I must be what present day pizza joints dread; a native New Yorker who wants a fresh slice. I've been doing it since grade school, when my buddies and I would descend on a lousy pizza place on 14th St. and 3rd Ave. We never ate what was sitting out. Today, I finally gave up as I watched my favourite place, Bleecker Street Pizza and my ( long cooled, like their slices), old flame, Joe's, play the pizza shell game. It had to do with shuffling slices that had no heat at all coming off of them , ( which they would reheat in the oven upon someone ordering one), or the dreaded cold pizza from the drawer, which is a newer innovation...
I'm always ready to wait in the corner until a fresh pie comes out. I'm patient. I have a real aversion to reheated slices. I always get excited when I see they've exhausted all the cold, un-fresh slices sitting around, figuring a fresh pie is coming out of the oven at any minute. Instead, yesterday, the guy at Bleecker Street Pizza reaches down into a drawer below the counter and pulls out another pre-made pie, equally room temp, and the same process continued. After waiting a while at both places, I realized I wasn't going to get a fresh slice, so I gave up. I felt it was a sign from above that I wasn't meant to eat such a fattening food, and I left, deciding to stay hungry. Kind of a hunger strike against reheated pie. I would yield to anyone who can educate me as to whether there really is a scientific difference between fresh and reheated pizza. Maybe it's a personal aversion I have to overcome. My own observation in the field is that with reheated pie, the crust becomes cardboard and the cheese just gives up the ghost altogether. With a fresh pie, the cheese goes through the baking process and surrenders the viscous, fatty oil that makes it so ambrosial to taste. Once it's congealed and gets re-heated...that can't be good! Isn't there even a DOH rule regarding certain foods dropping below a given temp?
As I walked home hungry, it occurred to me, wouldn't it be ironic if the only fresh pie around was the dreaded $1 a slice place that I can barely look at on 6th Ave, between Waverly Pl. & 8th St.? It looks awful in the window, and what could they be putting out for $1? It wouldn't be surprising, though, since people seem to run each over getting to the cheap stuff. They must have great turnover. I'll test that theory at a later date, but my sense of it is that there is almost no fresh pie being served in slice form at most places. So, I think I'm over Bleecker Street Pizza. They knew what I was up to and gave me a look which seemed to say that the fresh slice party was way over. Joe's has been playing this game so long that I haven't eaten a slice there for almost a year and I feel as if I built that place. When it was still on the corner of Bleecker & Carmine, fresh pies rolled out every 15 minutes, and my money flowed into their coffers. So be it. I guess a new business model is in play, but it's one in which I won't be participating.
Bleecker Street Pizza
69 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014
7 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014