John Travolta Eats a “DOUBLE DECKER”
One Slice of New York PIZZA on Top of Another
SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER
The origin story of New York pizza starts with large waves of Italian immigrants settling in the city in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. By 1920, roughly a quarter of the 1.6 million Italian immigrants in the United States were living in New York, establishing enclaves in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx. Such neighborhoods were home to the first pizzerias, like Lombardi’s in Little Italy, which opened on Spring Street in 1905. The namesake of the Neapolitan immigrant Gennaro Lombardi, the restaurant used a coal-fired oven to create pizzas with puffy, charred crusts and a bubbling layer of tomato sauce and cheese that made it one of the most popular restaurants in Little Italy. As if in biblical succession, as apprentices left to start their own pizza operations, Lombardi’s begat Totonno’s in Coney Island, John’s in Greenwich Village and Patsy’s in what is now Spanish Harlem. These are the four acknowledged prewar pizza pillars in the city. (Though none of them was a slice joint in the current sense.)
The Great PIZZAIOLO Mark Iacono
Shows us The Proper Tecnique of Eating a NEW YORK SLICE
Hot, filling and eaten with the hands, pizza elicited breathless coverage from The Times fairly early on, as food writers marveled at the appealing combination of ingredients and convenience. By 1947, the paper was fully sold. “A round of dough is baked with tomatoes and anchovies and cheese atop, cut into wedges, then eaten with the fingers between gulps of wine,” the food editor Jane Nickerson enthused. “The pizza could be as popular a snack as the hamburger if Americans only knew more about it.”
Nine years later, The Times’s Herbert Mitgang contemplated the reasons for pizza’s popularity, writing, “The guess is that a number of Americans of Italian origin, aided by advertising and refrigeration, have made pizza as delectable as such other postwar imports as Lollobrigida” — referring to Gina, the saucy Roman film star. The Neapolitan-style pie became a chic dinner-party staple that could also be supplemented with a salad for a filling, family meal. But one innovation would change how New Yorkers enjoyed pizza forever.
Frank Mastro, an Italian immigrant and businessman, saw the potential for pizza to be as popular in America as the hot dog. He just had to figure out a way to make it quicker and cheaper for both restaurant owners and diners. So in the mid-1930s, he devised a gas pizza oven that maintained optimal temperatures even as the door was opened over and over.
Although it is hard to pinpoint when pizza was first sold by the slice, the introduction of the gas oven with multiple decks gave New Yorkers the option of enjoying a crisp-bottomed slice either as a full meal or a substantial snack between meals as they moved around the city. Pizza shop owners no longer needed to learn how to operate a coal-fired oven, meaning pizza could be made quicker and with less training. By the 1960s, the slice joint boom was on. And it is the slice joint that really turned pizza from an Italian food in New York City into a New York City food — a meal shared across neighborhoods, ethnicities and age groups, equally at home in the Bay Ridge of “Saturday Night Fever” as in the Bedford-Stuyvesant of “Do the Right Thing.”
My Favorite Slice in Town is Not a SLICE but a SQUARE
The SOHO SQUARE at PRINCE STREET PIZZA is The Best Dam piece of PIZZA
in MANHATTAN , NY
This proliferation was also helped along by the same thing that brought pizza to this country in the first place: immigration. In the ’60s and ’70s, waves of immigrants from Eastern Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America began joining the work force and landing in food service roles, where the barrier to entry was much lower than in other fields.
As one of the standard-bearers of the current slice-joint renaissance, Scarr Pimentel remembers his spot on 138th Street and Broadway. “Kids like me pretty much grew up in pizza shops,” said Mr. Pimentel, whose family moved to New York from the Dominican Republic. “If you had five bucks you could have a slice, a soda and some ice cream. It was a full meal and sometimes the owner would slip us an extra slice or something.” Mr. Pimentel opened his own pizza shop in 2016, the sleek and retro Scarr’s Pizza on the Lower East Side. His slices and pies are made with organic flour, high-quality tomatoes and cheese and carefully sourced (often organic) toppings, but the slice-joint spirit holds true. “Who would’ve thought a kid like me from the Dominican Republic would own a pizza shop in New York City one day?” he added.
