Our on-going Manhattan pizza slice crawl continued recently with Phase 6, visiting 9 venues primarily on the Upper East Side. Most places had been previously rec'd by at least one Chowhound poster.
We're happy to report finding several outstanding pizza by the slice venues during this phase of the Safari.
All tasting is of the "plain slice" or "regular slice"... sauce, cheese, and dough. The theory being that if the basic slice is great, then more elaborate slices (which are built on the plain foundation) stand a good chance of being great also.
The following notes are from order of TASTING, not order of preference.
1) MIMI's ( 84th & Lex). Nice looking slice. Generous cheese. Folds w/ medium cracker effect. Low grease. Chewy cheese... a mild taste style. Mildly favorful sauce. Detected some faint "fishy" backnotes which we hope is an aberration. Very close but no cigar.
2) MIMMA's (84th & 2nd). Paper thin. Folds soft. Zesty flavor despite the thinness. Chewy. Very tasty. Moves on in our tasteoffs for sure. The flavor lingers... love this slice. Low grease. A few flies buzzing around adds character as does the panhandler wandering through. Nice grease sheen on the tabletops also.
3) ANNA MARIA (83rd and 1st) Faint "cheddary" or "burnt" notes. Folds with light cracker. Very indistinct flavor. No cigar.
4) GINO's (345 E. 83rd). Big slice. Folds w/ slight cracker. Nice veneer of near tasteless cheese. Negligible sauce. Light grease, chewy tasteless cheese. No cigar.
5) PINTAILES (1577 York near 84). Artsy "super thin" line of pies. The plain is "Neapolitan"... the initial underwhelming flavor might grow on you. Delicate taste style. I'd opt for their "classic" slice next time, with plum tomato, more cheese, etc. Due to the artisanal nature of the pies, it's a bit out of the scope of this safari. But definitely worth a visit.
6) PASTAFINA (81st and York). Thin slice. Nice "separate" veneer of tasty cheese. Mildly zesty sauce backnotes. Folds soft. Very nice overall flavor in the medium-zesty range. Will move on in the tasteoff.
7) ITALIAN VILLAGE (1st Ave & 80th St). Large, thicker slice. Light to medium grease. Pronounced sauce w/ sweet overtones. Almost "too thick" dough detracts from the otherwise interesting slice. A slice for sauce lovers. Medium-zesty flavor range. Will move on in the tasteoffs.
8) RAY BARI PIZZA (76th and 3rd). Large medium-thick plain slice, not quite as thick as Italian Village. Overall very reminiscent of the Italian Village. Folds soft. Rich pasty sauce dominates with sweet overtones. Pleasant enough. Medium to zestier taste range. Moves on in the "zesty" category.
9) GARLIC BOB's (76th and 3rd Ave). Strange reddish appearance. Folds with light cracker. Light grease. A few bites is all we care for.
Also want to mention Ultimate In Pizza, from the Upper Midtown East area which was the favorite of an earlier Safari in the area.
Overall the following Slices will move on in the tasteoff: Mimma's, Pastafina, Italian Village, Ray Bari, and Ultimate in Pizza.
Always seeking suggestions for great slices to try, anywhere in NYC.