Showing posts with label Hell's Kitchen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hell's Kitchen. Show all posts

Monday, June 7, 2010

2 Bros v. 99¢ Fresh PIZZA SHOWDOWN: "A battle for the position as the cream of the crop of the bottom of the barrel."

Here we are, at the long awaited showdown. Before we even get to the pizza, I think it's important that we compare and contrast the two establishments. Only fair, right?

2 Bros. Pizza is pretty ugly. I am especially sensitive to shit that sucks and looks stupid, I have an allergy to it, but like, that awning looks lame. There is also no parm. Whatever, who cares. This particular 2 Bros location, though, also sells jerk chicken, and while that's not pizza, it is still awesome because jerk chicken is like, my fourth favorite food (1. pizza [duh]; 2. salad; 3... fuck it, jerk chicken, whatever, you get the point). So even though it has nothing to do with the pizza at 2 Bros, it is still a perk because businesses that are a Anything/Jerk Chicken place are always cool. When I was hanging around in Baltimore as a teenager there was this jerk chicken/hair salon that had hella good patties and oxtail too. It was cool because people would go in on their lunch break and get their braids fixed up and sit around and chat and eat lunch, it fostered a nice sense of community in there. I went there twice a week or so to get a beef patty or a couple pieces of chicken and everyone thought it was so silly because I was this white teenager with a big foot tall mohawk hanging out with all these middle aged Jamaican and Trini ladies. Anyway, this one time I took a shower and instead of spiking the hawk, I just threw a hat over it (baseball cap with a patch!), and I got on my bike and went to this place to get some grub. When I walked in all the ladies were totally dismayed and bummed because they thought I had cut the hawk. When they found out I hadn't, this one lady who worked there who's name I can't remember because this was twelve years ago asked if she could put my hair in corn rows. I was all, "yeah, okay" because F.I.D., right? You've got to remember that it was 1998, so I was wearing, like, baggy camo cut offs, and combat boots and like, either an a-shirt or a size L Toy Dolls t-shirt. Corny as fuck. With the addition of the corn rows I totally just looked like one of the "feminazis" or whatever from that movie PCU. I left them in for a whole day, though, and when I took them out I had this sick crimped hawk and I looked hella goth until my next shower. Oh yeah, the other thing that is better about this place than 99¢ Fresh is that they have seating.

99¢ Fresh looks really cool. If I was ever to do a photoshoot with my Ramones ripoff band (I think we would be called the Moms and would be named Joey Mom, Johnny Mom, Marky Mom and Deedee Mom) where we all stand around in ripped jeans and leather jackets and belly tees, leaning against something, we would be leaning against this 99¢ Fresh location. It looks pretty wild with all the signage. It almost looks like some sick outsider art house in the mountains that has like, a bunch of hand painted wooden signs stuck in the ground with stakes talking about God. 99¢ Fresh does have parm, but it doesn't have oregano. And there is no seating.

So, before we've even gotten to the pizza, here's the rundown thus far:
2 Bros:
+ Ample seating/tables
+ Jerk chicken for sale
- No Parm
- Looks stupid

99¢ Fresh:
+ Parm!!
+ Really cool looking
- No Oregano
- No Seating

Now for the slices:

Two Bros is on the left, 99¢ Fresh on the right.

Looking at these slices next to each other is like looking at a bell curve of how pizza should look, where both ends of the curve represent pizza that sucks, and the middle of the curve has just been excluded. On the left we have Two Bros, repping the burnt to a crisp, Freddy Kruger face, not even a Dead Skin Mask because there's not enough cheese so it's more like a guy who got his face melted off my a tidal wave of rocket fuel (and his hand turned into a vise-like grip), way too well done slice. On the right we have 99¢ Fresh standing in as the undercooked, underloved, born too early and maybe shouldn't have been born at all, if it were a baby it would make you think of that Jello Biafra/Mojo Nixon song "," ultimately underdone slice. And really, let's be honest, they both suck. The point is to determine whether either of these shitty things is something you actually want to consume.

First thing that is easy to notice is that the 2 Bros slice is BIGGER. And when you're eating dollar pizza, that is probably a heavy priority. It was totally dry and it seemed like there had never ever been any sauce on it ever in history. Plus it was super salty and tasted like curry powder. Which is cool if you're at , but it is not what I'm into when I eat pizza in a regular pizza place. Plus, I know I said it already, but it was REALLY salty. Like, between how dry it was and how chewy it was and how salty it was it was almost like I was eating pizza jerky.

The 99¢ Fresh slice, while smaller and undercooked, was at least recognizable as pizza. It had sauce, albeit crappy sauce, and cheese, and the dough wasn't intensely chewy and nasty like the 2 Bros slice. Don't get me wrong, it still totally sucked, but it was at least pizza. Oh, and 99¢ Fresh crust had 2 Bros beat by a long shot.

In the end, 99¢ Fresh wins on almost all accounts. Unless you want to go to a pizza place to get jerk chicken, in which case, 2 Bros is your only option that I know of.

99¢ Fresh Pizza - $1.00
569 9th Ave
New York, NY 10011

Two Bros. - $1.00
542 9th Avenue
New York, NY 10018

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hell's Kitchen Pizza: "Conquering the worm."

