The Harlem Patsy's is my favorite pizza in NYC.
Unfortunately, I learned this weekend that some changes have been made to the place. The dining room at Patsy's used to be one of my favorite places to eat - a very old and clean room, ultra-sparse and ultra-quiet. (Sort of reminded me of the place they eat in the Godfather where Pacino kills the cop and the drug dealer) A blackboard in the back used to comically announce the only non-pizza menu item offered: a house salad. Pizzas were served on paper plates, and sodas came out of a vending machine and were served in disposable cups.
Things have changed. At least a bit. The basic design of the room remains, but the vibe has been destroyed. There are now paintings all over the white walls, dirty ugly and inferior paintings, some of them actually with rips in the canvas. Worst of all, an old and crackling speaker (positioned directly above me) was blasting an Easy Listening station throughout the room. (Nothing will kill that Godfather feeling like Peter Cetera) Paper plates are gone, and the shakers of oregano and parmesan are replaced by little cups with spoons.
In the past, there was no written menu - the one guy working there would come up and tell you about his pizzas. Now there's a medium size Italian menu - I didn't take much note of it and I didn't see anyone order anything but pizza, so I couldn't tell you how the food looked. They also have a little bar in the back, so you can order a mixed drink.
The pizza I had was somewhat below par, but I'm hesitant to say that the quality has really fallen after one (shocking) visit. I'll be back to try a pizza again and also to branch out into the newer menu.