Saturday, September 1, 2007

End of Summer, Part III: L&B Spumoni Gardens

L&B Spumoni Gardens
2725 86th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11223
(718) 449-1230

FOUNDED IN 1939 and run for the next 68 years by the Barbati family that founded it, L&B Spumoni Gardens is a perennial favorite for Best Pizza in New York City (strike that, in Brooklyn, as if the City mattered at all in the contest) in the only media outlet that really matters: people who eat there. If you think otherwise, you haven't eaten at L&B's.

Mint, Steph and I finished our Last Day of Summer crusade, which began in Tribeca and continued on to Coney Island, by ordering up a half-tray of Sicilian pizza in Bensonhurst. L&B's cheese-first, sauce-on-top school of deep-dish pizza-making earns itself, at first, many a startled disbeliever. That is, until first bite. The crowds melt away into the summer breeze; the din of spumoni lovers waiting in line softens to a hush. All that remains is the sweet, sweet sauce, tangy cheese and a crispy, coal-burnt blackened crust. L&B's patio was invented for moments like this.

For $18 you get 12 slices of inch-and-a-half-thick goodness, you pick up a shaker of grated Parmesan, a shaker of garlic salt and a shaker of red pepper, and then you sit and enjoy yourself on L&B's sprawling outdoor patio. Neighborhood locals come and go, the clustered line waiting for homemade spumoni refreshes itself endlessly, and plate after plates of hot heroes and pasta pass by. This is summer at L&B's. I defy you to find me a better slice of life.

MIKE EATS NEXT TIME: Hopefully once more before it get chilly.

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