Monday, March 18, 2013
Rant #922: Pizza, Pizza
Travel + Leisure's annual America's Favorite Cities survey--in which readers rank 35 cities for such things as luxury stores and live music--finally got around to a subject that I could sink my teeth into.
Pizza, pizza and more pizza.
But I have to say that I completely disagree with the poll rankings.
Topping the list is Chicago. People are enticed with its deep dish pizza, but having had the deep dish knockoffs that proliferate around the country, I have to say that this type of pizza doesn't entice me.
You eat it with a knife and fork. It kind of turns me off.
Other places on the list include Boston and Philadelphia, both of which can't hold a candle to the pizza I most love.
And Nashville is even on the list.
A number of years ago, while on vacation, my family and I had Nashville pizza. It was probably the worst tasting pizza I have ever had.
Now, for the best pizza in the country, bar none--
New York City.
Which, incredibly, is just No. 3 on the list.
I don't care what this list says, there is no better pizza than New York pizza.
The reason is the thick crust, the way the cheese and sauce and whatever else is on there rests on the pie as it if it were made for pizza, and pizza only, and the overall taste and convenience of a single slice of pizza.
There is nothing like it in the world.
For decades, people have said that it has to do with the water in New York City, which, of course, becomes part of the dough.
Out of town pizza parlors have, forever, "imported" their water from New York City, hoping to duplicate what we have in the city.
Heck, all over the country--and I have found, all over the world--pizza parlors that boast "New York-style pizza proliferate. Sure, I have seen Chicago-style pizza, but it just doesn't rate.
And again, I am talking about New York City pizza, not Long Island pizza, and not Westchester pizza.
There is something about New York City pizza--whether we are talking about Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Queens, or Brooklyn--that makes it extra special.
Sure, it probably is the water, but it is also the "love" and "experience" that goes into it.
Your corner pizza parlor in New York City is no fly by night operation. It probably has been making pies for generations.
And it isn't Pizza Hut, thank you.
No gimmicks here.
They know what they are doing, and they do it, and do it well.
I can remember, and I recall very vividly, the first time I ever had pizza.
It was probably about 1962 or 1963, so I was about five or six years old.
I was with my uncle, my mom's brother, and we went into New York's Greenwich Village to have pizza.
At that time, there wasn't a pizza parlor seemingly on every corner, and the Village was a place where you could find pizza pretty readily, probably one of the few places at that time.
I don't know what specific pizza parlor we went to, but once I had it, I was hooked.
And just a few years later, pizza parlors started to spring up everywhere.
We had one in my old neighborhood, Rochdale Village, called King George Pizza. It stands today, all these years later, as the best pizza I have ever had.
Everything was perfect about it, and you couldn't beat the price--it was 25 cents a slice, so for a dollar, you could get three slices and a Coke.
Sure, that was back in the late 1960s. Slices now cost pushing $3, and the Coke costs at least $1.
Things are different today, because you have so many choices. There is New York pizza, Chicago pizza, California pizza, you can make it yourself at home with frozen pizza, and there is Boboli ... there are so many choices, but I come back to one, and one only.
New York City pizza is the best. And to place it No. 3 on this list, well sorry, it makes it, in my eyes, a bogus list.
Just thinking about New York City pizza is making me hungry.
How about a slice for breakfast?
Hey, why not?
Posted by Larry at 2:43 AM