch special was slightly pricier than other nearby pizza places, but the quality of the food was better than other places like Sgt. Pepperoni's or Me & Ed's.
When I'm in the mood for pizza again, the Pizza Bakery will be at the top of the list. They also have lasagna on the menu, so I might try that next time.
I made a pizza-slice visit to this area of Newport Beach recently and tried Pizza Bakery and Al's NY Cafe, which is only a few blocks away on 17th/Irvine next to the 7-11. The winner IMHO was Al's Pizza taste-wise. BUT, Al's is mainly a small takeout place and not a place to dine at. Al's has the best NY-pizza that I know of in the OC area. If it had a bigger dining area I would go there often. Give Al's a try and let us know how you think it compares to the Pizza Bakery...