Pete Zazz serves pizza with some pizzazz. It’s a tiny pizza shop that turns a regular slice into a creative galore of toppings.
My friend and I stumbled upon this little pizza shop when we were adrift in Crown Heights because, much to our surprise, most of the restaurants in the neighborhood were closed before 5pm, including our original restaurant destination. Pete Zazz was one of the few eateries open.
When we entered, we were warmly greeted by the staff who asked us if we’ve ever been there before and gave us a rundown of the menu. The menu includes pizza and non-pizza items; the pizza includes the regular cheese slice named the “Brooklyn” and specialty pizzas with your not-so-typical topping combinations like the “Split Pea” (which is topped with curried English pea, feta, and kimchi gremolata). He recommended that we try their most popular “Baked Potato” pizza (with baked potato, creme fraiche, white cheddar, and applewood smoked bacon toppings). You can also add other toppings to the specialty pizzas or substitute items but I wanted to try the pizza in their original flavors so we ordered a half-and-half pie of Baked Potato and Brooklyn.
Since Pete Zazz doesn’t have an indoor seating area, customers can dine in the Glass Shop cafe connected through a door in the back of the shop. While I waited for my food, I wandered around the pizza shop and chatted with the staff, who invited me to make a drawing for their “art wall” and elucidated the significance of the photographs on the wall. Perhaps I’ll tell you if you’d like to know 😉 .
In the summer, the shop opens its outside patio for seating and outdoor movie showings. In the patio is also a herb garden, where the store grows and picks some of the herbs that are used in the pizza. According to one of the staff, the shop opens up the herb garden as a community garden where people from the neighborhood can plant and grow their own food there for a small donation.
After much anticipation, we were served our pizza. The “Brooklyn” was interesting in that the sauce used marjoram, instead of the usual oregano. The marinara sauce was a little too salty and the tomato flavor was weak. In the “Baked Potato”, the bland potatoes were enhanced by the creme fraiche, bacon, and dried garlic, but it still felt like something was lacking. As for the pizza crust, it was sprinkled with sea salt on the rims, which helped with the flavor but also made me thirsty. The crust was a bit too thin and crunchy for my liking because I prefer crusts that have the right thickness, with a crisp outer layer and a chewiness on the inside.
Overall, the pizza is not the best that I’ve had but if you’re looking for something different, Pete Zazz is your place. The service is warm and friendly. And it’s the kind of shop that feels like a true neighborhood store, where people actually try to get to know you. I’d go back in the summer to see the outdoor patio and hang out with friends over a slice of pizza.
766 Classon Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(718) 230-ZAAZ (9229)