Our on-going Pizza Slice crawl through Manhattan continued last week with Phase 4-A. All slices tasted were the basic house "regular thin slice". Tasting notes follow IN ORDER OF TASTING, not rankings:
1) Sal's (7th St. south of Ave. A). "Fair amount of ingredients. Folds with med. crack. Medium grease level. Distinct cheddar-blend yellowishness to the cheese mix. Globby cheese tends to pull away from the dough. Overall undeniably flavorful. Excessive cheese globbiness and stringiness is the biggest negative in our book (or positive, depending on your P.O.V.). Very close but no cigar."
2) Nino's (131 St. Marks at Ave. A). "Very good-looking slice. Folds soft with very light grease. Somewhat more delicate flavor than Sal's nearby. Nice parkside location with good view through ample windows. Very tranquil vibe. Very good all-around slice will move on to the Safari tasteoffs."
3) Stromboli (1st Ave. and St. Marks). "Medium to high grease levels. Upfront sauce flavor with little taste follow-through, probably due to the bland cheese blend. Better cheese blend and they'd have something here because the sauce is nice and zippy."
4) Five Roses (1st Ave. btw 10/11th). "Folds with medium crack. Spartan cheese. Low grease levels. Nice up-front sauce taste fades. Somewhat "pasty" sauce. Close but no cigar."
5) Pizza Gruppo (Ave. B near 12th St.). "Deeply yellow cheese. Very thin slice, almost like an artisanal "flatbread" style. Very little distinct flavor..."
6) Muzzarella (221 Ave. A) "Folds crispy. Very thin. Somewhat pleasant upfront flavor fades to non-descript after taste. Close but no cigar."
At this point I'm thinking that the Alphabet Avenue/ Far East Village area has some of the better pizza slice options in the city as I've rarely encountered such a series of good tasting slices so close together.
7) Petes-A-Place (502 E. 14th btw A/B). "Folds soft. A bit "doughy". Very nice appearance... Milder flavor style... Nice medium-chewy cheese with low grease run-off. Off-the-cuff this is the favorite in today's safari to this point. Moves on in tasteoff... very pleasant slice."
8) Pizza Suprema (8th Ave. 30/31st near Penn Station) "Great sauce... folds light cracker... medium+ grease levels... an archetypal slice for the full-flavored, zesty/greasy style... Moves on..."
At the end of the day, this was overall a very high quality level. Nino's, Petes-A-Place, and Pizza Suprema move on to the tasteoff rounds of the Safari. Again the high concentration of quality slice venues in the Far-EV and Alphabet Ave area is noted and many of these locations would fix a slice jones real well.