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Daily Slice: John's Pizzeria, Elmhurst, Queens
Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.
There are only a handful of celebrated slices in Queens. Why is that? I don't know. Maybe it's that the borough is more residential than most and good slices tend to pop on a local level rather than citywide. One Queens sleeper that's slowly gaining some larger buzz, though, is John's Pizzeria in Elmhurst, where the classic plain slice is satisfying, comforting stuff.
It's a classic NYC-style slice that's heavy on the oregano (but not too crazy) and takes a generous hand with the salt without going overboard. Very satisfying, thin, crisp, chewy, flexible. Everything you look for in a plain 'ol corner slice joint.
Rose and Susan Bagali, a friendly mom-and-daughter duo, run the show—a rarity in the male-dominated NYC pizza world. (John, Rose's husband, retired from the business.)
The plain slice is $2.40; there's a good-looking Sicilian there, too, which I'll try on another trip to the place. (My in-laws live nearby, so I'll have plenty of occasion.)
The place is a true neighborhood joint and looks like it hasn't changed in decades. It's wonderfully quirky and well worth a visit for both its pizza and old-school charm.
85-02 Grand Avenue, Elmhurst NY 11373 (at Haspel; map)
718-457-7561; on Facebook
Notes: cash only; no bills over $20; closed Mondays
More info on: I Dream of Pizza, Serious Eats Talk, Edible Queens, Queens Courier, CBS New York