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Angelina's Fireshack & Pizzeria

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A "Wowee Maui" pizza is served at Angelina's Fireshack & Pizzeria restaurant in New Hyde Park. (Oct. 16, 2011) Photo Credit: Jin Lee

Eccentricity and excess are the norm at this quirky new pizza-plus spot.

Here, you order at the counter and hope for seating at one of four tables. An alternative is to hunker down and eat at the bar, which offers a nice selection of microbrews and craft beers.

CRAZY GOOD

Hot dogs, cut into pieces, top the sumptuous mac and cheese. Alternately, you might want to go for an over-the-top foot-long frank on a toasted bun. I'm taken with the Rachel dog, crowned with pastrami, Swiss, sauerkraut, diced pickles and nine-grain mustard. Equally grand is spicy grilled duck sausage, studded with cranberries, topped with hot peppers and an oddball (but good) cream-cheese dressing.

I like Angelina's big, meaty chicken wings, ordered with a medium-hot passion fruit habañero sauce. Masochists can go for "insanity" wings done with mouth-singeing ghost peppers -- but only after they sign a waiver.

Crisp-crusted artisan pizzas are truly out-of-the-box. Best is the Desi (co-owner Shai Eapen's invention) topped with tandoor-baked chicken, basmati rice, cilantro and mozzarella. A surprise winner is the Wowee Maui featuring mozzarella, ham, pepperoni, bacon and pineapple. Then, there's the Big Mack, evoking the golden arches with ground beef and more. Even a conventional tomato-mozzarella grandma pie works.

So very satisfying: the Hyde Park Philly hero made with roast beef, onions, peppers and Cheddar. And an impressively bright, crisp Caesar salad with house-made dressing.

JUST CRAZY

Tables are hard to come by. And just try reading the teensy print on the menu.

I order the Wolverine burger medium-rare but it comes out gray throughout, only partially redeemed by its inventive topping.

No desserts are available either time I go. And the selection of wines is sketchy.

BOTTOM LINE

We all need a little insanity now and then.

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