The Great DOM DeMARCO Finishing Up one of His Masterful Pies
BROOKLYN , NY
John Kambouris immigrated to Washington Heights in 1965 from a small Greek island about 200 miles east of Athens. “I had $10 in my pocket,” he said from behind the counter of Pizza Palace on Dyckman Street, which he has owned since 1979, when he bought the business from an Italian couple he knew from the neighborhood. “They say the Italians bring the pizza here, but we put our culture on it.” In the 1960s this area was Irish and Jewish, he explained. Today, the neighborhood is home to a large Caribbean population, including a large concentration of immigrants from the Dominican Republic. “I love what I’m doing … we’re making pizza that people want and I don’t have to be Italian to make good pizza,” Mr. Kambouris said, before noting, “I’ve put three kids through college off of this shop.”
It’s in hundreds of shops like his around the city, many no bigger than subway cars, where you’ll find New Yorkers shoulder to shoulder, eating slices in near silence. “Teens, Wall Street guys, guys camped out with a shopping cart, a pizza place is the most diverse space in the city,” said Colin Atrophy Hagendorf, author of “Slice Harvester: A Memoir in Pizza” and host of the Radio Harvester podcast. “Inside a pizzeria that dream of diverse New York City is a reality. I think that’s such a beautiful thing.”
No PIZZA RECIPE HERE
But The BEST DAM MEATBALLS
And SUNDAY SAUCE ITALIAN GRAVY
And BEST DAM PIZZA in Your Life !
PIZZA MAESTRO “DOM DeMARCO” And His DiFara Pizza Is Considered by Some as The BEST PIZZA In AMERICA … AVENUE J BROOKLYN NEW YORK
TripAdvisor makes a major Faux Pas when with their Top 10 Pizza Cities of U.S. The Faux Pas, TripAdvisor puts the “Undisputed Raining King of American Pizza 4th” and as if they are even more out of their minds rank San Diego # 1, Las Vegas # 2, Boston # 3, and The Champ New York # 4 … It doesn’t take much of a Genius to realize that this is one of the 21st Centuries biggest Media Blunders of all. So bad in fact, “It’s a Joke,” an absurdity that is beyond belief and has “Seriously Hurt TripAdvisor” and given them a major Credibility Issue. A business that is built on credibility and giving “Advise” as per their “Name,” TripAdvisor is in TROUBLE ..
Below: “THIS IS INSANITY” !!!
The Top 10 Cities for Pizza, as determined by TripAdvisor:
At issue here is not whether San Diego, Boston, and Las Vegas has better Pizza then New York and that they have bragging rights. “Hell No!” They don’t, anyone in their “Right-Mind” knows that no city can touch New York in their superiority as far as Pizza is concerned, New York is America’s undisputed Champ, we have some of the Best Pizza on Eart, and this include Italy. The only city that comes close to New York is New Haven, Connecticut, but even as great as New Haven and the towns pizza is, they are a distant second to New York, Chicago? Fougettabout IT! Chicago, that “Deep Dish Stuff” That’s NOT Pizza, it’s Deep Dish something, not Pizza. The balance is completely off to be called “real pizza.”
The issue here, with TripAdvisor’s Major Foul-Up is when you go to Tripadvisor for “Advise” on Hotels, Restaurants, and other travel related questions to determine what is the best, and for accurate descriptions, opinions, and ratings, “Is Tripadvisor accurrate and reliable? The answer is, “Sometimes,” just be careful and look to others like Yelp and articles and other info on places you are seeking accurate info and advice about. Don’t solely count on TripAdvisor. This “Pizza Debacle” is a major “blunder” and one that will take Tripadvisor a good long time to recover from.
