Hours: Open Mondays through Saturdays 10:30 until 10:30 p.m. Closed Sundays.
Atmosphere: Authentic pizza spot.
Price range: Pizza, $3.25 for a small, version, $4.95 for a large on with a single topping, to $11 for a large combination. Sandwiches from 80 cents. Subs from $2.05, and dinners with salad and garlic bread from $3.25.
Credit cards: No.
Special features: Although there are no steps, the double-door entrance could be tricky for wheelchairs. High chairs available. Phone ahead for carryout -- and eat-in if you want it ready the minute you arrive. Parking lot.
Sometimes a restaurant that is thought of as a carry-out has a faithful eat-in crowd. Charlie's Pizza, long a neighborhood tradition, satisfies both types of customers.
What better way to understand Charlie's loyal following than to sit in a booth on a rainy weekday night and watch the steady stream of customers heading through the small Willllamsburg Shopping Center and making a beeline to Charlie's.
The telephone never seems to stop ringing with orders for this small family-run restaurant. Even people who plan to eat at Charlie's instead of taking their food home have the good sense to phone ahead. Everything is ready when they arrive.
Do not be misled by the size of the dining area. There are five booths amd a few tables in a 1950s ambience. There is also a quarter-eating juke box and several trinket machines that will make the small fry covet their allowances so they can purchase a genuine 5-cent ring. Oh, how I wish machines like that had never been invented. Another good reason to phone ahead and avoid idle minutes!
Despite the availability of sandwiches, subs and full dinners at Charlie's, pizza is plainly the star attraction and what the kitchen does best. The dinners we sampled, for instance, were disappointing -- sphagetti that was limp and made us wonder if it had been reheated; veal parmesan that was too much like the packaged variety. And a hamburger sub our daughter had was nothing special.
The pizza, on the other hand, is first-rate -- a homemade crust that is baked to perfection and generously covered with the topping (or toppings) of your choice.
Charlie's offers two sizes of pizzas -- small (10 inch) and large (14 inch). With restraint, two adults and one child can share a large one and be content.
Three nights a week, (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,) Charlie's offers a 30 percent discount on any pizza with two toppings -- a good family bargain.
In fact, Charlie's seems to be a good bargain on any night, and judging by the brisk business on the night we visited, may families already have discovered that.
If you haven't discovered Charlie's yet, maybe it is time your family ventured into this small and friendly restaurant.