Yesterday I blabbled about Pizza Moto at the Brooklyn Bridge Flea. Today, I share with you another weekend pizza trip I made—to V&T Pizzeria in Morningside Heights.
I know that this is going to punch some nostalgia buttons among you Columbia alumni in the audience—but it might also make you want to punch me.
See, I didn't think V&T was all that.
I first visited V&T a few times with onetime Slice contributor E-Rock, who was attending Columbia's J-school at the time. After hearing that it was the best in the neighborhood, I was disappointed. Especially when we got a mushroom pizza with canned mushrooms.
1024 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10025 (111th Street/Cathedral Parkway; map); 212-663-1708
Now I know that some folks prefer them to fresh 'shrooms on a pizza, and I just may have to investigate this a little bit at some point, but at the time I was not a fan. Still, it wasn't just the mushrooms that did the pizza in. I found it way too cheesy, way too saucy, and way too altogether soupy. And I don't think removing the mushrooms would have changed any of that. In fact, when we had a plain pie there, it made little difference.
But seeing as how Girl Slice keeps threatening to write a column for Slice/Serious Eats called "Unpopular Opinions," and seeing as how one of the topics she keeps threatening to cover is "Hey All You Haters, V&T Is Actually Good," I went again with her after she had finished with an errand at Columbia on Friday night.
I'm going to instantly lose cred here when I say we ordered a half (fresh) mushroom–half pineapple pie. Yes, pineapple. Girl Slice is a fan of pineapple, and I have to admit I like it on occasion. (It's actually not bad with pepperoni; and I'm wondering how it would do with some nice hot soppressata.)
The fresh mushrooms were an improvement over the canned, and the pie was less soggy than I remembered, but it also seemed to have lost something. Even when it was soggy when I last tried it, it did seem to have its own character. This time, the crust was soft and doughy—almost like a Domino's "Hand Tossed" pizza, and the sauce had that generic pizza-chain flavor to it. The cheese was good—creamy, melty, and stringy—and there were some nice crusty bits of dough and baked-on cheese at the end crusts, but it was imminently forgettable.
In the end I think it's telling that Girl Slice remembered V&T more as a place she used to go to catch up with classmates—recalling stories of dinners there with this friend or that—than for the food itself.