It's fitting that my first stop on this lonesome day was Pizza Mercato, as I have eaten many a lonely slice there. It was a favorite of the punks, if we managed to venture East of Broadway, because of the incredible two-slice deal. Back then it was two slices and a small soda for $3.00. The price has gone up to $3.95, but that's still a hell of a deal. I haven't been there in 4 or 5 years, probably, but I remember the pizza being an awful mess. Too brittle, covered in cornmeal, dry as a bone, just like the other Pizza Mercato that I already reviewed! But still, two slices and a rootbeer for $3.00 was hard to pass up, especially after the average slice price went up to $2.00 and Mercato's deal stuck. What a bargain!
Maybe the management read my review of their other joint, and this change is recent, but in the years since I have been here, the pizza has improved from Tolerable to Barely Good. This slice was not super cornmealy and it had great ratios. It was cooked to have a decent crunch, there was enough elasticity in the cheese, and a perfect amount of grease! Still, there was something lingeringly lackluster about the whole thing, but I couldn't figure out what it was until I got to the final bites, where the cheese had run its course and there was only crust and sauce. It was the sauce. The sauce, which I couldn't taste for the bulk of the slice (thank goodness), tasted totally paste-y! Yuck! Pee-yew! Gezundheit!
Pizza Mercato - $2.25
11 Waverly Pl (at Mercer)
New York, NY 10003