Eatside: New York, New . . . Kirkland?!

Bridle Trails Pizza does the Big Apple proud.

There are a couple of ground rules New York pizzerias should adhere to in order to legitimately bear the name. One, the slices have to be big enough to fold in half, so you can shove them down your throat fast enough to prevent your inner Richard Simmons from slapping them out of your hand. Two, once the slice is folded, there must be a river of grease that freely flows from the crust crease into your lap. Bridle Trails New York Pizza in Kirkland boasts crust which is delightfully thin, but doesn't snap like a cheap cracker, dumping molten sauce and toppings down your chest. The pizzeria's slices have a lot going for them, which is fortunate, since its tucked-away location limits mass exposure and its dilapidated interior is underwhelming. The pizza is built on handmade crust with an ample dose of homemade sauce that is notably piquant without causing a runny nose. There aren't any globs or chunks of unblended tomato paste; the weight of the sauce is akin to a vegetable smoothie, and doesn't soak into the dough and leave the cheese high and dry. The pies to try are the Gotham (Canadian bacon, pepperoni, meatballs, Italian sausage, and capicola), the Queens (pepperoni, Italian sausage, and meatballs), and the 5th Avenue (grilled chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto). Every pizza can be made as a calzone, or they'll make a single slice of anything with three toppings or less. For the price of a large cheese pizza, you can get five completely different combo slices ($3.25 apiece). The best toppings for a single slice are the homemade sausage and meatballs found on the Queens. The meatballs get a second crust in the oven, and their crispness nicely complements the chewy bits of sausage. Don't let all the romantic, sultry pizza talk convince you to dine in, however. While the service is fantastic, delivery or takeout is the only way to go. In its current incarnation, Bridle Trails literally needs to clean house. The booths, with substantially stained, sagging, and torn upholstery, bring to mind the back row of a 30-year-old movie theater. But since they have online ordering, patrons can get the best of both worlds: a huge slice of New York (or as close as it gets out here) and the comforts of home.

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