J&B Spumoni Gardens

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At the start of today's Brooklyn bus tour, a nerd pulled out a book and started taking notes. The nerd was, of course, me. A small sampling:

• If Brooklyn were its own city, it would be the fourth-largest American city.

• Sicilian pizza = thick squares with spongy crust born of twice-risen dough. Most pizzerias put cheese on top. It forms a rubbery sheet that pulls off at first bite. L&B Spumoni Gardens does it right: cheese beneath.

• That scene in "Saturday Night Fever," where Travolta struts down the streets of Bay Ridge — his strutting feet, up close? Not his feet!

Current Rankings

1.     Grimaldi's, DUMBO, Astoria, Queens

2.     Napoli, Astoria, Queens

3.     L&B Spumoni Gardens, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn**

4.     Famous Amadeus, Times Square(ish), Manhattan

5.     Don Antonio's, Times Square, Manhattan

** L&B is the best Sicilian pizza we've ever had. (We may never again eat another Coffee Time square, and we may need to subject Tivoli in Lawrence to further scrutiny.) But we like the charred-crust Neopolitan style better; thus, the lower ranking.