Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Toby's Brilliant Brunch Pizza

I saw the sign on Saturday, around noon. I was walking from Park Slope to Sunset Park, down 6th Avenue, when I noticed the sign. It was a blackboard, outside a bar/brick-oven pizzeria on the corner of 6th Avenue and 21st Street, Toby's Public House. The sign said something like: "Brunch Pizza. Saturdays and Sundays only, 12-4 (or was it 12-2?). Tomato, Mozzarella, Eggs, Bacon or Sausage." What a great idea, I thought. I'll have to try it ASAP. ASAP was the following day.

Toby's opened last year. I can't remember what was at that location before, but the interior looks like a venerable bar, with a great classic tile floor. Toby's has already gotten a fair amount of attention from the pizzascenti (and when that word finally makes the dictionary, I may well be the first citation). One thing the writers can't seem to agree on is what to call the neighborhood. To me, 6th & 21st is resolutely South Slope, but some call it Greenwood Heights (a name I first heard maybe 6 or 7 years ago to describe the neighborhood around Green-Wood Cemetery), and one reviewer quite erroneously called it Sunset Park.

The pizzas are 12" thin-crust Neapolitans, and I thought the crust was quite good--a nice char to the edges and a good crunchy-chewy balance. I wondered how the bacon and eggs would figure in the pizza. Would it be topped with cooked eggs and bacon? No, it appears that everything was baked together, with generally satisfactory results. I'm guessing that beaten eggs were poured directly on the crust after the cheese, dotting the pie, giving the eggs a fluffy consistency reminiscent of a baked frittata. I'd have preferred the bacon crispier, however--partial precooking may be the answer. All in all, though, it was a fabulous combination. Quality mozzarella, a good crust, an excellently flavor-balanced sauce, crowned with bacon and eggs--who could ask for anything more? The pizza makes perfect breakfast sense: eggs, bacon, cheese, tomato, bread--can you show me a better way to put them all together?

Toby's Public House
686 Sixth Avenue
South Slope or Greenwood Heights, depending on who you ask
Brooklyn, NY

Closest Subway: R to Prospect Avenue or 25th Street.


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