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


  1. Ben's is my go-to slice--as good as anything I'd find in Brooklyn--the kind that reminds me of being a kid and jonsing for pizza and then getting a slice and immediately wanting another, and another still, and then one more. It has great cheese pulls and flavor, the sauce tastes like tomatoes with a solid tang. There's enough grease that I see the touristos dabbing it off with a napkin. The crust is crusty and chewy and has real flavor.

    I'm glad that you liked it otherwise I could never have trusted you again.

  2. Smashing Pumpkin's song?!? HaHa!
    Good review though Slicey!

  3. Amazing crust. Someone on the street recommended while I was visiting; just had the simple cherry tomato slice. Super good.

  4. you gotta go in the hardware store next door and check out the bob dylan chainsaw ad below the cash register, seriously,


  5. yeah, can never tell when hes being sarcastic, etc, but i actually think that the SP's version is better. hurts to say it

  6. Wife says to drip your grease off the back so it flavors the crust.

  7. i know this is all about the cheese slice, but the palermo sicilian is one of my favorite ny slices.