Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Slice of Life

The rain finally stopped this afternoon, so I went for a nice long walk through the City. I was traveling through Little Italy when I happened upon Lombardi's.

I have seen this on countless food and history channel shows, as it claims to be the "original" NYC pizzeria.

I have received dozens of pizza recommendations from viewers and twitter followers, but since I was standing right there (and hungry) I decided to grab a small pepperoni and take care of dinner and br
eakfast with one twenty-dollar bill.

The super-heated coal-fired oven gave the impossibly thin crust a great crisp, chewy texture that is the hallmark of New York's famous pies. It was delicious, but I won't call it the "best" yet, since I still have a couple days to sample.

Tomorrow I start a "seven video recipes in 48 hours" job in Brooklyn, which I've heard, from more than one person, is home to the best pizza anywhere. We shall see. By the way, on the same street as Lombardi's I saw "Rice to Riches," a place that just serves rice pudding. Dozens of kinds of rice pudding, and that's it.

I may have to check it out before I leave, and report back. Stay


Chargeorge said...

I really like Grimaldi's, but I haven't had all the great Coal oven spots in the city yet. Really need to get to DiFarra's before the old man retires.

Grimaldi's is great, but the standard pie is a bit undersalted, give it a quick shake when it hits the table and it's sublime. But the experience of walking there over the Brooklyn Bridge, standing in the line (hopefully not too long), the gruff/friendly service makes it all so "New yawk."

Also make sure to try the "Classic Italain" joints that are popping up, Keste (West village, on Bleaker), and Una Pizza Napoliotano (east village, on 12th street and second ave, nextdoor to a place that only serves mac and cheese, are both well regarded.

The New Arcadians said...

Chef John,
I just found your site and I'm freaking out. I am not a chef, in fact I don't even like to cook, however, you make it look so simple and tantalizing that I'm going to start. Thanks.

One question though, myself and one of my kids are highly allergic to butter (sucks to be us). What is a good substitute to use when you are doing something like brazing the cauliflower for mashies?

PM if you have time:

Chef John said...

Thanks! Just sub olive oil and you should be fine.

Anonymous said...

Just went to both of these places with the Miss.

Lombardi's: excellent excellent excellent pizza. (Although, there are about a billion other places to try so good luck finding "the one". You'll be 75 years old saying, "I hear that place in the lower east side has the best crust... 'croak').

Rice to Riches: the signs and menus inside are hilarious. I was asked to stop taking pictures inside. Touchy, touchy.
I've never had rice pudding before. The very tasty flavors they offered just couldn't distract me from the feeling like I had a mouth full of maggots.

Lastly, if you like cookies (he says knowingly): The Levain Bakery, Upper West Side. Holy Shiite.

Scott - Boston

Bill W, NH said...

Try Lento's, it's on 3rd Avenue at about 70th Street, in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, thinnest crust around. I haven't been there since the 60s but hear it's still around. I'm not sure if this place is still around but might be worth a look, it's also on 3rd Avenue between 73rd and 72nd Streets, a Swedish fish market with excellent to-go fish and chips, free vinegar.

Flour said...

My oh my...what a crust!!!! That pizza looks amazing...sigh. I need to go to NY.

Basia said...

Oh great. I was already planning a "Last-Of-The-Garden" pizza for tonight. Now I want rice pudding for dessert!

Chef John said...

Thanks for the tips everyone!

Grams Pam said...

Great capture on the pizza photo!

Donuts are to Homer Simpson as Rice Pudding is to me. Going now to see if they have a website and a toll-free number for ordering over night delivery.


Unknown said...

Yummmm..I love there pizza..Is it possible to make a pizza like that at home? What makes Grimaldi's pizza different from all the other? how do they do their crust?

kriss said...

Chef John,
I think you should check out this pizza website if you haven't seen it yet.
He has rankings on the best pizzas in NY and the world!

Nobarledge said...

So what wound up being the verdict on the rice pudding place?

Dimitri said...

Di Farras! in Brooklyn

everyone is running a distant second

one master touches the pizza thats it! and like hungry dogs the people wait