Everybody loves lists, right? Well I bet you thought you were done with all the BEST OF 2017 lists, right? NOPE! I witnessed some hot cheese pulls last year (we can say that now!) and I’m proud to present them to you here. Try not to lick your screen.
Cheese Pull #6: Cloverleaf in Detroit, MI
This modest cheese pull occurred during my epic 2-day journey through Detroit’s pizza scene. This town loves its cheese and their indigenous pizza style doesn’t hide that fact. Some mix mozzarella with brick cheese, some just use mozz. The one thing you can bank on is that they don’t hold back! Cheese all the way up to the edge results in a deliciously charred cheese crust. The inner edges get the benefit of cheese flow, making possible some very exciting cheese pull opportunities.
Cheese Pull #5: Sam’s Restaurant in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
Service pulls (the Cloverleaf example) are great, but bite pulls are thrilling because you never know how intense it’s going to be until it’s happening. This happened when I took Mayor Bill de Blasio’s spokesperson Eric Phillips on a tour to some great spots after he blasted NY pizza on Twitter. See a video of that tour here. Sam’s Restaurant has been around since 1930 and their cheese situation is straight-up 100% Polly-o whole milk low moisture mozzarella. No cheese drag here because the sauce is on top, but cheese pull can and does happen. Embrace it.
Cheese Pull #4: Emilio’s in Morris Park, the Bronx
Here’s an aggressive one! You can always expect serious pull from Sicilian pizza and that’s what we got on this tour stop on Morris Park Avenue in the Bronx. Such a beautiful cascade of mozzarella on one of the cheesiest pizzas we eat at any tour stop. Emilio’s does a bunch of cool specialty slices but the squares are where it’s at. Best to get it fresh but a reheated corner is exactly what the doctor ordered for those into crunch factor. And by “doctor” I don’t mean a real doctor I mean pizza doctor, which is not a real thing.
Cheese Pull #3: Sofia Pizza Shoppe in Manhattan
The DoughDici is a weird pizza. It’s essentially a Sicilian pizza dough left out wayyyyy too long (12 hours or more, hence the Italian name DOUGHdici). The result is an oddly light in feel but dense in structure pizza. This pizza is not cheese-focused, yet somehow this incredible cheese pull happened. I was hanging with my homeslice Scottie Rivera (of Scottie’s Pizza Parlor in Portland, OR) and the rest is history. The cheese just would not quit!
Cheese Pull #2: Metro Pizza in Las Vegas
John Arena is my pizza Yoda. He’s my mentor in all things pizza history. This shot was taken during a pizza tour I did in Vegas during the International Pizza Expo. The slice kind of looks like a Star Destroyer listing off, doesn’t it? Well it’s leaving behind a trail of cheese and nobody is looking at it. Nevertheless, an epic cheese pull!
Cheese Pull #1: Famous Ben’s Pizza in Soho, NYC
Here it is, the most epic cheese pull of 2017. Wow, Just wow. Once again we see a Sicilian pizza that doesn’t know when to quit. At Ben’s, they add the mozzarella toward the end of the bake to maximize on cheese flow. The trick here is to serve it before the pie has time to settle. Lift straight up and watch the flow. Best to serve edge slices first, then go for corners. I’m just talking about cheese pull here, I don’t care which slice you’d rather eat. It’s all about the pull.