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#1 omnivorette

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 02:49 AM

I don't think we have a pizza thread, so here goes.

Had a slice today at the original Patsy's, on 1st near 117th. Just out of the oven. It was excellent. Superlative. I have had pizza there many times, but never like the slice today. It was wonderful. Perfect crust, nice coal-y mild char, chewy in that perfect way. The kind of crust that makes you wish there was more of it at the end. Good tasting cheese, sweet and tangy sauce...proportions of everything just right. Ranks up there in the top echelon. I have no idea why it was better today than on all of my other recent visits, but there you have it. Maybe because it was hot and just out of the oven, plus the senior pizza maker older guy was on duty this afternoon. Can't wait to go back - let's hope it's this good the next time.
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#2 beachfan

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 05:32 AM

I can't fully participate in the thread, as with my low, low carb diet, I've been only eating pizza tops.

I had a slice (or top of a slice) at my homeland pizza place, New Park in Howard Beach. Really excellent, and I took a nibble at the crust just to be able to report on it. Wonderful. I know this place is variable, and I think Rantidine won't go because of their checkered past, but it's worth a stop on your way to JFK.

Next, I'm heading towards my current favorite, Little Italy Pizza right accross from the Empire State Building on 5th (and 33rd?). I need a MFer to go to validate my experience there, fantastico!

#3 Guest_Suzanne F_*

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 09:07 PM

The Little Italy Pizza near me (Park Place) made a big deal out of the fact that they used Grande cheese. I used to think that must be some kind of crappy stuff, but in his pizza book, Ed Levine mentions it as being good. Who knew? Actually, I am relieved, because I too rather like LIP, when I'm desperate for something pizza-ish. (Ususally I make my own, given enough time.)

#4 joiei

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 03:45 AM

The pizza I made today

Rosemary wholewheat crust with canadian bacon, fresh peaches and goat cheese. Pretty good.
"Love ya once, love ya twice, love ya more than beans and rice"

#5 Penguin

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 04:42 AM

I don't think we have a pizza thread, so here goes.

Had a slice today at the original Patsy's, on 1st near 117th. Just out of the oven. It was excellent. Superlative. I have had pizza there many times, but never like the slice today. It was wonderful. Perfect crust, nice coal-y mild char, chewy in that perfect way. The kind of crust that makes you wish there was more of it at the end. Good tasting cheese, sweet and tangy sauce...proportions of everything just right. Ranks up there in the top echelon. I have no idea why it was better today than on all of my other recent visits, but there you have it. Maybe because it was hot and just out of the oven, plus the senior pizza maker older guy was on duty this afternoon. Can't wait to go back - let's hope it's this good the next time.

Glad to see you finally nabbed a great slice at Patsy's. All in all, it's probably my favorite pizza in Manhattan. Right now, Patsy's is more like a "real" restaurant than I've ever seen it. Liquor license, proper menu, folks ordering as much pasta as pizza at dinner, waitresses as well as waiters.

I wonder why the "regular" pizza is so much better than the fresh mozarella one, but it is.

#6 juuceman

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 05:19 PM

Next, I'm heading towards my current favorite, Little Italy Pizza right accross from the Empire State Building on 5th (and 33rd?). I need a MFer to go to validate my experience there, fantastico!

don't travel too far, it's been replaced by a Papaya Dog stand.. i believe they moved around the corner, and are now on 33rd btw. 5th and Madison but have yet to visit..

#7 djk

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 05:23 PM

i was there about a week ago and had a great slice or two as well and it had been awhile since i felt so good about it.

on a completely different pizza note - try adrienne's pizza bar on stone street. but ask for a square pizza.....seems to be a better and thinner, crispier crust. they will customize to your heart's content but having dined there with eight people and too many of them into having an almost pizza casserole - i would say that the margharita was the best. simple and very tasty, (tho the meat pie drew raves, i didn't have it). nice interior space and big outdoor tables - just don't plan to sit outside on a thursday/friday night, unless you're looking for large, drunk men screaming at the tops of their lungs about ball games and ex wives from the bar next door for your dining soundtrack. stone street is way more packed with vittles and consequently people than it was the last two summers. but good pizza. not difara's but good pizza and a nice place.

#8 Caseophile

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 02:01 AM

So I made my first trip out to DiFara's this weekend. Despite what one regular told me was a relatively quiet Saturday night (there were at least two or three empty tables most of the time I was there), it took me about twenty minutes before I could even get someone's attention to take my order. There's no line, just a mass of people hanging around the counter, like thirsty patrons at a busy bar. I should have just bought some slices, but foolishly, I ordered a pie. Round, half plain (to assess the underlying pizza quality), and half special (to sample as many toppings as possible).

First, I became mesmerized watching Mr. DeMarco making the pizzas.... grating big chunks of mozzarella onto the dough, slicing bubbling hot-pies slowly and deliberately with an arthritic, flour-covered hand. I've seen this much love go into cooking before, but only from someone named "Grandma."

