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Note: pineapple is an abomination against the Pizza Gods
March 31, 2014 8:14 PM   Subscribe

A Complete Guide to New York City Pizza Styles
Although New York City has long had a clearly defined and ubiquitous style of pizza, the city's appetite for the dish knows no bounds. While New Yorkers can certainly be parochial and protective of their home slice, they can also be open and accepting of different pizza points of view. Here is a look at the predominant forms of pizza found in New York City with information about how they developed over the years, and a glimpse at some of the more eclectic and disparate variations on the theme.
posted by Lexica (127 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
My favorite pizza in the city is at Rubirosa. Which I guess the article calls "bar pizza"? I remember reading somewhere that style (thin, crispy crust) is actually from Staten Island. Here's a NYT article about Staten Island pizzas.
posted by pravit at 8:30 PM on March 31


"That's my secret. I always want pizza.'

- Cheese Hulk

Puny slices.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:34 PM on March 31 [3 favorites]


Just checking in from Hawaii to state categorically that NOBODY HERE WANTS PINEAPPLE ON A PIZZA, especially with ham. In fact, calling such an abomination a "Hawaiian pizza" when you order it here is probably a surefire way to get...something interesting done to your pie.

Seriously, even mentioning "Hawaiian pizza" like that to someone here at a real (not national chain) pizzeria is like ordering a cheesesteak incorrectly in Philly...just don't do it.
posted by trackofalljades at 8:36 PM on March 31 [11 favorites]


Pineapple, artichoke hearts, black olives, and chicken, with alfredo sauce.

/happy sigh
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:37 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


There is nothing New Yorkers cannot be condescending and pedantic about.

[and i love you all]
posted by shakespeherian at 8:38 PM on March 31 [15 favorites]


There is nothing New Yorkers cannot be condescending and pedantic about.

Never be so uncouth as to remind New Yorkers that the rest of the world exists- they won't understand, anyway.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:39 PM on March 31 [11 favorites]


One of the best pizzas I ever made was with thin-sliced filet mignon and roquefort cheese, done hot and fast.

My go-to in the City is New Park Pizza, on Cross Bay, in Howard Beach.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:40 PM on March 31


There is nothing New Yorkers cannot be condescending and pedantic about.

Born in NYC, utterly true and we love you too don't worry. ;)
posted by trackofalljades at 8:40 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


Now I want pizza. Thin crust, basil, chicken, mushrooms, olives and pesto. Hell, I'll settle for what's on special.
posted by arcticseal at 8:44 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


There's actually a place two blocks away from me here in Chicago that makes New Haven style and they have one with mashed potatoes (I KNOW) and chicken and barbecue sauce and I don't care what you think when you hear that because it is amazing.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:45 PM on March 31 [4 favorites]


New Haven pizza is my one and only. I think I might marry one someday.
posted by pemberkins at 8:51 PM on March 31 [3 favorites]


In a previous life (startup, bulletproof, much younger me), "what do you like on your pizza?" was an interview question. I'm not saying "pineapple" was the wrong answer (was), but we never regretted picking up the guy who claimed "meat with extra meat, with meat". Great ops guy.
posted by kjs3 at 8:53 PM on March 31 [3 favorites]


There is nothing New Yorkers cannot be condescending and pedantic about.

The(imo) best pizza shop in seattle has shirts that say "if new york is so cool, then why'd you move to seattle?". And it's directed at exactly this kind of thing about pizza.

I used to have one of the shirts, and so did a few friends. It was hilarious how het up defensive, or splainy people would get about it. And just in relation to pizza, too.

Whatever though, i guess i'm a dick about coffee in the same kind of way.

but seriously, any time i go to any other city besides like portland i can't get a decent fucking espresso.
posted by emptythought at 8:53 PM on March 31 [5 favorites]


I had pizza for dinner. That was a good idea.

(Pesto sauce, chicken, mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, artichoke hearts and mushrooms. Superb.)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:54 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


Full Moon Pizzeria, on E. 187th, in the Bronx. Amazing crust, or so at least once was. And RIP Cafe Viva, for vegan pizza.
posted by datawrangler at 8:55 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


Pineapple is much much much better on pizza with bacon or pepperoni or mushrooms than with ham. For the most part, ham doesn't belong on pizza.
posted by oceanjesse at 9:00 PM on March 31 [11 favorites]


The(imo) best pizza shop in seattle

Well don't say that and then not say where it is.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 9:00 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


Also, New York style pizza in Israel is tragically awful (based on my experiences in two different places in Jerusalem).
You get things like raw onions on your pizza...as the only topping besides cheese.
posted by oceanjesse at 9:01 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


I fucking love pineapple on pizza. Now that I'm a single woman I can get my pizza with whatever I want on it, and I want pepperoni, PINEAPPLE, and ANCHOVIES, lots and lots of fishy stinky fuckin' anchovies, and maybe some pesto, because fuck you I ain't kissing anyone anyway.
posted by The otter lady at 9:05 PM on March 31 [32 favorites]


Bronx shamefully underrepresented here. Louie and Ernie's is the best pure pizza in the Bronx, but Patricia's in Morris Park is my favorite.

