Showing posts with label East Harlem. Show all posts
Showing posts with label East Harlem. Show all posts

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pizza Double Feature: Milano Pizza Shop and La Nuestra Pizzeria

- $2.25
2255 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10029

What a great looking exterior. The multi-colored bikes out front and the busted ass old sign and general vibrant colors around this place make me think of Havana. The pizza is totally "meh," though.

The cheese was good, but not exceptional, the crust was cook, although a bit undercooked. And the sauce was weirdly sweet. It was in a way that you totally don't notice at first but then it has this shitty aftertaste. Major "whatever" for this place.

La Nuestra Pizzeria - $2.25
2146 2nd Ave
New York 10029

Once again, another pizza place that was just slightly off the mark. It's a shame, because we could've had such a bang up day of exceptional shit and instead we had to wade through a ton of mediocrity that was almost good. Bummer times.

This slice tasted PERFECT. All the flavors were just right. The sauce was understated and delicious, the dough tasted great, the cheese was exactly what I wanted. But the texture was CRAP. It's not even an issue of me preferring my pizza on the well-done side. This slice was undercooked by any standards. I feel like if I could've somehow combined the flavors of the slice here with the texture of the slice at it would be the slice to end all slices. The slice of pizza that would get it's maker smote by God for daring to be so brash as to create something that would rival His beauty. Seriously, the flavors were impeccable. I'm gonna come back here and make a point of asking for my slice well done and see if that changes things. Because this slice was so close.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mt. Carmel Pizzeria: "I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed."

Post-Patsy's, Megan, Cinque and I headed over for our next slice at , which was a pretty picture perfect pizzeria.

Sadly, the pizza was not nearly as perfect, though it looked good, and certain aspects of it were totally superb.

If this pizza had a better sauce it would be the King of all Pizzas. Instead it is like, the Duke of Corn Syrupy Sauce or the Earl of Biggest Bummers. Honestly, the slice looked so perfect, smelled phenomenal and seemed to be cooked totally right, but when I bit into it and the sweet sauce squirted out, and chemically sweet at that, I felt like a pretty heinous atrocity had been committed on my expectations. The dough on this slice was impeccable, the crust, unstoppable. But that fucking sauce, man, it ruined things for me. Cinque put it very succinctly when he said, "I'm most pleased with the texture, rather than the flavor of the whole thing." If you could somehow sneak Patsy's sauce onto the pies here you'd have the best street slice in the world. Instead you just have a major disappointment.

My relationship to this slice gives me a bit of insight into how a lot of my high school teachers must have felt, like, "you have such potential, if only you weren't drenched in corn syrup!" Except in my case, replace "drenched in corn syrup" with "stoned all the time." Who knows, maybe the slice I had at Mt. Carmel was having a hard time dealing with being smart and weird and needed a coping mechanism, and maybe corn syrup not only makes it tangibly less smart, but gives it an excuse to act like a maniac. Maybe the slice at Mt. Carmel just thinks that the only way it can possibly handle being stuck in a pizzeria all day, with a bunch of boring other slices who don't even like , instead of doing something interesting, is by slathering itself in the crappiest sauce. Maybe if the pizzerias in this country were a little more engaging and interesting and a little less based on weird teleological constructs like standardized testing, slices like the one I ate wouldn't have to numb themselves with chemicals, and they could go on to be productive pies when they grow up. The question you've got to ask yourself is really this, dude: was that slice sick, or was it the product of a sick society? Think about that shit, man.

Mt. Carmel Pizzeria
345 E 115th St
New York, NY 10029

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Patsy's: "It doesn't count but I couldn't resist."

. I know I keep talking about how I'm only gonna eat at places where I can get a plain slice, and skip joints that only serve pies, but come on! If you were around the corner from Patsy's with two friends from out of town who both love pizza, you'd take them too. Besides, this is my project and I get to do whatever I want so fuck you.

Cinque muttered, "this place is kind of fancy..." with a hint of skepticism in his voice as we were handed our menus. Moments later, Megan said, "yeah, but $12 for a pie is not bad at all, especially if it's as good as it's supposed to be." And it was.

Patsy's hella thin crust is really not comparable to any of the other slices I've been eating. This slice and a street slice are different but related, like a Terradactyl and an Emu. The thing that makes this slice notable and relevant to my pizza mission is that it basically sets the sauce standard. Patsy's sauce is PERFECT, hands down. Slightly sweet, and not in a sugary way, with a hint of the fresh tomato flavor. This sauce is the standard by which all future sauce to be judged.

And the cheese is such good quality, and the slightly charred tasted the coal oven imbues the slice with, "like a burny marshmallow before you get to the sweet part," is absolutely perfect. This place is worth taking a date to because it seems fancy but is cheap. And then you can go to the ramble together and cruise some third and fourth partners.

I don't need to tell you this place is amazing because you've read it before in a million places. Totally worth the trip.

Patsy's Pizza
2287 1st Ave
New York, NY 10035


In more News You Already Knew, most pizza in Providence totally blows. After the show at last night, we all came back to Mike Stoltz's house to hang tough and drink tea, and Mikey decided to order us a pizza. I've had decent pizza in Providence before, but truth be told, I had been traveling for a few months and hadn't had pizza in a while, so I'm starting to question my memory of that pie.

Anyway, check out this travesty:

BOOOO! for Providence pizza, but HURRAY! for Providence.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Pizza Plus Inc: "At least they got hot jams."

After our pretty wonderful experience at , we headed over to 3rd ave and down to .

(I'd like to take a minute to point out the word "HEROS" on the bottom left corner of the awning for the edification of any of the shmucks who took time out of their exceedingly important lives to "correct" my correction of the awning of .)

ANYWAY, Pizza Plus. They were playing that when we got there and I found myself subconsciously singing along in my crappy falsetto, much to the chagrin of the twelve year old in front of me in line, who gave me a look that would've made Dick Cheney feel shame, possibly for the first time in his life. After that harrowing experience, it took everything in me to pull myself together and pay up my $2.25 for the slice.

And the slice. We had a major Preemie on our hands. That slice needed to be put in an incubator, know what I mean? Unpleasant colors abounded. Where there should've been golden borwn tones there were just awkward shades of beige. The sauce tasted heavily of garlic powder and tasted like it was sweetened with corn syrup. Somehow, despite looking so horribly underdone, the bread beneath the slice was cooked perfectly, providing an excellent crunch. And the ratios were perfect. Those perfect ratios were spoiled, though, by the terribly overpowering sauce. The crust tasted good, but the texture left something lacking.

All in all, this slice can be perfectly summed up by that hand gesture where you fan out your fingers horizontal and rotate it back and forth a little at the same time as raising your shoulders and eyebrows, in order to perfectly communicate the emotion "so-so."

Pizza Plus Inc
2253 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10035

Thursday, October 1, 2009

JNS Pizza: "And now that our lips have met, I'm in love again."

This week I had the excellent pleasure of going pizza eating with two of my favorite out of town friends, Cinque and Megan. Cinque currently resides in Kansas City, where he tends to the and plays sleazy bass. Megan is a Chattanooga resident, mother to my favorite dog in America, and an ultimate shred wizard on the damn guitar. The three of us share a love for hot jams and boundless sexual remarks as well as a general fondness for one another than is only paralleled by all my other goddamn friends that I love, shit I am so lucky! Anyway, these two dirtbags came through town on their way to the cranberry harvest up there in Massachusetts, and when the beginning of the harvest was pushed back, they managed to stick around long enough to come and hang with me for an entire day.

Our first stop was JNS Pizza, just outside the 125th St. 4 train station.

Good looking place. Totally awesome inside. There was a sign stating that they will refuse service to people who talk on their cellphones while ordering (I heartily support this!), and another sign reminding me that all activities done in JNS Pizza are under surveillance. Usually a sign letting me know that I'm being filmed would bum me out, but for some reason, this one made me happy. The tone was such that it seemed to say, "I appreciate, understand, and respect that you are part of our country's thriving black market economy. However, you should note that if you choose to perform 'business' here, it will be recorded, so it would be in your best interest to do somewhere else. By all means stay and enjoy our pizza, though!" I don't know, I'm a crazy person.

Either way, I ordered up, shelled out my $2.25, and headed over to Cinque and Megan with our first slice of the day.

And what a slice it was! When I folded it in half the crust crunched down like a collapsing building beneath my index finger, because the outside was so perfectly crisp and crunchy while the inside remained magnificently fluffy and light. The slice was cooked perfectly, it folded nicely, and felt good in my hands, substantial but not too heavy. It was on the cheesier side of Not Too Much Cheese, and it was sauced as lightly as possible without have Too Little Sauce. The fact that the cheese totally ruled made it awesome that there was so much of it and precipitated Cinque and the slice having this adorable Lady and the Tramp moment.

This slice was cooked so expertly. My only complaint is in regards to the crust and is so miniscule it almost doesn't bear mentioning. Texturally, this crust was perfect. Delicate, slightly chewy innards with golden, crisp, crunchy outtards. But I wish the dough either had a DROP more salt in it, or that the slice had been greasier and dripped a little more grease onto the crust.

While eating we were eating, Megan, who has worked at pizzerias in other states for years and actually reads PMQ magazine told me the first of many interesting facts about pizza that she know. Apparently, and this totally makes sense, elevation places a roll in the making of pizza dough, which explains why there is no good pizza in Colorado.

JNS Pizza
2032 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 1003


To my loyal fans: I'm leaving town tomorrow morning with buddy band for a couple days so I might not be able to update daily until after Monday, although I am going to bring my damn lap-top computer and try to post from "the road."

Pizza Place Corporation: "Might be the best slice of the day."

By the time Jordan, Gabby and I made it to 's corporate HQ, Gabby and I were feeling pretty loopy and goofy, so I was inordinately pleased with the font choice on the "Pizza Place" sign, which was really nothing special.

We went in and there were three teenage girls sitting at a booth listening to the raunchiest rap jams in history with no compunction and no concern for the old ladies in the store, who also didn't seem to care about . The first thing I noticed about the place was a really rude sign on the bathroom door. First there was a "rest room" sign, beneath that an "employees only" sign, and finally, below that a handwritten sign that read "what, can't you read?" Basically what I'm saying is that this place totally ruled.

I ordered my slice, forked over my $2.00, and was pretty happy with what I saw.

This slice looked good and smelled great. It was a little thinner crusted than an average New York slice, but I imagine that helped facilitate the totally rad and delicious, crunchy texture. There was kind of an abundance of cheese and sauce, in good ratio with each other, but I would've thought they would overwhelm the bread. However, they were both good quality, and with the crust's super firm crunchiness (without being brittle), the sloppy gooey sauce and cheese on top made for a really fun eating experience. We each got our own slice at this place and we totally devoured them like ravenous wolves or something. The actual heel of the slice was not too exceptional, though, which goes to show that the sauce and cheese might've been compensating for a bland dough. Overall, though, this slice was totally solid and I would for sure come back here again.

Pizza Place Corporation
1325 5th Ave
New York, NY 10029
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