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Camos Brothers Pizza in Chapel Hill

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  • LBD Nov 1, 2012 08:23 AM
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I know they were open in The Courtyard for a little while but I guess the construction there forced them to find a new location. I've gone 3-4 times now since they reopened on East Franklin (next to Blockbuster) and as far as New York style pizza goes I think they might be my favorite in the area. The Chapel Hill location isn't listed on the website yet. http://www.realnycpizza.com/

Anyone else been? I'm curious what other folks think.

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  1. I _hope_ for CH's sake that they're as good as they used to be in Raleigh. As much as I've been a fan of Camos Bros. Raleigh location, in the last few months the quality there has gone down the tubes. Camos Bros. was easily, IMHO, the best pizza in the area. Lately, though, they're not all that good. I think the fact that one brother returned to NY and the other brother has most likely been putting all his effort into the CH location has caused the downturn in quality in Raleigh.

    But if the CH location is anything like the Raleigh location used to be, the pizza will be excellent.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rockycat

      The Raleigh Camos Bros pizza is OK - they have gotten very stingy on their toppings. Last time I got a large 2 topping, there were slices with only 1 piece of each ingredient (sausage and pepperoni). They looked so lonley. Haven't been back since then.

    2. Oh wow, this is great info. I love NY style pizza. I assume they sell slices? Could be just the thing for a busy Saturday lunch.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LulusMom

        Yep, by the slice. The Sicilian is also pretty good. My favorite order is "corner square." The rest of the family likes their slices with toppings. The Hell's Kitchen is a favorite and the one with the veggies, I can't remember the name. I'm more of a purist. I prefer a plain slice, but when there's a white pie out, I'm all over it.

        Also, the salads are pretty large and are served in a pizza bowl.

      2. Hey, thanks for the heads-up. Husband and I went Friday. Had the lunch special (two slices and a drink). Hubbie was happy to see one of those multi-choice soda machines. I liked the murals on the walls. Pizza was very good. Very nice crust. Good sauce. Can't wait to take my brothers when they come for a visit (we hail from Endicott, New York.) This pizza reminds me of what we used to get in the Italian North Side neighborhood. Camos Brothers has been added to our list of favorite pizza places in the area.

        1. Lulu and I stopped by for a slice each for lunch today. We both liked it (I'd say she liked it the most). I found the sauce *slightly* on the sweet side, but overall it was a hit. I love foldy, greasy slices so much. Thanks LBD for letting us know about this spot. We'll be going back.

          1. Is it better than Alfredo's?

            7 Replies
            1. re: bbqme

              wow I'm a 3rd gen New Yorker & to me nothing beats Italian Pizzeria III, those guys are from Naples. And their ravioli is homemade; terrific.

              1. re: bbqme

                I'd give Alfredo's (by the slice only) the edge on this one. I almost wanted to pick Lulu up and drive immediately there to do a taste test and see for sure. Maybe someone with a really big appetite needs to do that, for the sake of the community. ; )

                1. re: LulusMom

                  The perfect pizza quest continues. How about I Love New York Pizza in New Hope Commons Durham. Their slice may have a slight edge over Camos for me. I do agree with the slight sweetness of my Camos slice, but I thought it was in the crust. At least the sweetness isn't overpowering like it is at California Pizza Kitchen. This week I am going to try to get to Italian Pizzeria III which has been on my list forever.

                  1. re: Panski

                    The closest to perfect for me has been Pizzeria Toro in Durham. I Like Alfredo's (he's from Italy too) better than IP3 or I Love NY.

                  2. re: LulusMom

                    Interesting, I didn't think their sauce was all that sweet but when I think sweet something like Papa John's or Pizza Hut comes to mind. I like their crust better than Alfredo's.

                    I do like the idea of a taste test, I'm sure my kids are up for it!

                    1. re: LBD

                      I bet my husband would too. He's got a work colleague around this week, and then leaves town for a couple of weeks, but when we get back, I will put him to guinea pig use if reminded.

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        Brief comments from husband. He ate at I Love New York Pizza. Thought it was maybe a little less sweet than Camos and his crust at ILOVENY held up a little better (didn't have to eat with knife and fork). But that was just luck of the draw. I have had I LOVE NY slices that were sloppy and my slice at Camos held up perfectly well. Fold and eat--what is better than that. My almost final word is I will just set up a rotation schedule and eat at each one in turn. They are all good.

                2. Being from NY or Italy does not make you an automatically great pizza maker. What coming from Italy has to do with making a New York style pizza is beyond my knowledge since the two (Italy's and New Yorks) are vastly different. I have not been to Camos, but had one of their free samples before they opened and nothing between them, IP3 or Alfredos really stood out as being different from any other random pizza joint in the area. Are they better than the chains. Possibly is one better than another that is possible two but are any of them exceptional.. I don't think so.

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                    Well exceptional and better are subjective. The differences between the random pizza joints (NY style anyway) in the area might be subtle but they're different enough that they all seem to have their fans that prefer one place to another.

