Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year from Slice Harvester.

While we all know that arbitrary demarcations of time are a tool of The Man, we here at Slice Harvester would at least like to extend a hearty "Have a good next few dozen weeks" to our readership. Sorry the updates have been sporadic lately, but it's been the holidays, and I've been working like a dog since I got back from tour. I've had one day off, and I spent it eating pizza, as any of my Twitter followers are likely aware of.

But come the Next Week, I won't be covering any shift that comes my way anymore, I'll have some semblance of an actual schedule, and then like a man who has recently begun to consistently consume yogurt, I will return to regularity. If you're wondering about things you may have forgotten to do this year, one of them is probably donating to Slice Harvester. It's easy to do, using the donation button at the top righthand corner of the page, and it will ease your troubled conscience exponentially.

In closing, here is a picture of a piece of pizza from yesterday's excursion that looks like an anus wearing a bib:

Monday, December 28, 2009

Delizia Pizza: "You're not gonna call your mom and say you met the slice of your dreams."

I like the look and feel of Delizia Pizza. The outside lights are pretty classic/classy in a really unobtrusive way. I would've taken a better picture but there was a wild amount of construction on the sidewalk and there was literally no way for me to do so. Amy, Eleanor, Sara and I had been walking around for a while in between here and Pintaile's and we were all pretty cold. When we got inside, it was nice and warm and felt comfortable. Even the pizza places on the Upper East Side are sometimes a little fancier than anywhere I want to be on many days. And this place wasn't super sloppy and charming, but it also didn't seem hella ritzy and obnoxious.

This slice was weird. Color-wise, it kind of looks like a preemie in that picture, no? And it kind of was. The dough tasted undercooked, and the cheese could've been a little more well done. And the sauce was too sweet. Ultimately, this slice was a disappointment. At one point they played The Promise by When In Rome on the radio and I felt like the pizza was begging me for another chance. Eleanor said, "this is the kind of slice you would make out with at the bar, but then when it tries to take you home you'd slip out when it wasn't looking, go home by yourself, get high and masturbate." I guess she is saying that she would rather eat Tombstone? Although if Tombstone pizza is equivalent to masturbating, I'll become a Catholic. But digressions and criticisms aside, check out this fold!

That looks like a paper airplane. Or a really majestic cartoon bird's head! Seriously, compare that to the picture from Zesty Pizza, which was obviously appalling. This is a slice that you can walk with pride while you eat. No need to worry about dripping sauce on your stylish, new, wool slacks or the beautiful oxblood brogues you just got from the Cancer Thrift on 3rd Ave. Or if you're you and not me, then I guess you don't have to worry about dripping anything onto your Old Navy sweatpants and Adidas shower shoes. I can't believe you leave the house like that, you slob!

Delizia Pizza
1762 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10128

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Pintaile's Pizza: "A one way ticket into the scariest areas of pizza purgatory."

Despite the name, Pintaile's Pizza does not actually serve pizza. When I first looked at the pies sitting behind the counter I thought that maybe there was some gourmet shit going on, because the slices looked like they were maybe some kind of fancy gourmet crap. I figured maybe it would taste really good but be totally insubstantial.

Actually, this pizza is like, some fucking Lean Cuisine bullshit. This is pizza for people who are on a diet. Can you guess what Slice Harvester's official stance on dieting is? Fuck that shit, it's stupid.

Not only was this, like, some total horseshit "Pizza Lite," which means it was totally insubstantial and not fulfilling to eat AT ALL, it didn't taste like anything whatsoever. This is "pizza" for suburban moms who are on some faddish unhealthy diet, not for pizza lovers. Even though this slice technically fulfills all the requirements for being a piece of pizza, I would classify this as a notapizza.jpg. In closing: stay away from this weird pizza hell unless you are on a diet.


Pintaile's Pizza - $2.75
26 East 91st Street
New York, NY 10028


I'd like to wish a happy Winter Solstice to everyone out there on the internet. In honor of the season I am rereading The Master and Margarita and then I plan to reread Barabbas. And I am coincidentally just up to the part of The Alphabet Versus The Goddess where Shlain talks about the correlation between the rise of Abrahamic, monotheistic religions and the development of the Patriarchy which is totally seasonally appropriate. Heavy times.

