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2 interesting pizza experiences in Astoria

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2 interesting pizza experiences in Astoria

Dan Sonenberg | Aug 10, 2001 03:18 PM

I wrote to this board a while back in quest of some great Astoria pizza - preferably by the slice, New York style. Several people had some nice suggestions, and I've been making an effort to get together an overview of the scene. But this isn't that. Just two things:

1. Grand Avenue Pizza on 35th st. and 30th ave., was recommended here. I've found the regular pizza to be good if not great, but they make something that is truly divine. They call it focaccia, although it's really somewhere between focaccia and pizza, maybe even closest to a sicillian slice in a neopolitan shape. You can get it with or without cheese, and both versions are absolutely outstanding. It seems to have a different tomato sauce than what they use for the other pizza, one rich with flavor and copious chopped onions. It's $1.50 a slice without cheese, and $2.00 with, and both currently rank as my favorite pizza in Astoria, even if they're not 100 percent pizza.

2. Czech Beer Garden - This was totally unexpected. Met some friends at the Czech beer garden on 29th st. and 24th ave., which is just a great place to hang out. They also have very good smelling barbecue some nights of the week, which I, being a vegetarian, have never tried. Oh, it's not true - I couldn't resist a few bites one time...it was great. But the other night the BBQ was down, and we were confined to their menu, upon which not a single meatless item stood (big surprise, vegetarians that the Czechs are!) There was a pizza with sausage, ham, and pepper, and so I ordered that, asking simply for the meat to be left off. Well, what I got, for $7.50, was a generous personal pizza, smothered in all kinds of fresh vegetables, including spinach, fresh tomato, garlic, onions, peppers, basil, and more. Crisp crust, decent sauce. I wouldn't call it the best pizza in town, but it was clearly prepared with care, and made for great eating between sips of Pilsner on a balmy evening.

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