And now I am really craving a clam pie from Pepe's. Anyone?
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 9:06 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


And RIP Cafe Viva, for vegan pizza.

It's a total sacrilege, but in my years living in NYC I just could not figure out what the big deal was with New York pizza. I ate a lot of it, but I was always a little like, yeah, okay?

But goddamn, Cafe Viva. I wasn't even a vegan and I loved that place so, so much.

Now that I live in Portland I'm a sucker for yuppie pizza with brie and pears and shit on it. Yeah yeah.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:06 PM on March 31 [5 favorites]


vibratory manner of working: "The(imo) best pizza shop in seattle

Well don't say that and then not say where it is.
"

If it's not Pagliacci, I will fight you.
posted by calamari kid at 9:09 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


What's missing from this article and, somehow, in a place full of pizza and full of Indians, is Indian Pizza. There's, I hear, one place in Manhattan that does pies and another in Hoboken.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 9:09 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


If it's not Pagliacci, I will fight you.
People like Pagliacci?
posted by b1tr0t at 9:11 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


Pepperoni, pineapple and jalepenos is delicous. As is pineapple and anchovies.
posted by nestor_makhno at 9:12 PM on March 31 [3 favorites]


You are all wrong, and you are all wrong for feeling wrong the way you feel wrong.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:12 PM on March 31 [4 favorites]


P.S.: WRONG!
posted by mudpuppie at 9:12 PM on March 31 [6 favorites]


Well don't say that and then not say where it is.

Hot mamas on pine and boylston.

Pagliacci is decent, but kinda expensive. It's also a very different style.

Another good also-ran is Big Marios for gigantic LP record sized slices. But they're randomly SUPER soggy or cold, or just otherwise gross. Very very hit or miss... and expensive. Ok for how big they are, but feels like a rip when you get a soggy gross cold one they didn't pop back in the oven for long enough.

Hot mamas pesto pizza is the best pizza in seattle though. The rest of their stuff is solidly decent, but it's like a B+. The pesto is some of the best pizza i've had anywhere.(which always elicits a "yea, but have you tried so and so shop in such and such place?". heh.). I would say pagliaccis is like a C+ to a B. It's better than any other place that does citywide delivery, but that's pretty much their only claim to fame. Although their seasonals can be awesome occasionally.

My #1 hangover cure is two slices of pesto with lots of peper flakes, a bit of parm, and their awesome spiced olive oil. Scarf them down on the walk to the grocery, and then buy a big thing of coconut water. Bam, human again.
posted by emptythought at 9:19 PM on March 31 [6 favorites]


Otter Lady you must be related to my wife. Can't stand those oily little fuckers. At least she has the decency to put them on after the pizza is made.
posted by smcniven at 9:21 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


NY style pizza is sold either as whole pies or by the "slice" — a triangular wedge cut from a whole pizza.

Tell me more about this magical land!
posted by Beardman at 9:24 PM on March 31 [21 favorites]


much of the pizza sold in the Midwest, including in Chicago, is actually quite thin with a crisp crust and a blanket of cheese and sauce. It is generally cut into squares, rather than wedges, which is referred to as a "tavern cut" or "party cut."

I've been living in the Midwest for 8 years and the only time I've seen pizza by this description is at Ledo Pizza in Maryland. Which I love, by the way.
posted by escabeche at 9:27 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


"if new york is so cool, then why'd you move to seattle?"

Because of how close it is to Crystal Mountain, would be my answer.
posted by mlis at 9:31 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


Best american style pizza? Pineapple and mushroom, aka fruit and fungus.

Best flatbread with cheese on it? Caramelized mushrooms, fontina and rosmary with smatterings of Gorgonzola.

And people who think pizza should be loaded up with cheap nasty meat should stay the fuck away from my food.
posted by aspo at 9:34 PM on March 31 [4 favorites]


I've been living in the Midwest for 8 years and the only time I've seen pizza by this description is at Ledo Pizza in Maryland. Which I love, by the way.