But what I really want to do, is share the work of my new acquaintance Gill Henry Durant, who I met in Atlanta on Forgetters tour. The man is a genius and his annual Christmas spectacular is an Atlanta tradition. So in honor of the heavy times, let's all lighten our load a little and enjoy some Hotlanta Christmas Jams:

Check out the live video of "Candy Cane" to see some of the power that Gill brings to the stage. Homeboy is a musical genius.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ray's Pizza: "According to the phone book I'm going to write this review 26 more times."

Have I wished everyone a Happy Chanukkah yet? Last Friday, one week ago yesterday, I spent the first day of Chanukkah wandering the Upper East Side with some friends trying to find an open pizza place. Seriously, it seemed as if the first like, five places Sara, Eleanor and I went to were closed. Either permanently, by the health department, etc. It was doubly stressful for me because we were meeting our friend Amy and I kept having to tell her new addresses where to meet up, as each place was consecutively closed. But like the oil discovered by the Maccabee Bros. way back in the day at the Holy Temple in Jersusalem, we burned on. And much like God consistently rewarding the Jewish people for their courage and tenacity with more hardship and tests, we finally found an open pizzeria. A Famous Original Ray's.

What do I have to say about Ray's? Nothing. I already said it here.

I could also just hotlink you to that slice review for this one, to. Because, seriously, fuck a bunch of this place. I think I'm probably not gonna review any of the other FORs, actually, because these shitholes are total shitholes. I'm over it. This counts as a chain, right? I don't have to go and knowingly eat another 40 shitty slices, right? Give me this one Hannukah gift.

Famous Original Ray's
1827 2 Avenue
New York, NY 10128

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sal Pizza: "Bummer times in frown town."

Right now I'm sitting at a table in Sluggo's in Pensacola, Fl, which is probably my favorite rock club in the country. This afternoon we left our friend Travis' house in Gainesville and headed down the treacherous and deceptively long corridor of I-10 that separates Gville from Pcola. Perhaps it is just the decades of Florida Emo seeping in through the air vents in Meredith's van, but when I saw the acres of clear cut trees to the North, barely hidden by a line of forlorn looking shrubs, I started crying. Luckily the whole band was asleep so I managed to save my dignity, but it was certainly haggard times. But now I'm here at Sluggo's, where I feel really at home, eating a DELICIOUS vegan reuben (a nearly impossible feat), and I'm once again at peace with myself, if not with the sick fucking world. So in the spirit of harrowing emotional experiences with no real resolution, I'd like to tell you all about Sal Pizza.

When Willow, Chris and I approached Sal Pizza, the first thing I noticed was the pizzaola, who looked like a perfect cross between Super Mario and Phil Lynott, standing with his hands on his hips, proudly surveying his domain. Motherfucker looked like a grown up Sweathog, you got me? I was really looking forward to seeing what kind of pizza Juan Epstein makes, so I was totally thrilled until I saw the pithy offerings in the display case. But like I said an entry or two ago, sometimes a slice doesn't look appetizing until it hits the oven for the second time. So I was willing to give it a shot.

This slice was majorly underdone. And even if it hadn't been, it would've still been a horridly wet sloppy piece of shit with crappy, sugar-sweet sauce and bland crust. Whatever. Don't go to this place with Luzzo's around the corner.

Sal Pizza
1375 Madison Ave

New York, NY 10128

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Little Luzzo's: "This slice confuses and frightens me, but it is DELICIOUS."

Last night I was thinking of ways to let you down easy that I was never gonna leave Florida, so the Pizza Mission was over for good. You got to understand, I got out of a van after a six hour drive to St. Augustine from chilly Atlanta, felt that beach breeze on my face and said, "fuck it, I'm staying." The show last night was in this goofy as fuck sports bar that served excellent vegetarian food. I'm talking like, their whole menu was Spicy Tempeh Grilled Cheese, Garbanzo Burger, Seitan Gyro, Huevos Rancheros. Are you kidding me? That's the bar food around here?! Maybe it's just my ethnic predisposition to feel compelled to move to Florida and I'm just getting the first taste what's gonna hit me way harder when I'm 75, but I was seriously feeling it. I mentioned enjoying the temperature when everyone else was complaining about being cold and Blake looked at me and said, "you know, you look comfortable right now."

