[This discussion was split by the Chowhound Team from a pizza discussion on the MSP board http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6788...]
Essentially it's the water. NYC tap water is from upstate fresh water reservoirs. That's why the bagels are better there too. You get a slice that you can pick up, fold and it won't fall apart on you. In NYC there are many places with mediocre slices: too much cheese, lower quality cheese, canned mushrooms, etc. So, even the better places such as Ben's really stand out.