After having read through prior pizza related threads on this board, my husband and I decided to give A New York Pizza Place a try in the hopes of finding something reminiscent of the NE (Philly) pizza I grew up with. Unfortunately, I have to say I was underwhelmed.
The waitress who took our order was friendly and quick. So far, so good.
I got the house salad which was a mixture of romaine, nicely ripened tomatoes, rings of red onion, minced kalamata olives, and "roasted" garlic. Normally, all of those ingredients would be fine, but the garlic was bordering on burnt and gave the salad a funky acrid flavor. In addition to the garlic, there was a HUGE amount (probably 1/2 c.) of Italian dressing left in the bottom of the bowl when I was finished - the flavor was nicely tangy with red wine vinegar - there was just way too much of it. It wasn't immediately apparent because of the depth of the bowl, but towards the middle of the salad, I had to fish greens out of the dressing. And before anyone jumps on me about sending it back let me make it clear that as soon I noticed I tried to flag down our waitress, all to no avail - at that point, she was working in the counter and kitchen area (open kitchen layout) and couldn't come to our table. My husband's small Caesar salad was no better. It looked and tasted as if it had been dressed with straight mayo - was absolutely void of any parmesan, olive oil, lemon, anchovy, or garlic flavor (which may have been a blessing in disguise given the garlic used in my salad), and there was nary a crouton in sight. The prices on the salads, $4.50 each, would've been fine if they had been properly dressed.
Water and a can of Coke. Get it yourself - as in there's a counter with a water cooler, stacks of cups, an ice bucket, a cup with straws, and a self-serve soda cooler. Not a big deal for two people, but if you've got a larger party I could see trying to juggle 3 or 4 cups of ice, a cup or two of water and a soda can, while navigating through closely spaced tables, as a bit of a hassle. Can of Coke $1.00
The main event - the thing we had come for - the PIZZA! We ordered The Cyclone (large - 18" IIRC), their version of everything but the kitchen sink. The waitress told us that meant that most of the ingredients from their list would be used as toppings. To be fair, I'm generally a pepperoni, onion, mushroom kinda gal - but my husband prefers sausage and other vegies on his pizzas, so we chose to take the "combo" route.
When the pie arrived, we were extremely surprised to see vibrantly colored vegies topping the pizza. At first we thought we had been brought the wrong order - there were hardly any meats visible. Truly, it looked like more of a crudites tray than a pizza. For me, the texture was way off. The vegies were crispy/crunchy! Fine for a stir fry but not for a pizza. And as for the pepperoni and sausage, we had to hunt around, and pick under the vegies (read: BRIGHT green peppers, BRIGHT red tomato slices, WHITE uncooked mushrooms, and onion rings) to find approximately one slice of either per slice. At this point, my husband was starting to question the taste of the hounds who had recommended this place.
Fine - pleasantly stretchy, chewy, and slightly salty.
More like tomato paste than sauce. Too thick and not well-rounded in flavor. Basically pretty bland.
MUCH better than others like Pagliacci, Pizza Brava, Piecora's, and the ever-ghastly MAD, but that was the only thing this pizza had going for it. It had a slightly crisp yet foldable crust that was chewy and had good flavor. Still somehow it ended up being impossible to eat out of hand. I can only surmise that the preponderance of crisp cooked vegies somehow created extra moisture that seeped between the sauce/cheese mixture and the dough. In removing the first slice, it kinda flopped over my hand, and all of the cheese and toppings came sliding off with a resounding glop. From then on, we were really careful in removing slices from the pie plate in order to avoid more slides. The situation didn't improve as the pie cooled. Tell me, what good does foldability serve if you have to use a knife and fork to get cheese and toppings along with your crust?! I hate eating pizza with a knife and fork! Especially off of a paper plate!
The overall quality of toppings was fine, the crust was very good, and the atmoshpere was pleasant. I would give them another try, but would definitely specify that I wanted a lightly dressed salad (or ask for dressing on the side), and would order a pie with far fewer vegies, and I don't think my husband would return on a bet. Any other pizzerias that are supposed to have authentic NY crust out there? I still have to try Michael's near Swedish Hospital, Madame K's, and Post Alley Pizza, but what else is there that you've tried? Inquiring palates want to know.
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