asianteasets visited Coney Island pizza standby Totonno’s this week after a long hiatus from the joint, and reports that his pie was “much smaller” than the last time he was there (in the ’80s!) and, additionally, quite burnt: “When I asked the waitress if they always burnt the crust, her retort was that that is the way it was supposed to be because it is baked in a coal oven, and that she knows pizza. I didn’t want to argue with her so I just left, and decided to post this here to get a consensus of opinions.” sugartoof comments, “You may just not like that much char,” to which asianteasets replies, “I would like to mention that it was black on the bottom. Not just a little here, but really black. On the bottom. I tried scraping it off; I could do this because the crust was so stiff; which was another thing that I had never seen before. Eating all that carbon is not a healthy thing to do.”

So what constitutes burnt, and what is simply a nice char on a good pie? tex.s.toast notes that he actually just ate at Totonno’s and “thought the pies were really on point – if anything I wouldn’t have minded a bit more char on each of the two pies we got. The sauce is really great, the cheese excellent, and the balance between those two elements and the crust was great.” He continues, “There does seem to be some relationship between coal pies and well-done crusts – made it to Pepe’s in New Haven for the first time this summer and experienced pies so well-done that they were likely seconds away from being garbage,” and finishes with, “Maybe this is just all a matter of taste?” My thoughts exactly—although I gotta say, if the whole crust was totally black I’d be put off, too.

Have you been to Totonno’s recently? Any thoughts on the char factor?

Totonno’s Pizzeria Napolitano [Coney Island]
1524 Neptune Avenue, Brooklyn

Discuss: Should pizza be allowed to burn even though it is baked in a coal oven?

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