So that was it! Florida, for life. Last night we went to Caroline's friend Rich's house to sleep, I woke up this morning to a beautiful breeze, drank some coffee, ate a kumquat off the tree in the backyard and thought, "This is the start of my new life. I guess I should update the blog and let the Slice Harvester fans know that I'm about to become a raw food yoga guy in Florida." And then for kicks I looked at my flickr to see which pizza place I would've been reviewing and it was Little Luzzo's and I remembered why I need to come back to New York.

This place felt great inside and smelled even better. The tables are all some kind of dark, thick wood and while the place was bustling the whole time we were in there, it never felt overcrowded. I was a little surprised by how the pizza looked, but I decided it was worth it to give it a shot anyway.

This slice is crazy. It is like some wild, perfect crossbreed between a Neapolitan slice and a New York slice. The fresh mozzarella and blackened, brick oven edges are totally Old World steez, but the size of the slice and thickness of the dough is a touch of that New School New York flava to keep things up to date. Perhaps we can convince Craig Mack to write a song about Little Luzzo's called Flava In Ya Mouth.

In my estimation, this slice is a huge success. Combining the size and shape of a New York slice with the higher quality, fresher ingredients of conventional, continental pizza is genius. Especially for $2.50. My biggest gripe with brick oven style is that the quality ingredients necessitate a high price for a very small amount of food. I am no Koronet disciple, but I certainly believe that a single slice of pizza should be big enough to fill me up for a little while. A bunch of bullshit fancy-pantses are gonna piss and moan about how plebian my opinions are, but fuck that and fuck them. If I am in a restaurant sitting down to eat and get a tiny pizza that cost $22 and is fucking delicious as an appetizer before my mussels, I am not gonna whine about it. But here at Slice Harvester we are dealing with street slices and street slices should be within a certain price range and fill a guy up a certain amount. And the point is, the slice at Little Luzzo's satisfies both of those criteria without sacrificing quality or raising the price even infinitesimally.

This slice was cooked perfectly. Great crunch, nice amount of grease, the sauce was super fucking delicious and the cheese was a totally flavorful fresh mozzarella that melted really well and totally kicked ass. The douchebag boneroni jerkoff from the bar last night who talked my ear off about how cool my hat was and made Blake and Kevin really uncomfortable probably would've called this slice "a sick bitch." Blah blah blah. Not your conventional street slice, but whatever y'all, this shit ruled.

Little Luzzo's
119 E 96th St
New York, NY 10029

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Passione Pizza: "Um... yeah... I don't know..."

This is going to have to be a short entry, because I'm sitting in this weird grocery store/deli/sandwich shop/internet place in Charlotte and we have to head over to Hotlanta real soon to get wild with Babyface and Jermaine Dupri. The show last night was kind of perfect, by the way. Despite how dead things seemed at 6:15 when we got into town, once night falls Charlotte brings it. Either way, it doesn't matter that I gotta rush this one out because there is not much to say about Passione Pizza.

Passione had a warm and inviting interior, which was real nice on the crappy, cold and rainy day me, Christ and Willow spent eating pizza. (I just noticed that typo, but Chrissy Hewes looks just like a white version of Jesus, so I'm gonna keep it there.) The pizza looked like crap behind the counter, but I've learned by now that oftentimes crappy seeming pizza turns out delicious once cooked so I was not judging harshly.

When the slice came, I was immediately turned off by the bold red, manufactured color of the sauce, and the cheese looked like it could go either way, but the crust looked decent, at least. Sadly, I judged the qualities of the sauce correctly, and upon biting in, realized that not only was the viscous component of the pie synthetic, but it was ABUNDANT. Which is to say, that my first bite was a wet, mushy mess. The cheese was not that great, and the bread barely had a crunch. The crust was okay, if a little bland, but all in all this slice was nothing to write home about.

1590 Lexington Ave
New York 10029

Monday, December 14, 2009

Il Fornaio Pizza: "This is the worst part of my job."

