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Pizza: Lucali, Roberta's, or Paulie Gee's?

  • c

Meeting a friend who's visiting and staying in the Park Slope area--all three are fairly inconvenient, so location isn't really a factor. I only include that I'm meeting a friend to say that "experience", while a distant second to the pizza, does count.

Of the three, I've only had Roberta's from their mobile stand around Manhattan, which I hit every time it pops up--love their crust, and visiting their brick-and-mortar has been high on my list for a long time. As far as composed pies go, Paulie Gee's grabs me the most with their creative topping combinations. On the other hand, I love the ethos of Lucali, as well as the BYOB.

So which would you pick?

(as an aside, are any of these three near a street with enough cab presence that we can snag one reasonably quickly afterward?)

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  1. three wildly different places. i'd say that i enjoy paulie gee's as a pizza place the most. roberta's is the best -- by far -- as a restaurant if you're having more than just a pie. lucali, i just don't get. for food, that is, not "ethos."

    your chances of finding an actual cab are near zero at all three. a car service is possible near paulie gee's. you will not find one anywhere near roberta's. then again, i'm an inveterate subway rider until two AM or so.

    1. Ill mostly agree with deb in queens except on the transit front - roberta's is both 1.5 blocks from the L train and well within the service area of any number of car service companies, we've taken cars home more than a few times.

      on the actual pizza - i concur entirely with deb on not caring for lucali. atmosphere is great, but the pie is just not my bag (and its all they sell, so thats a big deal). the crust has a crisp-ness that i dont care for.

      paulie gee's pies are a little bigger, flatter, and have some pretty awesome flavor combos (anise and a nephew really sticks out).

      paulie gee's is probably a little more sedate/older, but i really appreciate that the man himself is there all the time and makes a real effort to get out and meet his diners (we discovered our grandmothers shared a name) and the space is quite cool. depending on where you are in the slope (and how terrible maimed G train service is on any given weekend) its actually a quite quick trip from either 7th ave or 4th ave/9th st if things are running well.

      2 Replies
      1. re: tex.s.toast

        oh, agreed on the train situation, tex

        the OP was asking about cab availability, so i sensed a subway aversion -- something i've never had.

        1. re: debinqueens

          Nope, no aversion to the subway whatsoever, it was just wanting to avoid a nearly hour-long trek when these places are a mere two or three miles away by car. I've only spent significant amounts of time in areas of Brooklyn that are pretty heavily trafficked on weekend nights (ie, some areas of Williamsburg) where cabs aren't all *that* hard to come by with a fair number of people coming from Manhattan, so I was just hoping for the sake of convenience...

      2. Where in the Slope are you? Lucali is a quick (3-4 block) walk from the Carroll Street F/G train, and a block away from Clinton Street (parallel to Henry, the street Lucali is on) which is usually the go-to for taxis in Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens. (I don't know if lower Clinton has the usual cab presence due to some construction blocking traffic 4 blocks north of where Lucali is, but I suspect there are still some around.) But a car service will certainly come, it's well within the beaten path and probably not too much of a $$$ difference to just go back to Park Slope.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cazique

          fyi, that corner of clinton and kane is reopened to traffic.

          you may want to try giussepina's, which on like 6th and 20th. same pizza as lucali's but they have beer (and wine, i think) and there is never a wait.

        2. thanks for the replies so far. I double checked and she's staying near 7th Ave. & President St. Lucali seems to be the most convenient, and as far as I can tell the other two would take about 45+ min. by train, which complicates things...

          2 Replies
          1. re: crsin

            Id second Giuseppinas-better than all three of those choices

            1. re: crsin

              Its not on the list but IMO if they want to stay in Park Slope area, Franny's is more interesting than Lucali's which is a good product but rather boring in flavor.

            2. Appreciate the Franny's reminder--been wanting to try it but don't think of it as often for some reason. Wasn't aware of Giuseppinas, I'll take a look, thanks.

              1. Roberta's is the best, Paulie's is great and has less of a wait (though still epic if you go at the wrong time with the wrong number of people). I would certainly go to Roberta's if I had to choose one, though I have probably been to Paulie Gee's 10x as much as I've been to Roberta's (and I got married at Roberta's!) simply because it's great, convenient, and less of a special thing.

                Not sure why you're looking for a cab in Brooklyn; call Northside or Java near Paulie Gee's and a car will be there in mere minutes (the Java guys sit parked on West St. waiting for calls, two blocks away). Near Roberta's call Bushwick Car Service. Near Lucali's, maybe Arecibo.

                1 Reply
                1. re: didactic katydid

                  Thanks, I don't usually think of car services, but that sounds like it'd work well.

                2. There's no question in my mind that Paulie Gee's would be the best choice in every way: the quality of the pizza, the ambiance and the overall experience. Easy to get to via the G train.
                  Hostess probably can provide you with a car service phone #. If you arrive and find the wait is more than a half hour, leave your name and walk up to Brouwerij Lane and have a beer.

                  Closer to home, I made my first visit to brand-new Brooklyn Central on Fifth Ave. between 1st St. and 2nd St. and found the pies to be excellent. Also Neopolitan style, baked in a wood-fired oven, featuring a satisfying chewy crust and some very creative toppings. We enjoyed the pie with black garlic and mushrooms (sweet and smoky) and the pie with anchovies. Very friendly staff, including wife of one of the owners, who took great interest in making sure everyone enjoyed their pizzas.

                  On the Giuseppina's debate: I was a bit disappointed. In fact, the pies coming out of the oven at Toby's Public House across the street are better.

                  Finally, a clam pie at Franny's is one of the best outside of New Haven.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: famdoc

                    Having never been to giuseppina's i am curious if your disappointment was because it wasnt up to Lucali's standards, or because you dont like the style in general. Ive always assumed that people who like one like the other, but id be interested if anyone had a convincing argument about one being superior.

                    1. re: tex.s.toast

                      One visit, uninspiring pie. Willing to give it a second chance, but with Brooklyn Central, Toby's and Franny's in the neighborhood...and, Paulie Gee's (my favorite) a short ride away, why do so?

                      1. re: famdoc

                        this is exactly why ive only ever been to lucali a couple of times and not recently at that - its not incredibly convenient (what with the waits) and its not my favorite style. any time we've been tempted to try giussepina's we always end up crossing the street to toby's instead.