This FOR location is, fingers-crossed, the last Famous Original Ray's I will have to eat pizza at. And if that's the case, it would not be a sad day for me. I haven't had a very good run at these places. I've been to this one before. Usually I skip over it when I'm hungry on Houston and go to that Mediterranean place next door and get a falafel or a doner. Because I've never really like the pizza here!
This place on this day was feeling pretty promising. They were playing Hot 97 a little too loud, the kid working behind the counter looked like the red herring trouble making teenager in every Law & Order episode. I was ready to enjoy myself here, despite everything! But the pizza, like all other Famous Original Ray'ses, was on the better side of mediocre and boring.
This slice had the telltale signs of an FOR slice. There was sauce of such a synthetically bold and bright hue poking through the holes in the unmelted cheese-like substance they call mozzarella. The dough was a little too thick and was loafy and crummy. The taste was off--the sauce too sweet, the cheese bizarre. But the slice did have a decent crunch! And the crust was a lot less bland than most other FORs. Ultimately, I am not so fond of a slice like this, and nor were Scotty or his cousin Sam who met us here. But Sam insisted that this slice's shortcomings actually make it the perfect drunk pizza. Its flavors are too strong for the normal, sober palate, it's dough too thick and crappy. But to the drunk it is perhaps the perfect mix of heavy-handedness and bodily fulfillment. Like they said in those tootsie pop commercials, "the world may never know."
Famous Original Ray's - $2.56
195 E Houston St (Ludlow & Orchard)
New York, NY 10002