Yeah, I'm used to seeing stuff more like their photo of the New England/Greek/Diner style in the Midwest, though usually without the oiled pan.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:36 PM on March 31


Best pineapple pie is pineapple, feta and pickled jalapeño slices (with the standard American red sauce and low moisture mozz). You get sweet, salty, savory, sour and hot. It is amazing.
posted by R343L at 9:40 PM on March 31 [3 favorites]


Ledo Pizza is fine, but feel the love for 2 Amys, in Washington, DC. Again, the crust is meant to be (and is) as important as the sauce/toppings.
posted by datawrangler at 9:41 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


R343L, all you're missing there is umami.
posted by datawrangler at 9:41 PM on March 31


That would be the savory part. Tomato and feta both have loads of it.
posted by R343L at 9:43 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


Just as an outside perspective, and not to knock NYC at all, in Australia there is zero association between pizza and New York, or really anything US American. The cultural associations are pretty much 100% Italian. Just FYI.
posted by wilful at 10:06 PM on March 31 [4 favorites]


Empty thought I love hot mamas - it's right across the street from the office I work at when I'm in Seattle! It never occurred to me that it might even be close to the best on Seattle, only because it's one of the only restaurants I've eaten at there (due solely to proximity)!
posted by chaz at 10:12 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


I've never liked Ledo. The sauce is so sweet, and the crust is just kinda there, but if my brother comes to visit for the weekend there'll be Ledo at least twice, sometimes three times. It's total madness.

2 Amys is full of deliciousness though. I like Pacci's too, because salami on pizza is pretty much the best thing.
posted by Akhu at 10:13 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


Seattle: Atlantic Street Pizza.

Okay, now I'm going to make a pizza (my current location has no great pizza's, only acceptable, at best).
posted by el io at 10:16 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


willful, then what's the deal with cheese sauce on Australian pizza? And I'll never forgive you people for potato. Potato! On my pizza in Ipswitch.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 10:28 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


Otter lady, you sound a LOT like me. My grand-daughter and I loves us some fish pizza!
I can't do pizza anymore... Lactose/casein intolerant IBS.
Now I want me a Turkish pizza.
( no cheese!)
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:29 PM on March 31


Everything in Australia is trying to kill you, including the pizza.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 10:29 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


Also, New York style pizza in Israel is tragically awful (based on my experiences in two different places in Jerusalem).
You get things like raw onions on your pizza...as the only topping besides cheese.


Yeah, but you get those delicious little packs of Israeli pizza seasoning! I love those things; they're like equl parts zatar, sugar, and MSG.

Haha yeah Israeli pizza is a fucking disaster.
posted by Itaxpica at 10:31 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


Pineapple and jalapeños (maybe with olives too, on occasion) is the BOMB.
posted by lovecrafty at 11:11 PM on March 31 [3 favorites]


much of the pizza sold in the Midwest, including in Chicago, is actually quite thin with a crisp crust and a blanket of cheese and sauce. It is generally cut into squares, rather than wedges, which is referred to as a "tavern cut" or "party cut."

Carbone's on Randolph in St Paul- they're a local chain (well actually I think they're independent franchises or something) but don't be fooled- I don't know if it's the 50-year-old oven or what but none of the other locations are as good. It's very thin, cut into squares, and we used to speculate there was actual opium in the sauce, or the crust, or something, because you will eat all of it, no matter how much you get, you will have no choice. Pepperoni and green olive, if you want to do it perfectly right...

Damn it, now I'm thinking about that pizza, and there's nothing remotely like it in Austin, and now I'm sad and hungry :(
posted by hap_hazard at 11:29 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


The real reason ham and pineapple pizza is so bad is because most places use that disgusting processed ham stuff: made with high quality ham, cooked until the pineapple is starting to caramellise, the sweet/salty/smoky thing is fantastic.

Disclaimer: I sell pizzas.
posted by Kaleidoscope at 11:42 PM on March 31 [11 favorites]


Just recently we went to a friend's place for pizza and there was pineapple on it and we were like "did you order this from dominos or the 80s?".
posted by fshgrl at 11:44 PM on March 31


Hmm... I helped a friend move just two blocks away from Hot Mama's in Seattle and when I ate there it was really good, but if it's the best in the whole city then I am really shocked, because I can imagine better.

If you live in Portland then go try Escape From New York, it's on NW 23rd & Irving. It's been open for over 30 years I believe, and was the first pizza by the slice shop in Portland. They're delicious and I am actually shocked that not too many people know about it. Sizzle Pie is whatever (I'll definitely eat there when drunk) and Hot Lips was interesting when I first moved here, but quickly got bland. However, Hot Lips is great for giving me 5 large boxes of pizza for free when I lived downtown because they were going to throw it all out anyway. Hammy's and Lonesome's are good when it's 3 AM and you need pizza ASAP.

If you do go to Escape From New York don't ask for ranch. They're vehemently against ranch.
posted by gucci mane at 11:46 PM on March 31 [3 favorites]


SPAM is better on pizza than ham. But you have to fry it up first with brown sugar, soy sauce, and pineapple. and you have to eat it on the pizza with feta.
posted by oceanjesse at 11:46 PM on March 31


I've been living in the Midwest for 8 years and the only time I've seen pizza by this description is at Ledo Pizza in Maryland. Which I love, by the way.