The most common and now quintessential form of NY pizza has thus become the type that is cooked in gas ovens rather than the Neapolitan-American type cooked with coal. NY style pizza is sold either as whole pies or by the “slice” — a triangular wedge cut from a whole pizza. Typically, an 18″ NY pizza yields eight slices. With the exception of Patsy’s, none of the original coal oven pizzerias sell pizza by the slice. The availability of slices of pizza fundamentally changed the nature of pizza in NYC, liberating it from the restaurant and substantially lowering the financial barrier of entry. NY style is virtually defined by the low cost of entry, the immediacy of service, and the portability of the product.
The NY style pizzas tend to have far more cheese than Neapolitan-American coal oven pies. The cheese typically covers the entire pie, with sauce only poking out along the circumference. A low moisture mozzarella is used rather than fresh mozzarella, which is not well suited to the lower temperature and longer cooking times of the gas ovens. Gas fired pizza lacks the sooty exterior that is a hallmark of coal fired ovens, but it still has plenty of crunch and snap to go along with the pliancy and springiness of the dough.
1905: Gennaro Lombardi’s opens America’s “First Ever Pizzeria” at 53 1/2 Spring St. in Lower Manhattam, New York, NY .. Some famed Pizzaioli (Pizza Makers) work there over the years;Anthony Pero founder of Totonno’s Coney Island, John Sasso of John’s Pizza Bleecker Street, and Pasquale Lancieri aka “Patsy” who opens “Patsy’s Pizzeria in Eats Harlem. A Pizza cost a Nickel at Lombardi’s in 1905 ..
1924: Anthony “Totonno” Pero opens Totonno’s in Coney Island. Establishes unusual ritual that some Pizzerias carry on to this day. When the dough runs out, the Pizzeria close for the day.
1929: John Sasso opens John’s Pizzeria on Bleecker Street.
1933: Pasquale “Patsy” Lancieri opens Patsy’s in East Harlem.
1956: Average cost of a slice of New York pizza: 15 cents. Price keeps pace with cost of subway fare, seen as a kind of an economic indicator.
1959: Ralph Cuomo opens Ray’s Pizza on Prince Street.
1964: Di Fara Pizza opens in Midwood, Brooklyn.
1977: Saturday Night Fever: John Travolta double-slices it at Lenny’s in Bay Ridge.
1990: Three Ray’s owners, none of them named Ray, band together, form a coalition to trademark the name, and eliminate impostors, or make them pay a fee.
1994: Seventy-nine people are arrested for operating an international drug ring out of a midtown Famous Original Ray’s.
2004: Anthony Mangieri opens Una Pizza Napoletana. Some cal him “The Pizza Nazi”
The PIZZA MAESTRO “Dom DeMarco”
“Yes,” Eating Pizza Made by The Maestro DOM DeMARCO
Is a Religious Experience !!!
Much has been said of the now famed Pizzeria (DiFarra Pizza) on Avenue J in Brooklyn, New York the Capital of Thee Best Pizza in the whole United States of America, bar-none, even Manhattan. Brooklyn lays claim to the Top two Pizzerias in the country, the top of the list 1 and 2, number 1, The Best and number 2, the second best. Well no, I don’t know if I should put it that way, as it sound s as one is better than the other, which is not ht e case, as they are both equally good, equally Great and equally the Best Pizza and the Best Pizzerias in the United States, though they are are little different than one another. The Pizza at both Totonno’s on Neptune Avenue in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York and Di Farra Pizza on Avenue J in Brooklyn are both otherworldly specimens of some the Finest Pizza on other and the Undisputed Best Pizza in America.
