Showing posts with label Ma Harvester. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ma Harvester. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mariella Pizza: "Possibly the only good slice near Columbus Circle."

Me and Ma walked passed right by Mariella initially, we didn't even notice it, even though it was on my list. But when we were at 9th Ave Pizzeria, my cousin Stephanie called about Thanksgiving plans and my mother kvetched to her about the lack of decent pizza in that neighborhood.
"What about Mariella?" my cousin probably said into the phone.
"WHAT ABOUT MARIELLA?" my mother shouted, because she had a phone to one ear so obviously she had to shout at me from across the table.
"I think we passed...." I began.
But I can only assume, since I couldn't hear what my mother heard on the phone, that while I was talking Stephanie was saying, "Mariella is pretty good."
Because my mother shouted, "STEPHIE SAYS MARIELLA IS PRETTY GOOD."

So we went. It was packed full of high school or junior high school kids. At this point everything younger than like, 20 looks the same to me. Usually I hate children, but these kids were poorly behaved in a way that was not a burden on me and just served to keep me smiling slightly as I watched them eat and fight and flirt. It was kind of adorable. I still think kids are repugnant and shit (except my friends' kids, they are darling!), but I can see what some of the appeal in being a parent is, I guess.

This slice is not anything exceptional, but it's totally, solidly good. Compared to the rest of the slices in this neighborhood, though, it's like God jizzing Fox's U-Bet chocolate sauce into your mouth. Um... but not for my mom. There is nothing even remotely resembling any jizzing going on anywhere near my mom.

Well, yeah... anyway. The slice was good. It was cooked pretty perfectly, which is to say, the dough was crunchy without being brittle, the cheese was smooth without being runny. Everything was decent quality so there were no weird chemical aftertastes. The ratios were perfect, the slice was warm and moist where you wanted it to be, crisp and dry where it needed to be. This slice was real good, I will totally come back here if I ever have to return to this hellish pizza no man's land.

960 8th Ave
New York, NY 10019

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pizza Triple Feature: "Can I turn three boring slices into one interesting post?"

Luigi's looks like the Ground Round or a schmaltzy Irish pub on Jamaica Ave, which is to say, dark wood, those lamps with green glass lampshades like they hang over pooltables, etc. I felt very comfortable in there and everyone in the store was really nice. Too bad the pizza blew chunks.

Horrible cheese, bland sauce, crappy dough. It seems like it's cooked okay, but the dough's delicious crunch quickly gives way to that nasty uncooked paste I totally hate. And that segues perfectly into the horrible cheese, like making a Stuff That Sucks mixtape and fading into into

- $2.50
936 8th Ave
New York, NY 10019


Ma Harvester and me discussed the possibility, upon approaching, that this place was named after Nicola Sacco, the famous persecuted anarchist, and were both hoping like hell it would rule because, I don't know about y'all, but nothing works up my appetite like an imprisoned or executed anarchist. (Proposed business idea: Empanada Goldman: If I can't eat, it's not my revolution.) And aside from the tenuous political alliance I have with the name of Sacco Pizza, the place looks like the dingy kind of A Number One shithole that I love. And just so we don't have an trouble with the antisemites, shithole isn't a yiddish word, and I use it very lovingly.

Seriously, it was cramped as fuck in there with all the construction workers waiting to eat. Both me and mi madre breathed a huge sigh of relief at the prospect of finally having a good slice. Because Sacco Pizza feels right. Sadly, as you've probably already noticed from the picture, the slice is shit. It is easily apparent to any armchair pizziaolo that this slice has been sitting out for a while. The cheese should not form a solid enough mass that it can shift so cohesively off a slice EVER. But if we just got a bum slice, it must've been from a bum pie. Not only did this pizza not taste good, but it tasted like the absence of flavor. This is like, the anti-pizza.

