October 2003

Traveling Money

Back in '98 or so, Where's George appeared on the Web. Its gimmick: Enter your dollar bill's serial number and see where it's been. The site enjoyed a brief period of semifame, garnering mentions on various local news broadcasts and in the "Cool Sites" columns of midsize daily papers, and then faded from the collective consciousness just as fast. (People were spending money too quickly to care where it had come from.) I, too, had forgotten about the site until spotting this piece in the Chicago Tribune. Turns out Pino, a pizza deliveryman in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is one of the... More

Pizza Garden

As part of Farm City Week in Manatee County, Florida, schoolchildren will spend November 19 learning how to grow everything that tops a pizza. This, according to today's Bradenton Herald. Um, I hope that doesn't include pineapples ...... More

More Fat Kids

As part of New York City's three- to five-year plan to serve healthier meals to its 1.1 million public-school children, Newsday reports, pizza calories are getting, well, sliced: "The deep-dish pizza, for example, went from 413 to 336 calories, with its total fat reduced from 46 percent to 27.5 percent and saturated fat reduced from 13 percent to 8 percent. Cholesterol in the pizza is down to 9 milligrams from 28." Hey, why not have the schools skip the sugar-laden Snapple, which they're now contractually obligated to sell, and serve the youngsters a nice, juicy slice of pie instead—regardless of... More

What Kind of Pie Do They Mean?

Today's Boston Globe is examining the lesser-known qualities of contenders for the Democratic nomination for president next year: "Like the candidate, Gephardt's campaign lacks bells and whistles. There is none of the innovation or razzle-dazzle of Dean's campaign. That's unless you count The Great Gephardt Iowa Pie Challenge link on his campaign website. There, visitors are invited to 'tell Dick where you think he should go for his next slice?of pie.' "The subject earns snickers from journalists, but the locals, like a standing-room-only crowd at Mabe's Pizza in Decorah, smile when Gephardt, who has been known to make three pie stops... More

Monster Pizza

This, from the Contra Costa Times: If you are horrified by the amount of candy passed out to kids during Halloween, consider making some not-so-sweet treats this year. ... Monster Pizza: Spread a toasted English muffin with pizza sauce. Cut out sliced cheese with Halloween cookie cutter and melt slightly on top. Hmm. Sounds like a recipe for getting your house TP'ed or egged.... More

An Argentine Take

From the Daily News comes word of "Pizza the Argentine Way" at Las Americas of Corona, Queens: What makes it Argentinean is the addition of "faina," a crisp top crust made of harina de garbanzos (chickpea flour). The faina is slow-baked separately and placed on top of the pizza before putting the whole thing in the oven again. The resulting slice ($3.70) is a kind of wedge-shaped sandwich with a distinctive crunchy top and a flavorful, melted ooze in the middle." Doesn't sound too bad. I wonder if faina is anything like panelle, the chickpea-flour fritters found in such places... More


Also in today's Times, an item on the low-fat fast-food offerings that major chains have been rolling out recently. Both in fear of potential lawsuits and to suit consumers' changing tastes, outlets like Taco Bell, Burger King, and Pizza Hut have introduced healthier menu items that they claim are just as tasty. Times scribe Marian Burros puts them to the test and reports that the Hut's Fit 'N Delicious pizza slices could satisfy many pizza lovers, though they contain much less cheese and a more pronounced tomato flavor. But the crust is crisp and the ingredients piping hot and reasonably... More

Wolfgang Puck in Jersey

The first time I had ever heard of chicken pizza was while watching some cooking show in high school. I remember thinking it was novel idea worth investigating. I also liked other questionable things high school, but that's another story. Anyway, the man responsible for broadening my fowl-on-a-pizza horizon was Wolfgang Puck, who appeared on that show as part of its feature on Los Angeles restaurants. Older and (a bit) wiser, I no longer think chicken on a pizza is a good idea. So I don't really know why the opening of Wolfgang Puck Express in Hoboken interests me. The... More

'Lachlan Murdoch's' Neighborhood Pie Shop

Low Culture gets a fake scoop, posting a fake interview with News Corp scion Lachlan Murdoch. In it, Rupert's son and the third-most-powerful macher at the media giant, raves about a powerful pizza-macher: Lombardi's pizza is great. We were gonna put in a coal-burning pizza oven, but then my wife—that would be supermodel Sarah O'Hare—reminded me of Lombardi's. Saved me $20,000!... More

