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Has Bronx Pizza in San Diego changed or is it just me having a problem

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When Bronx Pizza opened I was one of the first to try what they had. Loved it! I loved the crust, flavor but the biggest draw was the ability to buy one or two slices at a time. While I could do that back in Minnesota, it was unusual here in San Diego. At Bronx Pizza we could order a whole pizza or pick out several different slices to make up a pizza.

Last night I did not have time to preorder a pizza and found out that we could no longer order different slices for the price of a whole pizza but had to pay a per slice rate. When did this change? The person behind the counter was rude, mumbled prices (asked him twice the price and I swear he said $40 each time). For being the one handling food he did not even look clean. I gave him a $20 and got no change back. I left feeling I didn't need to go back there again. Am I the only one having this problem?

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  1. I went there on Friday night, and observed a few people working in the back, a guy with a beard who was nice and another guy who was tall and kinda looked like a thinner loui anderson. This fellow seemed a little rude and perhaps a little slow. Was this the guy who served you?

    2 Replies
    1. re: young_chower

      This was a tall, very heavy set fellow - could have used some basic grooming. Anyone who handles food with his hands (even with gloves) should look clean. However, more than the person - when did Bronx start charging by the piece for a whole pizza?

      I agree with Mimosa in her comment below about Luigi's. That has been where I have been getting my pizza lately. However, Bronx was closer to my destination. I didn't want to go to Luigi's then have to come north again. It will probably be awhile before I go to Bronx again.

      1. re: maureen

        I don't think Bronx charges by the slice for the whole pizza unless you want the equivalent of a whole pizza made up of slices of other pizzas. I can see why they would do that, it's more labor intensive to assemble a whole pizza that way, especially if the pieces aren't pre-cut.

        I know the guy you mean, the tall, heavy-set guy - he's always like that. Part of the "charm" of the place.

    2. Your experience sounds like standard operating procedure at Bronx. The help has been surly every time I have been there but I think it is part of the *mystique* of the place. That never bothered me as much as the product, which I think is mediocre.

      1. I still find them to be the best Pizza in San Diego. I have found them to be extremely generous with my young son. The Louie Anderson looking worker has always been very nice to me and my family.

        1. We used to be Bronx fans but we moved east about 2yrs ago and discovered Luigi's. Better service, better product (IMO) and a lot easier access. I always hated the parking, or lack of it, at Bronx.

          Have also tried Gotham in Golden Hill and it's acceptable, though second to Luigis.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mimosa

            I would'nt mind eating at Luigi's but the place is filthy and so is the help

            1. re: Rocco

              Wow-that's harsh! I have never eaten there, just called ahead and taken to go. That said, I've always found the staff to be efficient and friendly and for working next to a hot pizza oven, not terribly sweaty folk. And the health department seems to disagree with your assessment, given the A rating in the window.

          2. Kind of off topic, but for those who don't know. One of the guys who worked at Bronx (15 years I believe) has recently open his own place w/ his brother in the UTC/Miramar area, on Miramar behind Carls Jr. I'll give it thumbs up, nice varity of slices avaiable, good service, quality pie.

            Bongiornos New York Pizzeria
            6780 Miramar Rd
            San Diego, CA 92121

            (858) 566-8646

            2 Replies
            1. re: stevuchan

              Thanks for the tip. I will check it out.

              1. re: stevuchan

                This is good to know. I have friends at Scripps Ranch so when we order pizza I will suggest this.

              2. Anyone tried Regents pizza in the UTC area? The owner contacted me and said if I liked Bronx, I would love Regents. I just have not had time to check it out.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Captain Jack

                  I once order delivery from Regents ( I go to and live at UCSD). I got the thin crust. It is thinner than Bronx, closer to Hoboken Pizza in PB. They also have a very nice fresh sauce. Overall a solid pie in my opinion.

                  The only problem I see with the place is that their prices are significanly more than other places, Bronx inlcuded. That has kept me from getting it again.

                  1. re: young_chower

                    Thanks Chower,
                    I will try to get over there and review their thin crust pies.

