If it seems like we here at Food Republic have a weakness for pizzerias that also do good unto the world, well that’s because we do. Which brings us to this week’s pizza of the week: Roberta’s. Located in a forlorn part of Bushwick, Brooklyn and housed in a former garage, Roberta’s is like part pizza place/part art installation.
Out back is a patio, where at any time of day you’ll see the next big thing rock band from Brooklyn plotting their next gig over pizza or ridiculously good salads made from veggies grown on Roberta’s own gardens.
Roberta’s basically has this mini-farm on the rooftop of a shipping container, launched with help from locavore goddess Alice Waters. (There’s a garden nearby, and the team is involved in an epic rooftop farm in Queens as well.) The container itself is the headquarters and studios of the Heritage Radio Network. The Internet-only radio station features talk shows about the local and natural food movements, as well as music from some of those Brooklyn bands that hang around eating pizza.
But aside from all that, the art is in the food at Roberta’s. There is more than pizza here. The perfectly meaty-salty salumi is house-cured. There are intense off-cuts of meat flash-roasted in wood ovens to make the outside crisp and flavorful while keeping the inside soft and succulent. Plus, the veggies, salads, and anything that comes from the gardens is so fresh that it’s hard to believe you’re eating it in such a rustic spot.
Oh yeah, almost forgot about the pizza—which is why we’re here today. The thin, crispy, craggily crusted pizzas come loaded with toppings. Like the Beastmaster, with its Berkshire pork sausage, rich Gorgonzola cheese, capers, jalapeños, and red onions. The mushroom-topped Porta Baller. Or the simple Cheesus Christ, which is topped with not only the expected silky mozzarella and pungent parmesan, but also the unique and artisanal, buttery, funky, tangy Oma cheese — which is made in Vermont by brothers Sebastian and Dan von Trapp. There are too many awesome versions of pizza here to choose just one favorite.
Luckily, we don’t have to, since we go to Roberta’s all the time. Next time you’re in NYC, it’s soooo worth a visit. You’ll hear about all the trendy new spots from the locals, but remember that Roberta’s has insane pizzas and a whole lot more.
Got a candidate for pizza of the week? Let us know in the comments