Texturally, it was a nightmare, but that at least has some historic context. See, back in the day when Christopher Columbus, Larry Flynt, Mike Eisner and Sylvester Stallone had to flee Communism in Italy and take their divinely ordained homeland, the good old US of A, back from the socialist Indians, they didn't have time time to let their pizza dough leaven because they had to leave surreptitiously, under cover of night. As such, they packed their cheese, their dough and their sauce into containers, and then they had to cook their pizza in the sun on the roof of their Hummer as they drove across the desert, fleeing Fidel Castro's army of cloned Hitlers. Sure, it wasn't the best pizza, but it was enough to nourish them for the long drive, and the Great Pizzaola used her magic to grant them the ability not to have to pee, so they never had to pull over and the Hitlers couldn't ever catch them because they were riding on Segways. As such, every year around Thanksgiving, traditional pizzerias cook their pizza with unleavened dough, to remember the struggle that our Four Fathers went through in order establish a homeland for their previously nomadic people, Free Market Capitalists.

- $2.50
819 9th Ave
New York, NY 10019


Oh boy, this place. The slice tasted and felt like if you poured ketchup over a piece of cardboard and then melted plastic onto it. NO GOOD. It caused my mother to comment that New Yorkers are really slacking on their pizza making. She said, "you know, I would've thought that at least 1 out of 7 slices would be Great, if not at least passable. We haven't had a single solidly good slice today. I don't know if the rose-colored lenses of my childhood nostalgia are affecting this statement, but it just seems like there weren't this many bad slices when I was a kid." To be fair, my mother was also eating pizza in Corona and Elmhurst mostly, which were two predominantly Italian neighborhoods back then, and not in Midtown, so that may have something to do with it, but she may also have a point. Have we, as a city, accustomed ourselves to settle for a shitty slice? I think we should all do a little self-searching. At least by reading Slice Harvester you're doing your part in promoting a culture of non-heinous pizza.

- $2.00
791 9th Ave
New York, NY 10019

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pizza In The Park: "The coffee was good."

On our way to the next place, my mom and me passed this weird kiosk. I checked and there was a pizza oven, so we dutifully ordered a slice.

I will let the picture of this slice speak for itself.

Ma took a bite and said, "this is tasteless. It doesn't taste like anything." Though after a few minutes she added, "I mean, there's a slight unpleasantness." At our seat we had a view of the other side of the kiosk, which has this sign:

Had I seen that, I would've known not to order. This place obviously doesn't count. The slice of pizza they served was by far one of the worst eating experiences I've ever had in my life. The coffee was good, though, and there were weird old people. And while it was fun to feed the rest of our slice to the pidgeons, it wasn't worth $2.50.

Pizza In The Park
Corner of 57th and 9th
Stay Away.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Casabianca Pizza: "I would rather not ever eat another slice of pizza than eat this again."

Mrs. Harvester, a generally kind and judicious woman, had those very exacting words to say about . She is not one for brazen slander, either, so you know it carries substantial weight. And not only is it subpar quality, but the slice costs $2.75, which is at least a full shiny quarter more than every other slice nearby.

I will not mince words here, this slice sucks. It is too thin, totally bland, and covered in nasty grease. You know I'm a fan of grease on pizza. And pizzagrease fandom is apparently a matrilineal trait because Ma Harvester is also swayed by a greasy slice. But we both agree that this pizza totally sucks eggs. The cheese tasted like chemicals and the crust was too dense. In short, this place totally blows.

Casabianca Pizza
503 W 57th St
New York, NY 10019


Don't forget to come to the show tonight. Details in yesterday's post.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Caliente Pizzeria: "Chupa mi pizza."

So, I totally sighed aloud when my mother and I walked up to . Generally restaurants that combine being a pizzeria with something else, and Spanish food is a pretty common one, don't have very good pizza. Mama Harvester looked at me, her face full of concerns, and said, "we have to go in there don't we?" I just nodded solemnly. We walked in and the pizza did not look appetizing.

"I don't envy you your task," my mother said, gazing at the slice. I could see in her eyes that she had finally reached at least a tacit understanding of the gravity of my Sisyphean undertaking. We both looked at the slice sitting before us and sighed like Bret Michaels at the beginning of .

