Monday, February 28, 2011

New Roma Pizza: "Awful pizza, wonderfully bad vibes."

New Roma Pizza! I have moderately-disliked to hated this place for going on 14 years now. Back then I used to come here because they had a $1.00 slice when everyone else was $1.50. In those days my commitment was to Cheaper Things, rather than Better Things. That extra 50¢ left me 49¢ away from getting ANOTHER Hurricane 40oz! Who can pass that up. I met my old buddy Kever outside New Roma on a rainy Friday morning, and as we ordered our slice, we reminisced some about past days. As we sat down in the window, Kever said to me, "I hate the future."
"What makes you say that?" I asked.
"Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's this slice I'm about to eat, maybe it's the Chipotle BBQ Bacon Angus McSnack Wrap advertisement I'm looking at across the street while I drink my Vitamin Water Formula 50, but something's making me hate the future."
And if the triumvirate of dreary weather, fastfood monoculture, gangsta rap nutritional drinks didn't put Kever over the edge into the existential hellzone, then the shitty slab they serve as a slice at New Roma certainly did.

I think this pizza has been waiting under the counter at New Roma since the first time I walked in there in 1997. This slice tasted so old and was nasty! It barely held together, had a layer of totally raw dough, pretty much no sauce, and the cheese tasted like chemicals. Fuck! This is awful. As we were sitting there, the guy behind the counter shouted to some dude, "yo vinny, you lookin' to get fuckin' deported, bro? I know people. I'll have ya ass thrown outta here so fast..." As Vinny got up and lumbered towards the register, me and Kever took our cue to leave. Hopefully this is the last time I will ever make the mistake of eating at New Roma.


New Roma - $2.25
116 Delancey St (at Essex)
New York, NY 10002

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Solo Pizza: "Maybe I will get a takeout slice from here when I go see Big Momma's House 3."

Solo Pizza. Nothing special here. I had high hopes for this place because it seemed legit. A little too clean and new for my tastes, but the pizzaman seemed right and the slices looked good. Bill thought the same thing. But when we got our slice, (which I failed to photograph, fucking sue me), something was very wrong.
"Something is off here, guys," I began, "this doesn't taste right."
Steve said, "it almost tastes like a veggie burger."
"I was thinking more like a mozzarella stick," Bill added.
"I don't know," I said, "I think it might taste some kind of chemical flavor, like oven cleaner."
"Don't say that!" Bill looked a little alarmed. And we all looked contemplative as we kept chewing our bites, staring off out the windows.
Then it suddenly hit me, "MOVIE THEATER POPCORN!"
"Huh?" said the guys.
Everyone took another bite and agreed.

This slice tastes like movie theater popcorn.


Solo Pizza - $2.50
27 Ave B (2nd & 3rd)
New York, NY 10009

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lebrini's Pizzeria

Lebrini's Pizzeria on Ave C used to be called Full Moon or Moon Pie or something. I had a slice there once a few years ago when I used to catsit for this guy who lived in a condo. It was my first look behind the scenes at the gentrification of the LES. Homeboy was a nice dude, but he was this total yuppie who lived in this crazy condo studio in a neighborhood at had thought was ONLY FULL OF PUNX when I was in high school. Anyway, I ate a slice at the old place one time when I was catsitting for this guy, and if I remember correctly, it was pretty good! And if my memory serves me correct, Lebrini's is a step down.

This slice was just barely not BAD. It was undercooked, had totally unexceptional sauce and too much cheese, though the cheese was good quality. The heel was a little too bready and the crust wasn't crunchy enough, but it kind of reminded me and Bill of school pizza, so we we vaguely into it for sentimental reasons. Ultimately, you may as well pass this place up, but it's not HORRENDOUS.


Lebrini's Pizzeria - $2.50
31 Ave C (2nd & 3rd)
New York, NY 10009

Friday, February 18, 2011

Original Mom's Pizza Burgers Fried Chicken Gyros: "I wanna hang out here all the time."

Original Mom's Pizza Burgers Fried Chicken Gyros is basically like a Crown Fried Chicken and I totally love it! It is this totally grimy joint on Avenue D and Houston that has kind of weird pizza but is awesome. Our table we sat at was totally crooked, there was an obvious cigarette smell wafting out of the kitchen, the employees were these older Puerto Rican dudes listening to Cindy Lauper, and they had decent coffee. Plus their slice is two dollars and they are open until midnight. Seriously, this place was so rad to be inside. The guys working behind the counter knew everyone that came in by name except for us. This is kind of like Johnny's uptown except instead of the Perfect Pizzeria it is the Timeless Urban Greasy Spoon. I will definitely be returning, but I probably won't bother with the pizza again.

This slice was BIG. Definitely a huge slice for $2.00. But it wasn't cooked very well. There was a tangible layer of raw dough just hanging out in the middle of the slice. And it was really salty. Me and Bill thought it tasted like school lunch pizza. A few bites in I said I thought it tasted like Elio's or any other brand of supermarket pizza, but Steve and Bill just screwed up their faces and looked at me askance. "I guess, really, the only thing similar is that it's not cooked all the way. Because whenever I get those frozen pizzas at the supermarket I never have the patience to leave them in the toaster long enough and I always pull them out and eat them when some of it is still cold in the middle."

Whatever, this pizza wasn't very good, but I like this place a lot. And they do their advertising on a garbage can!


Original Mom's Pizza Burgers Fried Chicken Gyros - $2.00
15 Ave D (2nd & 3rd)
New York, NY 10009

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bite Me Best: "What is going on with the name of this place?"

So, like I said yesterday, I met up with Steve again at noon and we went out to eat pizza. We got to our first stop, Bite Me Best, and I realized we were a block from C Squat! So I called up my good buddy Bill Cashman who lives there. Bill Cashman is an exceptional gentleman and man about town. He pretty much only does awesome things all the time. On my birthday, he jumped out of a cab and came running up to Second Chance, furiously pushing his way through the crowd of smokers among whom I was standing. I grabbed his jacket and said "Hey Bill, good to see you."
"Oh, Colin! Just the guy I'm looking for. Listen, I wanted to tell you Happy Birthday. I can't stay, but I made the cab driver stop in front of the bar so I could come inside and give you a hug."

That's a stand up guy. Making his ride home detour so that he could wish me a happy birthday in person instead of over the phone.

After me and Steve picked him up, as we were heading outside, Bill polled everyone hanging around outside C Squat about what pizzeria they prefer. Everyone said Bite Me Best was too yuppie and pointed over to Villagio. As we walked away Bill turned to me and said, "well, this place isn't C Squat approved."

This place was a total yuppie hellzone, C Squat stoop sitters were right. But it was really busy in there, and we three barely had room to sit down, so that was a good sign. But the slice they served me didn't look so great.

This slice was a little bit okay. Better than mediocre, but not by much. The cheese was delicious and flavorful. The dough was a little more dense and crumbly than I like, too biscuity, but it was cooked to a perfect crunch. The sauce was awful, but not awful enough that I didn't kind of enjoy this slice a little bit. Bill told me, "no matter what you say, I still back this place. It's open late. Many times I've come here without enough money and they've given me my slice anyway." And later on in the day, we ran into Bill's friend Popeye on C Squat's roof who told us that Bite Me was his favorite pizzeria and that their goat cheese and arugula slice are to die for.


Bite Me Best - $2.50
700 E 9th St (at Ave C)
New York, NY 10009