Wow, got off on a tangent about both Di Farra and Totonno’s when I just intended to talk about Di Farra Pizza, Dom DeMarco the Maestro of Di Farra’s and the Religious experience that it is to go there, watch Dominic masterfully make Pizza after glorious Pizza (without the help of anyone else), to watch in awe and anticipation and Salivation til you finally get yours (after about a hour or hour and a half wait), you hold it in your hand like a precious baby, and then to sink your teeth into it, savoring each wondrous bite after the other. “Yes,” it is truly a religious experience, that is, if you are a great lover of this wonderful invention, created in Napoli, spread throughout the the Italian Peninsular and then across the Atlantic to America from Italian Immigrants where Gennaro Lombardi opened the First Pizzeria in America on Prince Street in New York City some 100 years ago or so.
Back to Di Farra and Pizzaiolo Extraordinaire, Mr. Dominic DeMarco. It is Dominic that makes Di Farra what it is, it certainly isn’t the Pizzeria itself which is ultra plain and even appalling to some. Mr. DeMarco’s pizzas are just about as close to absolute perfection in the Pizza Making World, a world in which New York City excels and has only one rival in Naples, Italy and the whole of Italy itself. Mr. De Marco has the magic touch, with perfect dough, the perfect balance of ingredients, tomato and other ingredient ratio to cheese, and this include Mr. Demarcos judicious use of Olive Oil which is right-on and a little magic touch that whoever complains about it, just does not know there Pizza and Italian Food on a whole. We Italians love our olive oil. And those who complain are unaware that it is a condiment that adds the final last touch to many dishes before they are eaten. Dominic knows this and should not be discourage against his generous use of it by those who do not understand the proper essence of the Italian Table. So please, keep your traps shut, if you don’t like it don’t eat it, this countries finest examples of the Pizza Art.
And on to the religious experience of Di Farra, Dom DeMarco and the mans artistry with Pizza. There is nothing quite like it in the entire Pizza World. There does not exist, to my knowledge any place in the world that has an elderly man making a hundred plus Pizzas a day in a place that has endless lines, day and night. Pizza that are so perfect, words can not describe People line up for greatness and artistry, and for a couple of slices of the most marvelous pizza this side of Naples, and to watch this passionate little old man work his heart out, not getting, not allowing anyone else to make a pie at his beloved Pizzeria. The man is elderly. He’s worked his whole life. He makes such a magical thing that people line up each and every day to see him and eat one of his many masterpieces. With business like this, he could hire to other Pizzaiolos to help him, doubling or tripling his business and and financial intake. He could hire two guys and make pizza aloing with them, or sit back and get three guys to do it. At his age, he’s entitled to. But know, Dom DeMarco loves what he does, he loves his Pizza, each and every one that passes that counter and into thousands of appreciative hands. The man feels that no one else can make a Pizza the way he does and wants to serve to his customers. No one else who has his skills, his passion and love for the Pizza, thus he does it all himself. And this my friends is the reason that going to Di Farra’s to watch Dominic the maestro in action, all by himself while hundreds of people line up every day, waiting an hour and a half to two hours just to get a Pizza (not just any old Pizza mind you). “It’s a Religious Experience.” Truly! A show and there is nothing like it in the World, Dom DeMarco, a man and his Pizza, America’s Best, and something to rival that other World Pizza Capital, Napoli.
by Daniel Bellino Zwicke
READ of ITALIAN AMERICAN NEW YORK In “La TAVOLA” Availble On AMAZON.com
Once Upon a Tart, Soho .. Where They Always Play Good Music.