                2. Regents is good, but I definitely think bronx is better - mostly because of the thin crust. My preference is to order a "fresh" pie rather than the ones sitting out by the slice (though I don't mind cold pizza!), and also order the pie "well done". I'm more into the way they are made back east - sorry for the location generalization - where there is a bit of char underneath. Surprisingly, Arivaderci's on 4th does a pretty good job at the individual pies, in part because they have a good over that gets over 800 degrees.

                  I've also been annoyed by the service at Regents and tend to prefer a no BS, take-your-order type place. Save the greetings and smiles for friends...

                  1. I dig regents only when I'm in the mood for deep dish (which is rare). If anyone remembers Blues Brother's pizza in PB, Regents is the same guy. Soild effort on the Deep Dish, call ahead usually takes 40 minutes. Also try Pernicano's in PB on Turquoise west of Mission, good thin crust, ordering well done is a must.

                    Cheers

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: stevuchan

                      my wife loves pernicanos, and I have no idea why.

                    2. Does anyone eat the pizza from DeLucca's on Thorn Street in Golden Hill? When I lived in San Diego, I thought it was the best pizza in town.

                      1. They are almost always rude that is part of the charm. Do you know of a better place in our craptacular food city? See you at Bronx.

                        1. I would also second Luigi's in Golden Hill, and I am an ex-NY'er who is used to real NY pizza--not faux NY Pizza. I have nothing bad to say about Bronx Pizza and have always enjoyed it, other than parking can be a pain in the neck. I live downtown and Luigi's is a bit closer, a tiny bit easier to park, and the product is just as good (maybe slightly better than Bronx). They also have a beer license now.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: El Chevere

                            Have you tried Ciro's in the gaslamp, around 6th and market? I am curious how ex NYers find it.

                          2. I have tried Ciro's...it's OK, nothing special. Their pizza is best eaten fresh and hot out of the oven. Luigi's tastes much closer to NY style pizza (or at least what I'm used to) in my opinion....another place I like downtown that serves a "Connecticut" style pizza is the Basic Urban Bar and Kitchen (near the ballpark in East Village)--they serve more of a flat, pan/sheet style pizza that has a good flavor...different from NY Style, but also good.

                            1. Where is Luigi's???

                              Is it "Luigi's @ the beach" in mission beach? How do their prices compare to bronx?

                              Thanks,

                              Upstarter

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: upstarter

                                Luigi's is on 25th at B Street in Golden Hill. A pie with 2 toppings will run you about $15.50.

                              2. Luigi's also has a "lunch special" all day which consists of 2 slices and a soda for $ 5.00 ( that's the cost for cheese slice...not sure if they charge more for a slice with toppings). Unlike Bronx, Luigi's has a beer license--includes imports, such as Pilsner Urquell--my favorite.

                                1. Re: their Golden Hill address, if you are familiar with the Surf & Turf or Krakatoa coffee shop, it is diagonally across the street.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: El Chevere

                                    I think by 'surf and turf' you're referring to The Turf Club (ie; the place the Cohn Group stole the idea for Gaslamp Strip Club from)

                                  2. We've been going to Bronx for years and haven't noticed any change. The surly charm is there, and the pizza is more or less the same. I suppose it depends on who is working that night, but that's true for any restaurant.

                                    Considering the dearth of decent pizza joints in San Diego, Bronx is both a find and a bargain. Who cares if there's no parking and they're inflexible about ordering options? That's part of the experience and infinitely superior to Papa John's, Round Table, et al.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Caroline

                                      "Who cares if there's no parking..."?

                                      I do. No parking = no access. The lack of parking is an increasingly common annoyance and deterrent but I wouldn't elevate it to part of "the experience".

                                      1. re: sdnativa

                                        I couldn't agree more! If the pizza was all that, well, parking would be somewhat less annoying. But to have friendly service with ample access and equal or better product available elsewhere, say at Luigi's or even Gotham, I'd rather go there.

                                        Have fun finding parking, and don't take the insults personally...that's just Bronx.

                                    2. I have to say i find all this talk about parking to be pretty amusing. Having lived most of my life in the Bronx parking was always quite a hassle. If you want to do like a NYer, go with a friend and have one person double park.

