Showing posts with label Upper West Side. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Upper West Side. Show all posts

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

Monday, November 16, 2009

Francesco Pizza: "Like many of the men on the Upper West Side, this slice is boring and doughy."

is absolutely charming on the inside. It's pretty simple looking, seems like it's unsuccessfully limping towards looking "classically classy" but actually just looks like when you make an average thirteen year old wear a suit for his friend's Bar Mitzvah. There's all these framed pictures on the walls, but half of them are hung crooked, and the decor is tacky, but therein lies the charm. Which is to say, the charm is certainly not in the pizza.

There is not much to say about this slice. It's really obvious that these people care about using quality ingredients, and it shows. The sauce tastes great, the cheese has a fantastic flavor. The dough doesn't taste like anything, which means it's poorly made but not cheap. This slice felt undercooked and underloved. I've done a lot of working with children in my life, and you can often easily tell if a kid is a little sniveling shit because he's not getting attention at home or if he's a little sniveling shit because he was born that way. In the former instance, you want to empathize, because you can see the insecurities being acted out and it's heartbreaking, but at the end of the day, the kid is still a little sniveling piece of shit. And like, maybe this slice needed someone to care about it more, but at the end of the day it was still bland and doughy.

Francesco Pizza - $2.50
186 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10023

Friday, November 13, 2009

La Traviata Pizza: "I want to like it, but I can't."

UPDATE: I no longer want to be associated with the person who I ate pizza with in this portion of Slice Harvesting so I've replaced his name on this and all other reviews he appears in with a loaf of white bread. 🍞

has great atmosphere, in my book. It's cluttered and cramped inside, a little dingy and dark. As me and 🍞 were chowing down on out slice a woman sat at the table with us to eat hers because there were no other open seats. In a lot of ways, Traviotta is like a more down to earth , a fact that is easily embodied by the presence of yuppie condiments here, in much less fancy containers:

Look at that! Way less nice to look at, ultimately. Also, probably less healthy because keeping things in wood containers is better than plastic, of course. But it looks a little more down to earth than the fancy-pants, yuppie parent land of Rigoletto. I was hoping the slice would be similar but better, but was sorely disappointed.

Whereas he described the slice at Rigoletto as "supple and yielding," 🍞 called this slice "clinical. It tastes like pizza in a hospital," he told me. I didn't quite get that feeling, but I was generally dissatisfied. This slice certainly had good ratios, but overall it was insubstantial, and though it tasted alright there was a distinct chemical aftertaste, which leads me to believe they used cheap cheese. The crust had good flavor but bad texture. I didn't hate it, but I'm not in love with the slice of pizza I had here.

La Traviata
101 W 68th St
New York, NY 10023

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Rigoletta Pizza: "This did not feel good in my mouth."

Yo, this place is faaaaaaancy! This is just straight up not the world I live in. I am not passing judgment on the aesthetic, but more the culture of irresponsibility the aesthetic implies. Plus I want my pizzeria to look like a fucking shithole. Whatever, sometimes things look cooler when they're not all sterile. However, if there's one lesson the rest of the world can take from the totally yuppie , it's offering rad condiments:

I'm not sure what that second one is, although it looks like some kind of chili oil, but that bowl all the way to the left is totally just olive oil with a bunch of garlic and basil floating in it. Now let me say, so no one gets the wrong idea, that any slice that NEEDS this stuff is probably not a worthwhile slice, but man, dipping half your crust into some sweet-ass garlicky oil is awesome. That said, the folks here could probably learn a thing or two about slice construction from just about anywhere else.

Slice looks good, huh? The dough was a perfect crispness, which leads one to believe that it was cooked pretty expertly, and the cheese had a pleasant viscosity which implies that it was not totally cheap crap. And it probably tasted good, that presumably not cheap cheese, but I couldn't tell because there was so much sauce! This slice was a total . Which is a shame, because the sauce tasted good. There was just so much of it that I couldn't taste anything else and it made the slice no fun to eat. This pizza did not feel good in my mouth.

