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Phenomenal Kosher Pizza? Does it Exist?

Is there any kosher pizza in New York that matches the quality of the great non-kosher pizza, on par with Patsy's, Pintailes and Lombardis? (I guess this is a question for those who have the non-kosher pizza as well.)

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  1. No. The kosher cheeses have a different fat content, and the sauces, well, let's just say they are not geared toward a sophisticated consumer (ie filled with sugar and/or bland).

    1. I have yet to find it in my 30 years since my last non-kosher slice. don't know about Patsy's, Pintailes and Lombardis. I grew up in Brooklyn where we had some pretty mean Italian pizzerias (pizza made with real olive oil poured out of a copper can).

      I just wonder if the non-kosher pizza still tastes like it did 30 years ago. nothing probably tastes like it used to

        1. From the "Go Figure" files: Here in Los Angeles, an expatriate New York Chowhound mistook Eddie's kosher NY pizza for the authentic (i.e., traif) NY thing – and RAVED about it! Check out the following Chowhound discussion:

          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

          1. "The kosher cheeses have a different fat content"

            Nonsense. There are lots of reasons that kosher pizza isn't as good as treyf, but that's not one of them, imo.

            1. A question for DeisCane: If it's not the cheese, what are some of the reasons why kosher pizza isn't as good?

              1. J2 in manhattan is good. I am not sure it quite lives up to the request for phenomenal, but I think it is likely the best option available.

                1 Reply
                1. re: jea1975

                  JII is definitely one of the best of the worst. A very good option -- if you consider it kosher -- is Viva.

                2. It probably just takes consumers who show appreciation for quality to get a pizzeria to use the best cheese he can get, and make his own tomato sauce... or buy a high quality San Marzano sauce. Most of the pizza shops that are kosher are competing on the 25 cent difference and the $8 Monday special for a whole pie... so why would they even try? Kosher bakeies tend to be of equal quality with non-kosher because we have a tradition of baalebustas who bake well at home, so there is something to compete with... kosher pizzerias don't have that advantage. Seriously, the endless hammering about price, and griping about over priced kosher food, does tend to get us the worst of everything

                  1. I forgot about Viva--used to oder three nights a week when i lived on upper west--probably best kosher pizza around, and great pasta dishes too

                    1 Reply
                        1. re: barrygoodlife

                          i think theres also a viva south of 14th

                        2. I don't claim to be an expert in pizza. However, there are certain issues that affect pizza taste. Very often, when I buy pizza, I feel like I am buying grilled cheese because I can barely taste the sauce. Another condition that affects pizza taste is the fact that already made pizza is being reheated instead of being freshly madein many pizza places.

                          Nevertheless, I cast my pizza vote for La Pizzeria in Great Neck. However, it is not an enthusiatic vote.

                          1. La Pizzeria is pretty good. From my non-kosher days, I used to love Pizzeria Uno's 5 cheese personal pies.

                            1. When Slice of Life in Skokie is on there pizza is excellent

                              1. I don't know if I would call it phenomenal, but the best Kosher Pizza I've had, is from Pizza Time (I think that's the name), on Avenue J, in Brooklyn. There's plenty of cheese, but you can still taste the flavor of the sauce. As another poster said, in many kosher pizzas you can only taste the cheese.
                                The dough also has a nice flavor, and isn't too thick.
                                Also, as others have said, the best pizza is fresh straight out of the oven, and not reheated.

                                1. Try Benny's on Avenue M and E. 18th St.

                                  1. I also think Pizza Time is great. But with DiFara's just a few blocks away, it's a real tease.

                                    1. Pizza time, at best, is equal to "not bad" treif pizza.
                                      Benny's on avenue M and east 18th is very good. Benny is actually a personal friend of mine, and the pizza they make their is unique. The sauce is good, and they use fresh mozzarella (the harder white one) as well as the regular one.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: killajakez

                                        Business took me to Midwood this past motzoi Shabbos (Saturday night) and, directly because of the discussion on Chowhound, a could not pass by Pizza Time and Jerusalem Pizza (both on Ave. J) without trying them out. Besides being shocked by the price for a single, reheated toppingless slice (I think it was $3.50 at Pizza Time and $3.00 at Jerusalem), I was terribly dissapointed in the taste of both (Pizza Time was about the worst pizza I've had in quite a while... it rates down there with Pizza Pious in Woodmere, Long Island. It had virtually no sauce and the crust was more of a cracker than what pizza is supposed to be. The pizza slice at Jerusalem wasn't much better.

                                        I was shocked at the price of a whole toppingless pie at both Pizza Time and Jerusalem on Ave. J... was the price $20 or $22 ? I don't recall , but it's probably up to $25 or even $30 by now. And for what? I think the $9.99 frozen J-2 or Amnon's freezer (one or the other or both seem to constantly be on sale in the Brach's freezer) is superior, at a fraction of the price. I thought that all food items are supposed to be far less expensive in Brooklyn... this doesn't seem to be the case anymore, not with restaurants, not with fast food establishments, and not at grocery stores... what gives? We used to shlep to Brooklyn for major shopping trips, but in the last several years we've seen the prices of just about everything Jewish in the Five Towns area either the same or less than Brooklyn!

                                        As I (and others on this forum) have said, PIZZA PROFESSOR (in Queens) ROCKS! I enjoy it about as much as Pizza World in L.A. or Mama Leah's in Baltimore. I believe the dynamic is that I'm NOT a New Yorker, and New Yorkers are, apparently, used to, comfortable, with, and enjoy a slice that's very different than "out of town" pizza.

                                        I know not everyone with agree with my assesment, but these are my 2 cents.

                                        -Midas

                                        1. re: killajakez

                                          I work in the kosher food business, but don't keep kosher. The best kosher pizza I have had thus far is Benny's on Ave. J. I gotta say, it's pretty good. And I've eaten at all the famous kosher places. It's not that good, but it holds it's own. Pizza Time is OK--akin to the average non-kosher slice. As far as I'm concerned though, they're all over priced. $3 a slice? Where can you possibly go from there? At some point very soon, a slice of kosher pizza will really, truly not be worth purchasing anymore.

                                          1. re: kosherculinary1

                                            "As far as I'm concerned though, they're all over priced. $3 a slice? Where can you possibly go from there? At some point very soon, a slice of kosher pizza will really, truly not be worth purchasing anymore."

                                            ===============================================
                                            a pizza stone, some premade dough from Trader Joes, mozzeralla, pizza sauce and olive oil, that's where I've gone

                                            1. re: kosherculinary1

                                              There are many non-kosher pizza places (including chains like Sbarro) that charge upwards of $3 a slice. I know that's painful for some of us to hear - heck, I'm old enough to remember when a slice of pizza was 25 cents. Nevertheless, it is the reality of 2010.

                                              1. re: Arthur

                                                Folks, we've removed a number of replies from this thread debating the economics of meat vs. cheese. That's simply too far afield from the focus on where to find delicious chow.

                                          2. It's not in NY, but the pizza at Edge of the Woods in New Haven is easily the best kosher pizza I've had. They only make it on Thursdays (it's not a pizza restaurant), but the guy who makes it supposedly used to work at one of the famous New Haven pizzerias (Sally's or Pepe's). It's the only kosher pizza that would make sense to me for someone to say "my favorite food is pizza."
                                            I think a big difference between kosher and non-kosher is the crust (which they get right).

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: tdg

                                              I believe the pies at Edge of the Woods stand on their own against the local non-kosher places without brick ovens - and I was raised eating New Haven area pizza. The "secrets" are the talent of the pizza maker, who did indeed work at several of the classic local pizza places and knows how to make a real Italian crust (as opposed to the Greek crust endemic in kosher pizza places), and also their use of chalav stam cheese, for which there are many more high quality choices than chalav Yisrael.

                                              1. re: nfjanette

                                                I was at Edge of the Woods yesterday (Thursday) & ordered the pizza. I had to reserve it and give a time as they dont make pizza all day. Well worth the slight challenge of this, as the pizza was one of the best I have ever had!

                                                1. re: seikoloco

                                                  is Edge of the Woods under any Rabbinical supervision?

                                                  1. re: berel

                                                    Vaad of Fairfield County (Connecticut)

                                              2. re: tdg

                                                Since this thread is still active it is appropriate to share the following announcement from Edge of the Woods:

                                                Beginning the day after Memorial Day, Tuesday, May 27, all fresh food and drinks available in the bakery, sandwich, soup, and salad section of the store, known affectionately as “inside the arch,” will be exclusively kosher Cholov Yisroel. All dairy products to be used in production, including sour cream cottage cheese, half and half, and butter, will henceforth be certified Cholov yisroel products.

                                                http://www.eotwm.com/cholov-yisroel-g...

                                                Also, unlike 7 years ago Pizza is now available on Sundays as well as Thursdays

                                                http://www.eotwm.com/pizza/

                                              3. The sauce and cheese blend could also make or break the pizza.

                                                By the way, this topic and its quotes from Chowhound were mentioned in an article two weeks ago in the New York Jewish Week magazine supplement.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: jeterfan

                                                  Just got that issue (I live in NC - I'm lucky to get the Jewish Week within 1 month of it's issue date). Seems this thread was started as research for that article. The article suggests that the oven may have something to do with the poor quality, although I'm not sure I buy that. Given the high cost of pizza ovens most people starting a shop buy used at auction. Who really knows the condition of restaurant equipment bought at auction? More likely is the economics issue, already mentioned in this thread. The profit margins are already thin and the cost of ingredients can be a make or break.

                                                  I ate J-2 and Netanya when I was in high school over 20 years ago and I thought they were pretty awful back then. The fact that they're still in business suggests to me that the consumer isn't demanding higher quality. Economics or no, if the customer accepts whatever is thrown at them there's no incentive for improvement in quality.

                                                  1. re: rockycat

                                                    BS"D

                                                    I agree about the consumers' blind acceptance being a hindrance to improvement. But even with nonkosher pizza, it's acknowledged that modern pizza ovens are not hot enough to make truly phenomenal product. Wood-fired ovens, which get far hotter than gas or electric, produce pizzas which time and again are rated higher than those made in conventional pizza ovens, all other things being more or less equal. Used equipment is generally every bit as good as new, by the way. So given use of a conventional oven, it's mainly the ingredients and treatment which determine the quality of pizza. One thing I"ve noticed is that with customers waiting, many places tent to take out their pizzas before they are fully baked, leading to doughy results. Perhaps one of the problems is impatient customers, or the perception by the proprietors that they don't want to wait.

                                                    1. re: rockycat

                                                      ur in nc? any idea what i can get in either nc or sc, at supermarkets in terms of kosher products? can I get kosher bread and pasta? am i better of at a publix or a walmart?any advice

                                                      1. re: shoelace

                                                        Sorry about the long time in replying, Shoelace. Better than a year later I doubt you still need the input but both kosher bread and pasta are availible from national brands such as Arnolds, Pepperidge Farm, etc. It's no problem getting kosher mainstream items at nearly any big regional/national supermarket chain. It's kosher meat and specialty items that are a problem away from the high Jewish population areas.
                                                        I know nothing at all about SC and we don't have Publix in NC. Kosher meat is available in Charlotte. In the rest of the state we have to get deliveries from either Charlotte, Atlanta, or Baltimore. What else are you looking for?

                                                  2. Good kosher pizza does exist, but not "DiFara Good".
                                                    (BTW- DiFara is exactly one block down Ave. J from Pizza Time, but the two exist in entirely different worlds- that's Brooklyn.

                                                    My opinions here are based on my love of great food, and the fact that I eat both kosher & regular pizza. I live off Ave. J a few blocks from DiFara & Pizza Time, and know one of the owners of Pizza Time. I will go far out of my way for truly good food. Good, old-fashioned Brooklyn Pizza like some of you remember from 30 years ago can still be had at places like Ciccio's on Ave. U, Lenny & John's, and L&B Spumoni Gardens.

                                                    DiFara is in a class unto itself- it is the best pizza available, period, but not like regular pizza. Walk in and watch Dominic craft a pie even if you can't eat there. Notice how he takes burning hot pies from the oven with his bare hands. When he's gone, he will not be replaced. Totonnos pizza is similar to DiFara's, but in my opinion not nearly as good.

                                                    The only two kosher pizzas I will voluntarily eat are Pizza Time & Benny's.

                                                    Pizza Time's secret is that the owners are Jewish & Italian partners- thus, real Brooklyn style pizza that happens to be kosher. Side by side, you can't tell it from regular pizza. I don't go in personally, because it's usually a zoo, but we bring pies to my house on a regular basis.

                                                    I have had Benny's twice- We had a pie delivered to my house that amazingly reminded me of a DiFara pie, and I ate there yesterday with my kids. It was very good and I will go back again. Benny's also has a toss to order salad bar that looked good.

                                                    I recommend Pizza Time for a good, old-fashioned Brooklyn style slice, and Benny's for an artisan style brick oven pie.

                                                    7 Replies
                                                    1. re: JAD

                                                      I'm going to second that statement. Pizza Time is awesome. Numerous peers who were raised on non-kosher pizza, say very positive things about Pizza Time.

                                                      The myth that kosher food must taste terrible, is an unfair generalization. Anyone ever go to Jerusalem Steak House, coincidentally also on Ave. J, the quality of the meal is amazing.

                                                      PS- It's a zoo, because of the cred. And I'm very excited to have found a forum on kosher food!

                                                      1. re: brooklynyid

                                                        I've never been impressed by Jerusalem Steak House. The last time I was there I had a soup that tasted exactly as if it had come from a can. Olympic is much better, even if the manager is crazy.

                                                        1. re: zsero

                                                          The best shwarma (any takers?), would be pita on the corner, on ave p and east 2 st. Anyone know a place where I can get strictly kosher lamb shwarma in Brooklyn? Pita Plus (Strickland Ave and Mill Ave) used to have it.

                                                          J-Town Steak House's Yeminite soup is much, much better than Olympic's!

                                                          1. re: brooklynyid

                                                            It's been Pita OFF the Corner for several years now... That is good shwarma. Unfortunately the only all-lamb schwarma I know of is at Mr Glick's, in Melbourne...

                                                            1. re: zsero

                                                              Actually, there's a tiny place off the corner of Kings hwy and (i believe) E 4th street that has lamb shawarma. That said, their chicken shawarma is better.

                                                            2. re: brooklynyid

                                                              Best Yeminite soup in Brooklyn is Island Grill (and yes, I've tried them all!).

                                                          2. re: brooklynyid

                                                            The only thing I would EVERY buy at Jerusalem Grill (or any of the israeli style grill places in the area) is a shawarma, falafel, and fries. Israeli grills do NOT know how to make kebab. At all. They throw it on the grill with some paprika and make a big hoopla out of it. If you want real kebab go to a persian restaurant or a bucharian restaurant in queens such as Da Mikelle or King Davids.

                                                        2. jerusalem 2 on 3rd avenue and 37th street (in brooklyn) is very good. i dont know if it compares to non kosher pizza, but there are always non jews eating there, and there are plenty of non kosher pizzeria's in town.

                                                          1. What is the feeling about the new place in mid town Milk 'n Honey? I was not upset with it (since I normally get stuck eating Vegatable Garden Pizza, which only has that it is cheap going for it.

                                                            1. what was so disappointing about Elicia Brown's article on kosher pizza is her complete dismissal of Pizza Time, which folks here pretty much agreed is the best kosher pizza (or of the best) around.

                                                              I agree that Edge's pizza is terrific. Sadly, not many New Havenites I knew agreed. We used to think we'd have to import Pizza Time but once we discovered Edge, we didn't need to.

                                                              1. as a fan of anything oozing cheese and tomato sauce, and as someone who has eaten kosher all my life, i got to say that yes, phenomenal pizza exists:
                                                                benny's on ave m and east 18th is by far the most mature slice of pizza you'll find out there: thin crispy crust with a mix of cheeses, homemade tomato sauce and fancy shmancy toppings such as portobello mushrooms and ethnic olives. the result is delicious but very different from a standard pizza parlor.
                                                                to get the best pizza experience, but not the best pizza (i'm talking hangout atmosphere) amnon's on 13th and 49th is the place to be. alway's happenin' always hoppin' and is consistently decent.
                                                                milk and honey on 10th and 50th in boro park: very underrated- really good pizza but not always are they consistent.(had their share of flops) they have fantastic calzones and heimishe foods
                                                                pizza time: everyone cared to mention it. i've been there a few times and found that although their pizza is good, it's not the best and they are relatively overpriced.
                                                                out of the ny area: in LA- pizza world has the best pizza experience (see amnon's) as well as fantastic pizza and mexican food, which i have yet to see anywhere in new york. for anyone that can make it there, i highly recommend it.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: BPfatso

                                                                  After we decided on Sunday to go sforim shopping in Brooklyn I remembered that there had been a discussion on phenomenal kosher pizza on this board. I told my wife that since we're rarely in Brooklyn we had to try Benny's based on this thread's recommendation.

                                                                  Evaluation - definitely "mature pizza." Got "regular slices for the kids. Big mistake. One kid did not want to eat the sauce, another did not want the cheese, my oldest wanted the soup (the baby ate everything gleefully). Meanwhile my wife and I had the 10" spinach pie and loved every morsel. One small criticism - the crust is not as flavorful as I would have hoped. Perhaps if it had the character of pizza professor crust it would have been perfect.

                                                                  1. re: PapaT

                                                                    I too went to Benny's based on this boards recommendation. I was not impressed. I guess I am im"mature". I found the slice too small, too much crust, i.e. large section of crust w/o sauce or cheese on it, large section of slice with only sauce and no cheese on it. Sorry, I need lots of cheese on my pizza. I will try again next time I am in Brooklyn, but this time see if they have an "extra cheese" offering. I am not a sophisticated eater, I still can't get over that sushi is made with raw fish and therefore cannot get into it. Also no matter how hard I try, I still love Cream of Malaga wine and can't stand dry wine.

                                                                    1. re: PapaT

                                                                      Cream of Malaga?!! Whatta you some kinda goyishe conniseur-type peoples who shvenk out their mouth with the wine - and heaven forbid - spit it out after tasting it?!!
                                                                      Extra heavy Malaga for me - that's the stuff I was raised on and still love more than any other. :)

                                                                  2. is Pizza made with Cholov Yisroel cheese worse or better than just regular kosher cheese?

                                                                    1. worse; the cheese has different fat content.

                                                                      1. As a world renown expert on kosher pizza, (in my opinion) I herby delcare that pizza time is the best kosher pizza. Before you protest, let me say this, Pizza Time is owned and operated by an Italian family. (with a jewish partner) Before it became kosher, it was a non kosher pizza store operated by the same family. Now, walk inside pizza time, you see that old man sitting at the table? that is the patriarch of the family. Strike up a conversation with the gent, and hear the heavy italian accent spill forth like grappa. You see the serious looking, shaved headed fellow kneading dough behind the counter? that is one of the sons, HE makes the pizza, not pedro at the other pizza places you go to. Look how he concentrates as he puts the San Marzano tomatos through the food mill to make sauce. And your way to work in the morning, you see the van parked in front of pizza time, unloading boxes of cheese? that comes from a small cheese manufacturer in California, the cheese is NOT Haolam or Millers whose owner probably couldn't tell Mozzerella from a matzah.
                                                                        I ask you now, which is the place you will crown as the best kosher Pizza? I rest my case, confident that the jury on this panel will choose wisely.

                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                        1. re: kugelthekid

                                                                          where is Pizza Time? as a former treif pizza maven, I'll judge for myself

                                                                          1. re: kugelthekid

                                                                            you sure you weren't at the next corner, difara's? j/k.

                                                                            Pizza Time is the best in Brooklyn by far.

                                                                            1. re: pitagirl

                                                                              I just re-tried Pizza Time after a few years and remain quite disappointed. So I beg to differ from previous posts. To me, the sauce is way too sweet - tastes like ketchup IMO.

                                                                            2. re: kugelthekid

                                                                              Business took me to Midwood this past motzoi Shabbos (Saturday night) and, directly because of the discussion on Chowhound, a could not pass by Pizza Time and Jerusalem Pizza (both on Ave. J) without trying them out. Besides being shocked by the price for a single, reheated toppingless slice (I think it was $3.50 at Pizza Time and $3.00 at Jerusalem), I was terribly dissapointed in the taste of both (Pizza Time was about the worst pizza I've had in quite a while... it rates down there with Pizza Pious in Woodmere, Long Island. It had virtually no sauce and the crust was more of a cracker than what pizza is supposed to be. The pizza slice at Jerusalem wasn't much better.

                                                                              I was shocked at the price of a whole toppingless pie at both Pizza Time and Jerusalem on Ave. J... was the price $20 or $22 ? I don't recall , but it's probably up to $25 or even $30 by now. And for what? I think the $9.99 frozen J-2 or Amnon's freezer (one or the other or both seem to constantly be on sale in the Brach's freezer) is superior, at a fraction of the price. I thought that all food items are supposed to be far less expensive in Brooklyn... this doesn't seem to be the case anymore, not with restaurants, not with fast food establishments, and not at grocery stores... what gives? We used to shlep to Brooklyn for major shopping trips, but in the last several years we've seen the prices of just about everything Jewish in the Five Towns area either the same or less than Brooklyn!

                                                                              As I (and others on this forum) have said, PIZZA PROFESSOR (in Queens) ROCKS! I enjoy it about as much as Pizza World in L.A. or Mama Leah's in Baltimore. I believe the dynamic is that I'm NOT a New Yorker, and New Yorkers are, apparently, used to, comfortable, with, and enjoy a slice that's very different than "out of town" pizza. I'd wager that the people who singe the praises of Pizza Time on Ave. J are New Yorkers more often than not.

                                                                              I know not everyone with agree with my assesment, but these are my 2 cents.

                                                                              -Midas

                                                                            3. Pizza Time IS the best in Brooklyn. I find their regular slice is not as good as it used to be. Try the Sicilian.

                                                                              I also like Pizza Professor in Queens, but I haven't been there in a few years.

