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Pizzerias' Best-Kept Secret

Sausage rolls, vegetable rolls, meatball rolls and more at pizzerias in Bed-Stuy

When I walk into a pizza shop, I’m there to get exactly that: pizza.

Sometimes I’ll opt for a specialty slice or a few garlic knots on the side. But I hardly ever consider the other options at the restaurant—pasta, heroes, calzones, and... rolls?

In fact, when I started working on this Top-Five, a lot of people I told about it didn’t even know what a “roll” was. They thought of oven-baked bread with butter, something you throw in a basket and cover with a cloth napkin.

I realized that while a slice of pizza is a great, cheap option, it’s usually not all that much food. And for $4 or $5, you can be stuffed to the brim with a pizza roll, made of sausage, spinach or chicken, among other flavors.

I prefer rolls to calzones, because they generally are less bready and messy. A roll is a thin slab of dough, stuffed with vegetables and/or meat, along with a ton of cheese and tomato sauce. The dough is then folded over on either side of the fillings, without completely encasing it, giving the fillings a baked, crispy edge, along with the golden browned crust.

Pretty much every fast food pizza place offers rolls, and, when done well, they are absolutely delicious.

So here are my top-five choices for rolls in the neighborhood. Whether you are already a roll lover, or you’re trying it for the first time, I highly recommend the following:

5. Bona II - 528 Nostrand
Bona II, which recently replaced Tony’s on Nostrand, offers a delcious meatball roll which is more saucy than cheesy, filled with a mild marinara sauce and spicy meatballs. Although slightly too doughy for me, I love the fillings in this roll.

4. Coffee Break - 683 Myrtle
If you want to opt for kosher, try the mushroom roll at Coffee Break. Tons of cheese and mushrooms are surrounded by a soft, sesame roll. The most prominent flavor is garlic, which goes well with the cheese and the sesame flavor in the roll.

3. Moses Pizzeria - 834 Broadway
The chicken roll here comes packed with chicken that is breaded the same way as chicken parmesan. Every bite is perfectly cheesey, although all and all you don’t feel like you are eating too much cheese. The marinara sauce is mild and sweet, and the soft thin crust holds it all together.

2. Sam’s Pizza - 486 Dekalb
I went for a sausage roll here and was happy I did! The sausage had a strong flavor of fennel, which went well with the red and green peppers, sliced onion and oozing cheese. The crust was thick, and crisped to a perfect golden brown.

1. Ganni’s Pizza - 652 Myrtle
The vegetable roll here is my favorite roll in the neighborhood. Filled with onions, mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, and cheese, this roll is a whirlwind of flavor packed inside a thick, baked, dough with a soft center.  It comes with a thin, sweet marinara sauce on the side.

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