(I want to make some kind of sex or masturbation analogy for when you use so much lube that it doesn't even feel like sex or masturbation anymore, but that would be gross.)

Ultimately I'm going to assume that this may have been a case of a poorly made pie, maybe I'll stop back by and try another slice here, and I wouldn't write it off forever, but my slice here wasn't so good.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Big Nick's: "Finally."

serves the only passable slice in this neighborhood. Not the whole UWS, obviously, but the Lower Upper West Side. I have a few more places to go next week before I've eaten every slice West of Central Park, so hopefully I'll find some sleeper slice hiding out on 63rd St. or something. But seriously, in a land of mediocrity, Big Nick's shines like a beacon, like when you change high schools and you see a kid wearing an Operation Ivy t-shirt.

That website is going to be disconcerting, because they have like, a full, non-pizzeria menu, but don't be dismayed, the pizza here is good. Compare this picture to the previous few slices. Any discerning pizza-eater worth her weight in dough will be able to tell right off the bat that this is way better looking:

This slice was sweeter than I like, but not in a nasty, syrupy way. Not my jam, but totally legit nevertheless. The texture of this slice was perfect and the cheese was delicious. It tasted like cheese as opposed to tasting like plastic or tasting like nothing or tasting like "cheese." The ratios were superb. I think I may be insanely persnickety about sauce-sweetness, but Aaron agreed that the sauce was a little on the sweet side, and he thinks all pizza tastes the same. I'm looking at my notes on this slice, and I wrote three separate times that the texture was exceptional, which means it didn't lag at any point throughout the slice. This shit is solid as fuck and if you are anywhere near this horrible neighborhood, this is the ONLY Slice Harvester Approved slice.

Big Nick's
70 W 71st St
New York, NY 10023

Monday, November 9, 2009

Columbus Gourmet Food: "Oh boy."

UPDATE: I no longer want to be associated with the person who I ate pizza with in this portion of Slice Harvesting so I've replaced his name on this and all other reviews he appears in with a loaf of white bread. 🍞

Where to begin? is not a pizzeria. It is like, one of those weird, mini-food court sort of places where you can get all kinds of shit, the website contains one of the most comprehensive menus I've ever seen anywhere. When I walked in I noticed that the counter was a semi-circle and there were like, 40 places I could order food from, depending on what I was getting. It is less like a food court and more like a cafeteria, okay? However, regardless of whether or not CGF is a pizzeria, it is listed in the phone book when you look up "pizza," so I walked over there. And when I looked inside, they had a real pizza oven and their slices looked like real pizza. Anyway, dotted along the top of the counter were display plates of food. For instance:

The cheese and the peppers on that thing looked obviously fake from afar, and more so when one gets up close. The french fries, however, were perplexing. They were either real, or the most realistic looking fake fries I had ever seen. Since I am a man of boundless curiosity, there was no way I could go handle the anxiety of speculation. So I tentatively ate a fry... and it was real food! Since our pizzaman was nowhere in sight, I asked 🍞 to pass me an onion ring off the hotwings display plate. Right as I was getting up the nerve to try one of the chicken tenders, the pizza guy walked over and was all, "are you eating my displays?!"
"Uh... yeah, man. Did you know those things are made of real food?"

I forgot to photograph this slice right away. It didn't deserve it, though.

Anyway, I ordered up my "one regular slice," didn't pay, though I'll tell you that it would've been $2.50, and sat down with 🍞 to eat it. And I will say definitively that this was the worst slice of pizza I have ever eaten within the boundaries of New York City save for some gnarly dumpstered slices I've choked down in moments of supreme hunger. This slice tasted like total crap. Cheap cheese, the sauce tasted like ketchup, the crust totally blew chunks. Worst shit. 🍞 said it tasted like these $1 party pizzas he used to buy frozen at the supermarket when he lived in Bloomington. This weird yuppie couple eating next to us were sharing some kind of turkey and avocado wrap that looked awesome, though. And I bet the salad bar is kickass. Also, duh, if you're really starving, just come here and eat the displays, it is your right. That shit is wasteful, dog.


