Dan Klein is probably the only guy who could request that we cut all our slices in half to share them, and I wouldn't bat an eyelash. I have known Dan for a decade, and while we sometimes fall out of touch for months at a time, our friendship is one of the better things that has happened in my adult life. Dude is the most grumpy motherfucker I have ever met, and when we hang out it is like a Jewish Grandma Kvetch Session. Everything gets complained about!
Dan plays in a million bands right now, but I just recently saw him singing for The Frighteners and it was incredible. Forget Matisyahoo or whoever, Brooklyn has actually bred a decent Jewish reggae singer. Imagine a small, Semitic DMX, minus the sexism and religious tendencies. From South Brooklyn, instead of Yonkers. That's Dan. Kind of.
Sometimes I have this daydream about us still being friends when we're really old, sitting on the same bench in Tompkins Square Park we'll have been sitting on for 50 years at the point, drinking coffee that's so hot you can't taste it, me still smoking and him still quit, talking about skinhead culture or ska music or what a shame it is that whatever business took over where alt.coffee used to be, while a bunch of Marty McFlies zip around us on hover boards. Those daydreams about the future are pretty much the same as the moments I share with Dan now, which is not to say that our interactions are boring, but just that they contain a timeless, ageless quality. Sometimes I feel like a slightly more in touch Woody Allen scripted half of our conversations.
I immediately trusted Mariella Pizza because I thought it was related to the other Mariella's around the city, and they are all pretty damn good. However, I've gathered from a cursory glance at this Mariella Pizza's kind of awesome website that they operate independently of the other ones. Luckily for me and Dan, the pizza was still awesome!
Seriously, I got a slice straight out of the oven from this place, and everyone knows by now that I usually think slices straight out the oven are a little too soggy. But this place was so fucking busy that they just good their slice pies all the way because they know they'll sell them before they get cold. The cheese was great. The dough was fantastic, yeasty tasting, just salty enough, perfectly textured, and cooked to achieve the ideal crunch. The sauce was a little on the watery side, but watery like your Italian best friend's mom's gravy that is made from fresh tomatoes, which is to say, Totally Fucking Great. The crust was delicious and exactly the right size. All in all, this slice was fantastic, probably the best in this neighborhood.
Mariella Pizza - $2.50
180 3rd Ave (16th & 17th)
New York, NY 10003