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Is Grimaldi's Brooklyn Pizzeria Overrated? A Post Below Says Yes.

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  • Joe H. Feb 26, 2002 10:40 PM
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[NOTE: This thread is from 2002 and has been recently resurrected. -- The Chowhound Team]

I've long felt that Patsy Grimaldi's at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge was one of the absolute best pizzas I've ever had. But I haven't had it in a couple of years. A post below commenting about ice cream and the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory notes that in their opinion, Grimaldi's is overrated. What do others think about this? Has it changed at all in the last several years? Or is it still the New York standard bearer that I thought it was on my last visit?

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  1. They rush pies which are too doughy and thick and often undercooked. When they pay attention they are great, but it's rare.

    1. I haven't been in awhile either. Since it is brick oven, thin crust pizza, I'm not sure how it can be too thick. I guess I need to take a walk across the B. Bridge and check it out. I usually order Lombardi's (also thin crust) from Little Italy and have tried Il Brigante (thin), Seaport North. Adrienne's in Lower Manhattan is impossible - always a 2 hour wait for delivery . . . why bother?

      2 Replies
      1. re: financialdistrictresident

        Both Grimaldis AND Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory are overrated and not worth the wait.

        1. re: financialdistrictresident

          It can be too thick in 2 ways:
          1. Too much dough
          2. Not enough time in the oven
          What comes out is chewy instead of crisp.

        2. I completely agree that Grimaldi's is over-rated. If you're in the area, it's a decent pie, but definitely not worth a trip or the typically long wait.

          Unlike DoctortedNYC, however, I think the Ice Cream Factory is worth both a trip and a wait. Awesome ice cream.

          2 Replies
          1. re: binkis

            Any current opinions on Grimaldi's. Also, is there anything else in the area that can't be missed other than the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory?

            1. re: sl1

              It's overrated and you'll often find a long line of tourists outside. The area is still worth a visit. Just take a walk around, visit the park, and grab a hot chocolate at Jacques Torres or something baked from Almondine (or both).

          2. Yes. Finally once and for all someone had the courage to call it out. It used to be fantastic. But after being sold, it has gone down the tubes, sadly.

            4 Replies
            1. re: noodles

              I absolutely agree. But let's be clear... it was sold about 10 years ago. Time flies. This pizza doesnt.

              1. re: Steve R

                Must disagree. Love Grimaldis. And this is coming from a New Haven native. To each his own I suppose.

                1. re: wanderluster

                  Wow. I just ate at Pepe's on Monday and thought it beat joints like Grimaldis hands down.

                  I like Grimaldis, but only go when I have people visiting from out of town. I take them over the Brooklyn Bridge to Grimaldis for New York style pizza, Jacques Torres's chocolate store or Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory and then sit down and admire the beautiful skyline. It's touristy, but a "good touristy."

                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    Pepe's has the stuff. Grimaldi's (now) is a horrific excuse for pizza.

            2. I'd say this is one of those completely relative things. Is Grimaldi's better than pizza hut and dominoes? Yes, definitely. Is it better than most slice joints across the city (ray's original whatever)? Yes, most of the time. Is it better than (or even as good as) Lucali's, DiFara or Totonno's? No. But then again, most edible things aren't.

              I still think it's a totally worthwhile experience for out-of-towners (including those Manhattan people). Probably better pizza than they can get back home, and definitely a better view. Plus, walking across the brooklyn bridge first makes it taste better.

              5 Replies
              1. re: oolah

                If you think that's bad you should try the pie at their Garden City, Long Island restaurant...little sauce, miniscule cheese and doughy crust...yuck!

                Oh, Dom why can't you be everywhere at once?

                1. re: oolah

                  Yeah, why is every "once-great" pizza joint now always "in decline"? This has to be the most tired Chowhound storyline, as shown by the 2002 date of the original post.

                  1. re: cc_

                    Law of physics? Everything that goes up must come down?

                    1. re: bluishgnome

                      ...or the Law of How Places Become Better In The Past Because We Only Remember the Great Pizzas From 20 Years Ago, Not The So-So Ones From 20 Years Ago.

                      1. re: hatless

                        Excellent point. A few years back there was a megathread on this very topic with whining galore.
                        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/237364

                2. Grimaldis is an institution, like carmines, but I think that those types of place loose their luster. to date the best pizza i have had in the city is at Sal and Carmines on the uws

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: prindsey

                    Completley mediocore the last time I was there.

                    1. re: sushiman

                      In my opinion, every one of the old-school New York pizza places is overrated, with the exception of DiFara's (may it reopen soon). I would take a pie from Modern or Pepe's in New Haven any day of the week over a pie from Grimaldi's, Lombardi's, John's, Patsy's, Totonno's, etc. Just my opinion. I certainly agree with a previous post about Sal and Carmine's (102nd and B'way) though. Sal and Carmines has the best "street slice" I've ever had, anywhere.

                      1. re: bennyt

                        Yes, the pizza in New Haven is incredible. Must be the best in the U.S. But, alas, so far from NYC by subway! I guess I had better try DiFara's (if/when it reopens). Didn't care for Grimaldi's wet pie.

                        1. re: bennyt

                          As an addendum to my earlier post- went to the original Totonno's in Coney Island for the first time today (I had previously been to the Upper East Side branch). Of course, this was the real deal- but I would not say mind-blowing. Having had Modern Apizza in New Haven last weekend, I may be spoiled, but I stand by my original assertion which is that with the exception of DiFara's, the NYC places seem overrated (and expensive!). And, FYI, DiFara is apparently open for business again.

                          1. re: bennyt

                            If you are looking for a nice bicycle tour. Metro North to New Haven. Eat Pizza. Ride to Ted's Hamburger in Meriden (20 mi if I rememeber) and have a steamed burger. Ride back. Ride to the top of black rock park for a great view. I personally think Modern Pizza is as good as any in New Haven, and it is located on the way to Ted's.

                            As to New Haven vs NY. You are comparing the best sit down restaurants in New Haven to NYC tourist traps and crummy neighborhood places. There are probably 50 places in NYC that are really good and about 10 in New Haven.

                            1. re: Geo8rge

                              So as a New Yorker who needs a pie that can stand up to the New Haven offerings, where should I go in the five boroughs?

                              1. re: bennyt

                                Well, the ones I can speak to are DiFara, Lucali's, Totonno, Fornino (Williamsburg) & Patsy's (East Harlem only). I hear that Lombardi's is still very good and Franny's (Flatbush Ave), while not everyone's cup of tea, seems to be a high quality product that'll stand up to anyone's. I also liked the other place M.Ayoub (owner of Fornino's) opened on the LES, but I cant remember the name.

                      2. Hi people. I am also a New Haven naitive, but I just have to say - come ON! Is Grimaldi's Brooklyn Pizzeria overrated? COMPARED TO WHAT??!!! I live in Los Angles - I hope you can feel my pain. I am in Brooklyn and ate at Grimaldi's today - it's without question among the top pies available in the U.S., the world, and our part of the Galaxy. (And asking the waiter for crispy crust seemed to ensure, well, a crisp crust!) Have fun with this debate!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Pigeage

                          As I have stated, and often reiterate, when they are not ridiculously busy they actually respond to customer attentiveness. If you KNOW that the pie should not be undercooked and you say something often it will not be. Maybe they think people like undercooked pizza? No of course not! They simply get away with what they can to get the tourists in and out as quickly as possible. More turnover = more $$$$. No very noble, but that's the deal.