Good Music Makes The Place? Well, not always, there are other factors involved, but good music helps. Now bad music, horrible junk that many retail stores play, and even restaurants Pizzerias, and bars. Very recently I experienced both ends of the spectrum. In the past day as a matter of fact. Last night I experienced the horrible end of the spectrum, in Bad Music totally destroying the ambiance of an otherwise very good place. But when you play some awful music like the Shitty Rap Crap they were playing at Artichoke Basile Pizza when I dropped in for a slice last night. Artichoke Basile Pizza on Macdougal Street in Greenwich Village, the ambiance is nothing spectacular, but not that bad. hey it’s a Pizzeria? The Pizza? The regular slice, Pizza Margherita (Tomato & Mozzarella) is dam good. I really like it. What I don’t like is the horrible music they play at the place. It’s awful. Shitty in fact and totally “Destroy” the experience of sitting down to a nice piece of Pizza. It’s a crime. There should be laws against this. I pay good, “hard earned money” for the Pizza and expect to enjoy it. But the management of the place insist on ruining my experience by playing the worst Shitty Rap Crap Music they can find. It’s just not right. That was the third and last time I go there. There are other good pizzerias around. Plenty. Every single time, they were playing the same shitty type of music, Rap, Hip Hop, music for ignorant morons who are devoid of taste. I’m trying to enjoy my slice of Pizza and this awful music is playing, with horrible swearing left and right. The music is for Idiots, why must I be subject to it? Well I guess people would say, you’ve got a choice, no one’s forcing you to go, “If you don’t like it don’t go.” And they’d be right, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do, I’m not going there any more. Basta! They lost me, if they care? Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. I liked the pizza and when I go for a slice or two, i want to sit around, relax and enjoy myself. I can’t do any of that with that awful music playing. It’s like Chinese Water Torture. Worse, having to listen to shitty Rap Crap wherever you go. For now on, I’ll continue to go to Pizza Box or Ben’s Pizza, both nearby, and both places devoid of Shitty Rap Crap.
Yes the music can help make the place. The next morning after having the good slice of Pizza at Artichoke Pizza, complete with Crappy Music, I had a coffee and muffin at Once Upon a Tart the next day. Now, here is a place that knows how to play good music. No, Great Music. At Once Upon a Tart you’ll hear beautiful Classical Music, R&B, Classic Rock, and American Standards. You can always count on good music at The Tart and never any Rap Hip Hop Crap. And let’s Thank God for That! Good music does a lot to set a mood. If you have nice relaxing music that soothes or makes you feel happy or up-beat, the whole place will feel good, you will feel good, everyone will. When you’re playing horrible, negative music, with aggressive overtones like most of the Rap Crap, guess what, “you’re going to create feelings of aggressiveness with bad vibes” and Crap Atmosphere just like the loud mouth morons that were practically screaming as I tried to enjoy my slice, those loud mouths bread by horrible shitty music felt the need to scream and be loud, thus along with the crappy music helped to bring down my experience, and keep me from going back to the Artichoke Basile Pizza, ever again.
A TASTY SLICE of PIZZA Is SERVED UP With SHITTY HIP HOP RAP CRAP MUSIC at ARTICHOKE BASILE PIZZA, MACDOUGAL STREET, NEW YORK …
ITALIAN COUSINS FROM NEW YORK
SAL BASILE and FRAN GARCIA of ARTICHOKE BASILE PIZZA
The Pizza Empire Cousins (Cujinos) from Staten Island, New York getting a TV Show. Sal Basile and Fran Garcia of the wildly successful Artichoke Basile Pizza are the latest culinary guys to get their own show. Unlike many of the awful host of most of the Horrible Food Network, these guys have actually made something and are culinary professionals . They have a couple Pizzerias called Artichoke Basile Pizza. They opened Artichoke Basile Pizza on East 14th Street which was a huge instant success. Almost from day one, people have been lining up for the cousins Sal & Frans Pizza, and I do mean line-up literally, and day and night. Many celebs including Keith Richards, Gerad Butler, and Jim Carey are big fans of their Pizza. These guys work hard and put out a good product and the people love them. They have also opened a great sandwich shop that sells Pastrami and Roast Beef Sandwiches. Awesome!
Now the boys are getting their own TV Show on The Cooking Channel called Pizza Cuz. Sal and Fran will be traveling the country, checking out Pizzerias in Portland Oregon, Brooklyn (Pizza Capital of America), and Oakland, California and other spots around the country. Sounds like a great concept, as these guys know food, especially Pizza, they have personality, and passion, and this should be a winning combination on TV as it is in Fran and Sals establishments. We wish them well and are looking forward to the first episode. Buona Fortuna Sal and Fran.