                    1. re: LBD

                      Right I mean the best pizza could be the one that you have at X moment especially if you are REALLY hungry. Does that mean it is uncontested.. nope. I think there is a vast different between the good and the bad and sure people who like Peppers, for instance, like it because maybe they've grown up around or they like the attitude and atmosphere (lack thereof) of the place too.

                    2. re: burgeoningfoodie

                      Maybe one has to have a special memory of eating a bended, greasy slice while rushing around NYC and being amazed that something so good could be had so easily to appreciate it. For me, these kind of slices are much better than the last chain I tried, but gosh, that was a long time ago, can't remember which it was. I know that I've had Domino's at parties and thought it was basically eating cardboard.

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        Agree completely, LulusMom. It is a matter of taste, but I have never had a chain pizza slice as good as one from one of my favorite pizzerias. Maybe it is quality of ingredients, atmosphere, or memories of a hot slice on a cold sidewalk in NYC, but places like Comos and I Love NY Pizza ring my bells like no chain ever has. BTW, got to Italian Pizzeria III in C.H. yesterday. It was a good one too. Maybe not my favorite, but mighty nice. Husband had to go back for a second slice. Too bad parking is such a pain.

                        1. re: LulusMom

                          My first memory of pizza I really loved was the pizza place at Durham's South Square Mall in the mid/late 70's. They sold by the slice and I greatly prefered it to Pizza Hut, The Rathskeller ( I hated their pizza), and the old Sal's at Eastgate which to the best of my memory were about the only offerings then. I've only had Domino's or Papa John's at kid's birthday parties or events at my kid's schools and I agree-not good.

                        2. re: burgeoningfoodie

                          Exactly right on Italy/NY issue. I've lived several places in Italy for periods of one month to five months, North, South, and Central. NY style pizza is not found in Italy. Philadelphia style is close to Neopolitan though. The only place around Chapel Hill that has an Italian style pie, albeit Roman not Neopolitan, is Piola. Their pies are like the Roman ones, thin crust, reasonably small, and not by the slice. Those you get in Rome by the slice are close to the square pies here with pieces in rectangles, like what are sometimes called "Sicilian" in Philadelphia, breadier than 8-10 inch full pies with thin crusts. Given this, when I'm nostalgic for Rome, I go to Piola. When I'm nostalgic for Philly, I get a Piola Neopolitan style (which isn't as tasty as their Roman pies), and when I'm nostalgic for a NY pie, I rotate among Randy's and the others discussed in this thread.
                          I've never understood what "authentic" pizza means as a result. Pizza is a food group, not a collectible.

                          1. re: walras

                            <Pizza is a food group, not a collectible.>
                            I love that line. I'm going to have to borrow it sometime.

                            I've always thought that the very best pizza in the world was the one you got at that place on the corner where you grew up. Nothing else ever comes close.

                            Btw, for Raleigh pizza-philes: Our neighbor went to Pizzeria Italia on Westgate last night and called to tell us that Pete has retired and sold the place to Igor (his employee from nearly the beginning). The neighbor thought there were changes to the sauce and there were some other changes, but he's willing to go back. I intended to go for lunch today but wasn't able.

                            1. re: rockycat

                              Can he please make an Abby Normal pizza? j/k

                            2. re: walras

                              Man and I was hoping to come upon antique pizzas for my collection... ;-)

                              1. re: walras

                                Well if you want to try Neapolitan in the area, Bella Mia should be pretty close. The reason why NY is considered a pizza mecca is because, doh, there are a lot of Italians in the area. Admittedly their pizza may be slightly Americanized given we're in the States but I'll disagree that pizza and all its variations are ok. In the end, food represents a lot about the history and origins of a culture. I think the "best" pizza comes from the NY/CT area and no surprise, there are a lot of Italian-Americans there.

                                Don't get me wrong, I'll eat Domino's or what have you and it's tasty but to me it's disrespectful to not understand what the authentic version is about and what it represents...

                                1. re: RonboNC

                                  Principally there are Neapolitans and Sicilians in NYC. Pizza comes from Naples and a slice of PIzza Margherita in no way resembles the Italian-American pizza we are all discussing.It's a super thin crust with a thin slice of tomato, full stop. If you've been to Rao's in NYC or the old Grotta Azzura that's true Italian-American NYC cuisine. I recommend Rao's cookbook it's excellent.

                                  1. re: Rory

                                    Won't disagree with you about pizza margherita but you really think Italian Pizzeria III in Chapel Hill is the best in the area? Not a fave of mine, I prefer Randy's, Cozzolino's or Camos Bros.

                                    1. re: Rory

                                      If you've been to Rao's you've known someone connected to the place or were very very lucky. That said officially a pizza shouldn't be called Napolitano unless it meets a certain criteria or certification I believe. I believe there are others in that area that are doing true Italian-American cuisine depending on how you define that and not just their pizza.