Sounds like Pizza King in the central Indiana area.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:16 AM on April 1


Count one more for pineapple and anchovies. Preferably with hot salami/pepperoni. Unfortunately I've cut carbs mostly out of my diet and pizza now makes me feel very ill in the morning. But only in the morning, and that's tomorrow...
posted by bigZLiLk at 12:24 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


hap_hazard - Carbone's on Randolph in St Paul- they're a local chain (well actually I think they're independent franchises or something) but don't be fooled- I don't know if it's the 50-year-old oven or what but none of the other locations are as good."

Wow, it's just that simple isn't it?* I always wondered why I hated the Carbone's in Circle Pines, other than the fact that they undercook the shit out of everything.

AnecdoteFilter - Back after the tech bust, when the IT checks got a bunch smaller, I used to help out a now sadly defunct postage stamp of a shop that a friend of a friend owned, and the shit we'd pull on slow nights or after swapping a couple large cheese pizzas for a case of dented/dropped beer was astounding. Yeah, beer, only beer.

That and it made me irrationally picky about bad pizza. Pineapple can work on pizza, it just has to be burnt a while first, and have something to work with, like when I grill it. And now that it seems like I'm lactose intolerant, I try to cut down on the 'za.

*The amount of sarcasm in this is as close to zero as I can get it using only text, you are spot fucking on.

posted by Sphinx at 12:37 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


.

Mourning the great little neighbourhood pizza place I used to get my fix from; now my only choices are Dominos or New York Pizza (A Dutch chain selling pizzas almost entirely, but not quite unlike actual New York pizzas).
posted by MartinWisse at 12:49 AM on April 1


If you do go to Escape From New York don't ask for ranch. They're vehemently against ranch.

Who puts dirty-south-sauce on their pizza?

Escape is great, but would it kill them to get a little Square card reader thingy?

(I suspect they only take cash as part of a 30 year money laundering and tax evasion scheme)
posted by device55 at 12:50 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


I just bought them in Clicking Bad I think, it was like eighty quadrillion bazillion fuckin' googols. Then I turned the entire planet into meth except that business, and sold the earth, and it was just floating there with no Earth. So beautiful. And then I eated it.
posted by lordaych at 1:07 AM on April 1 [1 favorite]


ham and pineapple pizza is my goto of common options and fuck yourself
posted by atoxyl at 1:41 AM on April 1 [6 favorites]


I would also like to add that ham and pineapple seems to be the goto choice for most Mexican and Mexican-American customers.
posted by nestor_makhno at 1:45 AM on April 1


TheNewWazoo, WTF is cheese sauce? Do you mean bechamel? Or that USAmerican canned shit? Never seen it on a pizza ever. Potato can work on a pizza, though I'm no big fan.
posted by wilful at 2:12 AM on April 1


No explanation as to why anyone would call a pizza a pie. I suppose a deep dish pizza is a bit like a flan or quiche, but made with dough instead of pastry, but a NY pizza is not at all like a flan, quiche, tart or pie. I assume they used that word for cultural assimilation reasons.
posted by asok at 2:16 AM on April 1


"Note: pineapple is an abomination against the Pizza Gods"

You are worshipping the wrong pizza gods.
posted by marienbad at 2:23 AM on April 1 [5 favorites]


How would you describe the difference between pizza cooked in a coal oven and pizza cooked with gas?
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:32 AM on April 1


What's the thing with calling a pizza a pie?

A pizza is a pizza and a pie is a pie.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:45 AM on April 1


Thick crust Sicilian style pizza is available in NYC, but it is not NYC pizza.
posted by miss tea at 2:51 AM on April 1


I like a bag of heroin with my New York style pizza. Damn but I miss Sal Catalano's old places...
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:20 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


One of the upsides to moving back to Ohio from New York was that I got to eat good pizza again.

Suck it, NY pizza.
posted by jpe at 3:58 AM on April 1 [3 favorites]


There really isn't anything more tedious than hearing New Yorkers go on about the virtues of New York. Why on earth anyone thinks I have any interest in hearing, say, about their "favorite bodega" I have no clue. (If I hadn't ever been, I'd probably think NYC was really boring, since no one I know out in the world ever talks about where they go shopping...)

But damn, some of that pizza looks really good. It's amazing to me how damn hard it is to get even edible pizza many (most?) places in the U.S. Until recently, you couldn't get an edible pizza in my city (of 50 freaking thousand people...) to save your damn life. And I'm not some kind of pretentious pizza snob or anything. Most of the places around here seem to basically warm the damn things up slowly to just above room temperature, deeming them finished as soon as the artificial cheese looks pretty melty.

