Brick Oven Pizza Comes To Cursed Corner


Photo by Arthur Borko

Calabrese Pizza & Restaurant is slated to begin serving up brick oven pizza at 2224 Avenue U very soon, it seems. The dough-tossers tossed up their signage just a few days ago.

We’re wishing them the best, because it seems like the storefront may be cursed. Remember Tai Yuan? Well, then you’ve got a good memory for short-lived businesses of total insignificance. They occupied the spot for just a few weeks before shutting down in April. And before that was Tai Shan, which lived a little longer, but still didn’t amount to more than a blip on the local gastronomical scene.

Good luck, Calabrese. The area needs some brick ovens, and hopefully you’ll wrangle a name for yourself as one of the few to service the niche. Then again, we also need some Thai…


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  • So when do we place bets as to how long this one lasts.

    That corner is jinxed.

    • Animo916

      Maybe we should take bets on when it’s gonna open. Went by yesterday and it looked just like the picture. Gates down, and no signs of life.

  • kon

    This is just what Avenue U needs. Another pizza place!

  • Eitan

    Well, what ave U needs is a GOOD pizza place

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  • JanMatvanGuilder

    Between the pizza, bagels and other bakeries (including the almost new one on Jerome Avenue, Brooklyn Bread House) we seem to be the bread basket of the borough.

  • It's got Trio, It's got Del Corso, I'm told 3 Star is very good but I haven't tried them yet.

  • Animo916

    As mentioned before, Ave U needs a good pizza place. I am not thrilled by any of the present Pizza joints on the avenue at all, no matter which direction you travel. Even Famous Pizza by Nostrand Ave is a poor shadow of their original store on Ralph Ave. 3 Star is not a pizzeria.

  • I mean the place next door to 3 Star. We'll have to disagree, Trio and Del
    Corso have good pizza. Trio is *good* pizza and Del Corso has
    *awesome*pizza. If you disagree then you've got some mutated tastebuds
    or something.

  • kon

    The place next to 3 star is Luigi's Pizza.

    Trio has over burned pizza most of the time. Never ate at Del Corso.

    If I really want pizza, I tend to order from Papa Leoni's which is a pretty good place. I'd say it is my second favorite pizza place next to Grimaldis.

  • Now THAT I can agree with. Papa Leoni is excellent. My dad knows the owner
    and he remembers us everytime we're there. I strongly recommend you taste
    Del Corso as soon as humanly possible.

  • Animo916

    Trio is average pizza. And I tried Del Corso and was not impressed.
    See more of my answer below.

  • Animo916

    The original Luigi's used to be great. Trio is owned by a Middle Eastern. What self respecting Italian pizzeria makes gyros and shawarma? Any pizza I order in comes from Papa Leoni's in Manhattan Beach. They rank third on my list behind Totonno's and Grimaldi's….in that order. So….what do you say about my taste buds now Arthur???

  • Animo916

    My bad, my other comment was supposed to go here.

  • SoBrooklynMan

    I believe you mean Originals? Their original store is not on Ralph it's on Avenue L and East 95th Street which hasn't been the same in years.

  • PayPaul

    My favorite Pizzeria on the Avenue is Prince Of Pizza. Their ground beef slice is wonderful. I'm one of those people who doesn't eat the crusts usually. It's because most of them are burnt and dried out. The crust on the ground beef seems to have the flavors of the garlic and the beef soaked in it. It's also softer and seldom burned. Their regular slice is acceptable as a Brooklyn pizza slice.
    I do notice a lot of Pizza places being run by hispanics. Someone trained the ones at Prince well. They do a good job over there and are always courteous. There's another one on Kings Highway and 12th street run by hispanics which is also quite acceptable. I would go there again. I'm thinking most of the sons of the Italians who ran these places years ago opted out of the business. Thankfully those who took over are competent pizza bakers.

  • Trio's serves Gyro's and Shwarmas because they saw the neighborhood changing and they were getting ahead of the curve by expanding their menu. They added the new items after their renovation 2 years ago when a woman rear ended the store.

