photo credit: Kate Previte
A slice shop is more than the sum of its parts. There’s the quality of the pizza itself, of course, but the best slice shops don’t always have the capital-B Best pizza. You should be able to pop into your local pizza spot and grab a slice anytime, without having to put too much thought or effort into it.
The pizza shouldn’t make you think too hard. It should be substantial, and two slices shouldn’t cost you more than 10 bucks. A slice shop should be the kind of place that you want to come back to, not necessarily because it blows your mind, but because it’s comforting, convenient, and tastes good. That’s exactly what you get at Norm’s, a slice shop in Park Slope with a stylishly retro feel.
If the pizza here tastes familiar to New Yorkers who once lived on dollar slices, that’s because this is another upgraded iteration of the ubiquitous 2 Bros chain. Like Upside, their higher-end venture near Penn Station, Norm’s does classic grab-and-go slices with high-quality ingredients and a bit of a twist. The chewy crust has the kind of layered flavor you only get from using sourdough. The white slice has more going on than just a bunch of cheese. Once you try the vodka slice, you’ll want to ask if you can buy a pint of the sauce and put it on everything.
One thing we’ve noticed about the pizza at Norm’s is that it doesn’t travel particularly well, so your best bet is to eat it at the shop. This is actually a good thing, because Norm’s is first date-level cute. The interior looks like a vaporwave Pizza Hut, the kind of spot where the study beats girl would hang out after school. It feels fresh and familiar all at once, just like the pizza.
The dough is the best part of a Norm’s slice, and the plain version really lets it shine. The crust is crisp on the bottom and quite chewy, in a good way. The cheese is gooey and stretchy, and the sauce has a nice depth.
Our favorite thing to order here. The vodka sauce has just the right balance of creaminess and tang, and it plays well with the sourdough crust.
Our other favorite. The ‘roni cups are deep, crisp, and not too greasy. They pack a little bit heat, which we love.
A lot of white slices just taste like cheese on top of more cheese, which is kind of what a white slice is—but that doesn’t have to be all that it is. Here, you also get notes of lemon, pepper, and fresh and roasted garlic.
Garlic knots are actually our benchmark for a slice shop, because they're secretly hard to do right. Since we love the dough at Norm’s so much, it’s no surprise that their garlic knots are some of our favorites. Dunk them in copious amounts of sauce, as nature intended.
The Sicilian pizza here is okay, but we’ve found it to be a bit inconsistent. On one visit, it was a bit too chewy and dry. We prefer the round pies.