Wednesday, January 11, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Mediocre Pizza Parlor ROCKY'S II Is Still Mediocre.

I just want to remind everyone that Rocky's II, a pizza shop I reviewed in September of 2010, is probably still exactly the same as I said it was then. I wouldn't know because I haven't been back there because why would I go back to a place I didn't totally love? But the real question is this: why am I bothering to mention this right now? There are hundreds of mediocre pizzerias that are probably still mediocre, so why am I singling out Rocky's II?

It's because this weird thing happened the other day. I loaded up my email and it was mostly a handful of Slice Harvester comments. This is something I'm slowly growing accustomed to, but not that strange these days. This stack of comments were all Anonymous and were all for Rocky's II. The first one came in at 5:23 am and simply said "LOVE ROCKY'S PIZZA." That is innocuous enough, I guess. Some drunk dude got on the website and looked up his favorite place and felt compelled to let me know how he felt about it.

The next four of them were all posted between 5:42 and 5:46 am and were ostensibly from 4 different people. One of them, a charming story about a man visiting NYC from Lawrence, Kansas and taking his two sons to Rocky's, is word for word identical to a comment from November of last year that was posted on my Rocky's I review! Just now I googled a couple of the shorter comments and found them, word for word, on menupages.

So now I'm asking Rocky's II to cut it out. You want to try and deceive Yelp or whatever, fine. Go for it. Those website are run by robots, not yumans. But Slice Harvester is not run by a robot. Slice Harvester is run by one weird dude. And I do not let shit like this slip by me. My life up to this point has pretty much been the exercise montage from Wet Hot American Summer. Like, basically I have spent the past 29 years getting trained by Elliott Stabler to be tougher than you. I walk the streets at night. I go where eagles dare.

But there's definitely something I appreciate about the chutzpah of a guy posting the same exact verbatim reviews on multiple websites and expecting it will never catch up to him. This one time when I was 13 or 14 my mom drove me to Connecticut to hang out with this friend of mine from summer camp. We got stoned at her house and were just kind of sitting around wondering what to do and she was like, "have you ever been to Stew Leonard's?" and I was like, "huh?" and she was like, "it's this supermarket where they have all these animatronic vegetables and milk cartons and shit that dance around and it is so weird and come on, let's go." And she stole her mom's car and drove us to Stew Leonard's. Maybe she was older than me and had a learner's permit, but we can all agree that this story is cooler if we weren't allowed to drive at all.

When we got there it was so weird, and I was so stoned and such a little adolescent dude and I was wandering around looking at all this singing produce and I saw this package of fudge that looked delicious. And I picked it up, and I began to eat it. My friend and I continued to stroll and I continued to eat the fudge and eventually the fudge was done, and being a young tough, I surreptitiously stashed the package behind some packets of Stoned Wheat Thins which was really funny to me because I was stoned and so were the crackers. Wooooaaaaaahhh.

As we were leaving, a kindly older gentleman in a security uniform stopped us before the door and asked, "don't you kids have something to pay for?" and I was all, "whuh uh us who me no not me you must be thinking of some other kids who need to pay for stuff, we're just here to see the robots." And the guy was like, "listen son, not only do I have you on tape eating a package of fudge, but..." and he pointed down at my chest, and my eyes followed his finger, and there was fudge all over my Toy Dolls t-shirt.

I looked back up at the security guard, panic stricken, but his eyes were kind and he said, "listen son, you got caught. It's okay. I understand. I was young once. Go get the package of fudge and pay for it, and then leave and don't come back. I don't want to call your parents if I don't have to. I'm giving you a break here. Take it." And so I fetched the package and paid for my fudge and left and I've never been back in a Stew Leonard's since.

So Rocky's II Guy, I need to let you know you've got fudge on your shirt. But like the kindly supermarket security guard of my wayward youth, I understand. You're trying to boost your business and you don't really get how the internet works. It's okay. I'm giving you a chance to pay for your fudge and you don't even have to spend any money! I would just like you to apologize for trying to deceive me and my readership. It doesn't even have to be public, you can email it to me if you like. I don't really think that's too much to ask.

