| TRI PIE: At Good Neighbor Pizza. |
IMAGE: Vivian Johnson
According to Mark Saldaña, one of three owners of Good Neighbor Pizza, the best pizza is simple pizza. “There’s no secret to what I do. I try to use the least amount of ingredients so it comes out the freshest. The dough has four ingredients in it: local organic honey, local flour, salt and water.”
Despite this “less is more” ethic, Good Neighbor, which opened last Halloween on Northeast Dekum Street, doesn’t have any topping restrictions on its lightly charred, thin-crust pies such as at other premier pizza spots in town. The Old World ($24, 14-inch; $32, 18-inch) is a tasty combo topped with pepperoni, salami, roasted red pepper, roasted onions and green olives. If you like Italian sausage, though, opt for that instead of pepperoni—theirs is spicy, fatty and full of porcine love.
The roll-up garage doors of Good Neighbor’s corner space let in lots of light for the dining room and its rotating art and 20-stool bar. It’s a great place to grab a slice or pie, sip on a cold beer ($4 pints, $5-$9 cocktails) and kick back.
Slice options ($2.50-$3.50) are pretty good but obviously depend on foot traffic. Go for a slice during lunch or dinner rush, otherwise try a housemade focaccia sandwich ($5-$8) or the house “sliders” ($2.50 each; $6 for three), delicious baked-to-order garlic knots stuffed with meatballs slathered in sauce and cheese. Add a side salad ($3-$4) and you’ve got a solid meal.
Saldaña, who’s lived in the neighborhood for several years and boasts that he has a three-minute walk to work—a shorter commute than to his previous venture, ¿Por Qué No?—is loyal to his neighborhood. “Anyone who lives in the 97211 I give them $3 off for walking here to pick up their pizza. You know, walk in, bike in, skateboard, it doesn’t matter—whatever doesn’t take gas to get here and you get three bucks off your order.” Just one more reason why this spot lives up to its name.
EAT: Good Neighbor Pizza, 800 NE Dekum St., 285-7400. Lunch and dinner noon-10 pm Sunday-Wednesday; noon-midnight Thursday-Saturday. $