Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sutton Pizzeria: "Some people, they like to go out dancing, and other peoples, they have to work."

Sutton Pizzeria is a weird twilight zone of awesomeness and awkwardness. While I was in there I felt at once entirely drawn to it's idiosyncratic charm with every fiber of my being, and at once repulsed by it's peculiarity and foul odor, much like the way many of my potential sexual partners must feel. The source of both the aforementioned odor and the ~strange vibes~ was easy enough to pinpoint: old people. Some people love them, some people fear them, but not unlike being in a room entirely full of children or teenagers, being surrounded by my grandparents peers is going to be strange. Not necessarily bad, but strange. And Sutton Pizzeria is no exception.

Upon entering The establishment, Wes and I were immediately confronted by an older gentleman much more concerned with his Racing Form than serving us our pizza. We headed to the back, filled with silent people diligently eating, to try our slice. The silence was oppressive. Wes and I soon realized that everybody in the place was watching a horse race on the television, including a crossing guard who didn't seem to have ordered any food and who was eating some kind of curry out of a tupperware container. I felt like I had entered the lead-in to a Charles Bukowski story, and I love it. Being a local yokel, and a total wuss who doesn't like sports, I was unfamiliar with the phenomenon of regional team sports bars until very recently. My friend Garrit goes to some bar in Park Slope or something to watch SF Giants games and it fascinates me. People get together and form relationships, despite huge differences in social class or whatever, because of a shared affinity for a Baseball Team? It's like how Caroline is getting all involved in the Bee Keeping Community. Like, really, there's a fucking Bee Keeping Community?!!? I mean, I think it rules, but sometimes it seems so Shockingly Specific to me. Is there any interest that more than one person has in this town where they don't meet up somewhere?! Remember the people that used to sit around at Alt.Coffee and make art out of metrocards?!!!>?!! Why am I getting so worked up over this?!!!?!?!?!?!?!?! Whatever, you get my point, right? In the case of Sutton Pizzeria, the commonality seems to be not interacting with each other. And horse racing.

This slice is not done justice by the photograph above, as I think my camera is sensitive to desperation. But listen, this was a good slice of pizza. It was warm and hearty, filling but not heavy. All the ingredients were top notch. I hesitate to say this slice was made with care, but it was certainly made expertly if you catch the distinction. The only thing that knocks it down to Good slice from Great slice is that the crust was kind of weird. Totally undercooked and awkward and kind of just like, not that good. I don't know how to rectify the crust with the rest of the slice, because everything else was STELLAR.

Sutton Pizzeria - $2.50
1140 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10065


  1. This is the first review of yours I've read, but will certainly read more. My friend forwarded this to me because we frequent Sutton a few times per week as locals. My guess regarding your slice's crust, is that you got a slice from a "fresh out of the oven" pie. The key to a perfect slice is the reheat...only when reheated does a crust reach it's full, crispy potential. We often refer to Sutton simply as "the perfect slice" because their reheated slice is tops...the fresh pie isn't as crispy.
    Happy slicing!

  2. I must agree with Anonymous. The reheat is critical in reviewing a slice. Also, holding it bent, outward, if sturdy also is a key measurement of quality. The sauce-cheese-dough ratio in my opinion is the most important, and Sutton nails it. The atmosphere is great, and all good parlors must have a Goodfellas or Casino photo hanging to show they mean business. Stellar is a good word to sum this place up. Their Sicilian (w/ diced onions in the sauce) is also a must try.
    -resident, hotel 63

  3. Far and away the best in the E50s and 60s (first discovered it when I lived in 63rd, still continue to walk up from the East 50s, dissatisfied with the places down there), and some of the best I have had in NYC.