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Friday, April 27, 2012

The Pizza Files

As per a prior entry in these Files in which I vowed to try at least two new pizza places a month, I set out this evening on a mission for pizza. One place I patroned, Picasso Pizza in Battery Park City, I had rode past on countless bike journeys down to the Southern tip of Manhattan. I thought to myself, why not try it tonight?  The other, Little Sicily in East Harlem, I walked past last evening on my way to another pizzeria, the classic Patsy's.  I thought to myself, why not try it tonight?


First, some words on Patsy's: it's absolutely essential for pizza lovers and pizza historians. In fact, their slice operation has to be one of the finest in the city.  Last evening, my companion and I dined in the restaurant, ordering a whole pie.  My half had sausage and onions, a generally advisable combination.  At Patsy's, the combination was good enough, although the deluge of toppings prevented the cheese from attaining a fine, browned, bubbled effect.  As I witnessed plain pies being carried to tables by the servers, I regretted my topping choice.  Indeed, I know I have lamented the boringness of "plain" pizzas in the past, but sometimes, and at some places, a plain pie is best.

Speaking of the boringness of plain pizza...

Little Sicily

First up on my pizza expedition was Little Sicily.  It's possible this pizza may have been decent freshly out of the oven.  Having sat out for quite a while, it was extremely "I don't even really remember."  Fine, I suppose.  The crust was rather well structured, although perhaps that's because it had dried out and turned to brick from sitting out for so long.  As mentioned in times past, I do not enjoy my pizza reheated.  After eating this slice, I may want to reconsider.

I then rode down to Battery Park City and entered Picasso's Pizza.  How was this slice, you're wondering?  Well, it was a little fresher, and the cheese was somewhat flavorful, which isn't to necessarily say good.  The crust had the structure of an old woman's neck, which is to say it was rather flimsy.

Picasso's Pizza

So, in summary, two mediocre pizzas.  This raises a question: should I cease my pizza exploration, at least the requirement of trying at least one place that I randomly find?  I assume most pizza in New York is mediocre.  Is the struggle worth it?  Would an occasional amazing discovery make it worth it?  Could I, perhaps, happen upon the next DiFara?

I am lost in these thoughts.  Has most of the good food in the city been discovered?  Should I leave it to others to search and recover and then reap the rewards?  Perhaps those who find and write about good food are more socially useful than I may have thought.  Perhaps they save us from an infinity of Little Sicily's and Picasso's.

East Harlem

Little Sicily Pizza 
East Harlem

Picasso's Pizza
Battery Park City