                                                                              1. Hopefully, he learned nothing from Domino's b/c it sucks.

                                                                                1. I would say that Pizza Time is the best Kosher pizza in Brooklyn; their slice resembles a regular old Brooklyn pizza, free of disgusting additions such as ziti- why on earth would anyone want to put macaroni on a slice of pizza?, and nasty fake kosher mozarella- they use REAL mozzarella cheese, which some treife places don't even use? Who ever heard of such a thing? I would say that places like Mendelsohn's are good for blintzes, desserts and knishes, Amnon's is good for a falafel, and Mendel's on 18 Avenue and 50 Street is unique for their pareve shwarma, a nice vegetarian alternative for my friends who are either Nachis or followers of Zalman Schechter Shalomi. The place in Shoprite is also nice for when you get hungry and want a knish, although they can't compare with Yonah Schimmel's. I also think that Shalom Chai Pizza, near Shtieble Row in the Lower East Side is good for unpretentious dairy food, a rare find in Manhattan. They have acceptable blintzes, pareve chulent, and other foods that constitute the only dairy place in the area- how sad is it that there are only 4 or 5 kosher establishments in the LES. Then there is the place across form the hospital on 15 Street- I would say in a place like that, avoid the pizza and get the delicious fresh-baked challah and bagels, hot and made on the premesis, a rare treat, and maybe some good, not great salads and appetizing. Sadly, I would say that pizza Time and Benny's, in addition to an Italian place on Kings Highway and East 9 Street with a chef from Spumoni Gardens that makes a divine Sicilian Spumoni Gardens pizza- the best treife square pizza in New York, with a crisp and rich crust, then fresh mozzarella cheese, corwned with a thick layer of long-simmered sauce with fresh herbs, olive oil and pecorino romano cheese. Other than that, I would suggest that the other places, if they don't want to appreciate and learn the fine art of Italian pizza making, they should stick to what they can and should make good- traditional dairy foods in the tradition of Ratner's, a"h, or now treife B&H on 7th Street, such as latkes that you don't taste again the day after, fresh rich blintzes not skimping on butter that are filled with good cheese and fruit fillings, cheese kreplach with caramelized onions, kasha, and soups such as krupnik, cabbage soup and other traditional vegetable soups from the old country.

                                                                                  1. APB Alert!!

                                                                                    Just been to benny's pizza (Ave. M E.18) Absolutely Delicious.
                                                                                    seriously considering bestowing crown of best kosher pizza. I will go again, G-D willing,
                                                                                    and if consistant, I will notify pizza time that they have fallen from grace, and will be banished to the isle of elba.

                                                                                    1. Got a chance to go to Brooklyn again. This time, based on "Hound" recommendations went to Pizza Time. Excellent pizza! Thin crispy crust ozzing with cheese and sause with a nice consistency. Wasn't too crazy about Benny, another "Hound" favorite - however, I will give them another try next time I am in Brooklyn - maybe I got a bad batch.

                                                                                      Meanwhile, thumbs up for Pizza Time!

                                                                                      1. As I said in an earlier thread, Pizza Time Pizza is the best kosher pizza that I've tasted.
                                                                                        Among the varieties that they make, is a square pizza which they call Granny pizza. It's different from their regular square pie. Though I haven't tasted it myself, my husband had it this week and said that it was delicious. If you are familiar with this variety, can you please explain what makes this variety unique?
                                                                                        Thanks!

                                                                                        1. My understanding is that a granny pizza uses marinara instead of pizza sauce.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: DeisCane

                                                                                            Granny Pizza can be found in several Pizza Shops and they are never the same.

                                                                                          2. BS"D Come to Chicago for great Pizza. DaNalis has wonderful pies (although you might not agree it is truly deep dish) which taste great.

                                                                                            I think olive oil in the crust, a good garlicky marinara with some texture, and the right combination of cheeses all contribute to the what should be good kosher pizza, and I remember good pizza.

                                                                                            Without the above, I will just make my own!

                                                                                            1. The best in L.A. is the Stuffed Crust Pizza at Nagilla on Pico Blvd.
                                                                                              Their regular pizza ain't too shabby either.

                                                                                              1. Elite Pizza in Great Neck is great. As good as many non-Kosher pizzas. Try the eggplant and it is a real treat. Definitely better than La Pizzeria (a joke by comparison in my opinion).

                                                                                                Now has anyone tried Hunki's in Plainview (moved here 7 months ago and haven't tried it yet)?

                                                                                                I used to eat at the old one in Oceanside with my USY group but that was 20+ years ago and not that great as far as I can remember...

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: mickster

                                                                                                  Although I was still in grade school when they left, as I recall, the Hunki's in Oceanside was quite good. I can tell you that that the Pizza at Hunki's in West Hempstead which (as of about 6-9 months ago) is now under new ownership has tailed off significantly. I'm told that they now use semolina flour to make the pizza although I am not enough of a gourmet to tell you why this makes a difference. I can tell you that most of my kids will not eat pizza from there anymore (although they will still eat the french fries).

                                                                                                  1. re: PapaT

                                                                                                    Hunki's in Plainview has much better pizza and Italian dishes than the West Hempstead Hunki's. Hunki's in Plainview is owned by one of the original owners of Hunki's, while the West Hempstead Hunki's is owned by new owners.

                                                                                                2. Just had Pizza Time pizza yesterday. Nothing wrong with it, but for my money the best pizza around can be found at Poppy's Bagels in Teaneck. Luis, formally of Plaza Pizza, makes the best pizza. The spinach pizza is especially scrumptious with lots of ricotta cheese. The secret, he told me once, "is in the huevos."

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: daphnar

                                                                                                    I recognize that the true devotees of pizza may take umbrage at this, but I am in complete agreement about the former Plaza Pizza, now at Poppy's. The Spinach pizza is great, and I've not seen anything like it anywhere else in the world, pretty much. The Eggplant pizza is also great, and (despite the above disgust at this variety), the Ziti Pizza there can be heavenly, although it is uneven day to day (more that the other varieties, this one MUST be fresh out of the oven).

                                                                                                  2. For the best artisinal pizza, go to Benny's on M and 15th. Also try Kings Highway's Cafe Renaissance (get the L&B!) or Coney Island Ave's Cafe Venizia (get the Mediteranean pizza) which have the same owner BTW.

                                                                                                    As far as traditional kosher pizza, I'm partial to Pizza Time's fare (hi there Judah!), but my favorite to date has been La Bagel on 1st Ave and 15th St in Manhattan.

                                                                                                    1. Greetings all... I grew up in New Haven, and have had my share of excellent treif pizza... the problem with most Kosher restaurants (not just pizza) is that the owners are NOT trained chefs/cooks, and are just in it to make $$$. They are usually aware that their customers are a captive audience (Orthodox Jews who either eat at their restaurant, or eat no where out if they are the only Kosher game in town). Too often sauces are like red water, crusts are wierd, cheese is skimpy and very oily (??? Where the hell does the oil come from? Fake cheese???)... no flavor, no spices, etc. Most Kosher places don't have a clue-- they have no parmesan available, no peppers, they sell pasta dishes by putting stuff in a microwave and serving with no bread etc etc.

                                                                                                      Diamantes used to be on 48th in Manhattan- they obviously had a real chef prepare recipes as pretty much everything there was good-- including the pizza (best Kosher pie I have bought out). Unfortunately, the owners were pocketing the money, and not paying rent... so they got shut down...

                                                                                                      I can make excellent kosher pizza at home... so there really isn't a good excuse. yes, it will cost more than non-kosher, because you have to get good cheese that happens to be kosher, and these are usually imports/brands that are not easily found in most supermarkets. Skip ALL products from World Cheese (which produces them under various names including Miller). They couldn't care LESS about the quality of their products...I often found MOLD in packages on the store shelves, with expiration dates MONTHS ahead... in 3 different states 1,000 miles apart. So their excuses about the stores was BUNK. They have problems in production and packaging.

                                                                                                      Make your own sauce or use a good glass jar brand like Vittoria's Marinara (certified by OK Kosher)...

                                                                                                      When I open a restaurant, it will be excellent food that happens to be kosher, not a kosher restaurant that oddly has good food... get the difference?

                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: LoveKosherEats

                                                                                                          Soon as I can get someone else to drop a million bucks into it!

                                                                                                        2. re: Yosef_dov

                                                                                                          Be careful what you post, Yosef Dov!

                                                                                                          Victoria's (NOT Vittoria's) Marinara is certified by "KO" Kosher, NOT the OK.

                                                                                                          1. re: hanistor

                                                                                                            Hanistor- Thanks for the URGENT corrections! I was operating from memory... which seems to be malfunctioning a bit more and more lately...
                                                                                                            You are correct on all counts (Victoria's not Vittorias, and KO Kosher, not OK).

                                                                                                            PS- For anyone making their own sauce... try Fennel as a secret ingredient! Usually you can only find seeds in the supermarket-- grind some up and try it!

                                                                                                        3. I'm from Chicago so I can only comment on places here. Slice of Life is decent. I'm not a huge fan of Danali's. But, I do like Tel Aviv Kosher Pizza....they run a huge crowd after Shabbos, and while it's more of a fast food than a sit down, they have great food all around!

                                                                                                          But, in terms of kosher pizza existing, my orthodox Jewish brother (who obviously keeps a kosher home) made his own pizza for his daughter's first birthday...totally unbiased it was the best pizza I have ever had. So, yes, delicious and phenomenal kosher pizza does exist. Hopefully I can steal his recipe from him. Look at the picture to see all the different kinds he made...

                                                                                                          Hillary
                                                                                                          http://www.recipe4living.com

                                                                                                           
                                                                                                           
                                                                                                          1. I've always been partial to Shimon's in Kew Gardens Hills. A fresh pie out the oven is heaven.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: CWY

                                                                                                              We tried Benjy's on Main St. in KGH yesterday. Hot out of the oven it was yummy as kosher pies go. The cheese had a good mouth feel, not too rubbery.The sauce was a little sweet but palatable. The crust was a little doughy for my liking. It could have been a little thinner. As a 36 yr old shiksa (ok, reform/conserv.) visiting her frum friend in her 'hood, we all had a great time! The kids loved it, because when you're 5 and it's pizza...you just eat it. We'll try another place next time.

                                                                                                              1. re: LHorch

                                                                                                                I was in Richardson (outside of Dallas), Texas recently and I tried the local kosher pizza. The pizza was similar to some of our local NY places. There was too much cheese and not enough sauce. I thought that I was eating grilled cheese instead of pizza.

                                                                                                            2. I never had non- kosher pizza. However one of the best Kosher Pizza places in NY is
                                                                                                              J-2 on Boradway NYC.

                                                                                                              1. Finally, had the opportunity to be in Brooklyn the past Saturday night to try out the two pizza places that are recommended mainly in this thread, Benny's and Pizzatime. Having grown up eating nonkosher, kosher pizza has been disappointing for the past 25 years or so. I was alone so I had the opportunity to go to both places. At Benny's the pizza looked different, (arrtisan?) and I hoped would have a really special taste. While the dough was lite and crisp, the sauce was tasteless. At Pizzatime, I was presented with a reheated slice, and I was not at all impressed.
                                                                                                                I have to say that from memory in my single days, J2 on Broadway was good and and I have some faint recollection of Amnon's in Boro Park as not bad.

