Cherrywood Pizza Wantagh, Long Island
During the previous excursion throughout the South Shore of Long Island, we ended up in Wantagh, trying out Cherrywood Pizza, which I have received many emails about. Many said it was one of the best pizza places in Long Island, so I had to try for myself. Each time I go back to where I was raised, which happens to be Long Island, I am finding it more difficult to trust people when they say "you have to try xxxxx since it is the best pizza in Long Island".
What I have discovered is that every single pizza loving person thinks the pizza in their neighborhood is the best, and will almost physically fight you over it. It would be sacrilegious to even think that the pizza in the adjoining town could be better than the one served at your local pizzeria. This type of view is understandable, since you always love and remember the pizza places from your childhood, which you ate all the time and naturally thought were better than the rest.
Since so many Wantagh locals seem to think Cherrywood Pizza is the best, I had the highest of hopes upon entering this pizzeria in the middle of a small strip mall. After walking into Cherrywood Pizza, you could hear a pin drop. We were the only customers in the place, and I expected them to notice us and ask us what we wanted. For a place that is considered the Best Pizza in Wantagh by so many, it would seem natural to have some customers throughout the day. If you go into many of the other pizza places that people consider to be the best pizza in Long Island, you see people all throughout the day. Whether or not I like Colosseo Pizza in Port Jefferson Station for example, it always has people eating there, no matter what time of the day you go. Same goes for places like Rocco's Pizza in St. James or Albert's pizza in Ronkonkoma (which I am craving as I type this).
I mean check out the photos throughout this article to see if I am making it up. This was my first indication that perhaps Cherrywood Pizza wasn't the best pizza afterall in Wantaugh (not that I have decided which is yet).
We didn't know whether to order at the counter or wait for a waitress, so I started ordering at the counter, and then they told me to sit and a waitress brought me my slice (which I hate), so we ended up ordering more out of obligation (well done guys, you upsold us). The waitress couldn't seem any less enthused when she took our order. I cannot understand why, since she had absolutely nothing else to do. During our visit only 2 other groups of customer entered. When my Sicilian slice came out the waitress even seemed annoyed at me that I asked her to slice it into 4 pieces (I had it cut into 4 pieces so we could all try it without filling ourselves up, since we had a lot of other pizza places to cover). Regardless it looked pretty darn good. The crust was a little lite, but the cheese tasted great, and the sauce wasn't too overbearing, and at least applied gently. All around, it was a really nice tasting slice.
The regular slice was a bit too thick. Although the cheese was equally as good as the Sicilian slice, this regular pie was way undercooked, soggy and dripping all over. The sauce was also lightly applied to the regular which I didn't mind. What I did mind, is that they handed us uncoated paper plates which almost gave way under the pressure of holding up this thick slice. The crust on this regular slice had little if no flavor and I really didn't care for that. It isn't that it tasted good or bad, it is just that it didn't taste.
Since the waitress was so busy doing nothing, she forgot to get our drink orders, and we headed to the next place to quench our thirst.
Cherrywood Pizza in Wantagh gets 5 out of 8 slices, just for the Sicilian, the regular was a 4 out of 8 at best. Couldn't really say I enjoyed my experience there, and I am pretty certain I wouldn't rush back there.