When Vicki Evola, co-owner of Brooklyn Bros. Pizzeria, heard about a former Long Islander missing New York pizza, she threw a party. She invited the Seattle woman, Lisa Socha, to come to her Hewitt Avenue pizzeria, and extended the invite to a local welcoming committee of native New Yorkers.
About 10 former East Coasters — representing Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and even New Jersey — gathered last Friday at the downtown Everett restaurant. Evola plans to make the New York meetups a regular thing at her pizzeria.
It started as a social media post about Long Island transplants in Seattle missing pizza. After spotting Mets, Giants and Long Island-themed stickers on the back of Socha’s car, a stranger left this note: “Hey fellow Long Islander, I’m from Port Jefferson. Just wanted to say hi and I like your bumper stickers. P.S. I miss the pizza.” Socha posted it on Facebook and it went viral and attracted national media attention, but the identity of the stranger who wrote the note is still unknown.
How did you get involved?
I saw an article on the Internet about Lisa Socha. I decided to contact her and invite her to the restaurant to try our pie. I wanted her to know that there is real East Coast pizza out here. I decided to invite a bunch of New Yorkers.
What’s unique about New York pizza?
The dough. The culture. New Yorkers grew up having a slice and a Coke after school. Pizza is about family, comfort; part of the New York culture is to fold your slice and enjoy.
Are you a New Yorker?
Originally from Coos Bay, Oregon, I fell in love with Don, a guitar player/amazing Italian cook from Brooklyn. We moved to the Seattle area in 1985. I went to work at Northwest Hospital as a diet technician and worked in catering with my girlfriends on the side. We opened a guitar shop on Hewitt Avenue in 2003 and met Brett Alkan, the shop’s landord, who would be our business partner in BBP (Brooklyn Bros. Pizzeria).
Don, now my ex-husband, is a New York Italian cook. It was always his dream to open a New York pizzeria here in the Pacific Northwest. We would make dough in my KitchenAid mixer every weekend until we perfected our recipe. Don has competed a few times in the World Pizza Games in Vegas and placed. They’ve asked him to judge this year and will be hosting two classes where he’ll teach the art of pizza making to over 500 people.
Why is it called Brooklyn Bros.?
The name BBP comes from Don and his brothers. He is the oldest of three. He would cook for his little brothers from a very young age. His brother Jeff is a chef in Austin and his little bro is Chef Vic “Vegas” Moea, owns two restaurants in Vegas and is a regular on the Food Network and “Bar Rescue.”
How did the writing on the wall at BBP get started?
One year after we opened a customer brought in his two kiddos. The kids were bored waiting for their pizza and I thought, why not give them a marker and let them scribble on the wall? That evening he brought his wife to show her the artwork and I thought, we might be on to something here.
Thousands of people have signed the wall. A few celebrities that I can think of: Tony Ventrella of King-TV, Roger Fisher of Heart, Geoff Tate of Queensryche, Charlie Huhn of Foghat, Jon Taffer of “Bar Rescue.”
If you could have a drink with anyone alive or in history, who would it be?
Tom Petty. I love him.
What’s your most proud moment?
Opening day of both pizzerias. After practicing and perfecting the dough for nine years, I got to see people enjoying it. I remember having New Yorkers come up to me and saying the pizza was good. I was so proud.
We are opening two new BBP locations in 2017. One on Camano Island and one in Mill Creek Town Center.
Several years ago Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates made a commercial together. They had a courier come to the restaurant and pick up two large cheeses and a bowery.
What are you wearing?
Skinny jeans, boots and a BBP hoodie are my standard. I wear a lot of black, a lot of boots, and the occasional LBD (little black dress) and stilettos when the occasion calls for it.
What are three things in your fridge?
Wine, cold cuts and hard cheeses. I always have San Marizano tomatoes, pasta and premium olive oil in my pantry. It’s a must after living with a New York Italian for most of my life.
What is your pet peeve?
Food safety and messes. I’m a stickler, maybe a little obsessive, about proper refrigeration and about keeping things clean. One of my favorite tasks in the restaurant is to bus tables.
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Brooklyn Bros. Pizzeria
1919 Hewitt Ave., Everett; 425-258-6900 and 8326 Mukilteo Speedway, Mukilteo; 425-741-8400: bbpmenu.com
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.