Postscript: Since I posted this yesterday two more fake comments showed up on that review, and no contact from Mr. Rocky's II.


  1. Well I, for one, won't be anonymous. I love Rocky's II. The crust has this great cardboardy texture that really reminds me of lifting boxes. The cheese congeals into a disgusting slickness that almost seems to get caught in your throat, but just when you think you're about to choke, it slips down allowing you to take another bite. And the pepperoni is round - great choice! As for the sauce, I would rather taste that sauce than organic fertilizer any day of the week. Even Tuesday, when business slows down at Rocky's II and they leave the same pizza out all day, just waiting for you to come by and have them reheat a slice. I once rushed all the way home from Lawrence, Kansas just to taste their nasty delicious pizza. And all my friends were there, just like at the end of a muppet movie.

  2. I'm not a shill, and I don't condone shilling. I commented in your blog maybe a year ago about firehouse pizza. This is my HONEST opinion.

    I live in the area, I've tried every pizza place on seamlessweb and, and rockys2 is the best NYC-style pizza I've found that will deliver to me. It's not mind-blowing, and they refuse to do half and half toppings, but it IS the best in the area.

    Obviously Patsy's is better, but that's fancy-dancy pizza. Same with the brick oven pizza stuff.

    If you found anything better in the area (from park to 1st ave, 23rd st to 36th st or so) please let me know and I will eat it!

  3. the division of opinions concerning the taste of a slice in a particular parlor in a particular neighborhood is far greater than the divide between liberals and conservatives, democrats and republicans, jerry lewis and dean martin, rocky and apollo, rocky and boris badenov!
    it is an unconquerable rift. Made bearable by cheese, sauce and the love the pie.

  4. @rod: sauce pizza on 35th and 3rd is one of the highest-reviewed slices on this entire site. there's probably another half-dozen spots in that area that are better-reviewed than rocky's II.

  5. I live way closer to Lawrence, Kansas, than to New York, so I have no dog in the Rocky's II fight. This is simply the post that finally made me comment after being a silent Slice Harvester fan for some time. The Parable of the Fudge is my new favorite Slice Harvester post, so thanks for that.

  6. I just checked, and sauce pizza isn't on seamlessweb,, or grubhub. Any other spots come to mind?

  7. Sauce Pizza was sadly closed down this past year. I'm at work right now, but later tonight or tomorrow morning I'll dig through the archives and recommend something.

    1. this is your boss, you are fired.

  8. Yeah an "alternative to the shilling bastards" would be good. I've already tried these places, obviously going down the list on seamlessweb.

    bella napoli
    bravo pizza
    firehouse (right across the street, but mediocre, and I think they're renovating now anyway)
    garlic NY
    la pizzeria
    libretto's (particularly bad)
    pastafina (makes libretto's look like keste)
    patsy's (great but fancy-dancy)
    pie by the pound
    pizza33 (brick oven fancy dancy)
    pizza rustica
    rocky2 (obviously)
    royal pizza
    USA pizza

  9. Garlic Pizza which used to be Rosa Pizza is open in the area and is pretty good. Might not be right for slice harvester since their best pie is a Buffalo chicken grandma style pie, but the place IS BYOB, so thats my go to right now. Rocky's is bad. I'd rather take the walk down to Adriatic for a good regular slice.

  10. I tried Garlic recently, and I much prefer Rockys2. Obviously just my opinion.

  11. Rocky's II sucks and here's how I know why. I fought Mr T and blared "Eye Of The Tiger" whatever chance I could. You just make a sub-par slice of (what you call) pizza.

  12. If there is a way better place in your area that doesn't happen to have an internet order/delivery service, can't you just pick up the phone and call them? Or alternatively, just run down the street and pick up a pie. Sheesh!

  13. You mean indulge in human interaction and/or exercise? Hold your tongue! Blasphemy, sir!

  14. But, remember, the really accomplished piazzollas might just be older guys like me, and might not be up to speed with steamlessweb, etc.