Not all pizzas are created equal
Pizza Supreme Being finds that simplicity is the key to good pizza
A floppy slice of cheesy pie with mounds of thick pepperoni curls is draped over a paper plate just steps away from the state Capitol. Behind the counter of this New York-style pizzeria, a tall man in a crisp, white apron welcomes each customer with a smile, like he’s greeting an old friend who just got back into town.
Pizza Supreme Being has been open less than a year and already feels like the nightly neighborhood meeting place.
Ben Roberts found his scene in the pizza business not because of a lifelong dream or even a passion for pie. It was more of a right place, right time situation followed by generous portions of determination—and tomato sauce.
As a former cook for the Shady Lady Group and Selland's Family Restaurants, Roberts started his own pizza pop-up/catering company in 2015. He spent most of his Saturday evenings outside Bottle and Barlow serving sizzling slices until there were none left to sell.
In April 2019, he found a cozy space on 14th Street between N and O streets and opened Pizza Supreme Being Slices and Squares. Roberts created the play-on-words idea for the restaurant's name while searching for an available social media handle. He said he wanted it to be something more than another “Ben's Pizza.” So when “Pizza Good” and Pizza God” were both taken, he readily landed on Pizza Supreme Being.
With a name like that, some mouths may already be watering for an epic combination of spicy peanut butter and garlic pizza with roasted raspberry sauce and 15 layers of bubbling Swiss cheese, but this is not that kind of pizza joint. In a “back to basics” trend, Supreme Being is a no-nonsense, New York-style pizzeria.
“I think simplicity is what makes spaces consistent,” Roberts said. “We don't have a combo or loaded up option.”
Supreme Being offers whole, 20-inch pies, large slices and squares with cheese, pepperoni or Hawaiian toppings. Every pizza is baked in an Italian-made Cuppone deck oven with naturally leavened sourdough, a custom cheese blend and locally grown organic tomatoes. The dual-temperature oven creates a crisp crust with a toasty exterior and fluffy interior. The pizza's silky layers of cheese are made with hand-pulled mozzarella; vegan options include a house-made creamy vegan ricotta.
Each quarter-sized pepperoni cup is sliced in-house, resulting in a flavorful crunch and curl. Slices are large and floppy and the squares are thick but not dense. Local ingredients include flour from Nevada City to feed the sourdough starter and cheese from Cypress Grove.
Pizza Supreme Being may draw out a nostalgic childhood memory of a picture-perfect New York-style pizzeria or a new favorite hole in the wall.
“We're a simple slice shop with delicious slices,” Roberts said.
Whatever the takeaway, pizza will always be hot, fresh and just around the corner.