Columbus Gourmet Food
261 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10023


As you may recall from my post, my fond friend Greg Harvester's partner Anandi was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. There is currently an auction going on to raise money for all the billions of tiny expenses that accrue when a major illness enters someone's life. So if you were thinking about donating to Slice Harvester today, point your browser over to instead and donate to me some other time. There is all kinds of rad shit available, from to to .

You would have to be intentionally ignorant not to notice my constant jabs at capitalism and the alienation inherent in our culture. Most of it is in jest, but that's because I assume that most of my readers are in on the joke, which is to say, at least a little dissatisfied with The Way Things Are. A lot of the focus of much revolutionary theory and literature is about tearing things down, and a lot of the language we use is about that too. I talk about "smashing capitalism" or "dismantling patriarchy," for instance. It's easy to get bogged down thinking about how much awful crap there is that we have to get rid of before we can build .

But I'd like to take yet another opportunity to point out that this is yet another instance where people are Creating Something Beautiful in the face of The Horrible Unpleasantness of Living. Changing the world is not just about destroying what we hate, but also about building what we love and they don't have to happen in that order. We don't have to mush society flat before we can rebuild something beautiful. We can have eachother's backs and be strong as communities despite all the current awfulness.

And I guess I'd like to dedicate this post to my father's best friend Anthony Graziano, whose relationship with my dad had a huge effect on my life, whether either of them knew it, and who passed away last week. I hope he's finally found some peace.

Sorry for all the bummer news lately.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

City Pie: "Two bite slice."

UPDATE: I no longer want to be associated with the person who I ate pizza with in this portion of Slice Harvesting so I've replaced his name on this and all other reviews he appears in with a loaf of white bread. 🍞

To match the slice at , this entry will not be very substantial. Once again, we have an instance where a website is making fallacious claims (as opposed to fellacious claims, am I right?! Heyoooo!) about what it is that New Yorkers want.

"[We] specialize in thin crust pizza made just the way New Yorkers like it." Or so claims their website. Maybe the brazen yuppies of the Upper West Side--the type of people who hire someone to clean their house, someone to raise their kids, someone to walk their dogs, someone to cook their food; they probably work in managerial positions (which means their work is actually just assigning work to other people)--don't have time in the midst of all that delegating to eat an entire slice of pizza or don't have the allotted calories left in their Jenny Craig for a real slice or whatever. But this slice just does not pass muster in terms of providing an adequate amount of sustenance for your buck.

Notice 🍞's hand poised to accost this slice, symbolizing the ever-present threat of the Capitalist Death Culture. It is a figurative, not literal death to which I refer--a death of the soul.

If it were $1.50 I'd let it slide, but at $2.30, this is just not worth it. Especially when, as we'll find out two posts from now, there is a great slice around the corner. All that said, I have to hand it to this place for using quality ingredients. In fact, I'm mostly just looking for a good excuse to rag on yuppies. I got nothing against City Pie. Their slice was insubstantial, and because of the thinness of the dough, it lacked the Tender Upper Layer important for a perfect slice so the bread was the texture of cardboard. But it tasted good!

This slice gets a solid "meh," though I will totally admit that I was extra hard on it because it lives in an affluent neighborhood, which I think is like, reverse-racism or why affirmative action doesn't work or something.

City Pie
166 W 72nd St # D
New York, NY 10023

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Pizza Cave: "This place kind of looks like a pharmacy."

UPDATE: I no longer want to be associated with the person who I ate pizza with in this portion of Slice Harvesting so I've replaced his name on this and all other reviews he appears in with a loaf of white bread. 🍞

Today I had the honor and privilege of pizza-eating with my esteemed friend and comrade 🍞. We met up at the subway station where our respective trainlines train lines collide, though that is just a figure of speech, as our fine city's impeccable and flawless public transit system has intuited and already prevented any possible train accidents. Walking down the platform, I saw a beautiful sight, which, in retrospect I wish I would've taken a picture of. A somewhat ragged street performer had three young yuppies backed up against the wall and was aggressively singing "Come Together" by the Beatles at them. The part where he had to whisper "shoop" in order to establish the proper sonic aesthetic seemed especially harrowing for his victims.

