Brooklyn’s Table 87 Pitches Frozen Coal-Fired Pizza On “Shark Tank”

87 Atlantic Ave.3.5slices
Brooklyn, NY 11201

“We’re going to be on Shark Tank tonight at 9pm.” That’s one of the first things we were told as we walked into Table 87 yesterday.

“What?!” I questioned. “Really?!”

If you’re familiar with the show, you’d know that there hasn’t been a pizza pitch potentially ever, and the frozen food pitches there have been have mostly been rejected because the judges aren’t fans of frozen products.

As we sat down to dinner we marveled at the bizarre timing, because truthfully if we hadn’t gone out to eat on Friday we’d be watching the show in real time. Instead, Harrison and I sat down to dinner with our good friends and got to enjoy the fresh pizza in lieu of the frozen pizza the owner was pitching on the show that night (pre-recorded of course) as a breakout business concept.

We opted for two 12” pizzas, along with octopus (which came highly recommended), rice balls, an arugula salad and pappardelle with steak tips. Our server assured us that we couldn’t go wrong with any of the pizza options, and we’d be back the following week to try the others. We settled on a burrata margherita pie with spicy Calabrese sausage (also known as Nduja, who knew!) and the fig, speck, arugula, mozzarella and San Marzano tomato pie.

None of our choices disappointed, though I would say the pizza was far superior to the pasta. The ultimate standout? The burrata with the spicy sausage. Let’s be real. Burrata is always a beautiful addition to a pizza,  or even on its own, but I’ve never had it with sausage and it created a smooth yet spicy taste balanced with the crispy coal-fired crust. It was almost reminiscent of buffalo flavoring, and if you know me well, you’d know I love buffalo anything.

“Did you guys get a deal on Shark Tank?” we asked our server after prioritizing eating every slice but one. He refused to tell us (likely they had signed a nondisclosure) but Twitter later revealed that multiple sharks were “in.”

I caught up on the episode today, and it turns out the sharks did bite for Table 87’s bid.

Thomas Cucco, the owner of Pizza 87, was requesting $200k for 10% equity. His concept: Frozen slices of Table 87’s pizza made with fresh mozzarella, fontina cheese, olive oil and fresh basil. They’re currently sold in 250 supermarkets, Whole Foods included, but Thomas was looking to scale.

“You can’t get quality pie frozen. I decided I was going to change all that,” Thomas told the sharks.

In order to expand, Thomas needed funding for extra ovens so he can take the cooking out of his brick and mortars (there’s one in Brooklyn Heights and another in Gowanus).

The suggested retail price for one slice is $4.99; $23 for a 13” pie. Beyond supermarkets, the pizza is also being sold online at, and will soon be sold on FreshDirect. It’s worth noting though that they’ve garnered 1 star on Amazon, with most customers complaining about the $35 cost of shipping.

The sharks though were much more keen on the product:

“I eat a lot of pizza, it’s actually a very healthy food,” said Robert Herjavec, but he ultimately saw it as too risky. “I’m out”

“The idea’s not worth $2 million,” said Mr. Wonderful.

Barbara Corcoron was in at $200k for a 30% stake.

Mr. Wonderful also gave an offer: $200k with royalty of 25 cents per slice until he’s paid back $600k.

But Lori Greiner had the best offer:

“I absolutely love it. I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse” Her offer? $250k for a 20% stake.

Always the last shark to speak, Mark Cuban said: “I think your gold mine is on demand [online]. FreshDirect is where you should stick. I’m out.”

That left Thomas with three offers to choose from. He negotiated Lori down to an 18.5% stake and they had a deal!

So if you’re not lucky enough to live blocks away from Table 87, you can still buy the pies (or slices) online or in stores. So no need to be in NYC to get a New York slice… but it will cost you.

Jamie Miles

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Phoenix’s Pizzeria Bianco Does Not Disappoint

Pizzeria Bianco 4slices
623 East Adams Street
Phoenix, Arizona

Rewind to four years ago, when I was living in Park Slope, Brooklyn and frequenting South Brooklyn Pizza. I interviewed Jacques, the pizza maker there, and talked shop with him as he raved about what he called the “best pizza in the U.S.

