In a perfect Upper West Side pizza world, in which I don't need my pizza delivered, I head to Sal and Carmine's to satisfy my primal pizza urges. If I have a hankering for coal-oven pizza in the hood, I pick up from Patsy's on West 74th Street (they only deliver during the day). But sometimes (often, let's face it) I don't feel like moving when I get home, so pizza delivery is in order. Who do I call? It all depends on what kind of pizza I feel like eating.
For regular, good old New York round slice pizza, I ring up T&R:
"Pizza to be delivered, please."
"What do you like?"
"A large plain pie well-done, please."
Ordering the pie well-done at T&R helps ensure the crust being cooked all the way through and the cheese nice and golden brown. Nothing artisanal or particularly noteworthy about T&R. But it is consistent and solid, and when it comes to slice pizza dependability is key. T&R Pizza: 711 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10024 (79th/80th; map); 212-787-4093
New Pizza Town
For an insanely garlicky grandma pie, I ring up New Pizza Town. The crust can be leathery and tough, but I can't be that choosy. Because it's the only grandma pizza option I have in the hood, credible or otherwise. New Pizza Town's regular pie is invariably marred by a flaccid crust. I don't know how a pizza that's baked in a 500-degree oven comes out with such a soft crust. New Pizza Town: 2196 Broadway, New York NY 10023 (77th/78th; map); 212- 769-2323
Dean's Pizzeria & Restaurant
I haven't found a regular Sicilian pie in the neighborhood worth getting delivered, but a Dean's rectangular can be really satisfying when it's right. When I ordered one for this post a decent though uninspired pie appeared at my door. The crust was thin and just oily enough, the slices were plenty salty from what tasted like Romano cheese, but the crust was gummy and underbaked.
Dean's round pie can often suffer from stiff crusts, but they do use decent fresh mozzarella. Dean's Pizzeria & Restaurant: 215 West 85th Street, New York NY 10025 (Broadway/Amsterdam; map); 212- 875-1100