I've been to Sal and Carmine's twice now for Slice Harvester. A few weeks ago it was the last pizzeria I visited with my fast friend Johnny Dress Pants, formerly Johnny No Pants, but his fashion sense has changed now that he's an old man. (Happy Birthday, asshole!) Sadly, John and I were so enamored with each other's company that we didn't really pay much attention to the fantastic slice. And I'll tell you, it's gotta be a pretty excellent hangout/reunion to distract me from the incredible slice at S and C's.
For those uninitiated, the nondescript awning above houses one of the best slices of pizza in New York. While the $3.00 price seems steep for a regular slice, I will vouch that it's totally worth it, and I'm a cheap piece of shit. Anyway, last week I returned to Sal and Carmine's with Caroline and Mikey and we indulged ourselves in a superior slice.
Fuck. The thing about this slice is that the ingredients are all incredible. The dough is impeccable. It tastes incredible and is always cooked perfectly. They didn't even throw my slice back in the oven and it was perfectly crisp on the bottom. The ratios are a dream. Just the right amount of bread::sauce::cheese. And the flavors are great. The aged mozzarella really tastes like CHEESE, which shouldn't be special, but these days is totally a rarity. The sauce is delicious and rich, more flavorful than I prefer, but it works so well on this slice. And the crust! The crust is a dream come true. Crispy on the outside, tender and soft on the inside, with just a hint of salt. It's unstoppable. This is a great slice for a cold, rainy day. It really fills you up with that sweet food-warmth that only good grub can, the kind that starts at your belly and slowly spreads out over your whole body.
This slice is a little richer than I'd want to eat on a regular basis, but whenever I'm in the neighborhood, it's a treat I love to indulge. It's refreshing to know that in the current climate of Gourmet Gruel and Hundred-Dollar Hamburgers there are still people out there who continue to make simple foods simply, but artfully. This isn't an anti-intellectual tirade, and I'm not railing about complexity or toying with tradition. But it's so easy to get caught up in trying to make everything new and incredible, that one can easily forget about the basics. I harp on this notion all the time, but the most elementary seeming things can be the hardest to perfect. Pizza is a great example and Sal and Carmine's have come damn close.
Sal and Carmine's
New York NY 10025