Friday, April 29, 2011

Little Italy Pizza & Deli: "There but for the grace of God, go I."

Little Italy Pizzeria & Deli probably doesn't actually count for Slice Harvester, as it is clearly a Pizza Deli and I definitely don't really go to those. But shit man, by the time we got here me and Morbles had only eaten two out of 8 slices because every other place was either some fancy brick oven sit down joint, or had been closed and turned into a manicure shop. What was I supposed to do? We had to eat here.

This slice was exactly what you'd expect. Too thin, kinda floppy, and the sauce tasted like either metal or chemicals. Kevin liked it okay, but he is from either Kansas or Missouri so what the hell does he know about pizza? The metallic/chemical flavor was slight, but it was still there, and it was unsettling. I think maybe this slice gave me botchulism? I don't know, man. The crust was alright but this slice sorta stunk.


Little Italy Pizzeria & Deli - $2.75
183 Varick (King & Charlton)
New York, NY 10014

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Famous Ben's Pizza of Soho: "This is good pizza, but you probably already know that."

Ben's Pizza has always been good. I ate here for the first time a bunch of years ago when I used to be a nanny for this awesome kid Cassius. We were heading home from the Thompson Street pool and I stopped in for a slice and gave him a few bites. He was 11 months old and I think it was his first time ever eating pizza, which was definitely one of the high points of being a nanny. I also gave him his first Gabilla's knish from a street vendor by City Hall. Plus one time, I was walking him around in a baby backpack by St Marks Place and I ran into my high school girlfriend, who was this totally older goth lady who I thought was my One True Love for like 3 months until she dumped me a few days before September 11th! She was all, "oh, Colin, who's this?" and it was kind of implicit that she thought he was my kid.
So I was like, "this is Cassius."
And she was all, "he doesn't look like you."
And real quick I just blurted out, "well, he looks like his mother," which wasn't a lie, but it definitely perpetuated the notion that this beautiful child was my progeny, a mistruth that I was eager to nurture for totally silly, but probably obvious reasons.

Anyway, this place. It's always swarmed with people because it's kind of reknowned for having a great NY style slice. I read a couple of reviews on the internet because I was curious what the general impression of this place was, and people pretty much universally decried what they considered bad service, which is BANANAS to me. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. I think it must be all tourists or folks from some fantasy land, because the people in here have always been curt and cordial with me, at least until last week with Kevin Morby, when the woman at the register was exceptionally chatty and super friendly!

This slice was fresh out the oven and soooooo messy, but I totally great. I did this really amatuerish thing where I picked it up before giving the cheese an opportunity to solidify and all just sort of slid off the crust. Kevin Morby said "IT'S LIKE A FUCKING CHEESE LANDSLIDE!" and then sung that Smashing Pumpkins song Landslide while I videotaped the cheese dripping off. (Okay, seriously, that video of little kids singing makes me cry every time I listen to it. The one kid at like 50 seconds in with the grey shirt and very earnest eyebrows just feeling it so hard just fucking TUGS at my heartstring.)

Anyway, drips aside, this slice was totally rad. Excellent quality everything, skillfully assembled, you can taste the love and pizza-making experience in every bite. This is a totally solid slice.


Would've been a full 7, but there was a half-slice deduction because this thing should not have cost $3.00.

Ben's Pizza - $3.00
177 Spring Street (Thompson & West Broadway)
New York, NY 10012

Monday, April 25, 2011

Rosetti's Pizza: "This place is AWESOME!"

I love Kevin Morby. He is a great dude. A few years ago he walked up to me at a party and just started talking to me. I was kind of bummed because I was in the middle of a conversation with a Cool Older Punk who I was really excited wanted to be friends with me. Kevin was really persistent about hanging out and we made plans to meet up later in the week. He came to my neighborhood and I made him come grocery shopping with me. He also briefly played second guitar in a band I used to be in and that shit was fun and he is a good guy and blah blah blah. Sometimes people's projects get popular and you feel resentful because they are a dickhead, or you feel like they are total sellouts, but when I started seeing Kevin's pictures in the paper and stuff, I was not only unsurprised, I also just felt really happy and like maybe we live in a just world after all. Does that make sense?

Anyway, my buddy had been on tour for a really long time and we hadn't seen each other in ages when we met up in Soho to slam a bunch of pizza. Sadly, the first like, three or four pizza shops we stopped at were either shuttered or fancy, sit-down establishments that don't count for Slice Harvester. Our first stop was Rosetti's Pizza, on 6th Ave at Watts St.