                                                                                                                So why is it that the treif pizza was better so long ago for me? Is the treif cheese and sauces trully better or could it be that standards in pizza have overall slipped since my youth?
                                                                                                                Thanks for your comments.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: jerseykosher

                                                                                                                  Does anyone have a recommendation in the five Boroughs for the following: A Kosher place that has a thin crispy, slightly burnt crust with a pleasantly tart tomato sauce and the option of having it made without cheese?

                                                                                                                  1. re: jerseykosher

                                                                                                                    jk, I agree with you. The quality of pizza in many places is mediocre. I find that very often the sauce makes or breaks the quality of the pizza.

                                                                                                                  2. I have (but no longer) eaten in tons of non-kosher pizza places (my favorite was independant was Starlite Pizza in West Orange, NJ and favorite chain was Pizzeria Uno) and plenty of Kosher pizza places. Just as there are plenty of subpar Kosher places, there are plenty of sub-par non-Kosher places.

                                                                                                                    For good Kosher pizza, I would recommend:
                                                                                                                    1. Sabra's in Cedarhusrt, NY
                                                                                                                    2. Jersualem in Cedarurst, NY
                                                                                                                    3. Nut House in Silver Spring, MD
                                                                                                                    4. La Pizzeria, in Great Neck, NY

                                                                                                                    When in Brooklyn, I go to Netanya on Ave. J.
                                                                                                                    When in Baltimore, I go to Mama Leah's.
                                                                                                                    When in Teaneck, I go to Pizza Cave.
                                                                                                                    When in Monsey, I avoid pizza altogether!

                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: justjoshing

                                                                                                                      So it looks like Long Island is the place for kosher pizza! :-)

                                                                                                                      1. re: DeisCane

                                                                                                                        I made another visit ot Carmel Kosher Pizza in Rockaway, NJ, last week. The fresh tomato, fresh mozzarella and garlic pie was fantastic. I recommend the place highly, and can add that the falafel is also wonderful.

                                                                                                                        1. re: rruben1

                                                                                                                          Carmel did have good pizza. I hope the place lasts because it seems like an unassuming quiet location for a kosher pizza shop. The pizza was excellent, with one of the best crusts I have had.

                                                                                                                      2. re: justjoshing

                                                                                                                        Everybody has a different view of what the perfect pizza is. The good kosher pizza I have had, has been at Viva Herbal. They have some great crust options with great toppings.

                                                                                                                        I will not touch Sabra, Jerusalem, and the Nut House - I think those pizzas are pretty awful. Bad sweet sauce, with a bad crust.

                                                                                                                      3. Phenomenal kosher pizza did exist, in Brooklyn, for about 5 months. It was a little store under the train tracks by McDonald and ave I called "Pizza Station." Because there was not enough foot traffic there, it had to close. Now I can't say how it compared with non-kosher pizza because i've never had it, but I can say that my first bite of this stuff was like realizing what pizza is. The crust was paper thin and very crunchy - not only on the pizza, but on everything - calzones, etc. The reason was the authentic (and funny) italian cook, who, btw, gave me an excellent recipe for eggplant rollatini. And yes, kosher cheese sucks.

                                                                                                                        1. Good kosher pizza does exist! This was PHENOMENAL!

                                                                                                                          In Cederhurst (not the best place wait for that), go to Davids. The best place around ( I think). Now the really good place is in Silver Spring, MD. Called Ben Yehudas. Just GREAT! The crust was good the cheese and sauce just everything! lets just face it, new york dosent really have good places, exept J2 and La Pizzeria

                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: WHKosher

                                                                                                                            WHKosher-

                                                                                                                            In Cedarhurst, I think David's is pretty good, but so are all the other places (Sabra's, Jerusalem, Shula's). In Silver Spring, we tend to favor Nuthouse over Ben Yehuda (though Ben Yehuda has improved since the ownership change). Although I haven't been to La Pizzeria in years, I always enjoyed their pizza. In general, I have found that the NY pizza places have more variety but the pizza often not fresh. They leave it out and warm up slices as needed. Nut House is good because the pizza is always baked when ordered.

                                                                                                                            J

                                                                                                                            1. re: justjoshing

                                                                                                                              We here in NY must have pretty low standards if J2 is considered the best...oy!

                                                                                                                              Curious why nobody has thought to open a coal/wood oven place a la John's of Bleecker Street.

                                                                                                                              1. re: KosherKing

                                                                                                                                Can't swear this is true, but I think I heard that you need special permission to run a coal oven in NY. Maybe for a wood oven too? If so, it might be too much of a pain in the neck to get the permissions, go through whatever the expense is, etc., esp. if you're just in it for the $$.

                                                                                                                                1. re: KosherKing

                                                                                                                                  You don't need a coal/wood oven to get good pizza. The secret is heat (as ganeden suggests elsewhere on this thread). Wood/Coal are the best bets to get a good hot oven, but you can get a good gas fired pizza oven up to the right temp (800+ farenheit). This site describes what it takes to make a classic quality NY Pizza:
                                                                                                                                  http://slice.seriouseats.com/jvpizza/

                                                                                                                            2. Nagila Pizza in Los Angeles. Stuffed crust is especially good.

                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: jlq3d3

                                                                                                                                BS"D

                                                                                                                                Must disagree. Nagila is very mediocre. All of the kosher pizza places in the LA area are very mediocre. Luckily, pizza is not haute cuisine, and a slice is just to fill me up and to satisfy the kids, so mediocre is good enough. The biggest problem I've found in the LA area is soggy crust due to high pizza demand and the desire for faster turnover. Unfortunately, modern pizza ovens only get so hot, not hot enough for immediate baking of the crust and almost immediate cooking of the topping. Modern pizza ovens are unbalanced, in that the topping often cooks thoroughly before the crust is sufficiently done. If the toppings are perfect, the crust is underdone, or ou get overdone toppings with perfect crust. As far as taste, Nagila is sweet for my taste, but that's just a matter of personal preference.

                                                                                                                                1. re: ganeden

                                                                                                                                  I agree, the crust at Nagila isn't great, but I love the topping combinations (stuffed crust, buffalo) and sauce, which as you say, is a matter of personal preference.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: jlq3d3

                                                                                                                                    BS"D

                                                                                                                                    I bought 3 pies yesterday (plain, bell pepper, mushroom), and they were worse than I thought they'd be. I gave them plenty of time to make it for take-out, and specifically requested a nonsoggy crust. And I received 3 with soggy crusts. But also disconcerting was the sweetness in crust and the sauce. These things must have been loaded with sugar. I know that consumers prefer sweet, which has fueled the obesity crisis in America, but personally, I'm not looking for sweetness in a pizza. I'm afraid I now must try the 2 other Pico pizza places even in emergencies, because these were so not to my taste. My family agrees. Nagila used to be our go-to pizza place in Pico when we were there (which is only rarely, since we live in the Valley), but now we'll go elsewhere. Note that service was no different than it ever had been, the perceived problem is only with the characteristics of the pizza.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: ganeden

                                                                                                                                    I've had Nagila Pizza and I really like it. I was taken there by my Lubavitcher friends. I've also had cheese-only "civilian" pizza so I can make a comparison. The people I know who consider themselves pizza mavens, i.e., they're from NY or Chicago, LOVE Jerusalem Pizza in Encino. I love Jerusalem Pizza. B'H

                                                                                                                                2. Just had decent Kosher pizza in Cherry Hill, NJ. The place is called Perlin's.

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: justjoshing

                                                                                                                                    How is EJ's Pizza in Teaneck? Do they do catering?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: jeterfan

                                                                                                                                      We prefer Pizza Crave in Teaneck. They have a great selection and their food is great.In Cedarhurst, we also like David's. They have great pizza and a nice selection as well.

                                                                                                                                  2. I can't believe only one person named Cafe Rennaisance on Kings Highway in Brooklyn. Hands down the best kosher pizza around. Its more expensive than the stuff you'll get on Ave J, etc., but well worth it. Get the sesame crust. Never had non-kosher, so I can't compare...

                                                                                                                                    1. Naomi's Pizza on Main Street in Queens is a very good NY style pizza & freezes well if you must have a pie handy in an emergency. (They also have tasty falafel & I think I've had shakshuka there.)

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: zatar

                                                                                                                                        I second the Naomi's Pizza recomendation. Their Falafel is one of the best I've had in this country. My family has been going there for years. We try to make a point to fly via JFK or LGA (rather than Newark) so that we can stop here (and to the other kosher shops in Queens.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: aivri

                                                                                                                                          Yes, the falafel is good- I recommend the combination platter.

                                                                                                                                          As for pizza, Benny's on Avenue M in Brooklyn uses fresh Mozzarella and has a thin crust.

                                                                                                                                      2. Pizza time on ave j in brooklyn is co-owned by the italian family that owned the pizza place previously. Other than it being emmaculate ( a kosher rarity!!) they have the freshest and best pizza. Try the grandma slice and/or the squares. Even the regular slices are great. Some days you can't even get a table!!

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: knowitall2

                                                                                                                                          They raised their price of a slice of pizza to $3, maybe that will help in getting a table.

                                                                                                                                        2. Well, I got my "pizza stone" from Amazon, to my surprise, my 23 year old daughter was ecstatic at the prospect of making her own pizza, she always said the secret to a good pizza is the sauce. I asked her isn’t it hard to make the dough? She said it is no big deal, after all she makes her own challah each week. With the cost of pizza reaching $3 a slice (at Pizza Time) and $22+ a pie, I am interested just how much it would cost to make it yourself. I did not check any recipes yet but some rough figuring would go something like this.

                                                                                                                                          (1)Flour, a 5 lb bag goes for some $3 a bag. Since one will be adding water to it and considering the fact that a pizza does not weigh anywhere near 5 lbs and considering the conservation of matter, I would venture that a pizza would require less than half a bag or $1.50
                                                                                                                                          (2) Sauce. I saw in Brachs that 15oz of (pesach yet) tomato sauce goes for 50 cents, can’t see needing more than one can.
                                                                                                                                          (3) Yeast, don’t know, but I think it is cheap say 50 cents
                                                                                                                                          (4) Oil, not much required here, let’s call it 50 cents
                                                                                                                                          (5) Cheese, is $3 out of line?

                                                                                                                                          Total = $6

                                                                                                                                          Am I that far off?