Pizza-Packin' Toddlers (Lay That Pizza Down)

The Associated Press, by way of the New York Times, reports that a study has found that toddlers and infants are eating too much fat. Among the comestible culprits? You guessed it: pizza. Even before their second birthday, many American children are developing the same bad eating habits that plague the nation's adults -- too much fat, sugar and salt and too few fruits and vegetables. A new study has found significant numbers of infants and toddlers are downing french fries, pizza, candy and soda. And I thought I couldn't relate to the kids these days.... More

Here, There, and Everywhere

Lombardi's gets a quick mention in the October 23–30, 2003 issue of Time Out New York. In that magazine's "It Happened Here!" sectionette, cleverly subhedded "The Life of Pie," Katherine Pushkar writes: For many New Yorkers, "eating in" actually means take-out Chinese or a large pie. Finding the first lo mein merchant is like eating soup with chopsticks, but pinpointing the first pizza purveyor's spot is a cinch. Genarro Lombardi opened his grocery at 53½ Spring Street in 1897, and by 1905 he'd gotten a restaurant license, giving the city and the nation its first pizza parlor. At some point,... More

Columbine Connection

We learn from the New York Times, in its story about Columbine killers Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris's target-practice video, that the teens worked in a pizzeria: The man who taped the target practice was Philip Duran, who worked with Harris and Klebold at a pizza shop, Jefferson County district attorney's spokeswoman Pam Russell said. I knew some menacing folks who worked at pizza parlors, too, but the worst they ever did was put some type of oil—I don't remember what kind—on the pizza pans, thereby inducing diarrhea in unsuspecting diners.... More

Di Fara in the 'Village Voice'

This one's a little late, but Dom DeMarco gets a nod from the Village Voice's 2003 Best Of list as the Best Off-Off-Off-Off-Broadway Show: After you order a pizza, you could try to snag a table in the run-down seating area, but you'll have to wait an hour for your pie anyway and there's barely room for the customers who are eating. Plus you'll miss the second-best part: watching DOMINICK AT DIFARA PIZZA carefully assemble each order... "Run-down"? OK. I agree that the less-than-tidy dining area leaves a little something to be desired (a wipe-down of the tables every now... More

ESPN's 'Cold Pizza'

Though I'm not a huge sports fan and probably won't watch the show, I do salute ESPN for naming its new morning news show Cold Pizza, obviously alluding to the cold-pizza-for-breakfast bachelor lifestyle of the show's target demographic.... More

Old School

"I like the pizza and hot dogs we used to get better. But mmmmmm, the salmon is s-o-o-o good." — Anajae Whiten, Bridgehampton, N.Y., public school second grader, as quoted in the New York Times story "From 'Yuck' to 'Mmmmmm'"... More

'Crimson Gold'

Pizza delievery in Tehran: I would have thought it unlikely. Heck, I didn't even know Iran had pizza. A trip to the movie Crimson Gold might do me some good then. A.O. Scott writes in the New York Times: Mr. Kiarostami, the lion of contemporary Iranian art cinema, and Mr. Panahi, who has established himself with "The White Balloon" and "The Circle" as one of Iran's leading urban filmmakers, set out to explain what drove the robber, a pizza deliveryman and a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war, to his desperate, self-destructive act of violence. The answer is not altogether surprising,... More

Pizza Delivery: One Dangerous Job

Next time the delivery driver's on your doorstep with your pizza, you'll be face to face with somone who holds one of the most dangerous jobs in America, according to CNN/Money. The site used Bureau of Labor Statistics data to complie this dubious top-ten list. One top-10 surprise was the fifth place finisher -- driver-sales workers, which, according to a BLS spokesperson, includes pizza delivers, vending machine fillers, and the like. Again, these workers are often self employed. Traffic accidents contributed heavily to their high fatality rate of 38 per 100,000, but they also suffered from crime; nearly a quarter... More

'Pizza Wars'

Newsday reports on a Travel Channel special that will air tonight 10 (Time Warner channel 88). Called "Pizza Wars," the show gives the rest of the nation a primer on New York's storied parlors (and mentions some of that stuff Chicago passes off as pie).... More