The Ingenious Crust of Gotham Pizza
Quite some time ago I received the following email about Gotham Pizza from Deb Perelman of the popular food blog Smitten Kitchen:
This email is entirely about pizza, and this dinky slice place (Gotham Pizza) that just opened a couple blocks from my apartment that I'm kind of in love with. It's not brick-oven, they don't import mozzarella from anywhere, there are no fancy toppings and its MO could be aptly summed up as, "Hey, at least we're not Ray's."
But seriously, as much am I waiting with baited breath for Co. to freaking open [I told you this was quite some time ago. —The Mgmt.], I have a big place in my heart for a decent NYC-style slice, and Gotham totally has it, in a neighborhood that was sorely lacking one before.
Crisp underneath and not overloaded with gloopy cheese, they also use something curious and breadcrumblike underneath (instead of cornmeal) that maybe you can help me decipher. I've never seen it before.
Oh, and two slices and a can of soda for $5 at lunchtime. How old-school New York is that?
Not more than a week after Deb's email came another one, from Slice reader "Big B":
Just wanted to give you a heads-up, Gotham Pizza opened up a week ago near your offices on 19th and Ninth. It is the second branch, first I guess is on York Ave on the Upper East Side.
I definitely believe that pizza needs to be taken in context—sometimes you crave a pie from Una Pizza Napoletana, sometimes Lombardi's/Patsy's New York coal-oven style, and sometimes you just need a nearby slice.
I was very surprised by Gotham Pizza. The sauce and cheese are standard, better than average, but that's about it. The crust, however, was surprisingly good. It is paper-thin and and has crunchy flakes on the bottom. It's not cornmeal but whatever it is, I like it. Toppings are very standard.
I took a few pictures, but I am no professional blogger. Really recommend getting down there and trying a slice, and let me know what you think even if you don't post it on the site.
Well, Big B probably figured this wasn't getting posted to the site—and indeed Gotham had slipped my mind until I craved a pizza lunch the other day and found myself down on 19th Street again.
Deb and B have pretty much written this review for me, and they're pretty much spot-on here. As they say, it's not so far out of the ordinary but for the crunch and thinness of its crust, which puts it head and shoulders above the rest of the pizza in the area. Deb mentions Ray's, and there's one a couple blocks up from Gotham, but I urge you to skip that place in favor this one.
Deb, you've hit the nail on the head regarding the "something curious" underneath. We asked, and the owner told us that it's a smattering of breadcrumbs. While some folks (read, me) would consider this cheating, it's sort of ingenious and gives the slice some extra oomph.
Indeed, the crust is super thin, too. Look at it:
144 Ninth Avenue, New York NY 10011 (at 19th Street; map)