                                                                                                                                          23 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: MartyB

                                                                                                                                            First off, I think $6 IS pretty far off. The first issue is the tomato sauce in a can. You said yourself that your daughter told you that the secret of great pizza is the sauce. The kind that is just tomatoes, water, salt and the like is certainly not what pizza places use for their pizza, and if you plan to use that sort of stuff for pizza, I guess you're not really looking for real pizza. It will be cheaper, certainly, but it certainly won't mimic anything like pizza from a professional pizza store. Tomato sauce like Hunt's, or kosher for Pesach brands, are not what real pizza stores use. Unless you've found something in a can I've never seen. Closer is pasta sauce, like what one uses for lasagna. It has spices, onions, garlic, etc. But that does not come in a can, and it's never 50 cents. As for cheese, if you plan to make a full-sized pie, I don't think $3.00 will cover it, no pun intended. I do not like cheese, so when I have pizza, I specifically request that they use just a sprinkling (at Pizza Professor, all pies are made to the customer's specifications), but the handfuls I see them using on pies for other people would probably be the equivalent of at least a couple of bags of cheese, which I'm pretty sure go for more than $3 each, but again, I don't buy cheese, so I couldn't be sure. Time and effort are also worth something to some people, but it doesn't seem to me that you factor that in, so you can leave that out of the equation. You also won't be able to get your home oven up to the temperature of a professional pizza oven, so it won't be the same. The pizza stone will help hold some heat, but real pizza ovens, as many above have reported, get up into the 800 degree range.
                                                                                                                                            If all you're interested in is saving money, maybe you'll save a few cents. But look at the fact that, as of today, there are over 100 responses to the question "Phenomenal Kosher Pizza? Does it Exist?," and there is no definitive response, despite the fact that there are dozens of professional pizza places trying (admittedly some harder than others) to make good pizza. If you think that what you are going to casually make in your home kitchen is going to exceed, or even equal, what many professional places can't achieve, I think you're going to be very disappointed. But again, if it's only about the money, you'll probably save some. After all, you don't have the expenses of these food establishments to cover. You don't have to factor in the rent, the heating and air conditioning, the boxes, napkins, the labor, the phone bill, the electricity for lighting, the gas for the oven, and on and on. And most important, you don't have the expense of the hashgacha.
                                                                                                                                            I presume, from the gist of your question, that you would never order something like pasta at a restaurant, because, after all, a pound of pasta costs about 75 cents, whereas even the cheapest restaurant would charge at least 10 times that for a plate of pasta. People have often said to me that I should go into business with my baking. I think it's an absolutely crazy idea. It's not as easy as baking a great cake or pie and selling it for $10. To be successful in the food business, where more establishments fail than succeed, you have to be a great businessperson. And in the kosher world, where places are basically starting off knowing that there is one day a week that they won't have a chance to take in income, prices sometimes have to be that much higher to cover all those expenses. So what does this mean in relation to pizza? Maybe you'll be able to make a pie for less than $15. Or even less than $10. Will it be the same? An emphatic NO, not in all the aforementioned ways, and it's not even fair to compare your costs to theirs.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: queenscook

                                                                                                                                              Most of the arguments you say are probably right, I will not be the one making it, I just eat it. I am sure that when my daughter makes it, from what you said, she probably wont be using tomoto sauce from a can, what do I know, it sure looked like tomato sauce to me. As to "and it's not even fair to compare your costs to theirs" I always thought that professional establishments pay WAY lower then what you or I pay, I am sure that do not pay $3-4 for a 5 pound bag of flour, they probably buy them in 50-100 pound bags and pay a fraction per 5 pounds then we do. I am also sure that they do not buy cheese in 8/16 oz bags, but in much larger quantities for much lower cost. I was trying to get a feel what it would cost me to make my own pie. The proof will be in the taste. I will report when my daughter gets around to actually make a pie. Then I will know what it really costs and most important, how it tastes.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: MartyB

                                                                                                                                                One other point that no one made is that businesses are in business to make money. They are not selling food as a chesed or for cost; it's their right to charge over what their costs are, as that's why they are selling it in the first place.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: MartyB

                                                                                                                                                  Have you looked at the cost of flour lately? Bakers are complaining becasue the cost has increased ten-fold.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: skipper

                                                                                                                                                    I will check next time I go to Brachs, my daughter does the baking and shopping so I have no idea. My recollection is that a 5 lb bag of flour was running in the $1 - $2 area, I would assume from your statement that a 5 lb bag of flour should now be running in the $10-$20 area then.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MartyB

                                                                                                                                                      btw, have you tried out your pizza stone yet?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: berel

                                                                                                                                                        Not yet, I am still on Atkins. Have 5 pounds to go, then watch out! Israel and Pesach was a killer, between the two I gained 15 pounds. I have to moderate when I do go off my diet. I was maintaining my weight by being on Atkins Mon-Thurs and off Fri-Sun. Worked for me, I always kept one eye on the scale. However when I went to Israel (damn those buffet meals at the hotels) for 10 days and then Pesach, I ate like there was no tomorrow. For this reason I will skip hotel for shavous, I will let my daughter enjoy Gateways. I do plan on cheating for one meal on shavous, wheather I meet my weight goal or not. Chabad of the 5 towns always has a spectacular kiddush the first day of shavous that I will not skip.

                                                                                                                                                        Since I have not visited a pizza store since pesach, has the prices for pizza changed? Is Pizza Time still $3/slice?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MartyB

                                                                                                                                                          I went to the Pizza store in Far Rockaway across from Kosher World last Thursday, pizza was still $2..25 a slice and didn't notice any decline in size or quality

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: berel

                                                                                                                                                            Last time that I went there (around Apr 13, when they were giving out 2 slices and a fries for free) they were charging $1.95 a slice, so they went up to $2.25 a slice - bummer.

                                                                                                                                                            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/508789

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MartyB

                                                                                                                                                              btw, just came from Brachts, a 5 lb bag of flour is $3.00 - $3.50

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: berel

                                                                                                                                                                I wonder how many pounds of flour is used to make a pizza pie.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MartyB

                                                                                                                                                                  3 &1/2 cups of flour which would = 14 ounces

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: berel

                                                                                                                                                                    So assuming that a pizza store buys retail, in 5 lb bags the flour component cost of a pizza pie (using your 14 oz figure, rounded up to a pound) is (using Super A pricing of $1.50 for 5 pounds) would be 30 cents or 60 cents using your Brachs pricing.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MartyB

                                                                                                                                                                      I picked up pre-made dough at Trader Joes in Brooklyn yesterday 99 cents for enough dough for a 12 inch pizza. it came refrigerated and I put it in the office freezer till I was ready to go home. They had plain, herb and basil and whole wheat doughs under the MVH hashgacha.

                                                                                                                                                                      this was the first time I actually used my pizza stone for other than matzah pizza. Came absolutely delicious, and looked it too. my wife was sorry she had eaten chicken earlier..

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: berel

                                                                                                                                                                        I buy these doughs all the time. They stay in the fridge, so you don't have to freeze them right away.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: berel

                                                                                                                                                                  The Super A brand flour works just fine and it was $1.50 a bag on sale this week. You can buy a box of Vital Wheat Gluten in their health food section for under $2 and add it to the flour if you like High-Gluten flour for challah. The box lasts through about 3 huge batches of challah.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: queenscook

                                                                                                                                                    I would actually disagree with you on the sauce. I agree that pre-spiced "tomato sauce" is not the way to go, the best pizzas I've had or made have been with a sauce of simple stewed san marzano tomatoes, pureed, with a bit of salt, olive oil, and, optionally, fresh basil and/or oregano.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: aivri

                                                                                                                                                      This may be; I am no lover of pizza and therefore don't make it or seek it out that often. (I do like Pizza Professor here in Queens, though.) Still, my point was just that you can't open a can of Hunt's sauce and use that as is.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: queenscook

                                                                                                                                                        One more thing. I don't think that the fairly unadulterated stewed tomato base would satisfy those pizza eaters who are used to the standard pizzeria fare. Probably a bit too "gourmet" for them.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: aivri

                                                                                                                                                        Pizza Professor in Queens serves up my favorite pizza in the tri-state area.

                                                                                                                                                        As for the pizza sauce, for the past few months, Gourmet Glatt on Long Island has been selling the 15 oz cans of (Star-K) Don Pepino "all natural fully prepared pizza sauce" for .99 a can. Ingredients: Tomatoes, corn oil, salt, spices, and powdered garlic." I love the tangy sauce on pizza as well as straight out of the can. Check out www.donpepino.com ; this web site shows Don Pepino pizza sauce, Don Pepino pizza sauce with basil, Sclafini pizza sauce, Violet pizza sauce, Violet special sauce ("Violet Special Pizza Sauce contains only fresh vine ripened tomatoes. Harvested at the peak of ripeness, these tomatoes combined with non-cholesterol corn oil, imported and domestic spices, offer a pure tomato fresh pizza sauce. We are able to do this without the use of sugar, corn syrup, tomato paste or citric acid. These are used to artificially sweeten or thicken a product. In many cases making it less costly to manufacture."), and a number of spaghetti and marinara sauces. All of these products appear to sport the Star-K.

                                                                                                                                                        What is the difference between pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, and marinara sauce? Pardon my ignorance!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: midasgold

                                                                                                                                                          I have heard that a sugared up Don Pepino is the secret sauce to Nut House Pizza in Silver Spring.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: HungryJew

                                                                                                                                                            Don Pepino's pizza sauce does not taste like NY pizza.....But agree that Nut Huse has great pizza

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: md12345

                                                                                                                                                              Nut house is DELICIOUS!!!
                                                                                                                                                              But it's not real pizza.
                                                                                                                                                              Again...I like it, and make it a point to eat a whole pie of it when I'm there, and I like it, but I can't call it real pizza.

                                                                                                                                                  3. I have hated every kosher pizza slice I've had since high school in the 70's. Yesterday, I finally found a Deliciois slice. It was Deep dish style, $3.00 a slice at a place called Pardes Kosher Pizza
                                                                                                                                                    633-9138
                                                                                                                                                    4001 13th Ave
                                                                                                                                                    in Brooklyn

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: morefaves

                                                                                                                                                      I believe that Mike of Mike's Bistro is opening a gourmet pizzeria and kosher cheese specialty store on the upper West Side of Manhattan, and that it should be up and running soon. Probably not as cheap as the neighborhood family places, but worth it for the cognoscenti! Imagine freshly home made mozzarella, maybe even handmade moist pasta (never ddried), who knows perhaps real San Marzano tomatoes (D.O.P.) instead of canned treacly sauce! I am salivating already.

                                                                                                                                                    2. Rosa's pizza in the Empire State Bldg. is getting some nice reviews so I figure that this info belongs in this thread. After all we do love our pizza, real Jewish soul food,

                                                                                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/595849

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                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MartyB

                                                                                                                                                        As I posted earlier, I believe Rosa's to be the best "new york style" kosher slice available in NYC. But I do not want to mislead folks into thinking that it is the equivalent of a place like Lombardi's, mentioned at the top of this thread. I have seen (not tasted) Lombardi's pizza up close. It and its ilk are in a different category of product and should not be compared to what Rosa's is doing so well.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Kosher Critic

                                                                                                                                                          Maybe someone in the (kosher) pizza business will take up the challenge. We can dream, can't we?

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: MartyB

                                                                                                                                                          Be carful with Rosa's and Benny's on Ave M and J. All there pizzas are made with 6 hour cheese. That might be the reason they taste good to some people.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bigkhuna

                                                                                                                                                            Can you explain what you mean, please? Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DeisCane

                                                                                                                                                              They mix "hard" cheese in with soft, i.e. parmesan wtih mozzarella. Orthodox Jews wait six hours after eating hard cheese before consuming meat items, whereas there is essentially no wait time necessary after eating soft cheeses. This forum is not the appropriate place for a detailed explanation or analysis...