It came from Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, he said. Read my 2011 blog post for a poorly edited video interview with Jacques as he describes Chris Bianco as one of the best pizza makers in the world. He even tried to contact him to go work for him. Chef Bianco won the Best Chef in the Southwest Award in 2003 (the only pizza chef to win a regional award) and has made quite the name for himself as an artisan pizza maker. He was even named one of six chefs who changed pizza by Zagat.

So last week when I found out I’d be traveling to Phoenix for work and doing a media segment I plotted my afternoon knowing it would end with an Uber from Pizzeria Bianco to the airport. Four words: Best work assignment, ever.


Smiling because I know what my next stop is, Pizzeria Bianco!

After shooting at Arizona Midday, I headed through Heritage Square for a rewarding pizza lunch. The 104-degree September temperature couldn’t stop me.  At the end of the square I spotted Pizzeria Bianco, located in an old Baird machine house dating back to 1929. It was exactly what I always pictured from the outside. My experience inside and the pizza itself was a complete and pleasant surprise.

I was greeted by an inviting bartender Dave who offered me a seat just about anywhere. At least that was before the restaurant completely filled up, right around 11:30 am. The menu was thankfully not overwhelming, with just six pizzas to choose from, all 11 inches, and Dave assured me they were all delicious. His personal favorites? The Wiseguy (wood-roasted onion, house smoked mozzarella, fennel sausage) and the Sonny Boy (tomato Sauce, fresh mozzarella, salami, olives) but I decided to be boring. I opted for a classic Margherita with fresh mozzarella. Don’t worry by the way, you can do half-and-half if you can’t decide. And if you think 11 inches is too much pie for one person, think again. I ate the entire thing and slowed my pace once I got down to two slices just to extend the experience.

The pizza was simply flawless. The crust was the standout element with a dough that was perfectly charred by the wood oven. I particularly love this quote from The New York Times in which Chef Bianco reveals his not-so-secret recipe:

”There’s no mystery to my pizza. Sicilian oregano, organic flour, San Marzano tomatoes, purified water, mozzarella I learned to make at Mike’s Deli in the Bronx, sea salt, fresh yeast cake and a little bit of yesterday’s dough. In the end great pizza, like anything else, is all about balance. It’s that simple.”

The pizza was simple but it’s certainly not as easy as he makes it sound. The tomato sauce was fresh, the mozzarella soft, creamy and melt-in-your-mouth delicious and the crust the perfect consistency of soft, chewy, crispy, airy and charred. (Even as I recap the experience I’m wondering, How do I get pizza like this in New York, stat?!)

The entire experience was a memorable one. In a city 2,000 miles from home I felt like I was in a familiar kitchen. Eating food that brings back feelings of nostalgia as if a family member made it for me, offering the type of hospitality you only get in the South. (Thanks, Dave!)

After reading more about Chef Bianco’s background, it only makes me appreciate the pizza and its origin even more. Chef Bianco was born in the Bronx, grew up in Westchester and at the age of 13 started making pizza. In 1985, he won two plane tickets to anywhere in the U.S. and settled on Phoenix then quickly decided never to leave. Fast forward to today and Pizzeria Bianco has been operating successfully for almost 21 years, making travelers and pizza-lovers like me very, very happy.

“Pizza inspires me, fascinates me and gives me hope,” Chef Bianco told The Times in his interview. Well I may not be a pizza maker, but I agree with his statement and I know another pizza maker who does too. His name is Jacques from South Brooklyn Pizza.

Jamie Miles 

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And The Best Pizza In Nolita Is…

Prince Street Pizza
27 Prince St.

New York, New York 10012



Okay, “best” is pretty subjective. But that’s the beauty of a blog, right? It’s the breeding grounds for opinion pieces. Maybe you’ll agree with me, maybe you won’t. Maybe my post will incite outrageous commentary, or maybe it will spawn a revenge post on how wrong this writer (me!) is about her pizza judgements. Regardless, I’m sticking to my opinion here.

