After I gave Checker Flag Pizza a scathing review and a D- last June, a reader left a comment that I must've just gone there on a bad day or at a bad time, because their pizza is usually better than what I had. So I recently went back to give them another try.
The same reader suggested that perhaps I went too early in the day (it was around noon), before the ovens were properly heated. If so, of course, the blame for that would lie with Checker Flag, which should ensure that its ovens are up to the proper temperature before they start making pizza, but this time I did go a little later in the day, around 2:30 p.m. on a weekday.
For whatever reason, it was better this time. That alone is not much of a surprise - it could hardly have been worse - but it was significantly better.
As before, this slice was extremely thin, but this time around it actually had an interior, at least on the outer half, nearer the edge of the pie from which it was cut. I could see that the dough had risen somewhat, despite its thinness.
The underside of my slice was crisp and browned in some areas. It was lightly dusted with cornmeal and bore no screen marks. The slice was very foldable - no surprise there, given its thinness - but also had a crackly exterior.
All of that was, thankfully, in contrast to the slice I had in June, which was pale and undercooked. This was much better, as far as the crust was concerned.
It was, however, still very light on the toppings, even for a slice this thin. That was not a total shocker either; you can only expect so much for a dollar. (And it was a dollar, by the way; last time I got charged a dollar and change. But their slices are supposed to cost a dollar apiece.)
What little sauce there was seemed a bit sweet. There was, though, so little sauce or cheese that the slice overall seemed a bit dry and bland. In its favor, the paucity of toppings allowed the slightly sweet, bready flavor of the crust to come through.
At any price, this was an OK slice. At a dollar, it was a decidedly good slice. Personally I’d gladly pay more for more in the way of toppings; with a little more sauce and cheese, this could be a very good slice.
But I doubt that’s going to happen, and that’s OK. There’s a niche for cheap, decent pizza, and based on this visit, Checker Flag seems to be filling that niche in this neighborhood. I’m not sure what the deal was with that horrendous slice I had last June, but I’m hoping it was an anomaly, and that this latest one was more representative of their pizza. I’ll give it a B-.
Checker Flag Pizza is at 1481 Dewey Ave. It's takeout and delivery only. They also serve subs and various fried sides. 458-0070