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Yosef_dov

                                                                                                                                                                  I know about the aged cheese issue. I meant to ask why it would taste good only to some people!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Yosef_dov

                                                                                                                                                                    Hmm, okay, I will ask the owner. Personal friend.

                                                                                                                                                            2. I gotta change my old vote to Bourekas Bachar in Kew Gardens Hills- a relatively new place on Union Turnpike right near Hapisgah- they make pies with fresh mozzarella if you prefer that, and the regular pies are just as great. $12.99 special on Thursday nights for a regular pie, $14.95 all other times. Cheap prices usually indicate crappy food, but not in this case.

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                                                                                                                                                              1. re: latke

                                                                                                                                                                was at bourekas bachar last night .my kids just had slices that were re heated - just ok - french fries were fresh cut & very tasty . i ordered a fresh mozz per piz , it was delish.. the owner was very attentive & offered me a potato olive boureka on the house.
                                                                                                                                                                5 slices - 1 per pizz- 3 fountain sodas & lg fries = $24
                                                                                                                                                                not a bad thur. night in qns

                                                                                                                                                              2. I told my daughter, who attends Stern College, about Rosa's Pizza and Pasta (mind you I have never been there just passed along the reviews here from Chowhound) and she absolutely loves it! She says that it is way better than Sabra's Pizza here in Cedarhurst with a much larger variety. When I lose a couple (more like 20) pounds I will try it out.

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                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MartyB

                                                                                                                                                                  Glad to hear she likes it. If I were at Stern, I would eat there every week. Mind you, if I were at Stern, I would have some other issues. At any rate, I work nowhere near Rosa's and I still go there every few weeks. It has, however, spoiled me from going back to the other pizza places.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Kosher Critic

                                                                                                                                                                    I work near there and go once a week. The pizza and salads are great- my non-Jewish coworkers always ask me to bring them back food.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: MartyB

                                                                                                                                                                    My daughter and I dined at Rosa's last Sunday. It was the 1st time she was in the Empire State Building, so it was a double-thrill. Wow... a cholev Yisroel pizza place right in the iconic Empire State Building, the tallest building in New York! We both found the many varieties of pizza (some of which we had never encountered at ANY kosher pizza restaurant) to be outstanding. And the spicy (yes, it really was!) avocado dressing on the made-to-order salad was delicious as well. (The fries were ok, nothing to write Chowhound about.)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: midasgold

                                                                                                                                                                      I liked the avocado dressing... I asked for it to be mixed with lemon juice last time I had a salad there... not so heavy but still a great flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                  3. New place on Avenue U and East 28th, called Pizza & Bagels Inc under Rabbi Gornish. My whole family likes the pizza better than anything else in Flatbush, although Chodosh on M much improved to tastier pizza, and the price is $11 a pie. Cain't touch this.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. My sister in law just got back from Rome and says that she has never in her life tasted anything as unbelievable as the kosher pizza and pasta in Rome. She says it doesn't compare to the kosher pizza/pasta she's had in any other city.

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                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: luvkosher

                                                                                                                                                                        This is absolutely true. The most amazing kosher food I've had was all in italy. You'll see a major difference between kosher food in Rome and kosher food in the States - mainly that the goyishe patrons often outnumber the jewish! These restaurants cook food for italians, not just italian jews, and because they aren't trying to bottom-line a captive audience, they can produce food that is absolutely wonderful (and authentic) and priced similarly to non-kosher. I will always have fond memories of meals eaten in the company of the friendly locals, who praised the food highly without once adding "for a kosher joint".

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: KosherHound

                                                                                                                                                                          Of course. Kosher food reflects the typical food of the region. In the USA, it's fast food and processed food, and American cheese. But where people appreciate quality food, it stands to reason that kosher food would reflect that preference as well. Jewish culture reflects the culture at large.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ganeden

                                                                                                                                                                            Excellent point; it's mostly true. I think, though, that places which have kosher restaurants and not enough kosher clientele to float them, will go the extra mile to make the food appealing to non-jews who know what good food tastes like.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Excellent kosher pizza absolutely does exist, and in the unlikeliest of places- Lakewood, NJ. I have had the pizza in nearly all the East Coast places mentioned in this thread, and the best pizza I've had, hands down, is from The Pizza Place. Fresh ingredients, terrific sauce that I could actually taste, not too expensive, nice ambience, Jones soda in the fridge, and french fries that tasted like potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                        The trick, as with Pizza Time on Avenue J in Brooklyn, is the Jewish/Italian partnership.

                                                                                                                                                                        Hechsher is KCL. They've got weird hours, so call ahead. Google said their phone number is (732) 534-5291‎ and (732) 730-1144‎ (no website).

                                                                                                                                                                        The only thing from here I was unimpressed with are the preassembled salads in the display case, but that's my own fault- only an idiot purchases an assembled salad on a Motzoei Shabbos and expects it to be edible. Everything else has always been nothing less than delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. how about kosher frozen pizza for the lazy crowd? Amnon's is ok...anyone found any better!??

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                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: FerrariMan123

                                                                                                                                                                            Amnon's is probably the WORST frozen pizza out there. Mendelsohn's is slightly better, but try Green's for a freshly-baked taste...

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Just to make you New Yorkers jealous - I think we have terrific Kosher Pizza in Worcester, Mass. Boston Pizza and more - Shallow Dish Crust is crunchy, cheese is as good as any, toppings are fresh. Thin crust is developing a following.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Have you tried Mike's Italian Kitchen, at 654 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY - (212) 362-0700? The "Mike" is from Mikes Bistro, in my opinion one of NYC's best kosher restaurants (if not the best).

                                                                                                                                                                                1. anyone ever try bagels and co. in manhattan, the upper east side?

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                                                                                                                                                                                  1. It exists. Danny's Art Bar in Ein Hod, Israel. Made-from scratch kosher pizzas and truly great home-brewed ales.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Anybody think Mike's Pizzeria on the Upper West Side is good? (Same owner as Mike's Bistro)

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                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Mar123

                                                                                                                                                                                        I like it a lot, but I've only ever had what was declared above to be Bad Kosher Pizza, plus pizza I've made myself. I have no way of comparing it to 'Patsy's, Pintailes and Lombardis,' as discussed in the OP.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GilaB

                                                                                                                                                                                          Also coming from a previous non-kosher life, I think that Mike's has some excellent qualities - actual fresh veggies as toppings (try the zucchini!), and a flavorful crust, that could, on a good day, resemble Patsy's IF they charred it in an appropriate coal oven. That being said, other elements of the pizza are not fantastic. And the price (!!!!!!!!). Although its a different type of pizza, I think Noi Due or Basil is superior. I made pizza at home last night, but that isn't an option without several hours to prep, clean up, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Mar123

                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes. As I mentioned above, try their eggplant slice. I have yet to find a kosher pizza shop that makes a better eggplant slice (I know that's kind of a niche in the kosher market, but their other varieties are pretty good too).

                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Pizza professor in Queens makes the best pizza I've had

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                                                                                                                                                                                          1. As a pizza connoisseur, I can honestly say that the only, ONLY, Kosher pizza that matches, if not beats, those famous "treif" pies is that of Louis from Poppy's Pizza in Teaneck.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Louis' Pizza is truly bucket-list worthy.

                                                                                                                                                                                            EDIT: I know the store is techically called Poppy's Bagels....but their bagels happen to be very mediocre, where their pizza is just OUT OF THIS FREAKIN' WORLD.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ArMed1010

                                                                                                                                                                                              ArMed.... I never ordered the pizza BECAUSE of the bagels... I will have to try now.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Not in the city, but try Judean Hills in Riverdale - great pizza, salads, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                              cschoen

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                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cschoen

                                                                                                                                                                                                As a Riverdale resident, I barely go to Judean Hills any longer because I've fallen in love with the pizza at Cafeccino Bakery on 231st also in Riverdale. http://cafeccinobakery.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                Their pizza dough is thicker than most, and it tastes really good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Judean Hills is good, don't get me wrong. But Cafeccino blows it out of the water.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Ive had excellent kosher pizza in Las Vegas of all places! : Adar Pizza. Its right off of the strip by the Stratosphere Hotel. The pizza is mezonos and cholov yisroel! There are calzones (equally good!) and nachos and more. Whenever we go to vegas, We practically move in!

                                                                                                                                                                                                In phoenix, there is King Solomons! Wonderful pizza! (7th St and Camelback) Ziti, eggplant parm and more! Delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. After all the opinions given here, mostly negative, here comes the decision by WTOP radio in Washington DC. The best pizza in the Washington area is... Ben Yehuda Pizza in Silver Spring! http://www.wtop.com/?nid=812&sid=...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  So, is it really that good, or was the award rigged?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: zsero

                                                                                                                                                                                                    While that sounds impressive, if you look at the article you will see that the number two spot went to....domino's! I'm sure there pizza is good but i doubt its the greatest in baltimore, let alone the east coast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    That being said i am from chicago and i know i'm going to take a lot of flak for saying this but i really like slice of life's THICK/PAN pizza and think it really is the best around. Seeing as i'm a ba'al teshuva and grew up on places like lou malnatis, unos and the like so i do know good pizza. Also my parents, who do not keep kosher, really like slice's thick pizza. It can be inconsistent at times but overall i think its the best.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Way outside of NY, but I heard that the pizza in Moshav Mevo Modiin in Israel is the authentic Italian kind and awesome. Anyone tried it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I've already weighed in once or twice, with my vote for Pizza Time on Avenue J, both for their regular and grandma pizzas; but since then, I've been introduced to Benny's Pizza, (also on Avenue J, just a block away, as well as on Avenue M. I just reviewed it in a previous thread, and I do think they make a phenomenal pizza.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't think it would be fair to compare the pizza from Benny's and Pizza Time, as they are very different from each other, and both are really good, each in its own way. For those that haven't tried them, I would highly recommend the pizza at both places - eaten freshly made in the store, so they are at their peak of flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. NOI Dui and Mike's Italian kitchenon the Upper West Side make wonderful pizza. I can't say that I know what upscale non-kosher pizza tastes like. But I see a lot of non-Jews at Noi Dui (upscale, casual, near Lincoln Center) and they both have selections like margerita rustica, Bianca (white pizza) etc. Taking kosher pizza to new levels.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.mikesbistro.com/index.php?...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://noiduecafe.com/menu_AHIP.html

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AdinaA

                                                                                                                                                                                                          And Mike's is opening up in midtown, where Aroma used to be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Having never had the non-kosher pizzas, I can't compare, but my husband and I were very impressed by the pizza at Basil, in Crown Heights. It's a crisp, thin-crust pizza, not a genre that one sees much in the kosher market, and it seemed to be made with much better-quality ingredients than one generally sees in kosher shops. The flavors were great, with just the right amount of char on the bottom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Mikes Italian Kitchen in Manhattan, 93rd and Amsterdam has the best pizza. Mike is a chef. This is the Mike of Mike's Bistro.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.mikesbistro.com/index.php?...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            654 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025
                                                                                                                                                                                                            212-362-0700

