Showing posts with label Pizza Wars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pizza Wars. Show all posts

Monday, January 17, 2011

Breaking pizza news! Ray's v. 99¢ Fresh!

I'll fill this post in with pictures and more details later tonight, I just got called in for a work emergency. But for the record, in case anyone urgently needs to know what I think about Ray's dropping their slice down to 75 cents to compete with a dollar slice place across the street: I approve. I'm sitting at Ray's right now, I've just eaten at both planes and Ray's wins this one by a long shot. More details tonight after I take care of this situation at work.


I'm not sure if you guys saw the giant pizza-shaped light in the sky last night, Mayor Bloomberg was responsible, he was shining the Slice Signal to get my attention. I noticed, of course, because I was out mooning myself on my roof. Luckily there is a baked bean can in my room with a string through the bottom that leads directly to the tomato soup can in the Mayors office, so I got on the horn and quickly found out that there was a war going on in Midtown and he needed my peace-keeping efforts. So first thing this afternoon, after awakening from my daily siesta, I mounted the saddle of my riding ostrich and headed into the Very Civilized Burough of Manhattan to tend to the crisis.

And what a crisis it was! Famous Original Ray's was flying its war flag:

75¢ Pizza Slices! Run! Hide! Actually in typical shitty F.O.R. fashion, they charge tax on their 75¢ slice. So just like their "$2.75" slice is actually $3.00, their 75¢ slice is actually 82¢. But that's still really cheap so I'll stop complaining there.

Okay, this slice wasn't so bad, and for 82¢ it fucking RULED. This is the first sub-$1 slice of pizza I've ever had that I don't feel compelled to put in a separate category. This is actual pizza! And Ray's cheapened their operation by making their slices a lot smaller, not by skimping on the ingredients, which are still totally mid-grade. The funny thing is, my big beef with Ray's in the past has been that their slices have always been too doughy to cook properly. The crazy reality is that by dropping their price, and the size of their slice, they have actually made their pizza better! Kudos to you, congratulations. The only drawback is, of course, that this is a F.O.R. slice, so the sauce tastes like total crap. But it's easy to drown that in garlic powder or whatever and then this still rules for the price. I'm not sure how long this deal is going to last, but it's a good one.

99¢ Fresh Pizza across the street did not seem to be fairing well in the face of their competition. When I went inside there everyone seemed really depressed and bummed out. And I can see why. The pizza they are serving is garbage!

This slice was also tiny. It had that crappy frozen-dough flavor of most dollar places, and the weird unplaceable aftertaste in the sauce that tastes like a fart. This is pizza I wouldn't be BUMMED to eat on tour, but wouldn't be thrilled about either. It wasn't terribly offensive, and it only cost a buck, but it objectively wasn't very good.

I came into this crisis siding with 99¢ Fresh Pizza. There is something I like about them. They are the scrappy underdog. Famous Original Ray's is the shitty bully. I have unabashedly harshed on FOR since the beginning of Slice Harvester for serving shit pizza, and I have always backed 99¢ Fresh as a model that I like. At least they are trying at a populist approach to food, even if they fall short. But I have to admit, even as an virulent Ray's basher and ardent 99¢ Fresh supporter, Ray's wins this one by a long shot. I am thinking about the slice I had there today and it was actually GOOD. I think it might've been the first good slice I've ever had at a Famous Original Ray's.

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
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