Last month Santee , but now the city has gained a namesake New York pizzeria. opened its doors to customers for the first time on Friday.
The pies are cooked to the traditional New York standard in a brick oven with recipes straight from Big Apple. The owner, Larry, said he managed to get the secrets to the perfect pie from his friend who owns a pizza shop in Brooklyn.
I decided to try a slice of pepperoni and jalapeño and a slice of ricotta, pesto and tomato, and they threw in a drink for $5.50.
The pizza is downright delicious, with crispy crust on the outside and warm soft dough on the inside, a tricky textural combination for thin crust! There is just enough tomato sauce, that has a slight spicy bite, no need for red pepper.
The pizza is cooked just right so that the pepperoni isn't too crispy and the jalapeños are still juicy. I especially enjoyed the ricotta slice, the pesto doesn't replace the red sauce, but is dolloped on like any other topping. Even the tomato slice toppings, which at many pizzerias turn out to be some overlooked hot house tomatoes with no taste, are worth writing about.
Since the shop is so new, the ambiance and decor is still settling in, but it has definitely found a niche. Customers were already coming in and out at a good pace when I ate there just past the lunch rush.
Having tried just up the way on Carlton Hills (not to be confused with even farther up Carlton Hills), the only other N.Y. style pizza in town, I have to say I prefer Santee's Pizza, but will have to do a proper comparison of the two in another "Bites Nearby."