The pizza snobbery in Gainesville is lovely and astounding. We have such a loyalty to our favorite places, and we actually feel proud of our pizza options. And what makes a pizza good is totally arbitrary, unique to each individual. Yes, I’ll get into the best pizza places in town in a different post.
For the moment, let’s talk about a sketchy little option in the NE part of town.
Wait, I do get grumpy about Northeast Gainesville because it’s the older, poorer side. We have gross roads, few dining options, bad schools, and the atrocity called Wal-mart. It’s straight up working class. The people are blue collar. They’re hard working. They’re diverse. They stretch their dollars from paycheck to paycheck. And they are largely overlooked. (Putting soap box away.)
Back to Waldo road, between Tacachale and Wal-mart, a few blocks south of UF’s Eastside Campus. Kind of nestled among the barber shops and the bail bonds offices. And it’s sketchy as shit. No, seriously.
A Perfect Pie. When you drive in, note the cars with New York plates. The hand painted and economy printed signs. The often-renovated building painted with a solid coat of non-descript red and white. My sister and I used to call a place like this a front—a place that inexplicably exists for years, likely because it facilitates other types of business. Not that it’s true of this place. Really.
Short story, you want to try this pizza. It’s good pizza made by people that don’t just toss a pie from a freezer to an oven. My folks are from Philly and this is the kind of place we would go to on our Jersey beach trips. The menu encompasses the kind of stuff you imagine it would (wings, salads, pasta, subs, burgers, deep fried stuff). They even do big sheet pizzas for parties and groups.
The less-short story. The crust is basic. I kind of want it to be more hand tossed. But it’s thin and supports itself. The cheese is mostly real and nicely bubbly and stretchy when it’s hot. The two wins are the sauce and the balance. I’m picky about sauce, and it’s right between sweet and tangy. And balance—the right quantity of crust to sauce to cheese.
It’s big. It reheats well. It’s even good cold with coffee the next day. It’s not going to blow your flip flops off, but you’re going to have a happy belly. Plus it’s a great location on our side of town.
A Perfect Pie
1818 NE Waldo Rd.
Gainesville, FL 32609
Phone: 352-745-7898 / 352-745-7897 / 352-745-7896