(Praise the gods that we suddenly find ourselves with good pizza!)

oh and: pepperoni and pineapple FTW, and I couldn't care less what NYC pizza doctrine says about that.
posted by Fists O'Fury at 4:16 AM on April 1 [1 favorite]


I haven't lived in New Jersey for over thirty years now and still miss the pizza there. I've never once had a slice in Pennsylvania that I really loved.
posted by octothorpe at 4:31 AM on April 1


Pineapple on pizza: Comes not to destroy, but fulfill.
posted by jadepearl at 4:42 AM on April 1 [1 favorite]


Growing up in Boston, I am very familiar with the "New England" style of pizza they reference near the end there, and boy howdy is it generally horrible. I'd rather go to Papa Gino's than $TOWN House of Pizza and get that greasy, spongy mess.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:07 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


Joe in Australia: coal ovens are much hotter so the pies tend to be thinner crusred and more sparsely topped. Think of them as very close cousins to what you would get in Naples. Gas oven pizza is really what people are talking about when they talk about ny slice pizza. Much thicker crust, much more heavily topped.

The reality is that there are only a handful of old school coal places left.
posted by JPD at 5:09 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


I never knew there was such a thing as toppings on pizza (besides cheese) until I went to school in Rochester. The pizza here also has a thicker crust so folding it in half to eat it is usually impractical. Sorry NYC but I can't go back.

Besides, my favorite was always Umberto's in New Hyde Park's Sicilian style.
posted by tommasz at 5:18 AM on April 1 [1 favorite]


Pineapple and mushroom, aka fruit and fungus.

Add pepperoni or good ham, and this is amazing. But it also needs to be good pineapple and get cooked enough. Dropping some pieces out of a can and warming it slightly is awful.

If you live in Portland then go try Escape From New York, it's on NW 23rd & Irving. It's been open for over 30 years I believe

Wow, that place is still open? I used to have a roommate who worked there and he'd bring home free pizzas late at night. He was otherwise the worst roommate in the world, but the free pizzas made up for a lot. Late at night and free, it was great pizza, but I'm hard pressed to imagine that it is really the best in the city these days.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:18 AM on April 1


Bronx shamefully underrepresented here. Louie and Ernie's is the best pure pizza in the Bronx, but Patricia's in Morris Park is my favorite.

Yessss, I used to work at Albert Einstein, and we ate Patricia's every Friday at our lab meetings. So good.
posted by gaspode at 5:21 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


I like a bag of heroin with my New York style pizza. Damn but I miss Sal Catalano's old places...

There was/is? a tacqueria in San Granciso that offered the same secret menu item
posted by atoxyl at 5:44 AM on April 1 [1 favorite]


As a fresh-faced seventeen year old traveling abroad for the first time in 1994, I remember ordering pizza in Rome and, when it arrived, thinking, What the fuck is this?
posted by echocollate at 5:55 AM on April 1 [3 favorites]


As a fresh-faced seventeen year old traveling abroad for the first time in 1994, I remember ordering pizza in Rome and, when it arrived, thinking, What the fuck is this?

It probably goes without saying but don't, I repeat don't order pizza in Germany.
posted by tommasz at 6:03 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


Every gastropub in Providence the past few years put wood-grilled pizza on the menu - they slap it over a bed of charcoal, flip it over, sauce it, top it, and put it back on the fire. I understand it takes a while for new trends to reach you guys down there, tho.

(The real secret is that it's super easy to do at home with pizza dough bought from the bakery and a BBQ grill.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:38 AM on April 1 [1 favorite]


Pineapple pizza wouldn't be authentic NY anyway, it was invented (apparently) in southern Ontario by a Greek, thus reflecting its true Hawaiian roots.
posted by bonehead at 6:57 AM on April 1 [5 favorites]


Every gastropub in Providence the past few years put wood-grilled pizza on the menu - they slap it over a bed of charcoal, flip it over, sauce it, top it, and put it back on the fire. I understand it takes a while for new trends to reach you guys down there, tho.

One of the getting to know Rhode Island culture experiences I had when I met my wife was sorting out the types of pizza. Greek pizza? Bakery pizza? Who buys pizza at a bakery? The grilled pizza, though, is fantastic, and has remained excellent even as my in-laws restaurant allegiances have switched away from Al Forno.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:04 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


It probably goes without saying but don't, I repeat don't order pizza in Germany.

Oh man, I love pizza in Germany! A pie all to yourself, unsliced, and everyone eats it with a knife and fork. My favorite German pizza has been "frutti di mare", which includes anchovies, squid, octopus, and tuna. And probably whatever else was sitting in cold storage and needed to get served.

We lived near Stuttgart when I was a kid, way before the current "put an egg on it" fad, and there was an Italian place in town that served a pizza with a fried egg on top. It was great. Also, "Hawaiian" pizza in Germany includes tart cherries with the pineapple and ham. So good.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:10 AM on April 1 [3 favorites]


The flat crust, square pizza bit is probably referring to St. Louis-style pizza, which is an abomination that will make your soul drip out your ears.
posted by invitapriore at 7:10 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


Spunto damn it!
posted by Splunge at 7:12 AM on April 1


I definitely had flat crust square cut pizza they're calling "Midwestern" in Chicago, at Cholie's I think? It's not very good, but whether or not that's the style or Cholie's I couldn't tell you.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:13 AM on April 1


Greek pizza is the pizza of my youth. The oily sheen on the bottom of the pie to disabuse any notion that somehow combining tomatoes, flour and cheese could be in any way healthy. As much as I love being in New York and love the pizza here, there is something that Olympic pizza, 3 miles down the road from my parent's house, has that I will never find here.