Our first stop on this week's pizza journey led us to an address where, according to the phone book, a place called "" was located. I was excited for what might be a or themed pizzeria, but instead, I was confronted by this:

It seems like the pizza is an afterthought, much like surprisingly good , about which I made a lengthy speculation, if I recall. This is no "Pizza Cave." In fact, it was so bright in here I was a little put off. I'm not sure how much the slice here cost, as I managed to not pay for it, a game I decided to play all day today. (I'm pretty sure that out of 7 slices I ate, I only paid for 2 or 3. It may have had something to do with 🍞 and I wistfully discussing the fact that we may have outgrown .) Anyway, whatever this slice cost would've been too much, so fuck 'em, right?

🍞 thought this slice looked like a slice from Chuck E. Cheese. I don't really know what the pizza there looks like, but I'll take his word for it. This slice was cooked well and had a really good crunch to it, all the way through to the crust, which felt great to bite into. However, there was way too much cheese, the sauce basically didn't exist, and the whole thing had this pervasive blandness, which seems to embody the upper west side in the 60s and 70s pretty well, actually. The crust, though it had an excellent texture, totally lacked any flavor at all.

Pizza Cave
218 W 72nd St
New York, NY 10023

Friday, November 6, 2009

Two Mediocre Upper West Side Slices and One Good One.

- $2.50
411 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024

The very tip of this slice looks like when Burning Man people (Burning Persons?), . Totally bland and mediocre, this slice tasted like a sponge. Scott thought it tasted like the inside of the oven. The crust totally sucked. This place blows.


- $2.50
2196 Broadway
New York, NY 10024

New Town Pizza. I like the name. I like the fact that if you misread the sign it says "Pizza Town." The slice, though, is not so great. Rudi and Scott were really excited about those big burnt scabs and referred to them as Cheese Bacon, a phrase I must admit to being quite fond of. Despite the presence of deliciously crispy cheese, the bottom of this slice was undercooked, which tells me the slice was cooked poorly. The dough felt like it had been overkneaded--it was dense and chewy in a really unpleasant way. Towards the end this slice got a lot better, though, and the crust was great.


- $2.50
303 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10023

This was hands down the best slice the four of us had, which says more about what a bad pizza day we had last week than anything else. Because while this slice was totally good in all the right ways, it just lacked that extra, intangible umph to make it stand out. With excellent flavors, great texture and exceptional ratios, this slice did everything right, but it just didn't manage to excite me. If a perfect slice is then this slice is like, .

They did have this cool thugged out grim reaper, though.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Famous Original Ray's: "The guy that owns those dogs Scott and Carrie Anne are looking at was a total dickhead."

I wish I could've taken a better picture of this place, but the totally rad and ancient pizza sign was obscured by a tree. Such is life, I guess. We can all wait silently for the barrenness of winter when foliage will no longer block our view of actually cool shit. It's like Good Kid Paulie said when asked by some woodland crustie why he hates nature: "Trees? Fuck trees! They get in the way when I'm looking at buildings."

. This FOR location is neither the original Famous Ray's, nor the most famous Original Ray's, but is in fact one of many Famous Original Ray's of which there are quite a few. One time in high school I went to Long Island to have a sleepover at my friend DJ's house and we went to this weird place called Deja One to see a show. (I wanna say and . I know it's horrid, but that's Long Island, for you.) Deja One was so weird because it was like, a Bar Mitzvah hall or something. Everything was carpeted except for this little wooden dance floor and there were those little round tables and a chandelier on the ceiling. Strange scene. This particular Famous Original Ray's (which I think may be the furthest-Uptown of all the Famous Original Ray'ses), is something like the Deja One of Pizzerias, which is in turn the Copacabana of Hardcore Venues. I wish they had done actual all ages matinees at the Copa. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure I went to a Bat Mitzvah party there. Blah blah blah blah blah.

