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Lombardi's - Yuk!

Tatyana Feb 3, 2003 09:19 AM

My friends took me to Lombardi's over the weekend. I didn't really have any expectations, but was slightly unprepared for how bad the pizza actually was. It came out burned on the bottom and the sides, yet very soggy in the middle. The toppings were very sparse except for the onions. The cheese tasted of plastic - brrr... We didn't even finish our pies and I left with a stomache ache. Never again is all I have to say for Lombardi's.

  1. s
    SLAP Feb 3, 2003 10:16 AM

    Funny, I went to Arturo's for the first time this Friday night. We sat in the front room where the guy was playing some nice jazz standards on the piano. We had two pies and some artichokes as an app. The artichokes looked good but had too strong of a vinegar taste for my liking. The pizza came and it was ok, and the reason for my post: I kept thinking the pizza was better at Lombardi's. They make great pizza. Once in a while it may not be a 10, but I get pizza from there regularly eat in and take out(they deliver to my house). I think it's the real deal.

    6 Replies
    1. re: SLAP
      Donald Arthur Mattingly Feb 3, 2003 11:08 AM

      I used to tout Lombardi's as my favorite Pizza in NYC, but after Di Farra's, I have seen the way. That said, I think you either got unlucky at Lombardi's are are exaggerating a tad for effect :)

      Lombardi's, and granted its gone a bit downhill (relatively), is still a top tier place in Manhattan for pizza, at least IMO, and I've been there frequently lately, as well as Di Farras and Arturo's.

      1. re: Donald Arthur Mattingly
        Ann Chantal Feb 3, 2003 11:40 AM

        Lombardi's pizza can vary greatly. You say you went on the weekend and that is precisely when I have had the "bad" pies there-as you say, very charred crust and gloppy with oversauced ingredients in the middle.

        On Saturday nights, they pre-make some pizzas (as do many restaurants) to avoid getting backed up during the rush. It's a shame. Because I never have any problem with their pizzas on weekdays. On weekday evenings, they take their time and their white clam pizza is superb. I always ask them for "unburnt" crust. I like a little charring but not to a blackened crisp.

        I have complained there, gotten a second pizza and it has always been good. That's what you have to do, complain, to keep them on their toes.

        Also, avoid Saturday nights.

        1. re: Ann Chantal
          Ann Chantal Feb 3, 2003 11:58 AM

          One other thing:

          I recently discovered a trove of "Dish" programs at wnyc.com (just type in "dish" on the search function there). One of their old programs from December featured Ed Levine dining out with Joel Coen the filmmaker and his wife Frances McDormand the actress and Tim Blake Nelson. They dined at Lombardi's and to hear Frances talking about her criteria for the "ideal" crust is great.

          They loved Lombardi's pizza. Excellent quality cheese, pepperoni slices, sausage, wood-roasted peppers, mushrooms etc. Worth listening to. And then you want to go there and experience it yourself!

        2. re: Donald Arthur Mattingly
          Tatyana Feb 3, 2003 12:55 PM

          Yeah, I think the fact that it was Saturday night had a lot to do with it. And yet, I can't believe that the same place turns out heavenly pizzas during the week yet allows itself to slip like that on the weekend. It's a real shame.

          Last summer in Amalfi coast my husband and I ate our way through some amazingly delicious pizzas. Let me tell you - Lombardi's couldn't hold a candle to any of them. As I have no opportunity to try Lombardi's during the week (I work waaay uptown), I'm not sure whether I'll be going back anytime soon.

          1. re: Tatyana
            SLAP Feb 3, 2003 01:13 PM

            I think pizzas in NYC are a lot different than what you get in Italy. They use less dough and cheese on a pie is not always a given, you often have to order it. the only place I have had pie that is remotely like the pies I had in Italy, was at Pizza Gruppo on Avenue B and 12th.(not sure how they make them now) Even La Pizza Fresca is thick in comparison.

            1. re: SLAP
              Tatyana Feb 3, 2003 02:05 PM

              Lombardi's pizza is not all that different in concept, just in execution. But like I said, I tried it on a Sat. night.

      2. g
        Guy Feb 3, 2003 02:28 PM

        Couldn't agree more. I have been three times and have been disspointed each time. As for the people that are giving it being saturday as an excuse, come on now, its a pizza joint, not fine dining. it takes a couple seconds to top a pizza and once its in the oven, the work is done.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Guy
          Ann Chantal Feb 3, 2003 02:48 PM

          I suggest you try dining there on a weekday evening and sit in the back room where they stretch the pizza dough, roll it out, spread the sauce on it, sprinkle the various ingredients. Check out how much room they have to work in and how they move the pizzas around once they're in the oven. It's the best floor show on the street.

          Anything done well is an art. Your scornful comments about "fine dining" versus a pizza joint don't reflect the true "chowhound" spirit.

        2. p
          Porthos Feb 3, 2003 06:30 PM

          If you went last Saturday, it was a guarantee fiasco. We walked past on the way to Funky Broome and the line was 15 deep outside the restaurant. It DOES make a difference.

          I took my sister on one of those nights and the pizza was horrible. The crust was so thick, I got a stomach ache after 2 slices.

          Go back on a more managable night and they do have the best in the city.

          1. m
            Michele Cindy Feb 4, 2003 07:09 AM

            My co-workers usually want to go there at least 1-2 times per month for a group lunch. Out of about 10 pies we've ordered I can say that I've only enjoyed the pizza 1/3 of the time. I find it is important to tell them you want the pie well done other wise the middle comes out doughy, adding fresh garlic is a must, and their clam, sausage and pepperoni pies are better then the vegetable only options. I always want to decline going, but when it's a "work" lunch you kind of have to go...

            1. jolivore Apr 13, 2008 08:24 AM

              Yep. Disneyland east. Soggy center, too much sauce, tasteless sausage and crust. Not an Italian in sight.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jolivore
                jakew8 Apr 13, 2008 09:08 AM

                Not an Italian in sight? Who do you think cooks food in New York? Italians? Good luck. Dominic's at Di Fara and that's about it. So I guess your criticism extends to 99% of pizza places.

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