Wahizza

I always get excited when there is a brand-new restaurant or eatery opening up. So, when I first saw the sign that said “Pizzeria coming soon” I decided that I will be the first one (or, more realistically, “one of” their customers) to be there on the day they open. The week before they opened, they gave away free samples of their pizza, and it was pretty good. It certainly built even more anticipation.

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On the day it opened, we went over to order one of their pizza pie. The inside is a bit small, as this is not really set up as eat-in or restaurant, but more of quick-bite and take-out place. A large counter is taking most of the space, with thick wooden face and metal bottom, giving that industrial feel. The kitchen is right behind the counter, where they make fresh pizza right there and then. They do have standing counter tables for those who wants to eat them right there.

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The wall was covered with clean white subway tiles, except for the wall on the right side, which was a red brick wall. They were measuring the brick wall, so I think they are still in process of completing the interior. It will be interesting to see what they are going to look like at the end.

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The menu is written on the black chalkboard above the counter. They will have two daily special each day, one during the day, and another one for evening time. Their oven was interesting, they set it up to make it look like a brick oven, but it really is not a brick oven. It is a “state-of-art” fancy oven, with very high temperature, allowing pizza to be baked very fast. From the time they put one in the oven, it takes about 5 minutes or so for the pizza to be ready. Pretty good if you are walking in to order a pizza pie to go, not too long of a wait.

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Since they just opened, they are not fully running just yet. But soon, they will be open 24 hours, and they will sell pizza by the slice and the whole pie. Inside the window showcase, they had freshly baked pizzas: Picante, Veggie, and Margarita. These are just a few of their artisan pizza offerings, and my goodness they looked great!

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For this week only, they are selling Margarita by the slice, for $1! Of course we order them to see what it is like.

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They gave us a generous sized slices (this photo contains two slices). I think they cut the pie into six pieces? It was great! The crust was really thin, which I like, and crispy on the bottom without being burned. Great tomato flavor and fresh mozzarella is home made. Since I love basil, I would’ve like to see more basil on the Margarita, but it was really tasty, with good amount of spices and high quality ingredients.

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We also order a Picante pizza pie ($14.50) to take home with. It is made with fresh mozzarella, spicy sausage, chili flakes, basil, pecorino cheese, and arugula. Once it came out of the oven, it was put into a box, and then fresh arugula was placed on top, so that they remain fresh and not wilt.

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It was a thing of beauty, and we took it home immediately. They use Green Box for their pizza box, which is great. If you haven’t seen it or used it, it is a pizza box that triples as plates and a leftover storage unit. The box’s top has easy-to-tear perforated lines, and by tearing along them, they can covert into four sturdy plates. The bottom half of the box can become a storage unit for the leftover pizza, in much smaller size than the original box size, saving you some space in the fridge! It is also super eco-friendly, since it eliminates use of real plates – less dishes to wash, less detergent and water. And since they are made from 100% recycled material, you can be totally proud to support them!

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Going back to the pizza, it was again very thin crust, just the way I like it, with crispy bottom. During the time it took from the pizzeria to home, it did become a bit soft, but not soggy. It still kept the crispiness, just not as much as when it first came out of the oven. It had great tomato flavor, and loved the fresh arugula. The cheese was tasty also, but it didn’t have much spicy sausage. I wish if it had more sausage, and also, it was lacking the heat that I was expecting from the chili pepper. Maybe they are trying to play safe with the amount of chili pepper they use, but for someone who loves spicy food, it needed more kick to it.

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The price seemed a bit high for this neighborhood, but the quality was good and also, I liked the fact that pizza is made super fresh there. The staffs were all very nice as well, made us feel very much welcomed. Everyone was eager to help and please their customers, no matter their age (we saw some kids walking in with couple of dollars in their hands, asking for a slice of pizza. Pretty cute…). It is cash only, and once they are fully operating, they will offer delivery, more of their pizzas by slice, and will be open 24 hours.

It seems like this place is family owned, and the son, Rolando (hopefully I spelled it correctly), was working as the main manager here today. He was very nice, friendly, and helpful. He answered all of our questions, and provided all the information. There will be an oyster bar/restaurant also opening right next door, which is also owned by the family. The father and daughter was also at the Wahizza when we were there, and they seemed really nice also. I am glad to see a new, friendly eatery opening up in this area, I wish them much success! I will go back to try some more of their pizza in the near future!

Wahizza – 4484 Broadway, New York, NY 10040

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