Sunday, September 27, 2009

Che Bella Pizza: "This place is what it would be like if Starbucks opened a pizzeria."

I was really excited about eating pizza this week because I was heading out for slices with my good pal Gabby who was in town for a day to have a book release for his awesome new comic Monsters at Desert Island. Either way, not only was I excited about my rad buddy having a new book out, but I was pretty thrilled at the prospect of hanging out with him. Gabby has this weird way of combining being a totally bitter, acerbic curmudgeon with still believing in shit in a totally rad and excited way. It's a good balance to strike, because people who are too starry-eyed about changing the world tend to be so delighted with themselves it is infuriating, and people who are lifestyle-grumps are oftentimes such a pain in the ass to hang around, but the combination of the two balance each other out perfectly. Blah blah, enough praising the wonderful people in my life, onto trashing crappy pizza.

Che Bella. It's crazy because the human personification of this pizzeria was standing outside, like a shapeshifting wizard who could somehow assume two forms at once. Inside was exactly what you would expect from the crappy outside. Bright orange walls, the table and chair setup made me think I was in a Subway, and the people who were working on the weird assembly line behind the counter seemed miserable. The slices on display looked like crap to the point that I almost called it off because this obviously wasn't pizza. When ordering, I asked the guy if they even had regular slices. The guy told me that they sure do, I paid my $2.50 and he handed me a regular looking slice.

It's strange that they keep the not horrible looking slices hidden and the whack bullshit on display, but whatever, it's not my business. The slice itself: the cheese was good, the sauce was superb, not too sweet, but maybe tasted a little too much like a can. The bread, though, was so crappy it rendered the slice majorly awful. Maybe cooking the slice adequately would help, but I feel like it's an issue of the dough recipe. Here's what happened, the top of the dough, where it should be soft and somewhat fluffy, was this like, awful dense paste, and it turned the entirety of every bite into a totally dense, awful paste. The worst feeling ever in my mouth. Pizza loves, save this place for college students who don't care how good their pizza is.

Che Bella
1215 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10027


  1. NO!
    Photographs of these pizzas are very bad ...
    They seem not real pizza, here in Italy is quite another thing!
    Please come here!

  2. Anonymous,
    While true the wonderful pizza from Italy is quite different, New York pizza has a very distinct appearance (and of course taste) The photos that are on this site are indeed the quintessential NY slice. This is what they look like. here is a brief history:
    (it seems that the first NY pizza was on 531/2 Spring Street around 1908 or so (dates differ on the web)

    "The thing that also makes New York Pizza different from other types of pizza is its lovely outer crust that tapers down to a crispy thin crust
    The usual New York style pizza usually is made with a thin base or crust. Normally it is hand tossed and includes cheese and a conservative quantity of sauce. On some level it is a variation on the more historic Neapolitan style pizza. Pizza parlors in New York use either wood or oil-fired ovens, deck or even electric ovens. But the pizza is said to be best done the Sicilian tradition, which is in a clean-burning brick oven"

    So, no denigration to the pizza of Italy, but have some respect for the fine tasty slices of New York, and the quest of this great explorer!
    NY Pizza Lover

  3. It's me, the anonymous, and my name is Sonia.
    I write from Brescia, a town near Milan, is a maniac pizza and see your photos, after being accustomed to seeing our pizza is really depressing ..
    Not much dough, but the tomato and mozzarella di bufala, which is totally different ..
    I hope one day you will spend here, you might as guide!
    With such sympathy and esteem,


    My contact email is:

  4. If you truly want to try a great pizza.


    John & Joe's Pizzeria
    749 Lydig Ave
    Bronx, NY
    (718) 409-9776

    Soft, cheesy, not overdone, it's perfect.

    The best in NY, I still go there when I'm in New York City!

  5. ahahah
    from Milan and speaks about pizza...
    The ONLY place where you can eat the original pizza is Naples. In Milans sucks like in New York!
    You taste the original one?!

  6. Oh my God..
    Not because they are of Brescia means that I have not traveled!
    Of course I ate the pizza in Naples, but also in Sicily, and that of all the regions of Italy!
    I was just saying that our pizza is the real one, "our" as Italian!