This slice cost $2.56 which is very unsatisfying. It looks decent, but this slice is actually not very good. The dough was not cooked through, which led to a tangible layer of weird paste underneath the cheese, and the cooked part was deceptively doughy feeling. The sauce was good, but there was way too much of it. The cheese, however, was top notch and the crust was totally decent.

This slice is totally passable and I didn't mind eating it or anything, but it wasn't especially good. I think in my ideal New York City, this kind of slice would be the absolute bottom of the barrel. In other words, every slice of pizza should be AT LEAST this good. However, we live in a world where the possibility of Reverend Billy being our mayor is more than far-fetched, most cops act like assholes on a consistent basis, and a majority of the pizza in this town totally blows. Such is life, I guess.

Famous Original Ray's
460 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024


As mentioned in the previous post, there is now a donation button. Right after I put it up, I took it down, but now it's back again. Like I said then, if you are enjoying Slice Harvester, please consider donating the cost of a slice of pizza (or more if you want!) every now and again to help me subsidize this incredibly Sisyphusian project.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pizza Pete's: "NO LOITERING"

Having been joined by Scott Youth and Doody Rude, the four of us headed over to on Columbus, which has, by far, the best handwritten no loitering sign I've seen in a pizzeria yet.

Anyway, Pizza Pete's Pizza, which one can acquire for an even $2.50 a slice, was the cause of much contention among our otherwise jovial bunch.

The slice certainly looked great, and it smelled fantastic. It was really greasy, too. Not overly greasy, mind you, but perfectly dripping with delicious fatty pizza juices. The sauce was decent if not exceptional, as was the cheese. But the dough! It was perhaps the most divisive dough I've ever eaten. Carrie-Anne and I were both under the impression that the dough was far too dense. It felt like it hadn't leavened properly, or had been leavened with baking soda instead of real yeast. And that, obviously, bummed us out. Rudi and Scott, however, both enjoyed the dough just fine, and felt that it contributed to the overall integrity of the slice. In fact, what CA and I saw as a drawback, they thought was a perk, because it meant the slice would be easy to eat while walking or biking (a very important aspect of a slice that totally slipped my mind these past few months, although I think it's implied whenever I discuss a slice flopping around like a flaccid weiner). At the end, though, everyone agreed that the perfectly golden brown crust had a perfect crunch, even if we couldn't find common ground on the density.

Pizza Pete's - $2.50
528 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10024


As you may have noticed at the top righthand corner of the page, I've added a little donations button for the website. Funds are tight at the Slice Harvester headquarters, and work seems to be a little harder to come by with the frequency that I'd desire. I don't plan to stop eating pizza, but I did the math the other day and realized that I've been spending almost $150 a month out of pocket to fund this goofy adventure.

So I was thinking that maybe if regular readers felt so compelled, they could send me some bucks, whatever they can afford really, in increments of $2.50. Because that way, whoever can and wants to can help subsidize the cost of these pizza slices. And if you donate, leave me a note with your name and I'll mention at the bottom of each post who my benefactor was for that slice. It won't be half as good as my acquaintance Dorothy's , but it's something.

Also, I was thinking of making some merch! Would people be into Slice Harvester t-shirts? They'd probably be less than $10 including shipping and would definitely look really good. How about bandanas that look like a slice of pizza when you tie them over your face? Please comment or email me if you think these things are good ideas, as I could totally use the feedback.

And the zine, let's not forget the zine! It is one the way, and it's gonna look AWESOME.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Caesar's Palace Pizza: "The noble Brutus hath told you that Caesar was ambitious."