                                      As for me i dont find Bronx pizza to be that good so i dont go out of my way to get down there. If i happen to be in the area i might grab a slice. I usually just sate my pizza cravings when i return to NYC.

                                      A few other notes on Pizza, i ordered a regular slice at Roundtable and the girl behind the counter had no idea what a regular slice meant. I never thought that was a ny thing.

                                      Also i have never found the guys to be rude at Bronx Pizza, the opposite in fact. They were pretty gregarious and funny in my opinion, but here in California i guess thats considered rude. Nyers and Californians really do speak two seperate languages. I have been asked on multiple occasions if i was from here because i talk to cashiers, waiters etc.. Different culture.

                                      http://www.pbs.org/speak/seatosea/ame...

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: MVNYC

                                        Great link. I was born in Brooklyn and learned to talk from my parents, and I've run into those same kinds of conversational problems.

                                        1. re: MVNYC

                                          I have never had a bad experience with the pizza or the guys at Bronx. Rule of thumb be nice to them and they will be nice to you. I went back just the other day and it was as good as the day they opened. Also, as a native San Diegan please please don't suggest to people that they double park--that is not how we do it here.

                                        2. Come on now, I just got back from my home town New York,ate at 18 different Pizza houses. Bronx Pizza is real, the guys that work there are real. Did you know the owner puts adds in a ny paper for help, brings them here to work for him how much better can you get. Bronx is real just like New york Pizza and in some cases even better. I' ve eaten at these Luiga,Knock off, Gotham, no way does the pizza,atmosphere or service compare, you try to do the customer count that Bronx does and keep your help happy for 8,9 and 10 years, you try to go thru the extent that Bronx does to keep their product above the wave of other Pizza places. How do I know that I used to work at the Bronx, I'm in the military for life now but I still eat Bronx.My favorite for the kids is straight up cheese,I like the Whitestone wiith spinach

                                          1. Has anyone had Hoboken Pizza in PB?

                                            I think it's better than Bronx and with beer pitchers, booths and surf videos to boot.

                                            I'm kind of annoyed at the whole Bronx experience too, and am from NJ/NY myself. Pizza places back home usually have people you know for your whole life, whole generations running it. The Bronx thing seems put on, like a neat show for SD...

                                            Anyway, Hoboken Pizza Cafe (avoid Fri/Sat nights 10pm-3am, very crowded)
                                            1459 Garnet Ave
                                            San Diego, CA 92109
                                            (858) 270-7766

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: stangoldsmith

                                              I've been there. I liked their pizza although I think it is a little thin. Also, their prices are a bit higher than Bronx.

                                              The thing that drives me crazy about the place is that they don't have free tap water, but force you to buy a bottle. That's pretty annoying.

                                              Still like Bronx better.

                                            2. Brought home a Bronx pie the other night and I have to say, it was great. We hadn't been in over a year (like Luigi's a lot and it's a more convenient locale for us) but after all the recent discussion here, we decided to see if Bronx was still making good pizza. They are.

                                              I called ahead and the person who answered was courteous and said it would be 25 minutes. I arrived after about 20 and my pie was ready - and, cooked to perfection. I was even thanked for my tip (Manners at Bronx? What's the world coming to!)

                                              Although I prefer the sauce at Luigi's, I think I give the edge to Bronx on crust and toppings. We generally get red bell pepper & sausage, but my husband picks the sausage off Luigi's pies...ate every bite of the Bronx toppings. Anyone know what sausage they use? Also, the peppers were sweeter and more thoroughly cooked than we've had at Luigis.

                                              So, having been staunchly in Luigi's camp in recent months, we're back atop the fence. Nice to have choices!

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: mimosa

                                                I have a hunch it's Pontrelli's, also used by Barralo in UTC.

                                                http://www.pontrelli.com/

                                                1. re: young_chower

                                                  specifically the maestro brand. Get it from Sorrento's in LA (culver city specifically), and it's out of this world. I think it's 3.50 a pound @ sorrento's???

