Archive for the ‘pizza’ Category

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Eating Pizza and Riding the Bus

December 22, 2009

For J‘s birthday last year I bought him two tickets to a New York City pizza tour (Scott’s Pizza Tour). We started at Lombardi’s, a NYC classic where both of us had eaten before. But, the truth is, the pizza here is always really good. While on this pizza tour, we learned an insane amount of information about eating pizza, making pizza, the history of pizza, etc. And we ate at least one slice at each of the 4 places — too much pizza for me; not enough for J.

inside the Lombardi's oven

Here is the oven at Lombardi’s. We learned that they only turn it off twice a year — one of those times is the Tuesday after Superbowl Sunday (aka, the biggest pizza delivery day of the year) — and some crazy men climb inside that little space to do maintenance work. The 363 other days of the year, that coal-burning oven is about 900 degrees.

oven at Patsy's

Then we went to the original Patsy’s, up in Harlem — we were pretty psyched about this one as it still has some of the throw-back elements from the days of prohibition. We got a look at the coal-burning oven here as well. Unlike Lombardi’s, Patsy’s uses aged mozzarella. We liked this slice, but I liked Lombardi’s better.

in front of Patsy's

Then it was onto the Bronx where we stopped at Patricia’s Pizza and Pasta for an awesome slice from a gas-fired deck oven (and a less awesome slice from a wood burning oven). And then on to what looked like someone’s house — called Louie and Ernie’s. Here we ate, what I would call, a regular slice of pizza. Just like anything you’d order from an Italian pizzeria back in my homeland of NJ. (Speaking of NJ, almost everyone on our tour bus was from NJ. And most lived only a few minutes from our hometown. It was eery.) I think Scott, the tour guide, called it your classic big, greasy NY slice.

Louie & Ernie's in the Bronx

Overall, it was a great time and we ate lots of pizza. I could’ve done with a little less “Hey, have you ever tried Tony’s in Paramus or Nellie’s in Waldwick or Maria’s down on the Jersey Shore?” from the other tour passengers. And I sort of felt like I had pizza-sweats at the end of it. But J and I are now incredibly knowledgeable about pizza and love to throw out our trivia tidbits whenever we can. Plus, it’s always fun to see a new side of the city… and eat!

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Pizza Going Up in Price

March 7, 2008

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According to the NY Times, the cost of pizza is going up thanks to the price of wheat hitting a record high in the US.  At the Ray’s Pizza on East Houston, the price of a slice went from $2 to $2.35 in January, and the owner says it will go up to $2.55 in the next few weeks. This is bad, scary news for us New Yorkers. Cheap pizza is one of NY’s staples. But I guess we should’ve expected it—apparently there is the Pizza Connection, a link thats shows how the cost of a slice increases in direct proportion to MTA subway fare hikes. Damn you MTA!

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Yesterday I Was a Tourist

September 24, 2007

I got to sleep in yesterday, which is the best treat on earth! But when I woke up, J and I decided it was too nice to spend the day sitting on the couch watching TV. So, we took a walk along the East River from the Williamsburg Bridge to the Brooklyn Bridge. While sitting on a bench and relaxing, I all of a sudden said, “Hey, wanna walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and have lunch at Grimaldi’s?” I’ve lived in NYC for 6 years, and I’ve never done either of those things. It was hysterical—the bridge is beautiful and lovely to walk across on a nice, sunny day, but man… did we feel like tourists! We got yelled at more than once for walking in the bike lane, and we stopped along the way to ooh and aah over the incredible views of the city and the Statue of Liberty. When we got to the end of the bridge, I sorta assumed Grimaldi’s would be sitting there like an oasis at the finish line. Nope. So we had to flag down a Brooklyn native and ask for directions—”Just walk down the hill and you’ll see a bunch of people waiting on line.” Well, we got on line… for 45 minutes. Most of that time we were forced to listen to some southerner on the phone practically screaming all the details of her amazing trip to NYC. Why can’t people censor their volume? Then we sat for 25 minutes before we got our pizza. Finally! And I have to say, it was pretty good. It’s certainly not the best pizza I’ve ever had—J complained heavily that the basil was bitter and the sauce was too sweet. But it was a fun experience and I’m glad we did it. And we’ll never do it again.

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Can you find me?

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Pizza Is the Best Way to Say Goodbye

September 7, 2007

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Last night we had a going away party for Saul, a friend who is moving to San Diego after living in NYC for 27 years. A going away pizza party (8th grade bday style) at Pizza Box—according to him, the ultimate pizza in NYC. And I generally trust his expertise when it comes to things like this. It has a very relaxing and friendly back garden that is perfect for pizza, pitchers of beer, and big parties. But it’s so sad to say goodbye to good friends. Especially when most of my NYC food adventures have been led by Saul—Italian food at Dominick’s in the Bronx, Greek food in Astoria, and tacos from the taco truck on the UWS. So here’s wishing Saul lots of happiness in Cali, and I hope that In and Out Burger doesn’t replace Pizza Box in his heart.

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Lunch for Under $3

August 31, 2007

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Lunch in Midtown is a nightmare—100 different versions of “Create Your Own Salad” get old real quick. And all the fast-food chains like Chipotle and Cosi have lines down the block. So I thought I’d try the semi-recently opened $.99 Fresh Pizza that I read about on Midtown Lunch. Supposedly, it’s decent pizza and you can get two slices and a soda for $2.75 ($2.98 with tax). I’d definitely say “decent” is a good description—the pizza is super doughy, which makes sense since they’re scrimping on the price. And it took 15 minutes to get my lunch—I think Chipotle might actually be faster! The worst part was the horrid smell inside the restaurant/small-box-of-a-pizza-place. If I wasn’t so starving by the time I got my slices, I would’ve thrown them out just because of the stench. But I have to say—lunch for under $3 is pretty impressive. And if I didn’t test it out, I never would’ve found the Blue Pig Homemade Ice Cream store next door… score!