Il Fornaio
is like, the classic "perfect pizzeria." Amazing awning/storefront, totally warm on the inside, both literally and figuratively. There's only one dude in there, and he makes all the pizza himself. He seems to totally love his job and doesn't mind making people wait while he moves about at a snails pace, something I appreciate. I was watching a video of Frank Zappa as a guest on some tv show in the 60s with my rooommate, and watching it he was like, "people had a much longer attention span in the 60s. No one would sit through something this slow on television nowadays." And he's right. Now I'm not here to yearn for yesteryear or bemoan how shitty everything is today, but let's be real, everyone could do to relearn a little more patience.

But I didn't really like the pizza. It just seemed sloppily prepared and was definitely undercooked. There was so much sauce slopped on it was like eating soup and the dough was mushy as fuck. Total mindblowing bummer times up in here. This place is so charming that I bet if I said the slice was good no one would disagree with me, for fear of hurting this old guy's feelings or whatever. But really, it's nothing special. Any pizza tourist worth her salt should still stop by this place just to see what it's all about, but it's for the experience and not for the food.

Il Fornaio
1505 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10029

Sunday, December 13, 2009

M.J. Pizza: "A miracle hasn't happened tonight."

I forgot to mention during last night's entry that on this particular day, I was treated to the distinct pleasure of pizza-eating with my firm, fast friends Chrissy Hewes and Willow. They were on their way back to Asheville from doing a cranberry harvest in New England, so their presence in my fair city came as a complete surprise. But on to M.J. Pizza.

M.J. Pizza was surrounded by some pretty tough characters, but I asked them if they could just "scooch" to clear the shot for me, and they willingly obliged. The men milling around outside shit-talking made me confident that this place might be great. Not the presence of men specifically, but the fact that there were a handful of sketchy folks loitering made me feel really at home.

The slice, however, was not great. It had decent ratios and was cooked okay, there was a nice crunch and shit. The ingredients, however, while not terrible, were certainly nothing to write a postcard to your mom about. Not horrible, not great, whatever. But I gotta keep this entry short. Berk and Keith are waiting on me to hit the strip club.

M.J. Pizza
1976 1 Avenue
New York, NY 10029

Finest Pizza Deli: "I think the person who named this place might be a liar."

Initially I thought the name of this place must be a misnomer. Perhaps I'm mistaken, though. Finest Pizza Deli may not have the finest pizza, but it may actually be the finest Pizza Deli. I don't think I've ever been to another "pizza deli" before, (and a cursory search of the blog affirms that I've not visited one in an official capacity yet). But now I'm think that perhaps I don't know for certain what constitutes a "fine" slice of pizza.

This slice was certainly pale and delicate like a porcelain doll. It wasn't exceptionally good, but it was warm decent enough on a rainy day. The cheese was decent, the sauce was a little too sweet, and the crust was undercooked (as is obvious from a quick glance at that crust-color). Ultimately it was nothing special, but nor was it horrible. Totally middle of the road. They did, however, have a number of charming misspellings on one of their signs:

Depending on what the pharmaceutical additions, I might be in the mood for that "Pilly Cheesesteak" as a little nightcap right now.

Finest Pizzeria & Deli
151 E 103rd St
New York, NY 10029


Tonight I am in DC on the first night of Forgetters tour. It's off to a great start, they really packed St. Stephen's Church tonight. Check it out. Tonight was a benefit for We Are Family DC, a pretty rad sounding organization. And I got to meet Mark Anderson tonight! Old punks still doing rad shit are always an inspiration. I didn't get up the chutzpah to really talk to him about how amazing he is because I didn't think I could do it without coming off as some fawning teen, but yeah, that shit was pretty cool.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dreamer's Pizza: "And juuuust befooooore the dawn... I awaaaaake to fiiiiind you're gone..."

Dreamer's Pizza is nothing out of this world, but their slice was probably the best that me and Bill had all day. The pizza shop itself is small and unassuming. Charming in the way that any decent pizzeria is, but not exceptionally so. In a sense, it's "just right," and that's kind of what the slice was like.

There was a perfect amount of grease, it was well cooked and had great ratios. The cheese wasn't AMAZING, nor was the sauce or bread, but they were all the embodiment of plain old Good. Can't complain, but won't rave about it, I will definitely eat here again if I'm in this neighborhood.

