Pizza Friday!

An Ode to the Extremely Large Pizzeria Dining Room

Brother's in Garden Oaks promises a New York-style slice with room for your closest friends.

By Timothy Malcolm September 14, 2018

A solid representation of New York-style at Brother's Pizzeria in Garden Oaks.

Friday nights in the Malcolm house meant ordering a large cheese pie from Tony’s Pizzeria, which was a 20-second walk from our front stoop. To honor pizza in all its glory, welcome to Pizza Friday! here at Gastronaut. We’ll celebrate a different Houston pizzeria each week, rating its basic cheese slice on the pizzaaaaa! scale (the more As the better).

This week: Brother's Pizzeria

The pizzeria that seems far too large for its operations is a comfortable tradition on the East Coast. The story goes like this: You open the door and are handed a backpack and hiking poles. After eight miles, you begin to faintly smell crust bubbling in the scolding oven. You turn a corner. You’re still three miles from the counter. You finally arrive, gasping and sweating, and you place your order: two large pies. You’re told to wait 15 minutes, which means hiking three miles back to the tables, which are approximately a mile apart from one another. It’s exhausting.

Brother's Pizzeria in Garden Oaks, which has been around since 1980, is a pizzeria that seems far too large for its operations. And that’s the most New York thing about the pizzeria, even though it’s outfitted with $40 Target-sourced wall art of New York City landmarks, and even though the cashier’s T-shirt brandishes a New York license plate, and even though the place has “New York-style pizza.”

I visited Brother's with my nearly 2-year-old daughter, whose favorite word is now “pizza” and even has a song for it (it goes “Pizzaaaa, pizzaaaa, pizza!”). We trekked to the counter and ordered our slices, and it all felt very familiar: the small soda cups; the TVs on either side of the dining room, randomly opposing each other; the pack of police officers ordering what seemed to be a three-course meal.

That might have been the reason we didn’t get our slices for 20 minutes. The chef apologized, saying he thought he was reserving slices for the cops, but I figured he was too focused on completing the officers’ large order. He did throw in a small bag of Lay’s original chips as a mea culpa, presenting them to my daughter like it was the greatest surprise ever. She was nonplussed. (Note: She's nonplussed at everything.)

I don’t care about snafus like that, long as they don’t happen repeatedly. What I care about is the pizza, and it was good. They were wider slices, a la Star Pizza, but with the right consistency of sauce and cheese. I imagine if I started managing a Little League baseball team, I’ll want to bring everyone here to fit into the spacious dining room. I’ll just have to remember the hiking poles.

Slice rating: pizzaaa!

An above-average slice of New York. It’s more wide than tall, but it’s not a small slice by any means. Two will fill you up. The crust could’ve stayed in the oven another 30 seconds (maybe they were rushing it out because I had waited so long), but I did enjoy the balance of cheese and sauce. A good place to bring the group.

Want to recommend a pizza place to Timothy? Send him an email at [email protected]

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