UPDATE 12.4.11: Apparently this place has closed down. C U in the next LIFE, Michelle's.
Leaving Pronto Pizza, I was excited to inform Nate and Cory that the next place we were visiting was called Mondo pizza. Nate thought that was pretty rad too, but Cory wasn't into it because he's a dickhead. We had a lengthy discussion of what it might look like. Cory thought it was gonna have a dog wearing Oakley's and scarfing a slice, Nate thought the first 'o' in 'Mondo' was gonna be a globe, and I said the whole thing would be black and white checkerboard and have like, that font that totally looks like lightning bolts.
And we were all wrong, although Nate was the closest. Sadly, everyone loses in this situation because it looks like all that remains of Mondo pizza is that side. The business is now called Michelle's restaurant.
Walking in, there was a steam table and an assortment of tepid looking lunch foods. When I went pizza eating with my friend Aaron Cometbus, he said that one pizzeria with a particularly stunning interior and wonderful array of weirdos reminded him of the cafeterias in Bashevis Singer's New York stories, full of lonely despondent men dining alone. The food in Michelle's looked like it had been sitting in those chafing dishes since the 1930s, and the restaurant had a certain air of Eastern European desperation, maybe more Cold War than pre-Holocaust, but there was a palpable Eastern Bloc awkwardness in the air. The air inside felt thick, and the manager/proprietor just stared at the three of us for the twenty-five minutes we were the only customers in his restaurant and watched us pick apart his slice and talk about girls. He had eyes like an old dog who puts his head on your lap and just looks resigned to whatever. Not forlorn, maybe even determined, but resigned.
This slice may be the first actually good slice I've had in weeks. In the pizza desert that is Midtown West, Michelle's is a hidden oasis. You'd never think from passing by here that there was anything special lurking beneath, but that's why I'm pounding the pavement doing the hard
work for you. This slice had wonderful, perfectly salty and crunchy dough. The sauce was that intangibly magical flavor that contributes to a slice without being overbearing and the cheese was the perfect texture and flavor. Not only is this slice the only decent one for blocks, but it is also the cheapest around, with the neighborhood average running at $2.75 and this slice costing $2.50. Excellent work all around.
Michelle's Restaurant - $2.50
9 W 46th St
New York, NY 10036