Friday, December 3, 2010
Ben's Pizzeria: "The barrier between sex and danger."
Ben's Pizzeria is sending me mixed messages, but ultimately, they serve a decent slice. The atmosphere in there is nice and chaotic, but they still manage to get the pizza out on time, and the turn around is quick enough that one can usually find room to post up at a table or counter long enough to eat. Everything is also really old and grease-stained in there, which y'all know I love. It smelled pretty good, too, and I was kind of excited to eat there. Then they handed me my slice and I was even more excited although it was more from morbid fascination than the expectation of culinary delight.
My slice had, on it's center, what can only be described as a pustule or open sore. It looked grotesque. It looked like a cold sore.
Looking at this slice reminded me of that scene in Crash where James Spader has sex with the open wound in Rosana Arquette's leg. It was grotesque and somewhat sexual, although the fact of the matter is, that the giant scabby crater on my second bite actually didn't taste like anything.
Overall, this slice had it's pluses and minuses. It was cooked expertly, and the cheese was great quality, but the ratios were horribly off and the crust was kind of bland. I don't know what the sauce was like, because there was barely any of it on there, and it was over-powered by enormous amounts of cheese. The dough had a perfect crunch, and in conjunction with the other elements, it provided an excellent textural backbone for my and Nate's eating experience. However, when left alone at the rim of the slice, it was a little bit too flavorless, a problem that would've been solved by more salt or more grease.
All in all, though, this slice was still above average. Despite it's drawbacks, it tasted really good and was totally satisfying to eat! I don't really know why, but regardless of its flaws, it possessed that certain ineffable quality that good pizza has. Maybe it's something in the oven, maybe the pizzaolo at Ben's is especially caring, maybe the owners made a deal with the devil. Who can say? Certainly not me, but I can tell you that this slice is alright.
Ben's Pizzeria - $2.75
123 MacDougal (at W 3rd)
New York, NY 10014