But then I took that first tentative bite and my mood shifted a bit. This slice didn't suck! In fact, it was almost good. There was way too much sauce, and the sauce tasted like shit, total can jam. These two facts make this slice ineligible for even getting anywhere NEAR in the running for Awesome Slice Award 2k10. However, sauce and sogginess aside, the cheese on this slice was good, just oily enough, totally tasty. The dough was perfectly salty and not at all sweet, a problem I find recurring at Spanish pizzerias. The bread was cooked perfectly, to an excellent crispness, and Mama Harvester, who was voted Miss Queens Teen Crust Lover 1968, said the crust was to die for. Ultimately this slice is not great, but it's better than Luigi's.

Caliente Pizzeria - $2.50
862 10th Ave
New York, NY 10019


Since I've been posting about friend Anandi a shit ton lately, I should mention that tomorrow night, there is a benefit show for her at in Greenpoint. It costs $3-5 sliding scale, though we'll take more if you wanna donate, and it's all rad local bands. Here's the rundown, not in any particular order:

(old drunks in love. if you don't know this band yet you live under a rock.)
(total buds, heavy rock, loudest band i know.)
(sound just like Killdozer. shit is intense!)
(Scott Youth says "man, we sound like Region Rock, but like, psychedelic Region Rock." i haven't heard them.)
(Michelle from 's new band, haven't heard them yet either.)

At Tommy's Tavern, 1041 Manhattan Ave (corner of Freeman), Brooklyn, NY, 9pm. You can take the G train to Greenpoint Ave, the 7 to Vernon Jackson and then walk across the Pulaski Bridge, the B43 or bus to get there. But you should probably just ride your bike unless you're a total poseur.

Blah blah blah, the community, blah blah, togetherness, blah blah, solidarity in the face of shittiness, etc.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Luigi's: "You will notice a pattern this week."

Before I begin my post, I'd like to issue an official apology to the svelt men of the UWS. You are all fabulous and beautiful and I got so swept up with having an opportunity to make fun of rich people that I didn't actually take the time to notice that the men on the UWS are not doughy. That's the Upper East Side, where the denizens are somewhat older. The men of the UWS, in fact, have weird gym bodies. They probably have no fear of overeating since they lack access to any decent pizza?

Either way, today we'll be talking about the last pizzeria above 59th st on the West side, . Throughout this week we'll meander around Columbus Circle ahead of schedule and then next week I'll start tackling the UES, which will hopefully provide crispier slices and doughier men then it's mirror image.

But Luigi's! I had the pleasure of eating pizza with my mother this week. It's great because she is a totally rad lady, it's a bummer because I felt weird saying gross shit in front of her. Granted, this is the woman who rhapsodized to the entire family about catching me masturbating during Easter dinner when I was like, 17, but I still found it difficult to make my usual brand of edgy, sexually suggestive commentary. Luckily, there's really nothing much to say about the slice here.

"Not a horrible slice," says Ms. Harvester, ruminating on her first bite. "Too much cheese, though."
"Yeah, ma, but sometimes a cheesier pie can be really good!" butts in her son Slice.
"Not this time."
"Oh yeah, I see what you mean."
"It tastes better than it looks, though."
"I was just gonna say that."
"Do you even taste any sauce?"
"No, ma."
"The sauce is totally overpowered by this enormous amount of cheese. This slice lacks proper balance. At least it's a comfortable place to sit. The atmosphere isn't bad, although I don't like the fact that done of those guys made eye contact with us when we were ordering."
"They made eye-contact with me, ma. Maybe they just hate women."
"Yeah, maybe."

And so on. This slice got worse as we got in. The dough wasn't cooked enough, and at the end, where it thickened out, it turned into a totally nasty mush. Majorly unpleasant to eat. The crust was too dense and didn't taste like anything. Ultimately this slice was not so good.

F & F Luigi's - $2.50
39 West End Ave
New York, NY 10023
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