Beef brisket is just one of the toppings Burn City Smokers' Steve Kimonides and Raphael Guthrie are tinkering with at their new Footscray pizza joint, Slice Shop.
But although the American barbecue influence will creep in every now and then, the core range of pizzas is closer to what you'd find in New York than Texas.
They're serving margherita, four cheese, Italian sausage, white cheese and greens, and so on, as an 18-inch (45-centimetre) pie or by the slice – "a nice wide slice that you can fold in half lengthways and eat," says Kimonides. About eight pizzas will be on at any time, at least four or five of which will be vegetarian.
The fit-out, too, is inspired by New York pizza shops. The former Cheaper Buy Miles discount supermarket, opposite Mr West bar, has been decked out with off-white subway tiles trimmed with red and blue ("the Footscray Bulldogs' colours"), neon, and a huge Moretti Forni double-decked, stone-bottomed pizza oven. There are about 15 seats plus standing room, but it's mostly takeaway.
It's the first Italian(ish) restaurant Kimonides and Guthrie have owned, although not the first they've worked in – the two were sommeliers at Melbourne's Il Bacaro until they plunged headlong into barbecue in 2014. At Slice Shop, the liquor licence is pending but when it comes in, they'll be cracking Peroni Red in cans and pouring one white wine, one red and one fizz.
Sicilian-born Tano Pennino will run the kitchen alongside Kimonides and Guthrie. His presence will be especially useful come June, when the Burn City boys take up residency at the Grand Hyatt for another three-month stint, dishing up a menu that's "headband rock-and-roll Japanese with a Texafied influence" – think brisket ramen, Carolina-style tonkotsu ramen, sandos and yakitori.
But for now, "we're just excited to make some pizzas", Kimonides says.
Open Wed-Sun 5pm-late.
101a Nicholson Street, Footscray.