Vodka Slice is the Way to Go at Underground Pizza

Crowds definitely don’t always indicate good food, but in a neighborhood with a pizza place on every block, a line for a slice is a pretty good sign. So when I showed up at Underground Pizza on Hanover Square to follow up on Valerie’s suggestion and found a line that stretched out onto the sidewalk, I had a feeling I’d come to the right place.

There was no calamari slice or bacon-jalapeno slice waiting for me, but I really enjoyed the slices that I had. Underground Pizza serves up some great product at affordable prices, but the reason to go is the vodka slice, which is $3.45 of pure delicious and which you can drool over after the jump.

Underground pizza is a bustling place and is clearly popular in the area. Though there was a line when I showed up, the guys behind the counter kept it moving fast. This was good, because there’s not a lot of space for people to hang out while they wait for their pizza:

‘What’ll ya have?”

There is a perfectly serviceable seating area in the back, which is a rarity for a pizza place down here.

The selection of pies is pretty standard, and I didn’t spot any crazy or especially creative slices, but those aren’t really my thing anyway, so I didn’t mind. I ordered a plain slice, a grandma slice, and a vodka sauce slice.

There was only one problem with my trip to Underground Pizza and that was that my slices didn’t go in the oven for long enough. They weren’t cold; they just weren’t as hot or as crispy-crusted as I would have liked. I admit that I had to go back to my office to eat, so they had been out of the oven for 10 minutes by the time I opened them, but I can still confidently say that they weren’t sufficiently warm or crisp to begin with. The pizza here is tasty enough that it was still very good, but I’ll definitely ask for my pizza to go in for a bit longer next time.

I’ll address each slice in ascending order of deliciousness. The plain ($2.50) was good, but was definitely the weakest of the three. Here’s the upskirt:

It was a tasty enough slice with a good crust and excellent sauce, but it was a little too cheese-heavy and sauce-light. I’d happily get it again if I were nearby, but I wouldn’t make a special trip or wait in line to do so.

Things got better fast with the grandma slice ($2.75). This baby was covered with lots of chunky, well-seasoned tomato sauce and just the right amount of mozzarella and parmesan. If I had to be critical, I’d say that the crust was a little floppy (see above) and the sauce was maybe a bit on the salty side, but we were definitely getting closer to a trip-worthy slice here.

The clear stand-out, however, was the vodka sauce slice ($3.45):

I think you can tell just by looking at the pictures that this was going to be the best slice, and looks are certainly not deceiving. I’d actually never had a slice with vodka sauce before, but consider me a convert. It’s got real mozzarella, and the touch of cream in the tomato sauce makes for a savory, delicious pie. Toss some fresh basil on top, and I’m in pizza heaven.

I should also mention that while the vodka slice was the winner on its own merits, it was also the one that fared best in the oven. It had the crispiest crust of the three, and that definitely didn’t hurt its standing.

So go to Underground Pizza, and don’t be afraid of the line; it’ll move fast. Order yourself a vodka slice – make it two – and just be sure to ask them to keep it in the oven a bit longer. A slice like this deserves to be treated right.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Very solid pizza at a good price.
  • A really terrific vodka slice that makes me think this variety should be served at more places.
  • Seating area in the back means I don’t have to take my slice to go for a change.

THE — (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • I shouldn’t have to make a special request to make sure my slice is hot and crispy.
  • Small entrance area makes for a pretty cramped ordering/waiting experience.
  • Restaurant is at ground level, making its name a big, pointless lie.

Underground Pizza, 2A Williams Street (btw. Beaver and Pearl), 212-425-4442



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