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. If you are in Chicago - head out to Skokie and go to EJ's Pizza - some of the best kosher pizza - tastes as good as any non-kosher pizza I have tasted

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. ib Brooklyn on Ave J and the corner of E.15th st. there is a nonkosher pizza shop which is world famous for its pizza. It has been noticed that he gets his cheese delivery by the same driver in the same boxes as the kosher pizza shop gets down the block. So much for kosher cheese not being as good as nonkosher cheese. That pizza shop is known to use basil from Israel.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bigkhuna

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not sure where you're getting your info, but if you check out any of the multiple threads on DiFara's it will be abundantly clear that he is NOT using the same cr*p as the kosher pizzerias. Restaurant suppliers carry many different lines of food at many different price and quality points. Just because the same truck makes the deliveries does not mean that the contents of the delivery are the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And really, what does it matter that he uses Israeli basil or basil from anywhere else, if that's even true? Considering that I've watched Dom pinch off basil leaves from the plant growing on his counter and use them on my pizza (yes, I eat both kosher and non and have eaten at DiFara's many times) I can tell you with certainty that at least some of his basil is local.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And considering what I had to pay for kosher cheese for Passover, most of which was thrown away because it tasted worse than the plastic it was wrapped in, there's no way that it is cost-effective for the local kosher pizzeria to use "good" kosher cheeses. I will continue to stand by the statement that most kosher cheese simply does not taste as good as their non-kosher equivalents. Fortunately, that situation seems to be improving.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rockycat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DiFara one time listed their ingredients and they said they got their basil from Israel. From what I understand once you have had DiFara's pizza you will not eat any other. Most kosher cheese are made in the same plants as non kosher cheese. The main differerence is the renet in indroduced by a shomer shabbos person. Does Haolom Yellow American taste different than Kraft Cheese? It has been witnessed the same boxes of cheese are delivered to DiFara's. What makes DiFara taste so gone and can a kosher version by produced? Have you looked at the line of kosher cheeses sold at Pomogrante and Fair Ways? Do you think they are inferior? How about Schermings Swiss cheese it seems to be pretty good. One of the Mozzarello brands sold in many of the NYC area supermarkets used to have the Chaf K. I don't remeber it tasting any different then "kosher" brands.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bigkhuna

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have tasted cheese from Pomegranate and some are quite good. They also cost me over $30/lb. last year when a non-kosher cheese of similar quality would have cost no more than $18/lb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So once again, how can a kosher establishment use a good cheese and still charge the customer a price that won't cause resistance?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rockycat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Noi Dui and Mike's are superior. They use fresh mozarella and basil. They don't try to compete on price, they just charge more in a neighborhood where people are willing to pay for a superior product.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AdinaA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm sorry, but both Noi Dui and Mike's are mediocre on a good day compared to the high-quality traif places. The problem is threefold - the cheese, the sauce, and the dough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There is gourmet kosher cheese out there. It's extremely expensive, and even then rarely of the same quality as nonkosher cheese a quarter of the price. This is especially true with mozzarella, which goes bad extremely quickly. And of course the real stuff isn't even made from cow milk but buffalo milk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Then there's the sauce...despite using fancy names and ingredients, and a lack of kashrut problems with them, the sauce at kosher places, including the aforementioned. is either wan or far too intense...it's a simple problem of not really knowing what they're doing - the result is fine but lacking magic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's the same problem with the dough/crust, only more pronounced. I know people on the kosher forum aren't likely to visit Keste, but the crust there is incomparably delicious, even though it's made from very few (and very kosher) ingredients. It's simply a question of technique and skill. The crust at Mike's and Noi Dui is once again fine, but nothing more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'll caveat that I've heard good things about Basil but I haven't been. For everything but cheese it's really just a question of skill and technique, but the folks who make the top-notch pizza in NYC live and breathe pizzamaking, and handle the production of the pizza personally. Does good kosher pizza exist? Sure. Phenomenal? Absolutely not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ubertrout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            How unutterably lowering. You have thoroughly punctured my bubble.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: bigkhuna

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It has been "noticed" and "witnessed" that world-renowned Di Fara's gets the same cheese as the kosher pizzerias? By whom? Some anonymous schmo? Unless you can cite a legitimate authority, please don't spread unsubstantiated gossip and innuendo like this. It could be quite damaging to Di Fara's business if untrue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Here is a link from Epicurious about how Domenico DeMarco, the pie-maker at Di Fara's, prepares his pizzas. In the article, he mentions that his basil and oregano are from Israel. He uses several cheeses (the main one of which is "buffalo mozzarella, which he gets from his hometown outside of Napoli") and there is no indication that any of them are kosher: http://www.epicurious.com/articlesgui...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And Ha'olom's yellow American absolutely tastes different and has an unyieldingly stiff, rubbery texture quite unlike Kraft's version.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Arthur

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have eaten pizza across the country, at pretty much every famous pizzeria of the last 10 years. Comparing Keste to Noi Due or Mikes, is comparing apples to oranges.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Keste is pure Italian style using using natural fermentation and an 800 degree oven. Di Faras oven is cranked super hot and he uses high moisture mozzarella and a ton of olive oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There are different kinds of pizza places. Many kosher places including the ones mentioned have great dough for what it is, classic new york pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Take a look at the prices at Di Fara, Dom can afford to splurge like he does. Very few everyday orthodox Jews would pay that kind of money for pizza.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Keste is not much cheaper either and it is a completely different style.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Why don't you tell Dom his pizza is to dark and you want a free one, see what happens ( be prepared for another 2 hour wait).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And Haolam Cheese is great for what it is, Low moisture mozzarella, just like every New York Style Pizzeria.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          When you want to pay 16 dollars for a floppy, charred, (still tasty)10 inch pizza, which is traditionally eaten with a fork. Then go to Keste, Co., etc.... But the average person doesn't appreciate it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've worked with both styles professionally, kosher and non kosher. I also enjoy both almost every day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: superburns

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Today there are Jews who will pay for Pizza like Di Fara if they find the pizza to be great. Look what people are willing to pay for kosher Sushi. The materials cost very little and is sold at high prices

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: superburns

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I agree that the center of pizza at Keste can be problematic - you really can't eat it with your hands. I cited them for their dough, though - the crust on their pizza is amazing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm not saying that kosher pizzerias are trash. I'm just saying that at best they're surprisingly good - for kosher pizza. I can't think of a single kosher pizzeria which I would take a non-kosher person, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So, for the question of whether decent kosher pizza exists, then the answer is yes. But do you seriously think that any kosher pizza place is anything more than decent? Would you take a non-kosher chowhound to Mike's or Noi Due for phenomenal pizza? Or are they simply good options for someone who won't eat dairy at a non-kosher restaurant?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ubertrout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                What about the one in the old Jewish quarter in Rome? I like it a lot. It's meat pizza, not diary. And I assumed that it was authentic since, you know, it's in Rome and the guys who make it speak Italian.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The crust is thin and the sauce is spread thinly and flavored with fresh herbs. I haven't been there in a couple of years, but I thought it was wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Arthur

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Just two cents here from a NY based Chef working in the kosher world, nearly half of the available Basil on the market is Israeli, most coming from a company called Arava(tell tale sign is that all Israeli basil comes commercially in blue bags, no domestic basil does). This Israeli produce is one of the few widely available without the root system intact and cleaned really really well (nobody likes grit in their pesto or pizza). So Di Fara's usage of that Israeli produce is not much more then happenstance and certainly would have ZERO impact on their cheese purchasing...FYI

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Dairy Palace in Staten Island is really good..a bit pricy, but very good

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Firstly cheese is not necessary for pizza but Cabot cheeses other than Bacon flavoured are kosher and their cheeses are as good or better than anything you are likely to find on a non-kosher pizza.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The vegetable Pizza found on pg 204 of Mira Sacerdoti's Italian Jewish cooking is as good as anything you are likely to find anywhere provided you use quality fresh ingredients. If you use a high quality vegetable oil instead of butter you can have a kosher meat pizza.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          PS is anyone making goose salami or goose prosciutto ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Pardes Restaurant in Brooklyn makes a Beef Cheek Pizza that will completely reconceptualize the way you think about pizza. It is out-of-this-world.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AdinaA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I second that. I never would have thought that one of the best pieces of pizza I've ever had would be meat - until I went to Pardes. Amazing and worth a trip just for the pizza, although most of the menu is just as exceptional.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I was passing through Roslyn, Long Island and found a new Kosher pizzeria opened near the Roslyn Train Station. The pizza is some of the best I ever ate and the prices are extremely reasonable. It's called Village Pizza at 295 Warner Ave. (516 484-5777), and it's under the Queens Vaad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. This is so funny! I bought frozen Amnon's pizza on a whim, and it turned out to actually taste better than anything I have tasted in the greater NY area!! Thin crisp crust, tasty sauce-not ketchup, and good cheese!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Monsey

