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Pizza Week: Paul and Sons

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - Our next stop for NewsChannel 34 Pizza Week is Paul and Sons in Binghamton.

Brandy from Conklin says she loves stopping into Paul and Sons Pizza in Binghamton for a Brocc-lini pizza.

She also says the family owned business is new to our area.

So, our Mike Tanzini stopped by in hopes of making a pie.

"The buck starts and stops with me," said Executive Chef and Owner Paul Myers.

Each and every pizza at Paul and Sons is crafted by Executive Chef and Co-Owner Paul Myers with good reason.

He learned to be a pizza maker at 19 in Missoula, Missouri but later specialized in fine dining, working alongside celebrity chefs like David Cheng.

But, when he moved to Binghamton, Paul didn't want to open a white-table-cloth restaurant.

Paul and Sons opened last September at a familiar location that pizza lovers on Binghamton's Westside have known for 25 years, the former site of Leroy Pizza.

He's continuing that tradition, but with a non-traditional style. 

While Paul serves the simple cheese, pepperoni, and sausage pies, the executive chef features up-scale flavors and toppings, like the pie he made for us - a white garlic, spinach, and sun dried tomato pie dolloped with ricotta cheese.

The dough is made the day before so it can come out just right.

"It's kind of a slow-rising dough.  It's got some texture to it and I add a little secret weapon and it makes it unique," said Myers.

Paul offers two types of sauce, white garlic made with olive oil and a tradition red sauce made with stanislaus tomatoes, a plum tomato with high acidity which makes it bright in color and bursting with flavor.

"The Sanislaus tomatoes are a great, ripened tomato.  It's the closest thing to a San Marzano tomato.  I add my own roasted garlic, spices and fresh herbs and all sorts of things to bring it up to a bright sauce," said Myers.

Our specialty pie has the garlic sauce and its spread on generously along with a blend of Grande brand provolone and mozzarella cheeses.

It may be a slower process, but Paul wants to ensure he's giving out a quality product.

"We didn't set up to be a mass-producing pizzeria like some of the others in the area that crank them out and doing delivery.  We set up to be a more artisanal, neighborhood pizza joint that hand crafts and hand tosses each pie," said Myers.

When it comes to toppings, Paul has a few tricks, "I like to put them underneath the cheese so they don't burn."

And partially topping the pizzas and finishing them off right before it's done cooking.

With just about a minute left to cook, Paul adds the spinach and ricotta to maintain its texture.

Just when I thought we were done, Paul was willing to step aside and let me have a piece of the pizza-making process.

I stretch the dough, add a little extra sauce for my liking "I'm a strong advocate for extra sauce" - and lay down the cheese.

My confidence is high, until I almost lost the pie.

We finish it up with Romano cheese and sprinkle on some oregano, rosemary and parsley to resemble a New York Style slice, a favorite among the University Students that frequently stop in.

Whether it's a family of four, a student on break from class, or just someone from the neighborhood, Paul and Sons promises a perfect pie for all of us in the Parlor City.

Paul's connection to Binghamton is his co-owner, and more importantly his wife Carrie, whom he met in Missouri.

As for the sons, Franklin and Truman, they're a little too young to get into the business yet at 11 and 6 years old.

Wednesday, Mike heads to a popular Eastside eatery that's been serving pies since 1947.

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