Remember how at the beginning of the pandemic last year, we all seemed to go into a culinary craze? Most of us started cooking and baking more often than before at home, whether it was homemade pasta or banana bread. Some of us got really into it and started baking for neighbors or made an Instagram account for these creations. Then there’s Rachel and Ben of Apartment 3 Pizza. They not only honed their pizza making craft, but they recently started making pizzas in order to fundraise for Brooklyn Relief Kitchen. And I will add that their pizza is really, really good.
The couple really turned their attention to pizza making at the onset of the pandemic, but they have been working on their culinary skills long before last year. Rachel has always loved cooking and did lots of it, and after some time, she encouraged Ben to try his hand at it as well. Ben started his pizza journey about a year and a half ago, focusing on his favorite food. Over time, the two of them have developed some delicious pizza recipes and have also enjoyed their pizza making as a creative hobby. For their first-ever pop-up in February, they offered six different pies including their take on a classic New York pie and a Detroit-style square pizza with pesto and zucchini called the “G-Train.”
I ordered the “Fire Escape” from their pop-up last month, which was a Detroit-style pie with pepperoni, mozzarella, pecorino, red sauce, and hot honey. I was honestly so stoked to see this pizza on their menu because 1) I love the combination of hot honey and pepperoni and 2) Detroit-style is my favorite style of pizza. I live in New York and I’m from Chicago, but I still think Detroit has the best pizza. You just can’t beat that crust. This creation was one of many that Rachel and Ben said they tested throughout the pandemic, even through the flour shortage craze that happened last spring. You can see all of their past creations on their Instagram page—there are so many beautiful pizzas that they’ve made so far.
I’m not going to lie, I debated ordering a pizza from last month’s pop-up. Apartment 3 Pizza is located an hour away from me on the subway, so not only is that a two-hour round trip to bring back the pizza, it’s an hour journey where the pizza will be sitting in a rather cold subway car. However I couldn’t pass up the chance to get this scrumptious sounding pizza and also support Brooklyn Relief Kitchen. I did end up reheating the pizza at home since it had cooled during my trip back, but I 100% think it was worth getting it. The crust was soft and the edges were crispy, as Detroit-style pizza should be, and the combination of toppings were absolutely delicious. I had a very satisfying dinner and definitely think that Rachel and Ben know what they’re doing in their kitchen.
All proceeds from the pizza pop-up were donated to Brooklyn Relief Kitchen, an organization that tackles food insecurity and feeds Brooklynites. The org was initially started in 2012 as the Hurricane Sandy Relief Kitchen by a team of food industry professionals, and the team came back together to support and feed Brooklyn in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rachel started volunteering with BRK last June, and both she and Ben wanted to help BRK fuel their process in helping the local community by donating what they made from the pop-up. They said that they hope to include more charities in future pop-ups and give back in any way possible—and they think pizza could be a tasty vehicle for that.
If you want to eat some damn good pizza on a weekend night and give back to the community at the same time, go pick up a pie from Apartment 3 Pizza. I’m really glad I found them right in time for their first pop-up and got to have their ‘za. It’s getting warm in New York, so enjoy your pizza on your roof, a park bench, or on your couch with your pets staring at you. Their next pop-up is set to be March 13th, so follow them on Instagram and stay in the loop for when they announce their menu!
Follow Apartment 3 Pizza at @apartment3pizza
Learn more about Brooklyn Relief Kitchen and volunteer or donate at brooklynreliefkitchen.org