  • Diversifying the menu is never a bad thing, so long as the food is good and there's a need. In this case, as a neighborhood changes, it's just good business sense to adapt to the community's tastes, if capable, or figure out ways to bring in the new community who may otherwise skip pizza in general (i.e. promotional sales).

  • I generally order from Trio and am pretty satisfied. I actually like that they have some variety in their menu besides just pizza. It's more possibilities for making several people happy when ordering out. I tried Luigi's when they opened and the pizza was disgusting.
    For years I was a faithful Prince of Pizza customer. Then they changed owners and what they did with their pizza. I'll admit it's been a long time since I ate there but when I have it has been bad.

  • I got curious as to whether Chef Boy Ar Dee still makes packaged pizza.

    They do.

    In 1960 this was a real treat. Tasted almost as good as pizzeria pizza, which, BTW, was a totally different experience back then. Pizza has changed. Not for better or worse,. it's just different.

  • Animo916

    To Arthur & Knightmare6,
    I've eaten Tony's food since my teens. And I do enjoy his Gyros and other selections. It's just that then as now, I would not consider it great pizza. I'm not saying it's crap, just not on par with the other places I prefer for pizza. I do not begrudge anyone for expanding a menu. But, food is like auto mechanics, or doctors. Would you go to a brain surgeon for a back injury? Would you go to a tire shop for an engine overhaul? No, you would go to a specialist. Concentrate on what you do best, in order to have the best possible product in that category. If you look at the 2 top pizzerias in Brooklyn, (Totonno's and Grimaldi's), all they do is pizza. BTW, I was at Trio's grand reopening!!!

  • Animo916

    You didn't answer the question about my pizza taste buds.
    #2 Grimaldi's
    #3 Papa Leoni's

    BTW….. I totally forgot, a great pizza can be had (by the pie only) at Anthony's Place on Ave X between E21 & E22 streets. I put Anthony's pies in the same category as #s 1 & 2. His entrees are excellent also.

  • Animo916

    Didn't even know about that location. The quality on Ralph Ave seems to have remained consistent throughout the years. Also not far from Originals on Ralph is Lenny & Johns on Flatbush. The best place to go for the after midnight crowd… and sometimes before midnight too. Great prices for decent food.

  • Animo916

    It depends on where you go. Many places that have not changed hands since our youth, still taste the same. Some examples… Papa Leoni's, Totonno's, Lenny & John's, and Trio. ( I didn't try Grimaldi's till my 30s) As I've mentioned, as a school boy, some of my favorite pizza was Bay Pizza under the station, which has never been the same since the original owners sold it, and the same went for Rocco's on Brighton Beach Ave.

  • SoBrooklynMan

    Lenny & John's is definitely still a great bargain. Chicken Parm w/ziti is pretty decent. As for the Canarsie Originals, they first opened I believe in 1970 or there about. Haven't been to the Ralph Avenue location in a long time. Don't remember where Original's 3 is.

  • Nik

    Papa Leone is the winner! But avenue needs a good Pissa place with a new personality!

  • Scrufboy2000

    These Guys are Booming! They have a website now at soon to feature Online Ordering!

    • I give this Website design a 4/5 :)

  • Wow, just came back from there got a Pie for the family, and you know it’s REALLY not that bad! there was a bit of a hang out spot there for Kids and such…. and yes they have free Wifi! LOL

    But the pizza was Great! Try the Buffalo chicken pizza. mmm i might have that again!

    • Are the plain slices still salty? When they first opened I stopped in for a taste test and the slices were way too salty. I mentioned as much to the owner and chef when they asked me my opinion. I hope they took my advice.

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  • Nbesi78

    This place is the best pizza place in avenue U it became open in 2009
    this place has the best pizza ever to be found in the world i think you should come by and eat a slice it has the best pizza ever.if you do not like this pizza you are not a human you are nothing.

    • If you’re going to advertise your business on this site you should probably pay Ned for the privilege.

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