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The pizza my heart! Finding the best dollar-slice joint without leaving the block

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Photo gallery

1/5
I’d buy that for a dollar: A pizza slice with decent bubbling and a proper cheese-to-sauce ratio.
2/5
From cells to slices: The signage has barely changed since 99-cent Supreme Pizza took over from Cricket mobile phone sales.
3/5
On paper: This mediocre slice did nothing for our intrepid editor.
4/5
The buck stops here: The final stop in the three-shop competition.
5/5
The golden age of grease: This slice is full of oil, but is also full of flavor.

The buck stops here!

In my time at this newspaper, I have become an aficionado of inexpensive cuisine, scouring the city blocks around our Downtown office for a dish that will fill my stomach without emptying my wallet. So it felt like a visit from the gustatory gods when two 99-cent slice joints opened over the last few weeks, each within 60 feet of my favored Jay Street-Metrotech subway entrance.

With these upstart one-buck cheese slingers added to an already existing dollar-slice spot on the same block, I was faced with a cornucopia of triangular dining options. But which pizza purveyor truly deserved my Washingtons? I launched a lunching taste test to be sure.

My first visit was the newest, Jay Street Fresh 99¢ Pizza, which opened two weeks ago at 408 Jay St., between Fulton and Willoughby streets. In exchange for a single Sacagawea, I received a single cheese slice, and settled in at one of its handful of square aluminum tables. The slice lacked char, but was stiff enough to hold in a classic pinch maneuver. It had the proper balance of cheese and sauce, and puffed up at the crust, giving it a light and airy texture. Overall, the slice was a definite contender.

The second stop on my journey was 99¢ Supreme Pizza, at the corner of Jay Street and Willoughby, open for three weeks. Housed in a former “Cricket” phone sales shop, the oven occupies most of the space, leaving just enough room for customers to lean against the glass counter running. The mid-point of the trip was also its nadir of flavor: the slice had a too-sweet sauce, and the dough was flat as a sheet of cardboard.

Finally, I visited my old stand-by for penny-pinching pizza: 99¢ Fresh Hot Pizza, at 51 Willoughby St., between Jay and Lawrence streets. This was the only place where I encountered a line, which snaked past a series of classic red booths. But one minute and one buck later, I had my final piece of the pie.

This slice had the most grease, but also the most flavor — dabbing off the grease with a napkin somehow diminished its blend of cheese and sauce, which came on a crust with just the right amount of chew. bThis was the pizza for me, and I celebrated by devouring every bite, and then getting back in line to bring my editor the special: two slices and a can of soda for $2.75. In exchange for three dollars, the proprietors gave me the required two wedges, a Coke, and a coin which turned out to be 20 Maylaysian Sen. I still feel like they’re the winners.

Reach arts editor Bill Roundy at broundy@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4507.
Updated 2:12 pm, November 20, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Any 99 cent slice is going to be 99% sawdust and covered with "tomato flavored" condiment topping thickened with corn starch. You get what you pay for.
Nov. 20, 9:10 am
Ben V from CG says:
Damnit, I'm starving now
Nov. 20, 12:55 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Jim, if you don't like this kind of pizza, then simply don't eat because nobody is forcing you to do so, but others may want it especially if they are trying to save money, and it might just taste good for them.
Nov. 25, 6:41 pm

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