Back story: I’ve been living in Nolita for three years now with my cousin Caitlin and we’re moving out in a little over a week. My cousin and I have been living together for five years total and we’ve been best friends since we were babies. While moving out is bittersweet, it’s also cause to celebrate and incorporate what we love most about our neighborhood. For me, it would be the pizza.

If you’ve ever been to Prince Street Pizza (which is just two blocks from my apartment) you’d know it’s unique. It’s a bit more than a take-out counter, but not quite a sit down restaurant. You often must shout your order over the counter to Frank*, the manager, or one of the other workers while three people in front of you wait for their slices. If you’re lucky, you can snag a stool and smother your slice in red pepper flakes while people watching on Prince St. The ideal order? A Soho Square Spicy Spring slice with soppressata. It’s a Sicilian-style crust, perfectly crisp on the bottom to support a delicious red sauce and the scattered soppressata. To complement it, order either classic cheese or the margherita with fresh basil (my preference between the two) for your second or third slice. They have distinctly different flavors, but both happen to be excellent so you can’t really botch an order.

It’s funny. Prince Street Pizza happens to be down the street from Lombardi’s, one of the most high-demand pizza places in Nolita thanks to its history — it’s the first pizzeria in America! But first doesn’t make it best and I’d recommend Prince Street over Lombardi’s any day. There’s also not an insane wait like there is at Lombardi’s, another point for Prince Street, and the slices are typically always fresh because they go so quickly. In fact, the quality of a pie is hardly better than the fresh single slices — though there’s something to be said for getting a whole pizza pie to yourself! Slices cost about $3.75 and the Soho Square Spicy Spring Pie is $26. Well worth it.

Once I knew I’d be moving out of Nolita, suddenly things got serious and I realized as excited as I am to move to Brooklyn, there are several Nolita staples I’ll miss. Prince Street Pizza being one of them. Which is why a “moving out of Nolita” party wouldn’t have been complete without it.

As Caitlin and I’s friends crowded into our apartment this past Saturday for #cocktailswiththecousins, we toasted, we danced, we sang, we spilled, we broke shot glasses, we congratulated one another, we caught up and we had a big ‘ol pizza party with Prince Street’s finest. It was a treat to share a final weekend in Nolita with all our closest friends and share with them a slice of the neighborhood we’ve called home for three years…

And next time you see me in Nolita, I’ll likely be stopping in to my favorite neighborhood pizzeria. Because some things aren’t necessarily better on the other side.

*Special thanks to Frank for donating the pies for our event!

Jamie Miles

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Danny Meyer’s Marta Serves Roman Pizza With a New York Touch

3 Slices
Martha Washington Hotel
29 East 29th Street
New York, N.Y. 10016

“We made a mess…” I said as the waitress cleared the table. Two pizzas and several crumbs later, Chris Bonanos my editor friend and I unapologetically brushed any leftover remains to the floor and continued talking smart advertising, faulty CMSs and Billy Joel’s greatest hits.

The Roman-style pizza was crispy and its cracker-crust nicely charred so you got a tasty mouthful of the wood-burning oven which ran a nice flavor contrast to the fresh toppings. We settled on a classic Margherita ($13) since we both happen to be in agreement that “less is more,” a time-tested pizza belief I subscribe to. It was not a mistake. The tomatoes burst with flavor, balanced by the perfect proportion of cheese. For the second pie we had the Salsiccia with pork sausage, cremini mushrooms and pecorino ($17). It was a bit salty as you might expect a sausage pie layered with pecorino to be, but that’s where the wine comes in. The flavor combo proved addictive and was a smart choice considering the thinness of the crust. (As The Times put it, “Marta’s crusts are even thinner than what we think of as thin.”) A more filling topping is almost necessary to fill you up and we effortlessly left not even one slice on our plates.

Shockingly though, despite the thinness of the crust, each slice proved as supportive as the next. Sausage and mushrooms aside, the crust held the test of several slow bites among conversation that could have caused the support to waver. An impressive thing when other pizza makers can’t strike the right balance between thin crust yet a strong enough base to hold even weightier, adventurous toppings like potatoes, guanciale and pecorino.

