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Aug 5, 2002 03:16 PM

Finally, Great Jackson Heights Pizza

  • j

I just returned from having a great pizza lunch at an Argentinian Restaurant, La Cabana, 86-07 Northern Blvd. The special today was Margherita served with either soup or empanada. I had the beef empanada which was excellent. The pizza brought back memories of my youth on Staten Island in the 1950's & 1960's. It was thin topped with fresh tomatoes, sliced fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and sprinkled with olive oil. Each day they have a different special - Tue/ Romana, Wed/ Calabressa, Thur/Quattro Fomaggi, Fri/ Primavera. The pizza has 4 generous slices. Lunch is $8.95. In the evening they serve 8 different varieties from $8.95 to $10.95. One is served with prosiutto di Parma, fresh mozzarella and e'scaglie di parmigiano which I plan to have on my next visit. The atmosphere is very nice with great Spanish background music. For lunch they also have a chicken, beef and fish special. Cold beer served in an iced mug is just $3.00.

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  1. Since I don't live in Jackson Heights, I usually don't seek pizza when in that nabe. Indian, Columbian, Argentinian, Mexican, Tibetan - all of these I've made a point of traveling to the Heights for. The place you've described does sound worthy as a destination, though. I was wondering if any Jackson Heights natives could tell me about the pizza joint on the corner of 74th Street and 37th Avenue. It always smells and looks great, though I have learned my nose and eyes can be easily deceived when it comes to pizza. They serve individual-sized deep dish-looking round pies that seem worthy of a try, but as I said, I have usually already chowed in that nabe on something else.

    5 Replies
    1. re: foodpimp

      that place has great garlic knots..tons of fresh chopped garlic and olive is nothing great-if you want individual-the place on 37av-7508-or so..elmhurst famous has good individual deep dish thats made to order..enjoy

      1. re: foodpimp


        To me, the best pizza is at Gustoso at 77-09 37th Avenue. The sauce tastes as if it were home made and the cheese is just the right amount. Plus the crust has a crunch to it. IMHO.


        1. re: tresa
          david sprague

          I'll agree about Gustosa's pizza. While it's not great (or worth a trip in and of itself), both the regular and Sicilian slices are really nice. The sauce offers a good balance of sweetness and spice, and the cheese/sauce/crust ratio is spot-on.

          Pizza Boy, that place on the corner of 37/74,is, IMHO, thoroughly mediocre. I've tried the slices, the individuals and so on, and never been at all impressed.

        2. re: foodpimp

          Peppinos has a grandma pizza that is pretty damn good. the one on 37th ave has new owners, but the same sign and the same pizza. but i have to warn you, the grandma is the favorite child. all the other pizzas are par at best.

          *there is a peppinos in woodside around 64th or something like that.

          1. re: Jeffsayyes

            Peppino's JH's has new owners and the pizza is just as bad with the new as it was with the former owner. I won't pay $2.50 a slice for bad pizza. If it was Nick's quality, I would gladly pay $3.00 a slice. The Peppino's on 61st St in Woodside is much better. Every time that I've gone, the pizza was hot out of the oven and fairly good and far more substantial and $2.25. Neighbors order from Pizza Sam on Northern Blvd and like it. Who knows, with Starbucks & soon to be Barnes & Noble could Patsy's or John's be far behind. I can dream, can't I.

        3. We went to La Cabana for pizza last night, on the recommendations throughout this board, and were sorely disappointed. Maybe the owners have changed, but it was truly sub-par pizza with flavorless crust and overwhelming amounts of third-rate cheese. Several in our party ordered entrees also, which were all left more than half untouched. Waitstaff was nice enough, just not attentive. The address was the same, but the food was not what we expected.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bgill

            bgill, I used to love the pizza at La Cabana, but recently the quality of the pizza has gone downhill. The crust was flavorless, and the cheese was 1/2 inch thick and wasn't melted right, probably due to the quality of the cheese. Also, there were virtually no toppings on top of the pizza (we usually get either the steak/sausage pizza or prosciutto pizza). So just a horrendous experience altogether. I'm hoping that they change it back at some point.

            1. re: mepm231

              I haven't lived in JH for years but I believe Thomas Pizza on 37th between 83 and 84 still has good, no frills-basic-fold the slice and hear the "crack" of the crust- pizza.

          2. La Cabana is my favorite restaurant in JH. I love that you can go there with a group and someone can order pizza, someone can order pasta, someone can order steak, and everyone leaves happy. I also love their bread and the side of broccoli -- it comes out still crisp and crunchy, with olive oil and garlic. I always order it to accompany anything I get.

            Onto Thomas on 37th b/w 76 & 77 ... which was then renamed Peppino's but was still decent, although not as good as Thomas ... we recently ordered and the pizza was terrible .. so bad we threw 1/2 the pie away. It came with a menu that said "Due Fratelli #2: so I think it has been sold again. Also, there was a tall hispanic man who had worked there since like 2001 (he used to be a delivery guy when Thomas owned it) and then he made pizzas there (when it was Peppino's) and now I don't see him working there any more. I don't know where this Due Fratelli #1 is or why anyone chose to duplicate it.

            3 Replies
            1. re: amandaj

              The former owner (Sicilian) sold Peppino's several months ago to a Russian. The former workers are all gone. The pizza has gone downhill since it was Thomas (husband & wife). You may want to consider Pizza Sam at 89-06 Northern Blvd for a whole pizza. I've never ordered since I live alone and only order slices and they don't deliver for less than $12.00. This place is Italian owned (Father & Son) and opened in 1967. It's worth trying.

              1. re: Mike V

                My friend Glenn, now in his late 40s, grew up here and also recommends Pizza Sam on Northern. I haven't tried it yet bc it's a bit out of the way to walk there for a slice (I live on 86th close to Roosevelt).

                I'm a plain slice girl and have yet to find great pizza in JH. From reading these boards, it seems I'm not alone.

                I like the 24 hour bakery on Roosevelt & 82nd. My ex liked their Mexican slice (I think JH Jill has posted positive reviews about this place and their Mexican slice).

                I also like Pizza Boy on 74th and 37th. Right now I'm into their baby pizza. It's a good size for two people. Thick crust, almost sicilian-style. Yes, the sauce is a bit too sweet, but I think most every sauce in this nabe is too sweet.

                1. re: majorette

                  I was walking by Pizza Boy late afternoon a week ago and they were taking six baby pizza's out of the oven. I ordered one cut into 4 slice for take out. It made a great meal along with a salad and for only $3.50 no tax. For this price, I would have to say it was good.