Slice Harvester reader Chek215, whom you may recall from the comments section of , will be happy with this post because I can't imagine it being very interesting. However, if it's sort of good but ultimately not all that memorable, it will be a fitting tribute to , and there's something poetic about your experience reading this text directly mirroring my experience eating the slice I am discussing.

I wondered, looking at the name of this place, whether or not it is Caesar's Palace / Pizza, like the casino, or Caesar's / Palace Pizza, like Ruth's Chris Steak House. There's no way to tell, really, but I imagine it's the latter and someone was trying to cash in on the street cred of in Inwood by naming their spot something similar.

Either way! Me and Carrie-Anne got a slice of pizza here. It was $2.75, and didn't smell nearly as good as World Famous before it, but it tasted much better.

My first bite of this slice inexplicably tasted like Cheetos. Go figure. No future bites tasted remotely snack-foodish, and instead just tasted like decent pizza. This slice had GREAT ratios, was decently cooked and had delicious sauce. The dough, however, was BLAND, leaving the crust totally flavorless, and the cheese wasn't so good, a problem which was exacerbated by the fact that there was too much of it.

The best thing about eating pizza here was when Scott and Rudi came loping in and sat at our table and both started talking really fast about a bunch of crap. Those two are some of my favorite people on the planet.

Caesar's Palace Pizza
493 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024

Thursday, October 29, 2009

World Famous Pizza & Restaurant: "Something something blah blah blah."

Yesterday my friend Carrie-Anne came by and we headed back up to the UWS to meet up with Rudi "Peeboner" Munroe and Scott Wilkes Youth and eat some damn slices. After an uneventful subway ride where we discussed doing drugs as teenagers and the necessity to keep duck lard in any proper kitchen, we got out of the train into a slight drizzle (there were no Florida residents to blame for it this time), and CA presented me with a rather perplexing gift.

Unlike many of my crustier brethren, I have not traveled to the far reaches of Latin America and as such am unfamiliar with candies from the Andes. (Note: I have no definitive evidence that this chicken flavored lollipop is from the aforesaid mountains, but COULD NOT resist making the corny dad-rhyme, possibly because I was hanging out with my own father earlier, who, for the record, is an excellent guy.) I'm sure there's something inherently fucked up and colonial about being entertained by other culture's weird foods, but sometimes I feel compelled to throw caution to the wind and flaunt convention. Although being culturally insensitive/mildly xenophobuc is probably more like perpetuating convention since our Sick Fucking Society wants to make everyone a CLONE, MAN! Can you hear me Mr. Abercrombie Starbucks McMurder?! You're a sheep! You and everyone like you are all sheep and you wanna know who the shepherd is, man? It's greed, bro. Ever heard of it? Get back to me when you learn how to run that Hummer with tears, because this bicycle is powered by a smug sense of self-satisfaction.

Where was I? Oh yeah, chicken-flavored lollipop. Totally weird. It looks just like a miniature of the awesome rotisserie chickens they sell at the place down the block from me that are so tender when you eat one you feel like when he sticks the whole fish in his mouth and pulls out just the skeleton. The weirdest thing, though, was that the chicken flavored lollipop had no chicken in the ingredients. In fact the only ingredients were Chili Powder, Lemon Extract, High Fructose Corn Syrup. So now we have a Chili Powder flavored lollipop, shaped like a chicken, that tasted like chemicals. Make me one with cane sugar and I'll eat them all day.

Anyway, as me and Carrie-Anne sucked our respective cocks, we strolled along 86th street until we discovered .

As soon as we walked in, I was overwhelmed by the wonderful aroma of awesome pizza. So I excitedly paid my $2.50 and headed for a table.

Looks pretty solid, no? Well it's not, and I mean that both literally and figuratively. Good things first: this slice had an excellent crunch, and the sauce tasted great. But the dough needed salt, and even when sauce is good, no one ever needs this much of it. And the whole slice was loaded with cheap, gnarly cheese that got all clumped up. That thing happened where the dough wasn't cooked all the way, too. So like, it was nice and crunchy on the bottom, but the top part was still translucent and raw. I have no problem with that in and of itself, but what it led to the bites of pizza turning into this weird gooey paste in my mouth. It was totally gross and I did not like the sensation. The goo situation was exacerbated by the overabundance of cheese and sauce, and frankly, I would hypothesize that the over-saucing is what led to the dough problem in the first place.

