we got an incredible review tonight on Yelp from a serious pizza lover. I am very proud to touch such a soul with our pies. Here it is:
Raised in Brooklyn, my go to joint was DiFara in Midwood, where the master Dom De Marco practiced his craft. It was a pilgrimage at the time, even if you lived in Brooklyn, because it sometimes involved a long wait. Once, I picked up 3 pies and put them in a pizza bag with dry ice to bring back to the West Coast.
I have reverse engineered DiFara in search of good pizza, going as far as building my own oven to make my own pies. (For the unfamiliar, our home ovens don't get hot enough (700-800F) to properly cook NY pizza.
Sure, we have Grimaldi's, Campo, South Creek, and other locations that offer decent representations of pizza styles. But Walter's joint brought me straight home.
We have Grimaldi's, which is revered in NY. But the Reno/Sparks location doesn't do it justice. Smiling with Hope has the right equipment and the know-how of how to make great dough. If you thought making good pizza was a simple task... look online. The dough is the key to the operation. You've got to consider the mixtures of flour, the gluten content, the temperature it rises at, the humidity, the air pressure, the time it's left to rise and the temperature at which it's cooked to name a few. Walter has a gas oven that goes to 800F, just like DiFara, and seems to know the real secrets to great dough and great pizza.
Smiling with Hope Pizza is an incredible place, for two reasons:
1. They employ persons with disabilities
2. They make the best New York pizza outside of New York and New Jersey! They make better NY pizza than 90% of joints in both states combined.
After being in Reno for 3 years, I've finally found a place that brings me back home with exceptionally good pizza.
Walter (chef) and Judy are great. Friendly and easy to strike a conversation with. They'll remember your face and connect with you on a personal level. Walter is from NJ, and trust me, NJ pizza has surpassed NY for NY style pizza, with few exceptions for specialty places. For example, DiFara doesn't serve NY pizza. L&B doesn't either. Nor does Totonno's or many others. They are great in their own regard. But this is the place for NY pizza to for a multitude of reasons. If you're looking for really good pizza, it'll do. Trust me, it will do.
Try the classic pie with homemade Italian sausage. Or the white pie (no tomato sauce) with crushed garlic. You will not be disappointed.