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  buy it at Costco? We have freezer full of it. Cheaper than taking 7 grandkids and their parents out for pizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I think the main points of the original post question and the rest of the discussion are%3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1) "phenomenal" being a subjective term, the general consensus is that "good" kosher pizza exists, but not necessarily what a majority would consider "phenomenal".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2) The "frum-from-birth" individual, who has eaten only kosher all his life, is not truly "qualified" to rate pizza (or any other food), except in comparison to other kosher pizza/food. This is not a "dig", this is a statement of simple reality. I am a B.T.- I grew up in New Haven, CT, home of some of the world's best pizza as judged by many, many pizza "gurus" (i.e. "professional" food critics, etc., including Peter Reinhart, author of "American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza") as well as us lay-people. I know what "phenomenal" pizza tastes like, and I haven't found a kosher joint yet anywhere in all the states I've visited or in Israel that could be called "phenomenal" or stands out as pizza I would remember years later and crave- like I crave the New Haven pie of my youth. I have heard many a FFB declare Jerusalem 2 on Broadway as "good pizza".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3) Mike's on 36th Street and Rosa's in the Empire State Building are examples of good kosher pizza...Noi Due is also in the "good" category. Diamonte's that used to be on 48th Street (where Cafe K is now) used to have good pizza too. What sets these places apart is that the owner/chef is either a real trained chef, or someone with worldly experience who has tasted foods at non-kosher places at some point in their lives.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4) An important point made above is that the best tasting food (whether pizza or anything else) is made by someone who actually cares about the taste and quality, and is not motivated primarily by profit. Unfortunately, due to the economics of strict Kosher, as well as the typical mindset of the kosher restaurateur (being driven by profit), the focus in far too many kosher joints is not on flavor, and it shows clearly in the choice of ingredients (like soybean oil). Good luck finding a kosher place whose owners even have any idea what things like "nacho sauce" are.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5) Really, really good kosher pizza CAN indeed be made, and I have PROVEN this by making such a thing- at home, based on 40+ years of pizza eating and making experience. But at home I don't skimp on ingredients- I go for flavor. I typically use recipes for dough from the aforementioned "American Pie" book (you can find recipes on Mr. Reinhart's "pizzaquest" website), which recommend an overnight rise in the refrigerator for best flavor. The sauce is typically nothing but plain crushed tomatoes- good quality ones of course, San Marzano's with OU certification can be found at places like Fairway, or you can actually find "real" pizza restaurant sauces at places like Restaurant Depot- several of which are certified Kosher. As for cheese, that's where it gets tricky. If you're into the "Chalav Yisroel" scam in the USA, you're out of luck... some of the NON Miller/World Cheese products are OK, but not at the same level as a good non-CY cheese-- Cappiello makes OU-D certified cheeses that are pretty good, including some smoked mozzarella products. Unfortunately these sell for about $13/pound. There are excellent foreign made cheeses that are indeed Kosher (CY even), ie. some Italian cheese like real parmigiano Reggiano (occasionally available from Fairway). You have to search the various "high-end" cheese bins/cases in good markets to find these nuggets- sometimes you're surprised when you find a "real" cheese with a good hechsher... I have yet to find a great pizza cheese that is certified with a "mainstream reliable" hechsher. There are plenty of cheeses out there that are pretty good but with Tablet-K certification. Polly-O brand, which is probably one of the best "super market" brands you could buy, USED TO have some non-mainstream hechsher, but now has only a "K" on the package, which means no "orthodox" Jew will eat it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  nother thing is the oven... again, a true pizza artisan will understand the oven and how to use it. 450 or 550 degree ovens are why home made pie doesn't come out like good restaurant pie. Unfortunately, I've been in some Kosher pie joints where the deck oven is set at 450- because a) the owner thinks he's saving money by having it at a lower temp, and b) they don't really have a clue about using the deck oven. Once you've "charred" a pie at home at over 600 degrees, you know you're on to something re: oven temp and bake control.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So there's the tradeoff-- I could open a pizza restaurant (or meat restaurant for that matter) that would have excellent tasting food that would happen to be kosher (not the other way around). Phenomenal? Depends on your tastes and experiences. If I could use Chalav Stam milk, or imported cheese, the pie would be great...but a sector of the Jewish market place wouldn't eat it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Yosef_dov

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    as a B.T.- from Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn (we were no slouches either when it came to phenomenal pizza) I'll have to agree 100% with you

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: berel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 slices and a large soda in 1970 . 60 cents

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      oy vey

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Yosef_dov

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nothing tastes as good as the special food we remember. Seriously. I often take non-Jews and non-observant Jews to kosher restaurants, and their judgments are the most reliable. (Probably not perfect either, they may be trying too hard to be kind, or have preconceptions about the inferiority of kosher food). I also make a cassoulet and have served it to baalei tschuva who have raved about it with the,er, compliment that it "tastes treif." But baal tschuva or not, comparing food you eat today to the food you remember eating is not a reliable way to make a comparison. Real food simply cannot compete with memory. No one makes it the way the great little Italian pizzeria in New Haven did in your memory, or the way grandma did.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: AdinaA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sorry,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        How about those of us who eat both at those great New Haven Apizza places, Sally's, Pepe's AND the kosher pizza joints. The New Haven Apizza is not a memory to me, as I was brought up eating milchiges out, and still do.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have never had great kosher pizza made in a restaurant, but do make it at home on a pizza stone in my brick backyard oven. I use only the best oil, sauce and cheese. And being from New haven, mozzarella is an extra, a New Haven pie only has the sauce, oil and grated romano cheese on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ahhh, that wonderful aroma of good pecorino romano! BTW- what about Ernie's in Westville? Or the best (IMO) was the Galleria that was in the Chapel Sq. Mall...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Yosef_dov

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ernie's is very good, but NOT coal fired Brick oven, The oven makes all the difference, which is why I built a brick pizza oven in my backyard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh, if you're eating there in real time, that's different. You would know. Everyone raves about New Haven pizza. It's the memory of perfect, long-ago meals that I question. Not real-time food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Yosef_dov

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Have you ever been back to New Haven and tried the pizza at Edge of the Woods? If so, what is your thoughts on it? I went there at the suggestion of this board a few weeks ago, and liked it very much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: seikoloco

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Edge of the woods is very good pizza, but does not compare with the Apizza on Wooster Street. They do not use a coal burning brick oven

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If I can't scrape up the dough (heh heh) for a FornoBravo backyard pizza oven (http://www.fornobravo.com/) I might go for one of these kettle grill top ovens: http://kettlepizza.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not coal fired, but can be wood fired...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Yosef_dov

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                the brick apizza oven I built in my backyard is wood fired. The local ordinances do not allow the burning of coal in my community.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                BGTW>>>I built it myself, total cost less than $350. It is actually two sided, back to back over one fire pit. That way I have a milchige oven for pizza (facing the patio) and a fleischige oven for when it's too hot to roast inside the house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pictures! Pictures! Sounds awesome!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Yosef_dov

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    here's a shot from the oven under construction. There is a brick wall uo the center of the oven, one fire pit under the entire structure, and two doors front oven and back oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I didn't have the pizza at La Bella on Main St in KGH's Sunday night when we at there, but it's baked in a brick oven and my friends tell me it's phenomenal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      sooooo jealous right now. wish that were an option in my apartment. good for you for building this! did you see the chow video "obsessives - pizza" about the guy from una pizza napolitana who built his own pizza oven?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. There's an excellent kosher Italian style restaurant which is in crown height, called Basil ( www.basilny.com ) The owner-chef of Pardes in Brooklyn was the first Chef. They have an excellent exotic mushroom truffle oil thin crust pie, amazzing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Okay, so about three weeks ago I did the ultimate pizza taste test. Starving after work, I made a straight shot to L and B's on 86th Street in Brooklyn. I got a square slice and a regular slice.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Let me start with the square. It was a piece of heaven. The sauce is perfectly balanced, and the cheese is melted onto the crust, and the bottom of the crust is slightly burnt to perfection.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's simple and delicious.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But here is the real comparison.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I got a regular slice from them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I started eating it..and the cheese was gooey. Just perfect. I salivated all over by accident while trying to catch the cheese with my tongue and a glob of saliva landed on my brand new jeans, while 2 italian girls were laughing at me. (part of the experience)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The crust bottom was crisp, but not too stiff or burnt. It was thin!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The sauce itself had a very very fresh simple taste to it. No sweetness, or too much salt.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This was an amazing experience, worth a few minutes in gehennim. (A joke for you frumsters out there). And the crust didn't taste like there was a layer of bread somewhere inside there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Here is the kicker.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I waited 30 min in the car, and drove straight to the kosher pizza on avenue U and E28th (or 29th)..and got a regular slice.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Salty. Crust was stiff and very bread like. cheese was stiff, not gooey. The sauce was not even close to what I tasted 30 minutes prior. The whole slice was stiffer.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Again, it did not taste * bad *. It just wasn't real pizza.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I will do this comparison again and put it on youtube.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: killajakez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This wasn't a fair test because when you went to the first place your were hungry. By the time you got to the 2nd place you were already full. Next test go to the kosher pizza shop first.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bigkhuna

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I always eat at kosher pizza shops wen im hungry. (I keep kosher 95% of the time). I eat kosher pizza at Bennys, Jerusalem, Pizza time, and pizza bagel on U very often, on an absolutely empty stomach with a voracious appetite.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I do not get full from two slices. Three maybe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Update: i did eat at a place in boro park owned by a sefardic guy, and the sauce was pretty good, and the cheese was decent. If I remember the address, I will definitely re post it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: killajakez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Your very limited survey of two non-descript pizza restaurants is based on a miserably poor sampling that proves absolutely nothing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Arthur

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Non descript. Here, let's redo it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      L AND B PIZZA..AKA SPUMONI GARDENS. A BROOKLYN LANDMARK WITH SOME OF THE BEST PIZZA IN AMERICA. Better?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I had their famous square slice, and a regular slice. Both were phenomenal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Then I went to PIZZA BAGEL ON AVENUE U AND EAST 28TH.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I HAD A REGULAR SLICE.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      AFTER COMPARING THE TEXTURE, TASTE, AND QUALITY OF THE KOSHER SLICE, TO THE TRAYF SLICE, the TRAYF slice came up as the winner in my book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've had most of the kosher pizza in Brooklyn.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I will stand by my statement that one of the best kosher slices is the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      margarita slice at Benny's on M. I'm almost positive it's the margarita slice. It has a few basil leaves on top.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The cheese is VERY soft and gooey, NOT hard (probably use a different cheese here), and the sauce is super tasty.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I had a Benny's regular slice last week. Very tasty, and I like it a lot, but it's not a classic regular slice of italian pizza.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I brought up this subject with an acquaintance of mine, and he said the best idea is to practice making pizza at home, with the best quality soft italian mozzarella you can buy (at pomegranate).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And no, L and B's pizza doesnt taste better because theres pork in the sauce, or pork lard in the dough, or trayf red wine in the sauce, or some secret non kosher ingredient. (well, besides the cheese obviously).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's in the quality of the ingredients used, plain and simple.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: killajakez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        They do not call it a mararita slice, and they charge $4.50 for it. I found the dough to be cardboard thin without any taste and the cheese to be to chewey like buble gum. The chewey cheese I found to be different and interested. The cheese though tasted fresh. If this is one of the closes Kosher pizza to treif then I prefer kosher pizza.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        They call this cheese fresh motzerella and they make it there. But as in 80% of kosher pizza it is warmed up which is different then when it comes straight out of the oven and might explain the cheweyness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bigkhuna

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I just went there today to try the margarita slice. Either something's wrong with me, or it doesn't taste as good as it used to. yes, they charge 4.50 for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I thought for some reason a while back that it reminded me of a treif slice, but it was far from it. That white cheese (or fresh mozzarella as they call it) is not what normal pizzerias use.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: killajakez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I was there tonight at 7:30 and someone was getting a mararita slice then. What time were you there?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: bigkhuna

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Just saw this. I went earlier than you that day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Benny's pizza in sheepshead bay was bought by a friend of mine.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's called Cardo's. Still kosher. Do not like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: killajakez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          nothing beats the maranara sauce of Pizza Times Grandma pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Pizza Italia on Emek Refaim in Jerusalem is pretty wonderful. Not a really thin crust (there is a place in the food tasting court in First Station that will give you an excellent classic thin crust by the slice or in a box to take away) Pizza Italia crust is about 3/8 of an inch thick, maybe only 1/4". It's sort of perfect. A little chew, but not so much crust that it outshines the cheeses, herbs and vegetables.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      On a personal note, I love that they display 2 teudot: 1 for kashruth, and the 2nd, better-looking teudah (Italian design saavy) from something called the Italian International Pizza Institute certifying fidelity to authentic and high standards of pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: AdinaA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's funny, Adina. I am familiar with that second one. I believe there are only a handful in the US with it, including one in Arizona, iirc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Incidentally, we have been quite pleased with Pizaza here in London. It's relatively new and it's quite good NY style pizza. For a city where Domino's is considered perfectly acceptable, it's been a very pleasant surprise.