Rosetti's was like, a total sleeper slice. I don't know, maybe other people know something I don't and have been singing this place's praises for eons, but I've never even heard of it before and it was GOOD! I am getting really hungry thinking about it and I just ate a brisket sandwich like, 5 minutes ago from my mom's Passover leftovers so it's not even like I'm super hungry or nothing. When we were waiting for our slice, the pizza man realized he had burnt some other guys pizza by accident, and instead of blustering and being a dick about it, he offered the guy a new slice. AND THE GUY DECLINED! It was like a contest watching these people try and be more polite and demure to each other.

This slice was really good. It was really thin, but it was super wide, and the ratios were in perfect accordance with the thin base. The sauce was totally delicious and the cheese was spot on. This is what every slice should be like, although sadly most slices don't come anywhere near this level of awesomeness. I bet you in the comments some putz is gonna be like, "waaaah this is just regular pizza what's so special about it?!!!???!?!" but that person is an idiot. Slice Harvester is about cataloging the huge spectrum of oral, olfactory and emotional experiences that can be garnered in the simple act of sharing a slice of pizza with a friend. So get with it or get out! This slice was delicious. Whether or not it stands up to the test of time we will find out during the ULTIMATE SLICE ELIMINATION ROUND that will happen at the end of all this, but for now as the mayor of Slice Harvester I declare this pizza to be... awesome.


Rosetti's Pizza - $2.50
114 6th Ave (at Watts)
New York, NY 10013

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pizza Shack: "Looks Can Be Deceiving."

Someone teach T-Bone synths or something so Scum Witch can be a reality.
Pizza Shack seemed like it was gonna be a disaster. The aesthetic of the place is a little too clean and new looking for the neighborhood, especially after all the Picturesque Shitholes we'd been eating at all afternoon. And as soon as we opened the door, the smell of huge quantities of melted butter wafted out at us and almost knocked me down. It is one smell I truly despise, and it was OVERWHELMING.

But my nose eventually adjusted and I realized that the owner was chatting with a couple of people from the neighborhood who seemed like regulars, which took the store's hoity-toity airs down a notch towards Earth. And my real concern when I saw how nice the place looked inside was for my wallet, but let me tell you, this slice was still only $2.00.

This slice was really good! This slice had really good ratios, a nice crunch and plenty of grease. The flavors were good, and you can tell that a lot of care goes into each pie here. This is not just a business, these people seem to love pizza. I personally found this slice to be a little too sweet for my tastes, but not in a synthetic seeming way. This was a deliberate decision and these people just like their pizza a little sweeter than I do. but that didn't make it any less good.

One final thing to mention about this pizza is that it was INCREDIBLY hot, which you will absolutely love if you are my mother or late grandmother.

You know, if you fold a slice in the dead of winter, steam will rise up from the cheese. Indians believed it was the soul, ascending to the Great Pizzaola before the slice is eaten.


Pizza Shack - $2.00
525 Grand St (East Broadway & Henry)
New York, NY 10002

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A-1 Pizza Shop: "The future is NOW!"

A-1 Pizza Shop looks like a Crown Fried Chicken on the inside. There is one of those walls of Value Meal specials like they have in any fried food store, and it looks like typical fried food store fare. Popcorn Shrimp, Cheeseburger Meal, Fried Chicken, all that shit. They also have this weird little computer station where you can put in a dollar and use the internet for 12 minutes and it looks like something out of Neuromancer.

It has a functional printer next to it, so while we were waiting for our slice I paid a buck and searched the internet for a picture to summarize how I felt about my day out eating pizza with Meredith, T-Bone and Logan.

The workstation has a complimentary printer, so I printed out four copies and handed them to everyone. T-Bone was really bummed out to be holding a picture of a cute fairy because he is a heavy metal warrior. I should've probably used Microsoft Paint to make her into a vampire or something for him. Meredith was happy though.

And that was that! I was so excited about paying a dollar to use a computer inside a fried food store that I forgot we even had any pizza coming. When our slice finally came I was so busy looking up Juggalo Courtship Imagery to print out and give my girlfriend that I didn't even notice.

This slice was pretty alright, especially coming from a fried food store! It had a wildly inconsistent dough-thickness, which was weird and sort of funny. When I took the first bite, I exclaimed, "this is the thinnest thing I have ever put in my mouth!" But as we progressed along the damn thing, it briefly became the perfect thickness towards the middle and then was too thick by the end! You know how the past couple of years Autumn and Spring are only like a week long before Summer or Winter take over and make things unbearable again but that week is SO PERFECT even though you know it isn't gonna last? It was like that. The cheese and sauce were way decenter than I expected, and aside from the variable thickness, this slice had good enough ratios. The crust was crunchy, although the slice as a whole seemed slightly undercooked. Ultimately, this slice was satisfying and it's flaws, though present and tangible, were altogether inoffensive. It lives in the land of total and utter mediocrity, where the mayor is Michael Dukakis and the Bay City Rollers play a show every night.


A-1 Pizza Shop - $2.00
505 Grand St (East Broadway & Henry)
New York, NY 10002