There are plenty of options for pizza in Charleston. You can find everything from a big ol' floppy slice of New York to the casserole that Chicagoan's misname a deep-dish pizza. If you want to try one of the lesser known styles, head on over to New Moon on John's Island for a St. Louis style pie.
New Moon is a modern styled pub, with your usual selection of appetizers, sandwiches and salads to go with your pies. We decided to split an order of Johnny chips ($7). These are a pile of fresh cut potato chip style fries, covered with chicken, cheese, bacon, and a ranch drizzle. The chips themselves are perfectly salted, and even the ones at the bottom of the pile were crisp. The bacon, cheese, and ranch all make sense, but the chicken is under seasoned. I would have loved maybe a teriyaki, a buffalo, or a BBQ glaze on the chicken....or maybe an option to choose. Chicken aside, these chips will keep you digging to the bottom of the basket.
The Pizza menu shows that someone is brilliant, with a great sense of humor. The Hurricane ($14) is topped with a mustard based sauce covered with a cheese blend, grilled chicken and bacon. After baking, the pie is topped with diced tomato, banana pepper, jalapeno pepper
and pineapple with buttermilk ranch drizzle. The Baked Potato ($12) is a layer of homestyle sliced potatoes, cheese, bacon, green onions, and ranch drizzle. All pies are 12 inch St. Louis style, which is small enough for one person who is hungry, or big enough for two if you go for an appetizer.
I know what most of you are wondering at this point. What is a St. Louis style pizza? These pizzas are usually a yeast-less thin crust, almost like a cracker. Unlike New York style thin crust, these pizzas do not bend easily. Instead of the normal triangle cut, a St. Louis style pizza will be served in a party cut, a series of rectangles that are smaller and easily handled. This party cut and crispy cracker style crust allow you to go right to the edge with the toppings. The lack of yeast also allows the cracker-like crust to remain crispy far longer than normal pizza.
For all the possible strange and new combinations, we settled on the $10 pizza of the week, The BBQ Chicken (Normally $13). This bad boy comes with a Blue Moon BBQ base loaded with cheese, grilled chicken, bacon, red onion, and fresh cilantro after baking. The Blue Moon BBQ is a little sweeter than I normally care for, but it plays very well with the cilantro. I love that they dice the onion fine, while leaving the bacon in longer strips. The crisp crust is light and very satisfying, and the cheese blend adds a nice saltiness to the slice. I would have preferred a more tangy BBQ, but in the end there wasn't a crumb left.
We stopped by New Moon on a Saturday afternoon. For football season they are opening up for lunch, which is new, so we had the place to ourselves. The service was excellent, but again we had the place to ourselves. They also have a patio, and on Monday evenings a pizza bar with salad and soda for $10.
New Moon isn't my favorite pizza. I'm still a New York kind of guy. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the pie (should have got one to go), nor does it mean I won't be back (I'm dying to try the Hurricane). This is the kind of pie you can go crazy with, and not feel bloated and greasy when you finish it. Take the time to head on out to John's Island, and see what kind of pie the Midwest has to offer.
Overall: 18 out of 25, a neighborhood gem that gives Charleston a new vision of a classic dish
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