PROVEL CHEESE PIZZA
A city icon crosses the gateway to the west
New York, NY
In a city that has everything, sometimes just being the first person to import a food makes you an innovator -- especially when you’re audacious enough to remix that city’s favorite dish. Even if you know nothing about New York, you know how important pizza is to the local culture. Every New Yorker has an opinion, and everyone has a favorite -- which made it even more impressive when this St. Louis-style pizza joint crept its way into the heart (and stomach) of this great city. Unlike a typical NYC slice, which uses classic fresh mozzarella cheese, a Speedy Romeo pie switches to Provel cheese, a mixture of Cheddar, Swiss, and provolone with a cult-like following in St. Louis thanks to family-owned chain Imo’s. The somewhat salty “cheese-like substance,” as many professionals might call it, is comparable to Velveeta and melts without being droopy or messy. In St. Louis, Provel is simply a way of life -- and in 2012, Speedy Romeo owner Justin Bazdarich decided it was time to make it part of the New York life. With locations in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, and Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Speedy Romeo serves a beloved St. Louie pie (San Marzano tomato sauce, Provel, Italian sausage, pepperoni, and pickled chilies). Take one bite and watch everything you thought about pizza fly out the wood-fired oven.