I love pizza. I love pizza in such a completely non-discriminatory way that I’ve never met a slice I would turn down. There have been times in my life when I would literally eat pizza at every meal for at least two days in a row.
And that is all because of Smilie’s (side note: it's actually called “Smiling Pizza,” which I think is a stupid name, but until the age of 10 or 11 I thought it was called "Smilie's.".
Look, it may not actually be the best pizza in Park Slope, let alone the world, but I wouldn’t know since it’s the first and only pizza I ever really ate until around second grade. Smilie’s set my personal standard for pizza and began a lifelong love affair.
From my grade school years, when I’d get slices cut down the middle, to my 21st birthday lunch over my first legally-bought beer, Smilie’s is the be all and end all of my favorite food. One time, on a first date, the girl professed her hatred of Smilie’s; I never called her back. At my wife’s bridal shower she correctly guessed my favorite restaurant was Smilie’s. Although, even I think it’s a stretch to call it a “restaurant” since I’ve never had anything from them other than pizza. I wouldn’t know what anything else on their menu tastes like, even after frequenting the place for 30 years.
Any fantasies I have about becoming rich and leaving New York involve spending as much money as it takes to set up a Smilie’s by me that can perfectly recreate their original recipe. On the other hand, I also spend time worrying that one day it may shut down and be lost forever.
I love Smilie’s so much I will stand on the rooftops and shout it out for the world to hear. Or, you know, write about it on a blog.
I love you, Smilie’s.