On the way out of here, I was yammering on and on to Bill about some unimportant shit and he said, "hey, Colin check this out," and pointed to his right. I was too busy talking his ear off about something totally unmemorable to pay attention and just sort of shushed him in order not to lose momentum on the briskly paced walk-n-talk I had going. By the time we were around the corner and I had finished my verbose philosophizing, Bill was like, "so did you see that sketchy dude sitting next to a box with a hole in the top and a question mark drawn on it?"
"What, no! Why didn't you point him out?"
"I tried."
"Oh. Well, whatever, what was in the box?" I asked as I turned us back around.
"I don't know. That's what I was wondering."
"Do you think he was busking? Like, he charges a buck and you get to reach in the box? That would be amazing. That is, hands down, the creepiest buskin routine I've ever heard of."
"I don't know, man! I don't know anything about it. You were too busy chit-chatting to notice when I tried to point it out."
"We have to look in the box," I declared as we trepidatiously approached our target.

And let me say, this guy really was one sketchy character. I don't think Celine could do his deviled-eyed, slack-jawed look justice. He was wearing an Oakland Raiders starter jacket like Naughty By Nature used to rock, and like, one of those biker bandanas that is head shaped and ties in the back with string and his like, bald eagles and tribal flames and skull and shit on it. He was sitting on a folding stool and in front of him was a stack of milkcrates with a box adorned with a question mark on top, a hole cut in the top. I walked over, mustered all my bravado, and said as tough as I could, "Hey, what's in the box?"
Dude just grunted. Like a fucking caveman.
"You mind if I look?"
No response.
So I peered in and there was just like, some tic-tacs, a subway map and a box of tampons. You might say that's anti-climactic, but it just reminded me how much I love this fucking city.

Dreamer's Pizza
1850 3 Avenue
New York, NY 10029

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pizza King: "At least the employees are exceptionally nice."

Walking into Pizza King was like walking into a best friend's parents house for the first time and realizing that, unlike most of the people you know who turned out alright in spite of their shitty families, this friend is who she is because her parents were such nurturing, loving people. What I'm trying to say is that it feels really nice and comfortable in here. The proprietors exude a kind of tangible warmth that is rare these days, especially in a city like New York where everybody is constantly on their guard. Sadly, their pizza blows chunks.

I've got nothing kind to say about this slice. There is no way I can spin it to make it sound even decent. This slice is horrible. Chewy, thick dough, canned sauce that tasted like it was sweetened with white sugar, plasticy cheese. This slice felt so HEAVY. It was horrible. I knew it wouldn't be good but I really wanted to like it because these people seemed so nice. But while they're nice, the world isn't and it's my duty to my readership to stay objective. In short, this pizza totally sucked. Boo hoo.

Pizza King
188 East 104th Street
New York, NY 10029


So, I got my computer working again, which is rad, but it seems a little bit tenuous. Hopefully it'll at least hold out through the New Year. Send vibes/cross your fingers/ask Satan for me. (Is there a Patron Saint or small local diety from a polytheist religion who tends to the well-being of tenuous but important appliances to whom I can make an offering?) I'm going to need a computer next week, because I'm leaving on tour with forgetters again and will thusly be updating from the road. Hopefully I get a chance to eat some horrid out of state pizza and make another hilarious travelogue. I was looking forward to possibly having the first issue of the S.H. zine finished by then, but it looks like I'll actually have to wait until the New Year. I'd rather not rush it and possibly sacrifice quality. But let me tell you, this thing is gonna be good.

If you live in or near any of these cities, come out and see forgetters, they are some of my best friends and, independently of that, a really amazing band. I will be the surly teetotaler selling their merch, so say hello if you want.
Friday, December 11: Brooklyn, NY (Market Hotel)
Saturday, December 12: Washington, DC. (St. Steven’s Church, Columbia Heights)
Sunday, December 13: Richmond, Va. (Gallery5) Matinee!
Monday, December 14: Charlotte, NC. (Milestone)
Tuesday, December 15: Atlanta, Ga. (Drunken Unicorn)
Wednesday, December 16: St. Augustine, Fla. (Nobby's)
Thursday, December 17: Gainesville, Fla. (1982)
Friday, December 18: Pensacola, Fla. (Sluggo’s)
Saturday, December 19: New Orleans, La. (Nowe Miasto) Early show.
Sunday, December 20: Memphis, TN. (Hi Tone Café)
Monday, December 21: Chattanooga, TN. (Sluggo’s North)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Listen up, jerkoffs.

