- Subway stop: Fort Hamilton Parkway
- Walk from subway: 9 minutes
- Neighborhood: Flatbush/Prospect Park South
- Location: 905 Church Ave, between 10th St and Coney Island Ave
With a name like Wheated, it’s important to check your Celiac Disease at the door. Wheated is a pizzeria located almost at the southern end of the G, which loves wheat so much they just added the suffix -ed and thought, “Hey, you figure it out.” And figure it out I did. It’s not really close to the G and the walk there has you questioning if there is a pie of gourmet pizza at the end of this trek, or am I just going to be greeted by some more Popeye’s, which, frankly, I’m not above. Make sure you have a map on hand when exiting the subway station, because navigating the best way to cross over Ocean Parkway can be a bit daunting, but it’s worth it. Eventually, you’ll see that shining beacon of hope: the plain white sign all lit up with the words “Wheated” written in the lower right corner. “Why didn’t they just put the name in the center of the sign? Or fill the whole sign with the name? Why do I have to search this entire white sign to find the name?” And then you remember, “Oh right, aesthetics.” I should make it clear that I didn’t dislike the walk or the neighborhood or the sign, I just had to have google maps open on my phone the entire walk there and I looked like “that” person walking down the street. The person from out of town, staring down at their phone, then looking up, squinting at the road signs, and then motioning at a stranger to ask for help, only to be given the silent treatment because they think you’re going to ask for spare change, “just a dime, anything. A penny would be great,” when really all I was going to ask was, “Do you know of any places that love wheat around here?”
When I finally got there it was of course prime pizza eating time, so I was forced to eat at the bar, which I actually prefer in most cases, especially when your food is pizza. Pizza is supposed to scream casual, friendly, and meat lover’s supreme, so sitting next to strangers at a bar and judging their toppings choice is right where I want to be while eating pizza. Their cocktails list can make you nervous because you’ll want to sample them all but you remember that walk here and you’ll think twice. With drinks like the Horses Neck made with fresh lime, fresh ginger, WHEATED bourbon, and soda water, and the Brown Derby made with fresh grapefruit juice, honey syrup, and WHEATED bourbon, and the Bourbon Manhattan made with WHEATED bourbon. They love wheat and they’re not ashamed of it.
I settled on the Kentucky Buck which has strawberry, lemon, ginger, bourbon, and soda water because I figured I was about to imbibe enough wheat that I didn’t need to have wheated bourbon as well. Also, it’s summer and I like strawberries. I come from a town where we have a strawberry festival every June and it’s gotten progressively more and more depressing as the years have went on. Or maybe I’ve just become more aware as I’ve gotten older and it was always that depressing. Either way, sometimes you just need a good, depressing summer strawberry to start off your pizza.
Once you’ve settled on a drink and are ready to think about wheat, you might want to start browsing the pizza menu. You are at a pizzeria after all. If you have any understanding of the borough you’re currently in, you’ll notice that all of the pizzas are named after Brooklyn neighborhoods. An example of their pizzas include Sunset Park, Ditmas Park, Windsor Terrace, Bensonhurst, and Gowanus. Nothing says delicious like the Gowanus Canal. Notable absences in their Brooklyn themed pizzas are Bed Stuy, East New York, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard. There is however a Park Slope 2.0. They largely have white pies and/or vegetarian pizzas, which is all fine because you can add meat to any pie. My eye was immediately drawn to the East Williamsburg with Crimini mushrooms (don’t know what Crimini is, but I love a good fungi), fresh AND aged mozzarella (they’re not ageists at Wheated), olive oil (alright, gotta have a little greasy drippage on a pizza), and truffle salt (!!). If you know me, you know I love truffle salt. Almost as much as my cat and Breaking Bad. I almost asked for it a couple years ago on Christmas, but thought, “No, asking for salt for Christmas would be weird.” BUT SANTA KNEW. And on Christmas morn’ I opened up a can of truffle salt and almost cried. Seriously. I got a little teary. And then I got it again the following Christmas. Santa knows best and truffle salt is the best. If it was acceptable to put truffle salt on my toothpaste, I would. Needless to say, the East Williamsburg was ordered, along with a Windsor Terrace, a pie with plum tomatoes, basil, garlic, onion, Pecorino-Romano, that fresh and aged mozzarella again, sweet red peppers, and hot sopressata because a girl needs her meat.
While waiting, I noticed the man sitting next to us was chowing down on his pie when he ordered a refill on his drink. His refill was a five finger pour of straight Jim Beam into a glass. I mean, that’s kind of lot to just pound while eating pizza alone. Then he grabbed a little squeeze bottle of some unmarked condiment and squirted it all over his pizza. “Whatever that is, he’s either a genius or wasted, and judging from his glass I’m going with the latter,” I thought. Then our pizza came. And the truffle salt was all over those mushrooms and variously aged mozzarellas and it was delicious. After several bites, the man sitting to my left decided to butt in on my pizza enjoyment. “Did you try the spicy honey?” “Hhibmpbt?” I said with pizza falling out of my mouth. He grabbed the unmarked condiment bottle and explained how they have their own spicy honey that you have to squirt on all of the pizza to get the true “Wheated experience.” I continued shoving pizza into my gourd while he spoke, only breaking eye contact to see what he was drinking. A Mexican coke. This guy has a head on his shoulders and is probably mildly more trustworthy when it comes to condiment choices than the man with the tall pour of bourbon. Good call bro. Both of you. The guy with the coke and the bourbon, you both know what’s up. That’s the great part about pizza, it’s the great equalizer. Unless you have Celiac Disease. My apologies, but please-
-Off the G