Hell's Kitchen Pizzeria looks like it was opened and decorated by Rob Zombie circa 1998. It is really and truly the corniest place I have ever seen. It really rides the line between being a corny metal pizza shop and being a corny rockabilly pizza shop. Whoever opened this place really loves Betty Page bondage photography. While I think it's hella corny at this point in my life, I found that corniness really charming and if I was a kid or maybe even a teenager I would totally love the aesthetic of this place. Then again, I genuinely liked the AND the when I was in high school, so there's that. What's my point, in a nutshell? This place seems hella corny, but in a way I totally loved and it made me feel good. I mean, fuck, they were listening to a live Springsteen album.

Sadly, this pizza is the worst pizza I've ever had in my entire life. It was so bad that after I took my first bite I felt like I was gonna puke. Caroline took a bite, gagged, spit it into a napkin and said, "I eat out of the trash pretty regularly and I don't have this problem." Leah seemed to have a sort of zenlike attitude about this slice, and I'm not quite sure what made her impervious to how disgusting it was, but she was unphased.

When we left, about a block away, I totally hurled. It was pretty fun and reminded me of being young and being a total scum. I was standing between two luxury cars barfing and all these mothers pushing their children in strollers were taking a wide berth around me. Caroline and Leah were across the street digging antique nails out of a garbage can and when I walked over to join them, I noticed that an entire family of birds had alighted into my vom-puddle and a mother bird was feeding a kidbird little bits of my puke. Ah, the circle of life.

Later that day I was in a McDonald's reading a book and killing some time because it was raining and cold and I couldn't sit in the park and an older gentleman wearing an NYPD baseball cap, forest green sweatpants and no shirt was standing in the doorway screaming "CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHERE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ARE?!?" and also screaming "I WORK FOR THE CITY!!!" but when we made eye-contact he just looked at me knowingly and smiled.


Hell's Kitchen Pizzeria - $2.50
691 10th Avenue (47th & 48th)
New York, NY 10036

Monday, May 24, 2010

Claudio Pizzeria: "At least it's real pizza."

was the only real pizzeria that Leah, Caroline and I went to. When we walked in, somewhat haggard from having eaten a bulk of pretty shitty slices, Caroline and Leah slinked straight to the back and I ordered a slice from an older fellow who I will heretofore refer to as Claudio. Claudio looked back to the table where L and C were sitting and said, "So three slices?" in a thick Italian accent.
"No, just one slice." I repeated myself, sort of distracted.
He looked in the back again, this time it caught my attention. "Okay, so three slices" And he started to cut three slices off a pie.
"Oh, no, sorry man. Just one slice. We're sharing. We've eaten a lot today but this place looked so good we couldn't pass it up."
"No meetings." He said.
"Excuse me?"
"No meeting. No meeting here. One slice for three people, you sit for two hours. Not in my pizzeria! You know this saying here in America, 'customer is always right'? Well not in my shop! In my shop customer is always wrong!" And then he gave me my one slice with a huge grin on his face.

This slice was totally good! Great ratios, delicious, high quality cheese, perfect sauce! The dough was a little bit bland, could've used more salt, and that lead to the crust having almost no flavor, but there are worse things in the world. Finally!


Claudio Pizzeria - $2.50
598 10th Avenue (43rd & 44th)
New York, NY 10036

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lazzara's: "I am the resurrection and the slice."

is totally full of shit and I am mad at them. This place is cool if you want to eat pizza on an airship, which is what it feels like when you stare at a huge plasma tv screen while sitting under a . Maybe would want to eat here, but I think human beings, or "yuman beans" as my father might say, who want actual pizza would not be interested in this place.

They only have square pizza here. But it's not a grandma slice, it's a what they're calling regular pizza. This is like when you make pizza at home and don't have a pizza stone yet so you end up rolling out your dough on a cookie sheet. In a word, unprofessional. The thing that really pisses me off about it is that it tastes really good! It's super buttery and in the words of Leah, the crust kind of tastes like "when you get on a pancake when you're lucky." As in, that rad buttery burnt shit. The slice had perfect ratios, great crunch and the sauce had a bit of a bite. It was really delicious, much to my chagrin.

At one point I took a bite and the cheese stretched almost an entire foot. Leah said, "not to be totally gross, but it's sort of like ovulation." Caroline and I both laughed but I have to be honest and admit that I was only laughing because Leah said "ovulation." Despite the fact that I'm a guy with a good attitude towards menstruation (), I've never actually ovulated so I'm not quite sure what she's talking about. Whatever, it's always funny to compare food to bodily functions. If anyone feels compelled to graphically explain whatever I missed in the comments section, I'd be really pleased, as I'm sure would most of my readers.

Aside from the fact that it's not real pizza, my big beef with Lazarra's is that they have a million signs all over the damn place that say their slice costs $1.50, and then the slice actually costs $1.64. What a misleading bummer. At least say "$1.50 + tax". Seriously. That kind of bullshit has probably cost many an unsuspecting sidewalk stroller $0.14 she didn't expect to spend. What bullshit. I can't deny that it's really delicious, though.


Rating if it were actual pizza:

Lazzara's - $1.64
221 West 38th Street (7th & 8th)
New York, NY 10018
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