BEST PIZZA WITHOUT SUN-DRIED TOMATOES (1999)
It's the sauce. (Isn't it always?) John Newman's grandmother, Antoinette Carbone, taught it to her kids, Frank, Mario, and Dolores, and they made it the mainstay of the restaurant when Carbone's opened in 1962. Not much about the pizza has changed since then: The crust is still impossibly thin. ("Thick crust is somewhat of a hoax," Newman scoffs. "If you can fill a person up that way, it does a lot for your bottom line.") Toppings still run the classic gamut from green peppers to sausage, and you can still fill up two people on right around ten dollars. On most visits you'll find at least one of St. Paul's finest ensconced in a booth, and at least three kids who watch, transfixed, as Newman and his staff fling pies behind the front counter. One thing to remember: Though Newman is related to the folks behind the Carbone's Pizzeria chain, there is no connection between his shop and the franchise. Don't ask--it's a family thing.