Friday, April 12, 2013

First Look: Empire Deli & Pizza Serves East Coast Style Slices and Sandwiches Downtown [Photos]

Posted By on Fri, Apr 12, 2013 at 8:00 AM

A Supreme-style slice of pizza with the works. - MABEL SUEN
  • Mabel Suen
  • A Supreme-style slice of pizza with the works.

It's pizza. What more do ya need? How's about a freshly baked New York-style pie with crisp yet delicate crust, buckling under the weight of premium toppings and oozing with hot cheese? We realize we're angering the grammar gods in saying this, but don't nobody not like pizza. For those who want even more substantial bites, recently opened Empire Deli & Pizza (1131 Washington Avenue; 314-553-9999) offers a deli that has plenty of options to appease lunch-time to late-night appetites.

"We're trying to create an East Coast dining atmosphere. It's kind of fast paced, with authentic sandwiches and pizza -- the large street slice," says co-owner Michael Rook, whose brother Dave, formerly of Copia Restaurant & Wine Garden, heads up the kitchen. The Rooks come from a bonafide food family headed up by their father Lou Rook, Jr. (their brother Lou Rook, III is head chef of Annie Gunn's).

Brothers Michael and Dave Rook. - MABEL SUEN
  • Mabel Suen
  • Brothers Michael and Dave Rook.

Empire D&P brings a bit of New York to Washington Avenue. Upon entry, patrons can approach a window filled with prebaked pieces of 'za ($2.50-$3.50 a slice) to choose from. Alternatively, the menu's options include whole pies made to order ($13 for a fourteen-inch and $16 for an eighteen-inch), hot dogs, salads, soups, sides and specialty sandwiches like the King Louie hoagie ($9) with mortadella, roast beef, hot capicola, pepperoni, hot ham, Italian aioli, lettuce and tomato.

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