Of course, like all nostalgia, I don't dare eat there ever again, as the memory is far better than anything they could ever make. (I also encountered the platonic form of the Boston accent in a pizza shop near North Station (named The Garden, with yellow pillars throughout the room) that was so perfect that I sometimes think it was an act.)

I'm not saying Boston style pizza is good. But there is a certain je ne sais quoi about it that makes it incredibly satisfying to eat.

Escape from New York Pizza in Portland is one of the few decent pizza places in Portland. Most of the rest of the pizza is California style, one that, should it ever become the dominant form of pizza in the US, will surely cause the first seal to open and the angelic host to cry out in agony.
posted by Hactar at 7:36 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


It probably goes without saying but don't, I repeat don't order pizza in Germany.

oh god, yes, this. Canned corn? water chestnuts?? CHERRIES?!? No, fuck you I don't want whatever leftover pantry items you need cleared from stock on my pizza, thanks.

I now live in Boulder, which is roughly a thousand miles in any direction from anything remotely resembling decent pizza, not to mention I've discovered to my chagrin that my GI tract and thyroid much prefer to avoid wheat and dairy altogether, so thanks for this thread. I hate you all.
posted by lonefrontranger at 8:03 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


So, when NYers eat pizza - do they switch the fork from the left hand back to the right hand after cutting it, or keep the knife in the right hand and eat with the left ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:14 AM on April 1 [3 favorites]


St. Louis Style Pizza...Speedy Romeo in Brooklyn serves just such a pie.

why the hell anyone would eat St. Louis-style pizza in New York is beyond me.
posted by likeatoaster at 8:22 AM on April 1


device55: Escape is great, but would it kill them to get a little Square card reader thingy?

(I suspect they only take cash as part of a 30 year money laundering and tax evasion scheme)


They actually started taking cards as of last year I believe!
posted by gucci mane at 8:25 AM on April 1


tommasz: It probably goes without saying but don't, I repeat don't order pizza in Germany.

As good a time as any to link to my German pizza story.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:30 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


Sounds like Pizza King in the central Indiana area.

Yeah, but Pizza King isn't actually pizza.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:42 AM on April 1


As a New Yorker my rule for pizza is if the crust does not crack when you fold it (you do fold your slice, right?) then the pizza is shit. Toppings should not weigh the whole thing down so shit like chicken or pasta does not belong on it. And I think pepperoni and pineapple is lovely but a slice with real mushrooms (not canned) and calamata olives is heaven.
posted by spicynuts at 8:52 AM on April 1 [1 favorite]


Ledo Pizza is fine, but feel the love for 2 Amys, in Washington, DC. Again, the crust is meant to be (and is) as important as the sauce/toppings./

datawrangler; if you're in the DC area, and you haven't gone to Emilio's Brick Oven pizzaria out in Sterling, VA; then I can categorically state that you are missing the best pie in the area.

(hint: order the tre formmagi and add prosciutto.)
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 8:54 AM on April 1


Near DC, I'm a huge fan of Lost Dog in Arlington and McLean.

(Also, folding? If I want something with crust on both sides of the cheese I'll buy a calzone.)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:56 AM on April 1


I'm having pizza for lunch.

I wasn't planning on having pizza for lunch.

The guilty parties no doubt know themselves.

(Neapolitan style, gas ovens.)
posted by seyirci at 9:46 AM on April 1 [1 favorite]


I had just moved from Michigan to NYC in the Fall of 1999 and my new coworker (and still my great friend) Andrew suggested we order pizza for lunch. Shrug. Sure, I though, it's pizza. How bad can it be?

And then I learned that most NYC pizza consists of floppy, soggy crust whose only purpose it to be a delivery vehicle for greasy cheese. I picked up a piece to eat it and all the cheese and toppings slid right off the crust onto my woefully inadequate paper plate. Andrew laughed and taught me that one must fold NYC pizza in order to eat it. It was like some mysterious foreign food. It certainly wasn't pizza.

When in Rome....I managed to just barely eat this "pizza", all the while secretly hoping that the crust at the end of the slice would make it worth my while (it wasn't). Imagine my disbelief when Andrew ate his pizza down to the crust and then discarded it! What strange alien landscape had I thrust myself into.

Fifteen years later, I'm still looking for an edible slice of "NYC style pizza" and have become convinced that such a thing doesn't exist.
posted by mrbarrett.com at 10:32 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


My hometown in western Illinois had tavern cut slices. The rest was nothing like St Louis style, thankfully. The local style was to use cornmeal in the crust to give it a crunch and a sweet but slightly spicy sauce.