Sorry for the lack of updating. My computer broke. I am going to try to use my roommate's computer when he goes to school to write some updates. Until then, if anyone wants to donate me $1000 or a fucking computer, be my guest, this shit is fucked.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sun Deli Pizzeria: "Awful, just awful."

There's not much more to say, really. Excellent exterior, horrible pizza. The only perk about this place was that while we were in here, some yuppie was having a conniption about her sandwich being made wrong and the guy behind the counter just didn't give a fuck in the most amazing and zenlike way.

Sun Deli Pizzeria

1544 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10029

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

5 Star Cheesesteak & Pizza: "Like eating a sponge."

5 Star Cheesesteak and Pizza, how do I begin to describe thee? First of all, it is weirdly silent and sterile and awkward in there. It is like a black hole for any kind of ambiance. Seriously weird vibes. And the pizza, oh the pizza.

This slice was way too thick and I don't think it was made of food. As you can see from the above image, it began to fall apart as soon as I lifted it up. For something so dense and thick, that it a horrible sign. Texturally, this slice was a nightmare. The cheese was like plastic, the dough was like a sponge and it was SO DRY. It seemed like before they put the cheese on this slice, they had second thoughts about the sauce and wiped it all off with a paper towel. They couldn't get every bit, so there was some residual sauce in the crevices, but they succeeded in getting rid of most of it, leaving my mouth a dry, dusty wasteland after taking my first bite. This slice is almost so bad that I feel compelled to recommend it on the grounds that it is such an anomaly. True pizza connoisseurs should taste this pizza in order to understand the full range of just how bad pizza can get. Ultimately though, it's not even worth that. Maybe their cheesesteaks are at least decent, though the cheese on this pizza doesn't make me feel hopeful about that.

5 Star Cheesesteak and Pizza
2039 1st Ave
New York, NY 10029


Two endnotes to today's entry:
1. It is about time for me to remind you all that there is a Donation button, located at the top right of this page. If you enjoy reading Slice Harvester please consider donating as little as $2.50 a month to help me fund my pizza. I don't expect to make money off this thing, but if it could fund itself that would be MINDBLOWING.

2. I recently got a copy of 3 The Hard Way because I was trying to track down this totally excellent Reggie Stepper song If You Want To Leave. The first song on there is a Cutty Ranks track called Culture Fi Lick, which is a rumination on the moral and ethical bankruptcy of the young people of the 90s. In it, Cutty Ranks discusses some of the skewed priorities of his generation's young people. He says:
"Give me punani," some of them will say.
"And give me pizza," some of them will say.

Having read about the difficulties queer folks have faced in Jamaica, I've been readying myself for years for what I thought would be the inevitable moment when I would have an ethical qualm strong enough to stop listening to a certain reggae artist. Having grown up on grimetime New York gangsta rap, I have a really complicated relationship with misogyny and homophobia in popular music and we could discuss the definitely complex and likely hypocritical nature of my fondness for Mobb Deep or Nine all day long. And at some point we should, because the patriarchy's not gonna smash itself and everyone should examine the innoccuous shit they do that helps bolster and support oppressive structures. However, and here's the real pressing issue, I never thought the repugnant lyrics I would find in a dancehall song would have to do with equating Pizza Eating with The Sorry State of Our Youth. I don't know if I'll be able to listen to Cutty Ranks the same ever again.

Coincidentally, while I was writing this post, my roommate was in the living room listening to my Pump Up the Jam LP. Check this shit out:

Maybe I'm wrong, but this is how I'm hearing these lyrics:
People don't you know, don't you know it's about time.
Can't you hear the jam is pumping while you taste the pizza mind.
Many different flavors and the spice is strong.
Get into the hot stuff something something blah blah blah.

Chuck was asking me tonight about my favorite modern poetry. Well there's your answer pal.