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Jun 3, 2004 12:35 PM

NY Pizza in Tampa area

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Okay guys hopefully someone can help me out with finding where I can get me some authentic NY Pizza around the tampa bay area, I don't care if I have to make a trip just for it. I've heard of alot of places saying they have this so called pizza and yet it doesn't measure up, I also heard the big problem was something having to do with the water from florida and the dough just not meshing well together. Help!

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    s.m. koppelman

    What *is* New York pizza anyway? The coal-oven stuff with burn marks and a bubbly crust invented at Lombardi's 100 or so years ago? Gloppy slices the size of toddlers with rubbery cheese, from various places named Ray's? L&B Spumoni Gardens' medium-crust pie with chunky tomato sauce? The Sicilian slices from Rizzo's or Grand St. in Astoria? Greek-style pies with browned cheese? DiFara's?

    Maybe you mean the thin-crust, runny-cheese slices Mariella's does well? That's my benchmark NYC slice.

    I ain't in Tampa, but out east here between West Palm and Miami you can find decent pizza in most of those styles if you know where to look (except Ray's, which you can find but isn't decent to begin with). Which proves the water thing is a crock. Heck, we've even got a couple of places down here that make respectable water bagels.

    2 Replies
    1. re: s.m. koppelman

      Try Cesares of New York on S Dale Mabry, near Plant High School. Cesare used to run a store right outside Yankee Stadium, so it's the real deal, but as Koppelman points out, even New Yorkers disagree on what is really a New York pizza. (Lots of bandwith taken up on the Manhattan chowhound board over this issue.) Cesare's crust is a little thicker than the thin crust, coal-fired version of Brooklyn and Greenwich Village, but it's easily the best pizza around Tampa. He grows his own organic tomatoes, so the sauce is outstanding. The crust is fresh and full of flavor. The cheese is high quality. The sausage is excellent, as is the spinich/tomato combo. Ask for some hot oil to liven it up even more. And the attitude from Cesare's daughter will remind New Yorkers of home. The prices are a little high, like $18 for a an extra large, but if you wanted cheap you could have called Pizza Hut.

      1. re: s.m. koppelman
        Steve Drucker

        s.m. koppelman wrote:

        "out east here between West Palm and Miami you can find decent pizza in most of those styles if you know where to look..."

        not to thread hijack, but for ready reference, can you list out a few?

      2. Eddie and Sam's in downtown Tampa...Tampa Street and Twiggs, I believe...great pizza...GREAT...the closest I've had to NY pizza and I'm from NY/NJ.

        They say they import nY water. I questioned them about that and they say they use NY spring water. Anyway, they did get the crust right.

        I also like Fortunatos in downtown St. Pete.'s not NY pizza at all... but Sally O'Neals is really good.

        1. "Johnny's" Clearwater
          Actually, most of time I carried out and
          reheated my self.
          DO NOT uses oven. Use frying pan medium heated
          put cover on and wait 5 to 7 min untill
          crispy. Yummy !!

          1. Just came across this discussion. 1st..the only differeence between Florida water and New York water is the lime content...unless they are getting the water out of the Hudson River..There is an amazing pizzeria in Carrolwood and Wesley Chapel called Best New York Pizza..with a name like that..they better deliver on taste..and they do. the family who runs it is really from New York, and they take great pride in the food. Once or twice, a mistake was made with my pie, but they corrected it immediately..and gave me some garlic knots to much on while I waited *BONUS*. Anyway, I dont know if anyone will see this reply as the post is so old, but like I said, just came across it. Hope you enjoy. The website is