Of course the local special was also Canadian bacon with sauerkraut. Yes, sauerkraut. You put it on as a layer above the cheese. The heat dries and slightly chars the kraut, leaving you with a sweet/salty layer that is much better than you'd expect.
posted by Eddie Mars at 10:50 AM on April 1


Yeah, but Pizza King isn't actually pizza.

Aw, man, that ham they use is superb!
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:07 AM on April 1


Sauerkraut is a fantastic pizza topping. There's a bar near me that does a reuben pizza (I mean... basically a pizza-shaped open-faced sandwich, really) and now I want one so bad.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:07 AM on April 1


No mention of Sammy's pizza in Wisconsin? So good
posted by ian1977 at 11:16 AM on April 1


It is unfathomable the things some of you people think are acceptable pizza toppings. I am surprised no one has popped in to proclaim their love for the gastronomic abomination that is cheeseburger pizza.
posted by TedW at 11:24 AM on April 1


Everything in Australia is trying to kill you, including the pizza.

I had pizza in Brisbane once and can confirm that this is 100% true.
posted by Aizkolari at 11:30 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


Pursuant to a previous discussion, I note that the author ends up inventing an entirely new style name ("Cajun Style") to cover Two Boots.

Of related interest... Adam Kuban, of the excellent Slice blog, listed 30 regional pizza styles in 2008 (as a slideshow). In 2011, he added a followup for NYC pizza cultural literacy (as a single-page article).
posted by Shmuel510 at 11:50 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


(Also, how does the Grandma slice get confined to an aside in one sentence?)
posted by Shmuel510 at 11:54 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


As a child, my family's default pizza was the Pizza Inn buffet where my mother would anxiously await the handful of pizzas she would eat, two of which used lettuce as a topping (BLT, taco). What I'm saying is that I don't think I'll ever really understand people who are picky about pizza; basically every pizza I've had since has been better than that.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:00 PM on April 1


Oh my god, pizza buffets are the acid that ate through the bottom of the barrel and into the earth, releasing the demons that slumbered deep therein after having burned its corrosive course far into the forgotten realms of Hell. The local hellmouth in the St. Louis area is Pizza Street, which I think offers nothing like a regular pizza in favor of appalling grotesqueries such as ranch dressing and bacon bits pizza, "dessert pizza" (acceptable neither as dessert nor as pizza), and you know what I don't remember enough of the other awful shit they had there to add a third item to this list but I hate them so much that I refuse to do any googling to round this out. FUCK PIZZA BUFFETS.
posted by invitapriore at 12:24 PM on April 1 [3 favorites]


The "What's Missing?" section is itself missing Detroit-style pizza, rendering this article null and void.
posted by augustimagination at 12:27 PM on April 1


Actually it turns out Pizza Street's website is pretty funny, I like this bit from their "Our Company" page:
When you offer a $4.99 all-you-can-eat buffet, some people have questions about quality. We have answers! Our pizza sauce, pasta sauce, and crust are all top shelf and are prepared daily. We use only 100% mozzarella cheese and premium meat toppings.
Q: ur pizza dosnt cost much dollars are the ingredints good
A: yah their rly good

posted by invitapriore at 12:32 PM on April 1 [4 favorites]


For the most part, ham doesn't belong on pizza.

Well, my past employer (which I will only call "the Colors-Blue-Mixed-With-Yellow Mill") in St. Paul, MN, made a nice stuffed pizza with Canadian bacon.

In a small deep-dish pan, stretch out a thin layer of dough. Lay out the Canadian bacon, then put in gobbets of a mixture of garlic+butter+spinach (chopped & cooked), with a layer of mozzarella on top. Throw on a second piece of crust for a top dome and bake it, then serve with sauce on the side.

It's the farthest thing possible from New York pizza, but's it's got your pork in it. Which is to say, it's good.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:39 PM on April 1


Every gastropub in Providence the past few years put wood-grilled pizza on the menu...

Slap*Happy, there's now a coal-fired pizza place a block from my office: Providence Coal Fired Pizza. I took some of my guys there last year, and it was all right.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:42 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]


Pinapple on pizza is delicious! The tangy sweetness of that most tropical of fruits, set against the savory cheese/bread. Brothers! Fight back against the tyranny of the headline!
posted by benbenson at 1:39 PM on April 1 [2 favorites]


Now that me asked me wonder how mangos on pizza would taste...
posted by aspo at 1:42 PM on April 1


benbenson: "Pinapple on pizza is delicious! The tangy sweetness of that most tropical of fruits, set against the savory cheese/bread. Brothers! Fight back against the tyranny of the headline!"