If you’re open to wandering into unfamiliar territory, this Roman-style pizza is certainly worth a try and there are plenty of salads and starters to turn your pizza venture into an even more sophisticated dinner. Pizza, in the Roman tradition, was meant to be a snack after all!

Meyer’s menu also includes heartier dishes like beef short rib, beer-brined half chicken or lamb chops, more reminiscent of his Shack Shake roots. The setting itself is far different from his burger joints though. Located in the Martha Washington Hotel, just off the lobby, it feels a bit impersonal and unimpressive until you spot the custom-built wood-burning grill which Meyer claims can cook an entire fish in two minutes. But it’s not about speed here; It’s about that crisp, supportive pizza crust.

It won’t crumble, but you can trust there will be crumbs.

— Jamie Miles

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Pizza From Mars Is Out of This World (Cold Spring, N.Y.)

Angelina’s Pizza
43 Chestnut Street
Cold Spring, N.Y.

Being from a small town in Upstate New York, my idea of home is a tree-lined road winding up a hill, a local ice cream parlor where all the neighborhood gossip spreads, a U-shaped driveway perfect for making bike rounds and a central Market Street with local artisinal shops, nail salons, dive bars and my favorite local pizzeria.

Once I moved to Manhattan after college, I grew even more of an appreciation for the quiet, rural town of Corning I grew up in. It may be home to the renowned Glass Museum, but there’s not much else there. Despite that, after too much time in this city I start to crave a quiet escape to the serene corners of New York and last weekend I got just that.

For my birthday weekend, my boyfriend Harrison surprised me with Saturday plans which required waking up early and heading to Grand Central. If it weren’t for the coffee and croissant (#bestbfever) I wouldn’t have made it even that far. Without telling me where we were headed, we hopped on Metro North and luckily both donned some hiking gear to break the brisk, unseasonable chill (there was a high of 32 degrees)!

Finally, Harrison revealed to me where we were going: Cold Spring. “Magical, yet practical — like Brigadoon stuffed into your neighborhood deli,” as the NYTimes coined it. We were going to spend the afternoon doing exactly what the article says the small town is good for: “Nothing too constructive, and taking your sweet time doing it.”


As we stepped off the train and onto Main Street, a sense of nostalgia hit me. The town was reminiscent of what I was used to back home, only smaller and even more intimate. Cold Spring sits right on the Hudson and the further you walk up Main Street the prettier the view as the street slopes upward. We passed several antique shops, cute cafes and tiny storefronts and eventually made a right on Chestnut St. As we approached a small plaza next to a gas station and convenient store Harrison said, “This is it!”


Angelina’s Pizza didn’t look like much from the outside, which is how every fantastic pizzeria I’ve ever eaten at typically looks so you know it just has to be good. When you step inside though, the smell of fresh pizza instantly hits you and even if you weren’t hungry, you’re suddenly salivating.


“The Pizza from Mars is supposed to be great,” Harrison said. I’m not typically the adventurous type when it comes to toppings but this I had to try. The pizza (pictured at left, above) has mascarpone cheese, truffle oil (my favorite), spinach, mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes. In all truth, the pizza should be renamed Pizza from Heaven because it’s just that.

The traditional New York-style pizza had a crisp, perfectly cooked crust. Nothing special on that front. But the toppings, OH, the toppings. What happened after I took a bite was actually magical. Yes, magical. The Times was right…


The mascarpone was creamy and savory. Think of the texture and taste of Artichoke Pizza only less greasy and less rich. The additional flavor of the spinach and mushroom made for a trippy, tantalizing experience. It was comforting in all the same ways that anything with cream and truffle oil can be while still being incredibly dynamic and not overpowering. Every bite tasted a bit different from the last, and each bite after made you want one more just to figure out what was in that bite that made is so mind-blowing. The toppings, shocking even to me, worked so well together that I can safely say that it’s my new favorite topping combo, though I don’t believe just any pizzeria could pull this off.


If you’re looking for a pizza that’s a bit out there, you’ve got to head to Cold Spring. Angelina’s Pizza is truly out of this world, yet something about it still feels reminiscent of home. At least for us Upstate New York types who get nostalgic for nature and a slice of comforting New York pizza.

Don’t worry, you can hike it off afterwards.

Jamie Miles

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This Is What It Looks Like When You Mix Running and Pizza…

Running two miles is a breeze. Running two miles while eating a slice of pizza after every lap? That’s not so easy. The 5th Annual NYC Pizza Run this past Saturday in Thompkins Square Park proved to be surprisingly challenging. Over 130 participants showed up to run a total of four laps around the park, grabbing a slice of Pizza by Certé post laps. The rules stipulate you can’t continue to run your next lap until the entire slice of pizza is in your mouth… although you can still be chewing it.

My boyfriend Harrison and I ran it together (what a supportive bf!) and we averaged 12:28 per mile. Typically we’d run closer to 8 or 9 minute miles, but you have to stop and eat the slice fully before moving forward which accounts for the delay. Plus, once you start running again, your stomach is also trying to process the carbs and the cheese which slows you down. Close to immediately after downing the first slice my body started cramping up, a lesson that you’re definitely not supposed to eat and exert at the same time! Everyone was in it together though and for some reason seeing other people struggle to down their 2nd and 3rd slices helped make it more bearable.

I first found out about the NYC Pizza Run last year when I saw a write up in Time Out announcing the event. I sadly didn’t sign up in time but I reached out to the founder Jason Feirman (of I Dream of Pizza) to find out more about the run and how he came up with the idea. Jason and I since have gone on multiple pizza ventures to spots like Di Fara and Roberta’s and he can now count me in as an annual participant in his run.

The NYC Pizza Run brings together a subset of people that love pizza enough that they’ll table a little indigestion for a chance to come out in their most proud pizza swag including pizza socks, pizza costumes and panda pizza tees. Now that’s certainly not something you get to see everyday. And when someone asks me “What did you do this weekend?” I’ll jump at the opportunity to share.

See below for outtakes from the event.


Jamie Miles

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D.C.’s ‘Jumbo Slice’ Pizza Proves Size Matters

There are less than a handful of times I can think of when size is a factor when considering what to eat:

1. When you’re in an office full of people and you need a birthday party treat for a staff member without spending tons of money. Universal answer: Mini cupcakes.

2. When you’re completely hungover on a weekday and need a massive bacon, egg and cheese sandwich (and Gatorade, natch).

3. When something is comically large (or small) and you need evidence you ate it — or at least a photo with it to prove its scale.

My foray into JUMBO slice pizza fits the latter category. Washington D.C. is known for its exceptionally large slices and I had seen photos and heard about how massive they were but I never heard a defining quality beyond size. Still, it was enough to feed my curiosity.


This past weekend when I headed to D.C. I was intent on trying a jumbo slice. And unlike the usual crowds of young people that gather on a weekend evening post the bars closing, my boyfriend Harrison and I went at an off hour. At 2 p.m. on Saturday, Pizza Mart, which claims to have the “FIRST jumbo slice” only had a few stray visitors, all balking at the size of the pizza and wisely taking boxes to go knowing they couldn’t polish it off.

We ordered one cheese ($5.50) and one pepperoni ($6.50) and did our best to finish one each. We failed. The pizza slices conquered us both. The pizza was heated up in an electric oven, certainly not terribly fresh, and had a greasy sheen finish. It was intimidatingly large, bigger than my head, and as for taste it wasn’t anything standout. I’d liken it to a $1 slice joint in NYC but three, if not three-and-a-half times, the size! The crust was nothing special and the sauce was almost unidentifiable under the upper layer of cheese, cheese and more cheese. On that note, don’t even think about asking for a calorie count.

While I’d never recommend a jumbo slice to someone looking for quality pizza, it’s certainly good for an experience that leaves you with a shocking photo and bragging rights all around. Maybe you’ll even end up on the Instagram account You Did Not Eat That

But guess what?! I DID (…okay, not ALL of it).


Jamie Miles

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