Overall, I wanted to like this slice for some reason, even though it kind of sucked. Or, I should say, I liked something about it, even though it sucked. I think it may have just been the fact that it was something warm and soft to eat on a cold, rainy day. Carrie-Anne said, "I like this the way I like Spaghetti-O's." Which I think was a very astute and succinct way of saying what I was about to say: this slice was kind of gross, but I found it comforting.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Unnexceptional Upper West Side Pizza Part 1

- $2.50
70 W 95th St
New York, NY 10025

This place was the best of these three by far, though as you'll soon see, that doesn't mean much. The cheese and the crust on this dude were fine, but there was a distinct lack of sauce. I'm pretty sure I mentioned my preference for understated sauce in a previous post. The kind of sauce that one doesn't necessarily notice as present, but would notice if it was missing. Well, we all definitely noticed that the sauce was missing on this guy. To top this off, the slice was slightly burnt and it tasted like oven cleaner. The final slap in the face with Daniello's was that the bathroom was out of order and two of the three of us had to deuce.


- $3.27
656 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10025

I just found out from the internet that this place is Kosher, which explains a lot. I forgot to take a picture of the outside of Mike's because it was POURING. Either way, check this slice out:

I have cooked at a catering company for years, and one of the notorious "tricks of the trade" (aka totally bullshit practices that don't fool anyone), is that if something comes out fucked up or wrong, it can be fixed by sprinkling a handful of chives on it. Mike's seems to have taken that approach with their pizza. It was burnt to hell, had too much cheese and the sauce was too sweet. They did have a spacious, comfortable and warm bathroom, though, where I took a leisurely dump and updated my facebook status to "poopin'."


- $2.50
2479 Broadway
New York, NY 10025

Half pizza-place, half sit-down Greek restaurant. Maybe the philo pastries are good, but the pizza sucks. Too sweet, and too much cornmeal, though the dough is a decent texture. Says Caroline: "Get this taste out of my mouth as quickly as possible.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cheesy Pizza: "This slice of pizza tastes like a mozzarella stick."

. This place is so complex looking. Street level, it has the most hideous awning. I don't like it one bit.

Cheesy Pizza is a stupid name. I can't stand that cartoonish pizzaman picture. The whole thing looks too clean and new. But then, glance up a little, and there is the most beautiful old sign. The kind of shit that gets torn down in New York too quickly because there's money in development and new architecture, but is still around in podunk towns like Providence or Detroit.

That sign is beautiful, and made me think that maybe this place had been here for decades and they just put up a crappy new awning in the past couple of years. So entering the Cheesy Pizza, I was hopeful.

And then I got inside and it looked like a damn fried food store, total Crown Fried Chicken aesthetic. And the slice looked like it could totally go either way.

The tip looks downright shitty. The chunky cheese with the sauce poking through looked like it was afflicted with some flesh eating bacterial virus. But then up towards the base it looked fantastic. More cheese than I like, but duh, the place is called "Cheesy Pizza." Cheesiness taken into account, the colors up towards the top look great. The slightly browned top of the cheese seemed promising.

But at the end of the day, this is not a very good slice of pizza. Maybe if I was on tour or out riding trains and got this slice in Duluth or Tacoma I'd be excited, but this is New York City, and there is a standard everyone is expected to achieve. The ingredients were pretty low quality, which didn't help anything, the sauce was too sweet in that really chemically way, and despite the way that cheese looked up top, the texture was not so great. And the crust tasted good, but the texture was like the bread from Pizza Hut.

Whatever, this place might be good one day, and it might've been good once, but it's not good right now.

Cheesy Pizza
2640 Broadway
New York, NY 10025
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