Monday, January 17, 2011

Breaking pizza news! Ray's v. 99¢ Fresh!

I'll fill this post in with pictures and more details later tonight, I just got called in for a work emergency. But for the record, in case anyone urgently needs to know what I think about Ray's dropping their slice down to 75 cents to compete with a dollar slice place across the street: I approve. I'm sitting at Ray's right now, I've just eaten at both planes and Ray's wins this one by a long shot. More details tonight after I take care of this situation at work.


I'm not sure if you guys saw the giant pizza-shaped light in the sky last night, Mayor Bloomberg was responsible, he was shining the Slice Signal to get my attention. I noticed, of course, because I was out mooning myself on my roof. Luckily there is a baked bean can in my room with a string through the bottom that leads directly to the tomato soup can in the Mayors office, so I got on the horn and quickly found out that there was a war going on in Midtown and he needed my peace-keeping efforts. So first thing this afternoon, after awakening from my daily siesta, I mounted the saddle of my riding ostrich and headed into the Very Civilized Burough of Manhattan to tend to the crisis.

And what a crisis it was! Famous Original Ray's was flying its war flag:

75¢ Pizza Slices! Run! Hide! Actually in typical shitty F.O.R. fashion, they charge tax on their 75¢ slice. So just like their "$2.75" slice is actually $3.00, their 75¢ slice is actually 82¢. But that's still really cheap so I'll stop complaining there.

Okay, this slice wasn't so bad, and for 82¢ it fucking RULED. This is the first sub-$1 slice of pizza I've ever had that I don't feel compelled to put in a separate category. This is actual pizza! And Ray's cheapened their operation by making their slices a lot smaller, not by skimping on the ingredients, which are still totally mid-grade. The funny thing is, my big beef with Ray's in the past has been that their slices have always been too doughy to cook properly. The crazy reality is that by dropping their price, and the size of their slice, they have actually made their pizza better! Kudos to you, congratulations. The only drawback is, of course, that this is a F.O.R. slice, so the sauce tastes like total crap. But it's easy to drown that in garlic powder or whatever and then this still rules for the price. I'm not sure how long this deal is going to last, but it's a good one.

99¢ Fresh Pizza across the street did not seem to be fairing well in the face of their competition. When I went inside there everyone seemed really depressed and bummed out. And I can see why. The pizza they are serving is garbage!

This slice was also tiny. It had that crappy frozen-dough flavor of most dollar places, and the weird unplaceable aftertaste in the sauce that tastes like a fart. This is pizza I wouldn't be BUMMED to eat on tour, but wouldn't be thrilled about either. It wasn't terribly offensive, and it only cost a buck, but it objectively wasn't very good.

I came into this crisis siding with 99¢ Fresh Pizza. There is something I like about them. They are the scrappy underdog. Famous Original Ray's is the shitty bully. I have unabashedly harshed on FOR since the beginning of Slice Harvester for serving shit pizza, and I have always backed 99¢ Fresh as a model that I like. At least they are trying at a populist approach to food, even if they fall short. But I have to admit, even as an virulent Ray's basher and ardent 99¢ Fresh supporter, Ray's wins this one by a long shot. I am thinking about the slice I had there today and it was actually GOOD. I think it might've been the first good slice I've ever had at a Famous Original Ray's.


  1. I had a slice there today after reading the post from nydailynews and I still side with 99¢ Fresh Pizza! FOR still tasted like crap with the cheese you remember from high school pizza pure plastic. And for the slices it's really small and should only cost you 50¢. Kuddos to 99 as there deal is an everlasting deal! And its a great place!

  2. slight edit,
    both places. no is both planes.