Charlotte Pizzeria opened last year on Lake Ave., in what had been a Piatza's. I think it was briefly operating under some other name as well. You would think this would be a good location for a pizzeria, especially a slice joint, but this isn't real close to the beach, and it's on the side of a building, facing a parking lot, so it's not especially visible from the street, even with the colorful paint scheme now adorning the facade.
I went there for a slice, thinking that it might be one of those deals where the name changes but the pizza remains the same - in other words, just like a Piatza's slice. But in fact this was a little different. Unlike Piatza's, these were not giant slices, just "normal" size. So I got two. They had just come out of the oven.
The slices were medium thick, with that telltale "fried" aroma and mottled brown underside that indicate the presence of cooking oil. The crust was soft and a bit spongy. As is often the case with this kind of pizza, the edge was somewhat crisp, if oily, and it had some faint but pleasant breadiness.
The sauce had a thick consistency, and tasted of cooked tomatoes. It was added in reasonable proportion to the crust. The cheese was browned, though not to the point of being dried out or hard, and was laid on in a uniform, slightly thick layer. It was straight processed mozzarella, I believe.
The cup and char pepperoni was crisp, and added some smoky spiciness, as well as a small pool of grease at the bottom of each pepperoni slice. (The cup or bowl shape of the pepperoni makes it relatively easy to sop up the grease with a napkin, though.)
Despite the name, Charlotte Pizzeria offers considerably more than pizza. There's a wide variety of grilled and fried foods, from burgers and fries to Jamaican beef patties and fried chicken. They also serve wings (which can be ordered as "whole wings") and hot and cold subs. Pizza toppings, in contrast, are relatively limited, with just seven available (eight, if you want to count "extra cheese" as a topping).
This really wasn't bad pizza, but it was not particularly good, either. I'd be inclined simply to call it average and give it a C, but for that soft, oily crust. It wasn't oozing grease or anything, but it did have a slightly oily feel and aroma, so I'm rating it a just-below-average C-.
Charlotte Pizzeria, 4410 Lake Ave., 621-9111
Open daily. 9 a.m. - midnight, Fri. & Sat. till 3 a.m.
Pizza Guy note, 4/19/10: The "new businesses" listings in today's D&C list a new place, "Little DS House of Pizza," at this address. I can't tell if it's open yet or when it might be.