Then I got bored, sat down for a while, and struck up a conversation with one of the regulars. This gave me an opportunity to survey the place -- a total pig sty. Really quite gross. If anyone ever cleans it, it's not more than once a day. Grease and pizza crumbs cover all of the tables. Filthy napkins and shards of day-old pies litter the floors. One of the regulars cautioned me to "never even look inside the bathrooms." Yuck.

Then I started to wonder where my pizza was, so I got up to watch Mr. DeMarco again. And then I sat down. And then I got up again, and then I sat down. Over and over again. The whole thing began to resemble some sort of surreal, existentialist play. Or at least a Seinfeld episode.

Eventually I realized that, at DiFara's, the act of ordering a pizza doesn't actually result in its being made, only in someone writing its specifications on a pizza box, and then leaving that pizza box around to be ignored. I tried for a long time to get the attention of Mr. DeMarco, or of his assistant. It took a long, long, long, long time. After I had spend nearly an hour and a half in the tiny little joint, Mr. DeMarco finally noticed me, and asked me to identify my pizza box. Then he laid my box down flat on the counter, thus placing it in the queue of pies that were actually going to be made that night. He made two or three more before mine, and sold at least four people some slices, too. But then, just as I was about to tell him to forget the whole thing, he started making mine. It took him about five minutes to prepare it, and five minutes to cook it. I was so sick of the place that I ate the pizza in the car on the way home.

It was... pretty good. The crust was excellent, as good as I've ever had. The sauce was pretty much flavorless. A sprinkling of good Parmigiano added at the end added a very nice flavor, but the mozzarella didn't impress me at all. The toppings were a bit above average. If this is the best pizza we have in New York, then we don't have particularly good pizza in New York.

#9 omnivorette

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 02:15 AM

Caseo, I insist that we go together. No arguing, that's just how it is.

He doesn't use parmegiano, by the way. It's grana padana. The mozzarella he uses, mozzarella di bufala from Caserta, is unparalelled in my experience. He also uses a fior di latte from Wisconsin - also very good.

I have no idea what a "special" is but I wouldn't have ordered it. Sounds to me like way too many toppings on one half of a pizza. Also, you didn't try a slice of a square pie which was a mistake. Get one topping only - broccoli di rape, or fresh mushrooms, for example. Getting multiple toppings is a huge mistake - none of them have a chance to shine, and the flavors don't usually go together.

His sauce can be fantastic - it's made with huge pieces of pancetta cooked in it for the square pies. His sauce for the round pies is an uncooked sauce, but very good.

In the car???? It wasn't hot and fresh. A shame. And you didn't sprinkle freshly ground grana just before you took your first bite....too bad.

And you went during a crowded time - big mistake. You need to go on a weekday evening or during the day. No way around that.

And you need to sit, and drink some good Italian wine with it.

Do not not not judge it by this experience. It would be a real shame, and you would be missing out on a great experience that you just didn't have there yet.

Haven't you read my approximate 3,549 posts on how to order at DiFara's on here, eG, OA, and CH?
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#10 Caseophile

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 02:49 AM

Okay Omni - I'll be happy to give Dom another try. When I say I ate the pie in the car, I mean, like, immediately. Beginning a minute after it was made. With the freshly sprinkled non-Parmigiano and everything. And the mushrooms were among the toppings included in the special. My idea was to try the three toppings one at a time, which is what I did, and none of them moved me much.

I agree, a big mistake not to order a slice of a square pie while I was sitting around for an hour and a half waiting for my own round one. Actually, when I realized how long it would take, I tried to order a square slice, at least two or three times. But nobody would pay attention to me.

Maybe a weekday in the winter is the way to do it. I must say, it's hard for me to imagine how eating the pie while sitting amongst the day's garbage would enhance the experience, but the wine and the lack of waiting would help.

#11 omnivorette

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 05:00 AM

We will go when it's not busy. We will order a square slice each, a plain slice each, and then a whole pie with 2 toppings - but one on each half. We will, first thing, clean our table. If there are enough people sharing, we will have a calzone.

What toppings did you get (that you ate all together and didn't taste any one on their own)?
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#12 Ron Johnson

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 01:06 PM

I've only been to DiFara's with Omni, and I do believe it helps tremendously in terms of service. I could easily foresee being lost in the shuffle there. The pizza, however, is amazing, and I am glad that you noticed how much time and care he puts into each one.

#13 Abbylovi

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 02:22 PM

I second the importance of the omni connection -- it also helps when you go without her because he'll remember you and take your order pretty much right away. Now whenever I go without omni Dom says "where isa (isa is meant to replicate the accent) omni." I take great pleasure in saying blithely "she doesn't come to Brooklyn so much anymore." :o
It is better to have beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear.

#14 omnivorette

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 03:37 PM

Oh just stab me in the heart why don'tcha? :o
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#15 Abbylovi

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 03:39 PM

Cackle, cackle.
It is better to have beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear.