An average, by-the-slice New York pizza place uphill must battle ahead if it ever wishes to rise above the level of simple corner pizza joint. With some interesting and funky varieties of the triangular favorite, inspired by pop-culture and presented in a vibrant, trendy atmosphere, “Two Boots” has taken a strong foothold in the New York City pizza scene. Fusing Italian pizza with Louisiana’s Cajun flavors (the name is a reference to the boot-like shape of both regions), the restaurant not only has become a local favorite, but also has branched out to Baltimore and L.A.
Founded by two indie filmmakers, “Two Boots” sends customers into a pop-culture incited sensory overload. A vibrant display of indie and cult film, TV and music posters, as well as fan art, complements a steady stream of rock classics from bands like The Velvet Underground or The Rolling Stones.
With a long and creative list of mouth-watering options, each going for $3.50 a slice, choosing a slice can be a struggle. Those craving the Cajun styling of the second “boot” are best off ordering the spicy “Bayou Beast,” which comes topped with shrimp, crawfish, smoky Andouille sausage, and jalapeno peppers.
Another must-have option is “The Dude” (named in honor of the protagonist of cult film “The Big Lewboski”), a mouth-watering cheeseburger-like pie with Cajun Tasso ham, Andouille sausage, and ground beef atop a layer of cheddar and mozzarella.
Another favorite is the “Mr. Pink,” named after Steve Buscemi’s character in “Reservoir Dogs.” “Mr. Pink” is topped with juicy plum tomato slices, flavorful marinated chicken, and garlic. It provides a great option for those averse to spice.
The chain also offers site-specific varieties—the Two Boots in the West Village makes a “Village Vanguard” slice, named after the famous jazz club nearby and topped with home-made meatballs, ricotta and fresh basil. For a side dish, the spicy Cajun garlic bread ($2.95) goes well with any order and the homemade chocolate chip cookies, which are 75 cents each, are a perfect after-dinner dessert or midday snack.
There are more than enough typical pizza places in New York, but even with their seven Manhattan locations, there just aren’t enough of “Two Boots,” a true haven for those looking for more than the average greasy slice.