Showing posts with label West Village. Show all posts
Showing posts with label West Village. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pizza Mercato: "A pleasant surprise from an old standby."

Yesterday, for the first time ever, I went pizza eating alone. It was actually a really nice time, and I think I'm going to do it more often. In this hustley-bustley city, I rarely, if ever, spend some quality time by myself, unless I'm on my bicycle, and then I'm usually commuting to or from somewhere, even then I'm oftentimes riding with someone else. But walking around the city alone on a chilly winter day gave me lots of room to think and assess, especially immersing myself in the panic of last-minute holiday shoppers and end-of-semester students.

It's fitting that my first stop on this lonesome day was , as I have eaten many a lonely slice there. It was a favorite of the punks, if we managed to venture East of Broadway, because of the incredible two-slice deal. Back then it was two slices and a small soda for $3.00. The price has gone up to $3.95, but that's still a hell of a deal. I haven't been there in 4 or 5 years, probably, but I remember the pizza being an awful mess. Too brittle, covered in cornmeal, dry as a bone, just like the other Pizza Mercato that I already reviewed!  But still, two slices and a rootbeer for $3.00 was hard to pass up, especially after the average slice price went up to $2.00 and Mercato's deal stuck. What a bargain!

Maybe the management read my review of their other joint, and this change is recent, but in the years since I have been here, the pizza has improved from Tolerable to Barely Good. This slice was not super cornmealy and it had great ratios. It was cooked to have a decent crunch, there was enough elasticity in the cheese, and a perfect amount of grease! Still, there was something lingeringly lackluster about the whole thing, but I couldn't figure out what it was until I got to the final bites, where the cheese had run its course and there was only crust and sauce. It was the sauce. The sauce, which I couldn't taste for the bulk of the slice (thank goodness), tasted totally paste-y! Yuck! Pee-yew! Gezundheit!


Pizza Mercato - $2.25
11 Waverly Pl (at Mercer)
New York, NY 10003

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pizza Booth: "Dangerously Bold."

purports to serve "Cajun Pizza," which I didn't even know was a thing, although I know that's what Two Boots calls their crap. It is weirdly quiet and clean in there, and they have really bizarre handpainted tiles with pictures of sexual vegetables and cows and shit on them.

The slice here is so orange! When it first came out I was like, "I don't see what's so Cajun about this, looks like regular shitty pizza to me." And then I took a bite and brother, let me tell you, it was perplexing. This slice tastes just like spicy Doritos. Like, JUST LIKE THEM. And vinegar. I think what makes it Cajun is that they crumble Doritos into the sauce and then pour vinegar into it. It had a decent crunch, though, and it was cooked well, but it just didn't taste like pizza to me.


Pizza Booth - $2.50
165 Bleeker St (Sullivan and Thompson)
New York, NY 10014

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pizza Box: "This slice may be small, but it's got a lotta fight."

! I like this place. It feels really nice in here. They have draft beer. There is a backyard. Me and Nate didn't avail ourselves of the latter two luxuries, because it was cold and we weren't in the mood for beer, but it is nice to know they are there. And after our slice was done I asked the guy if they had any coffee and he made a pot for us. Maybe that isn't a big deal, but if I were in his shoes I would've just said, "nope, no coffee."

This slice was delicious, but it was way too small. The slice was a little too saucy, but the sauce was awesome with subtle notes of great and a slight aftertaste of spectacular. And there wasn't TOTALLY TOO MUCH, so I was actually kind of happy with the abundance. So, the breakdown: saucier side of the perfect ratio, great cheese, great crust, excellent crunch, but too small. This slice would've been a 7, but it gets points off for being too small, although if it were the same size and less money, it would still be a 7.


Pizza Box - $2.75
176 Bleeker St (MacDougal and Sullivan)
New York, NY 10014

Monday, December 6, 2010

Artichoke: "This is delicious but it is not meant for me."

Every time I tell a Time Out NY-reading, condo-dwelling, truffle eater about Slice Harvester, they ask me what I think about , because they read about it in the Times or on some food blog and heard it was the best new shit. And every time they ask me I have to tell them, "I dunno." Because I hadn't gotten there yet. And now I have and I had their "margherita" slice or whatever, which is not the artichoke slice, which I hear is just to die faw, but fuck it, whatever, who cares?

This pizza is delicious. It definitely wins the prize for the Best Quality Ingredients of any slice I've ever eaten. And it's put together really expertly. And the dough is really well made! It's fucking awesome. But it's not a New York Slice, (and I know it doesn't claim to be), and it costs $4. This is like, pizza for someone in a different economic bracket than me. This pizza is for people with real careers and children, or maybe it's pizza for jetsetting tattoo artists who get flown to London to draw pictures on Russel Brand's belly or the guy from Prodigy's feet or whatever, or for models or something. The point is, the slice at Artichoke was perfectly delicious, but I kind of felt like I was in someone else life. Like, it just didn't feel like it was for me. Oh, and the crust was unpleasantly brittle, but it was also so delicious, so who knows? As you can see, this slice confused the hell out of me.


Artichoke - $4.00
111 MacDougal (at Carmine)
New York, NY 10014

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ben's Pizzeria: "The barrier between sex and danger."

is sending me mixed messages, but ultimately, they serve a decent slice. The atmosphere in there is nice and chaotic, but they still manage to get the pizza out on time, and the turn around is quick enough that one can usually find room to post up at a table or counter long enough to eat. Everything is also really old and grease-stained in there, which y'all know I love. It smelled pretty good, too, and I was kind of excited to eat there. Then they handed me my slice and I was even more excited although it was more from morbid fascination than the expectation of culinary delight.

My slice had, on it's center, what can only be described as a pustule or open sore. It looked grotesque. It looked like a cold sore.

Looking at this slice reminded me of that scene in where James Spader has sex with the open wound in Rosana Arquette's leg. It was grotesque and somewhat sexual, although the fact of the matter is, that the giant scabby crater on my second bite actually didn't taste like anything.

Overall, this slice had it's pluses and minuses. It was cooked expertly, and the cheese was great quality, but the ratios were horribly off and the crust was kind of bland. I don't know what the sauce was like, because there was barely any of it on there, and it was over-powered by enormous amounts of cheese. The dough had a perfect crunch, and in conjunction with the other elements, it provided an excellent textural backbone for my and Nate's eating experience. However, when left alone at the rim of the slice, it was a little bit too flavorless, a problem that would've been solved by more salt or more grease.

All in all, though, this slice was still above average. Despite it's drawbacks, it tasted really good and was totally satisfying to eat! I don't really know why, but regardless of its flaws, it possessed that certain ineffable quality that good pizza has. Maybe it's something in the oven, maybe the pizzaolo at Ben's is especially caring, maybe the owners made a deal with the devil. Who can say? Certainly not me, but I can tell you that this slice is alright.


Ben's Pizzeria - $2.75
123 MacDougal (at W 3rd)
New York, NY 10014
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