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Roberta’s Pizza
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Roberta’s Pizza

I was excited about Roberta’s since A) Gabrielle Langholtz put it in the Brooklyn Bracket of Restaurant Madness and B) I saw this video about The Cortes pizza. I wanted one. My PR foodie friend Kate said that we should check it out and I was totally down. Plus, they grow a lot of their own produce for the pizza organically on their farm. I guess it’s really just a garden. How big does a garden have to get before it’s a farm? An acre? 1/2 acre? Maybe it’s a farm as soon as you start referring to it’s size in acreage. I don’t know how many acres this place is, but I’m sure it’s less than one. The whole Roberta’s compound is less than an acre, but most of it is taken up with farm. They even have some farm on the roof.

Let’s get right into the reason I’m here – The Cortes:

The ingredients:

Tomato Sauce
Crema Fresca
Hatch Chile Chorizo
Onions Pickled in Lime Juice
Fresh Radish and Cilantro From the Garden

You should really watch that video – the chef is hilarious. Come on, though. How are you not going to love that pizza? That chorizo would make you question your vegetarian-ness.

It was all I’d hoped it be. This plays on every taste bud: salty, spicy chorizo and slightly chilly crema fresca worked with the sour pickled onions and the sweet tomato sauce in perfect (sic) balance. Hate using that word to describe stuff, but I ate three quarters of The Cortes and barely took a breath while doing so.

I must warn you – It’s not on the menu right now; it may just be a seasonal item. Why they couldn’t just source some of these vegetables from somewhere else for the rest of the year is beyond me. Maybe it wasn’t their best seller.

Obligatory upskirt – nice char:

Kate was having shower trouble. I guess there was some kind of leak and she didn’t make it, but what was I going to do? Just have one pizza and leave? I might never be out here again.

I ordered The Margherita as well and it was awesome. I hadn’t had one since I had a Motorino margherita last year (seriously – I barely ever order the margherita) and was comparing it directly to that one. The Motorino pie was soggy in the middle. I did get that one at 11:00 AM, so the oven probably wasn’t hot enough, but if you’re going to sell a product, sell a consistent product. I’ve heard a lot of great things about Motorino since and before, but my initial experience was a bad one.

I already mentioned that this experience was quite different, and it costs $6 less. Everything was on point here – fresh basil, fresh mutz… I’m sure everything was organic. This is a great pie. For $8, this might be the best single pie value in the city. You can’t get another pie this good this inexpensively.

My friend who lives pretty much across the street from this place told me that I should also get the Cheese Plate. All right, Kara – whatever, it’s just money ;-) I was pleasantly surprised with it, I gotta say. You get a ton of cheese for $10 or $8 or whatever they sell it for today. It was lacking toast points. if you’re going to give me cheese, I want a vehicle by which I get it into my mouth.

I put the names of the cheese into my phone and all the data erased when I got a new number, so I can’t really report on this. Besides, it’s improbable to think that these are the three cheeses you’d going to get if you eat there today.

The flies had no problem getting it into their mouths. That’s the one big negative of this place (at least the time I was there). There were so many damn files all over this place. That’s the tradeoff of eating on a farm (or in a garden?), I suppose. Still, I wish there weren’t flies all up on my food the whole time I was eating there – it was pretty irritating.

I guess that’s my only complaint about this place.

That’s not true…

This is one of those cash only/ATM inside (it’s outside, but the same thing applies) places. For that, I say fuck you (yes, fuck you – this is bullshit) Roberta’s ownership, charging me extra if I don’t have cash. This ain’t the goddamned Book of Eli; you own the phone line that handles the ATM transactions. It’s not like you don’t understand people don’t carry cash around. You’re not fooling anybody. It’s 2010 and we’re only a few years away from abolishing cash altogether. Also, they weren’t great about filling up my water, and there was no ice in it. I don’t want lukewarm water – no one does. Do they even have an ice machine?

I guess you couldn’t have really seen that coming, but seriously, only accepting cash and putting an ATM outside is a conscious decision to screw the customer. I can’t get down with that.

That being said, the prices are reasonable, the food is amazing, and the staff all seemed happy and were quite courteous and attentive. For all this, Roberta’s earns the highest honor possible – the Wandering Foodie RE-DO. Certainly one of the top five pizza places in NYC.

261 Moore Street
Brooklyn, NY 11206
(718) 417-1118

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