Restaurants & Bars

Manhattan Pizza

The physics of reheated pizza and the shell game at Joe's & Bleecker St. Pizza


Live your best food life.

Sign up to discover your next favorite restaurant, recipe, or cookbook in the largest community of knowledgeable food enthusiasts.
Sign Up For Free
Restaurants & Bars 38

The physics of reheated pizza and the shell game at Joe's & Bleecker St. Pizza

sing me a bar | Sep 12, 2011 11:36 AM

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

Joe's Pizza
7 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014

Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound