There is a fascinating discussion going on right now on donrockwell.com about NY style pizza (a loaded term). I provide the link below. It's probably the best thread I've read on that site.
For those of you who want the Cliff Notes version, the discussion heats up after the chef of Ghibelina in DC posts about his disappointing visit to Wiseguys, and the the owner of WIseguys responds. Our very own Marty L. chimes in that he also found the love for Wiseguys puzzling.
For the record, we are talking about pizza-by-the-slice that is on display and gets heated up after you order it. That kind of place.
There was a time in my life when this style of NY pizza was the only thing I knew except for a sicilian version, which is also part of the equation.
But you know something? I grew up. I don't care how popular it is. If it it is cheap enough and convenient enough for you, then I can see even a hardened Chowhound like myself making a regular lunch habit at Wiseguys. Options in Rosslyn are particularly dicey.
So this is what I had:
I already know that I am not going to like reheated pizza, so this is not a cogent strategy for me. At lunchtime, the pizzas are always coming out of the oven, and the wait time for a completely fresh-baked slice is about the same as waiting for a reheat, though you don't get all the choices that way.
The first slice I got was a Grandma's pizza: a square pizza with a thicker crust, though not bready like a Sicilian slice. After baking, they spread on large basil leaves, grated cheese, and douse it with olive oil. Although it is not indicated on the description, they must use some oil on the bottom of the pizza because the bottom comes out tasting fried and extra crispy.
The basil leaves are too big, too tough, and don't lend much flavor. The exuberant douse of oil is completely unwarranted and way too heavy. Still, this was undeniably a very tasty pizza, and despite the heavier price tag, I would consider coming back for a whole pie for take out under the rare circumstance when Pupatella is closed (like it was on Monday) or I just need a switch-up. Minus the olive oil.
The next slice I had was a plain cheese pizza. It is made from a 20" pie, so it is quite large. It is a typically cheesy, salty, greasy NY slice in all its wonder, but also disappointment. I am no longer a teenager.