As a New Yorker, I'm unfit to make the call on whether or not we have the best pizza in the world. It's against my basic upbringing to even entertain the notion that our pizza, bagels, pastrami, and hot dogs aren't the best. But if you, as a visitor to our fair city, want to make the call for yourself, you should start by getting the best that the city has to offer.
'New York pizza' on Serious Eats
Our office is at the epicenter of the vodka pizza universe, what with both Pomodoro and Rubirosa a couple blocks away. The former is not worth a damn (despite some rave Yelp! reviews)—overly greasy, unspectacular crust, and candy-sweet sauce—while the latter is spectacular. Crisp and charred with a pleasant chew like all great pizza, it's got a creamy vodka sauce that is just rich enough that you know you're not eating regular pizza, but not so rich that you feel like your stomach may fall out or involuntarily empty itself in protest by the time you're done. It's a great alternative when you've been stuck in a pizza rut, and a recipe that's good to have in your own home arsenal.
It doesn't necessarily sound like it's going to be great, but once you try it, the combination of spicy, garlicky, pickled kimchi and ooey, gooey cheese is tough to turn your back on.
If you were to believe their own hype, you'd think that Goodfellas, a mini-chain started over on Hylan Boulevard in Staten Island back in 1992 was the "WORLD'S BEST PIZZA." Don't believe them? What if they were to tell you that they were voted World's Best Pizza? Yeah, I'm a little skeptical too. I haven't been to the Staten Island locations (there are two now), but I've walked past the Lower East Side storefront on my way up to the pizza haven of the East Village many times. It looks like a generic, cookie-cutter, corporate pizza restaurant—like a Sbarro's with more brick and less brass. But I'm not the kind of guy who judges a pizza before it passes my lips, and I was willing to give the pies a fair shake.
I've been following the recent developments within and around my favorite dive bar—Mulberry Street Bar on Mulberry between Grand and Broome—with great interest. It's always a little frightening when one of your favorite haunts comes under new ownership, especially when it's a relatively recently discovered new haunt. I mean, we were still in our honeymoon phase before she up and changed on me. So how do the new pizzas stack up?
As a New Yorker who has known and loved and chronicled New York pizza as much as anyone, I guess, I regret to inform Slice'rs that the state of our pizza union in general in Gotham, and our much-storied slice in particular, is pretty damn sorry right now.
We've gone through a lot of pizza styles and recipes here at The Pizza Lab, but I still often get asked "what's the best pizza crust recipe you know?" When I'm in the mood to fire up the grill or heat up the broiler, I might take my time and make a Neapolitan-style lean dough. If I want to relive my childhood without stepping out my apartment door, it's a New York-style. Company coming over and I want to feed a crowd without messing up the kitchen? It's Sicilian-style square pie all the way. Here's a brief run-down on the three recipes that every home pie-maker should have in their arsenal to tackle all manner of pizza-centric circumstances.
At Slice we're not ones to throw around judgement without due diligence and back up, so In the interest of TRUTH (and a opinion), I decided to revisit Artichoke to re-assess their entire pizza menu, top to bottom. In the interest of thoroughness, I visited multiple times—at 11AM when the first round pies are coming straight out of the oven, at noon when the first square pies emerge, and again in the mid-afternoon when a re-heat is necessary on your slices.
Bittman's column in today's New York Times today makes a good case for making pizza at home, but it's made at the expense of the reputation of New York pizza. But does the recipe he provides in the Times even produce results that are better than the most average of take-out slices?
We've seen fries grace the top of pies before—poutine pizza and hot dog and french fry pizza—and those were deemed reprehensible. And then we've seen Adam tackle the cheeseburger and pizza mashup, only to learn how dangerously wrong that combo could go. So what compelled me to eat the Cheeseburger and Fries Slice at New York Pizza? Novelty and a lapse in judgement.