“Where You From? Manhattan, Right?”
Although he waited to ask us as we were paying the bill on the way out, the friendly pizza maker nailed us from the moment we had walked in. It wasn’t that we had a snobby attitude or that we dressed in designer duds, we simply had that look of NYC wonder when you find a truly incredible place that you know is the real deal. No artisanal doughs, no fancy toppings, no ridiculous imported furniture from Tuscany — just perfect old-school pizza the way the New York gods intended it to be. Welcome to Louie & Ernie’s.
After many years of promising ourselves to go check it out, we finally pulled together a crew to make the trek. The long hike from the Buhre Ave 6 train station up Crosby Avenue is quite nice passing some great local shops. This is a sweet little neighborhood with butcher shops that offer “family meat plans” and cozy diners that serve coffee and donuts all night. Louie & Ernie’s fits right in to the local landscape.
Before we get to the main course, let’s start with the calzone. Oozing with ricotta and packed with spinach and prosciutto, these tasty pockets will fill you up fast. This is key, because with $8 full carafes of wine (and we mean full, to the very tippy top, thank you!) you’ll need lots of dough and cheese to keep you on track.
Filled with locals and then more locals, there’s no need to worry about getting a seat at 7 o’clock on a Saturday night. Just sit yourself down and they’ll bring a couple of menus and some paper cups so you can start gulping the wine. The service is incredibly friendly with a rotating cast of young and hard working guys.
The sausage pizza at Louie & Ernie’s is what we really came for. We first read about this famed pie on Slice (by pizza expert Adam Kuban) awhile back. Luckily, it did not disappoint. A beautiful crust with a simple yet zingy tomato sauce and just the right amount of cheese — this pizza becomes a real winner when crowned with tasty hunks of porky goodness. The sausage is some of the best we’ve tasted on a New York pizza. And the reason? It’s loaded with fennel and is made fresh everyday at S & D Italian Deli just down the street. We’re going to throw Louie & Ernie’s into the bucket that includes our other favorite old-school pizza joints like Patsy’s and Arturo’s.
Louie & Ernie’s had been on our to-do list for way too long. Don’t let yourself make the same mistake. Go and check it out soon. It is awesome. It is real. It is the Bronx. It is New York.