(For the record, I am a Californian and gleefully commit abominations against the pizza gods all the time. Pineapple? Love it.)
posted by Lexica at 2:01 PM on April 1 [2 favorites]


When you offer a $4.99 all-you-can-eat buffet, some people have questions about quality. We have answers! Our pizza sauce, pasta sauce, and crust are all top shelf and are prepared daily. We use only 100% mozzarella cheese and premium meat toppings.

I'm imagining some sighing, dejected employee opening a gigantic 55 gallon white garbage bag that just says "PREMIUM MEAT TOPPING" in dot matrix font on the side.

That, and the cheese being like from a company called 100% cheese...
posted by emptythought at 2:12 PM on April 1 [4 favorites]


PIZZA
posted by Riton at 2:12 PM on April 1


Wow, nestor_makhno and the otter lady -- I love anchovies too (would delight in anchovy sushi if such a thing existed) but Pineapple and Anchovy Pizza is so much my thing (and until now, nobody else's) that I thought I was safe labeling this combo Pizza Rash.
posted by Rash at 2:20 PM on April 1


Ledo Pizza in Maryland

I grew up within walking distance of their original location. To many of my homies, Ledo's is the definition of good pizza (but unlike them, I've been to New York, so know better). They do make a distinctive crust (or did, I've never been inside the new College Park location, nor any of the franchises, so can't tell you what it's like now).

Yes, Ledo's was the first in our area. Early 1960s, people in suburban DC had some odd notions about pizza. At my elementary school they served this bizarre concoction they called pizza: square crusts of Bisquik topped with ground beef and american cheese. I should've known better, even then, as my father drove us downtown for church every Sunday, a church located a couple blocks from AVs -- we'd walk past it, sometimes, but of course they were closed on Sunday, and it wouldn't be until decades later I finally had their heavenly true-Italian pizza. Alas, no more.
posted by Rash at 2:34 PM on April 1


For those wondering about Seattle slices - the best pizza in Seattle is in West Seattle and White Center, at Talarico's and Proletariat Pizza, respectively.
posted by stenseng at 3:24 PM on April 1


I am surprised no one has popped in to proclaim their love for the gastronomic abomination that is cheeseburger pizza.

Cheeseburger pizza is awesome. So is pineapple and ham! Especially really good ham.

I, myself, am surprised by how picky y'all are. Never had a pizza I didn't like that wasn't from Dominos, Pizza Hut, or similar (which are just the McDonald's of pizza). Everyone is eating some kind of "fake," unauthentic riff on pizza, and most of it has cheese and carbs, what more do you want.
posted by stoneandstar at 3:26 PM on April 1


Lamp-warmed, greasy, paper-thin cafeteria pizza is worse than Papa Domino Hut any day of the week.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:37 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]


Happily I'm about due to whip up another keto pizza, so I guess I'll be doing that tonight. We have some mince that needs using and it should make an interesting change, usually it's just pepperoni and jalapenos.

If you haven't tried a mozzarella-and-almond-flour pizza base you are not doing yourself any favours, pizza is easily my most favourite food on earth and these bases are easily the best ones I've found so far.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:46 PM on April 1


Oh hey Brooklyn-style pizzas use "local ingredients", that's sure to be interesting.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:50 PM on April 1 [2 favorites]


And people who think pizza should be loaded up with cheap nasty meat should stay the fuck away from my food.

Well, there's my new band name.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:11 AM on April 2 [2 favorites]


People like Pagliacci?

A while back, like 20+ years ago, Pagliacci was the best pizza in Seattle - great crust and high quality toppings.
Then some time in the late 1990's they changed the dough formula for their delivery pies so they could cook them faster.
About the same time the corporate cost-cutters also worked their voodoo and the quality declined dramatically.
Instead of that nice consistent snap throughout the slice, you wound up with a thin, soggy center and an overcooked outer edge.

Pretty awful.

But folks in Seattle are easy marks for anything that's touted as "best" by the Weekly and the Stranger: it sucks, but they eat it anyways and Pagliacci soldiers on...

Hot Mama's on the other hand delivers a consistently decent slice for a reasonable price. They've actually improved over the last decade.
posted by Pudhoho at 2:11 PM on April 2 [3 favorites]


"frutti di mare", which includes anchovies, squid, octopus, and tuna.

I have made/invented Otter Pizza which includes anchovies, smoked oysters or mussels, shrimp and pickled herring, but even I think squid -and- octopus is maybe a touch overkill...?

Nah, screw that, next time I am making pizza (it's really not hard to do at home, even mixing your own dough) I will make MetaOtter Pizza: anchovies, clams, smoked oysters, mussels, shrimp, octopus, squid, tuna, crab and/or lobster, salmon skin and maybe the contents of one of those "seafood surprise frozen bits" you get in the discount section of the big store. Basically see HOW MANY SPECIES I CAN CRAM ONTO THAT PIZZA.

And yes, pineapple too.

Pizza is awesome.
posted by The otter lady at 7:11 PM on April 2 [1 favorite]


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