City Slice brings East Coast flavors to BR pizza
What does the perfect combination of local pride, seasoned travels and restaurant skills produce? Baton Rouge, welcome to City Slice: the second act to owner Stephen Hightower’s City Pork. The new restaurant is located on 164 W. Chimes Street near LSU and features New Haven-inspired whole pizzas, pizza by the slice, beer on tap and numerous other unique dishes with a flavor that Baton Rouge has yet to taste.
The goal is tradition, not trendy, Hightower said. A trip to the northeast ten years ago was the driving force behind City Slice and the inspiration for a New Haven-inspired palette.
“I’ve always remembered that flavor. New Haven is famous for the white clam sauce, so that is [exciting to] incorporate.”
The traditional red and white sauces are accompanied by an ode to LSU—the purple sauce, which is the spicy version of red. The pizzas feature a hand-tossed thin crust and unique, house-made meats like alligator sausage and duck bacon. The menu offers about twelve specialty pizzas as well as a build-your-own option. The full bar is also local-heavy and features 14 beer taps, and Italian ice is sourced from a New Jersey company that provides another layer of New England inspiration. Thirty flavors of Italian ice cocktails compliment the already extensive menu and pair perfectly with the pool tables and sports bar-esque vibe.
Another notable addition to the menu is the Italian Hot Beef: a dish famous in Chicago and New York that City Slice is bringing down South.
“People definitely associate us with the best pork sandwich in town, but now I hope they will also associate us with the best beef sandwich in town,” Hightower says.
The sandwich’s unique flavor is accredited to the Giardiniera sauce, made from a pickled blend of cauliflower, peppers, carrots and both banana and hot peppers. The beef is braised for fourteen hours and a dipping sauce is served on the side.
“If you want to put it in laymen’s terms, this is kind of like an Italian French dip. This is the Italian style of the famous New Orleans sandwich.”
How City Slice met the campus of LSU was an accident, but a happy accident, admits Hightower.
“We were looking for a production facility for City Pork— to be closer to our LSU Design Building location—and came across this building and saw how beautiful it could be. There is pretty much everything else out here but pizza.”
Pizza by the slice is an easy option for families and students alike, and is especially convenient for those who frequent the area walking to class every day. As an added bonus, the meats cured and prepared in the City Slice kitchen will be incorporated into the City Pork’s campus location menu.
Hightower hopes his establishment will help bring about a family atmosphere on the north side of campus, similar to that of successful neighbors Louie’s Café, Highland Coffees and longtime Baton Rouge favorite, The Chimes. With the process of opening beginning a short two months ago, City Slice has come together quickly and purposefully. A Chimes Street establishment is a project for Hightower—one that he has great belief in.
“Hopefully, we can be part of a rebirth for the Northgate of LSU. When I was in school twenty years ago, this was the place you wanted to be. Every great campus has that strip… I’m hoping that this will be an institution.”
The restaurant is open from 11:00 am to 12:00 midnight, seven days a week. Check out City Slice at cityslicepizza.com, on Instagram @cityslicebr and on Facebook at Facebook.com/cityslicebr.
Photos by Jessica Schlorke