99¢ Fresh Hot Pizza! I love it. I'll tell you this much, in the war of the dollar slice, between 99¢ Fresh and Two Bros, I side wholly and heavily with 99¢ Fresh. About ten years ago when I was a "bike messenger," I used to go to the 99¢ Fresh location on 9th Ave near where Siberia Bar used to be. Remember that place? The owner looked like Gibby Haynes and was a totally surly dick to yuppies but real nice to anyone who looked like a scum. They used to have punk shows in the basement sometimes and I definitely more than once got so drunk I almost killed myself biking home. Ah, the days of youthful invincibility! How I miss thee.
Anyways! I totally used to eat that old dollar slice. It was a well-kept secret amongst both "bike messengers," like myself, and bike messengers. Not the best pizza, but if you're in the middle of a bunch of runs and haven't had a chance to eat and you are bombing down 9th ave, it is easy enough to stop and house a slice or two, pretty much without even getting off your bike. Whatever, I have never lied about my biases, and I am pretty heavily biased about this chain because I have such fond memories, and it seems like a business model I can get behind. Keep shit cheap, fuck quality, if people want something fucking amazing, they'll go elsewhere.
Just like men painting their nails, mohawks, and fixed gear bicycles, by the time so many people knew about this thing that was once a secret that it was no longer news, the New York Times wrote about it. If I had been moving a little quicker through Midtown, I might have had an opportunity to get quoted in the New York Times, which would've made my grandfather very proud! Anyway, whatever, he still loves me whether or not I got scooped by the Times. On to the slice:
Since we've talked about bicycles so much already, there is actually a very appropriate bicycle analogy for this slice! My favorite formerly anonymous blogger, Bike Snob, recently wrote about the final sign of the death of fixed gear culture, the availability of a "fixed-speed" bike at Walmart for $150. In his own words
As I mentioned in a prior post, I was happy to learn about the Cachet, since I believe anything that makes it more difficult for people to convince themselves that they are "special" or "cool" is a good thing. (Indeed, a reader informs me that, so complete is the mainstreamification of the fixed-gear aesthetic, even Gawker is commenting on it.) Additionally, I believe that accessibility (both in terms of widespread availability and low price) is also a good thing, and that these sorts of bicycles should not be the exclusive domain of monied 20- and 30-somethings with access to trendy boutiques.It is no surprise that I am fond of this dude. Anyway, homeboy purchased a Mongoose Cachet and rode it around to find out if it was worth the buck-fifty. In the end, it seems "you get what you pay for," which is to say that this bike is kind of a piece of crap, but it still rides, albeit somewhat dangerously.
And that's what the pizza at 99¢ Fresh is like. Totally, exactly worth a dollar. It's not stellar, it's not even very good, but I'm fond of it for whatever reason and it's a totally worthwhile bargain. Jesse Jane said that it didn't taste like anything, and Becca the crust expert said "it tastes like the flour is separate from the dough," paused and then said, "this aftertaste... oh no!" But both of them acknowledged this would be a perfect drunk snack. And me, I'm satisfied with what I get for a dollar.
99¢ Fresh Hot Pizza - $1.08
459 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10017