                                              2. I have long felt Bronx Pizza to be the most over-rated, over-hyped, pizza in San Diego. Far too much attitude; far too little taste. It's almost as though insecure San Diegans assume any pizza with "Bronx" attached to the name must be good. After all, just ask the guys behind the counter, they'll tell you how good their pizza is. And if you dare to point out the many shortcomings, they look at you as though no one from the west coast could possibly understand what makes a good pizza. I know one thing, it's not these guys. Not that the pizza is repulsive(although the hygiene is), but it's very run of the mill. I'm still waiting to taste a really good pizza from the dirty little posers on Washington. Better pies at both Carinos on La Jolla Blvd. and Espresso on Sunset Cliffs.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: willinsd

                                                  Bronx makes NY-style pizza. If you ask anyone from NYC who has eaten there, you'll find that it's authentic NY-style pizza, albeit inferior to what you'll get back east. If you've ever been to NYC and eaten pizza there, you will recognize that Bronx does NY-style pizza very well, at least compared to the other options in San Diego (which are few).

                                                  It sounds to me like you want something other than NY-style pizza.

                                                  Judging Bronx as compared to Carinos is hysterically funny to someone like myself who is from NY. The styles are completely dissimilar, and it's not an apples-to-apples comparison.

                                                  Carinos is good for what it is, but it's certainly not NY-style pizza. Far from it.

                                                  1. re: Josh

                                                    Carinos has an odd crust IMO - more like a pastry than a pizza crust. Aside from that, I think they do decent pizza. But as Josh said, it's not NY style.

                                                2. Well said josh. B ronx is good NY pizza for SD while in NYC it would be subpar. It is however the best i have had out here.

                                                  1. My goodness, didn’t mean to strike a nerve with you there Josh buddy.

                                                    Hey, if that poor cousin to NY pizza that they serve at Bronx Pizza reminds of what you ate in your youth, knock yourself out. Who cares? The problem with Bronx Pizza is that they over promise and under deliver. Nick’s recipe may be 30 years old, but sometimes the pizza tastes that old too. It’s an underwhelming pizza. If it’s good enough for you, bon appetit my friend!

                                                    Over the years, I’ve eaten at most of the NY pizza temples, Grimaldi’s, Totonno’s, Ray’s, Di Fara’s and others. They all serve one heck of a pie. I had high hopes for BP, but it just doesn’t cut it. Putting boxers on the wall and bricks in the oven and telling staff the ruder the better does not a NY pizza make. The product is decidedly ordinary.

                                                    If decidedly ordinary is what you look for in a pizza: that’s fine. I need something more. The other places I mentioned offer pies with full, rich and deep flavors in topping, sauce and crust – all perfectly balanced.

                                                    As MVNYC said, BP would be subpar in NYC. But here’s a newsflash guys... its subpar pizza here too.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: willinsd

                                                      You didn't touch a nerve, broham. I just don't like being labeled an "insecure San Diegan" for not agreeing with you. FWIW, when I want great pizza in SD I go to Lefty's.

                                                      1. re: Josh

                                                        I second Lefty's. Even though I don't live in the neighborhood, it's worth the trip.

                                                        In the E. County, we have pretty good NY Style Pizza at Gaetano's, in Casa de Oro. It kind of depends on who's making it (ditto at Di Mille's on Adams in our old neighborhood) but it's usually pretty good. Real cheese, nice crisp puffy crust, and decent sauce.

                                                        www.aliceqfoodie.com

                                                    2. I wanted Lefty's to be good, and have tried it twice, but found it to be too bready and too cheesy, deep dish Chicago style has other things in it besides those and their pizza was like eating a big french roll...

                                                      I am a recent bay area transplant (with Chicago travel, grew up in NJ & NY) and can't even start to compare Lefty's with Zachary's in the bay area, they are not even close.

                                                      Best Pizza in the world: Colandrea Pizza King, Middletown NY and/or Goshen Village Pizza, Goshen, NY

                                                      Stan
                                                      San Diego Food Blog
                                                      http://diegofoodblog.blogspot.com/

                                                      1. Sorry, one last thing, besides Hoboken, has anyone tried Knockout Pizza in Carlsbad?
                                                        2959 Carlsbad Blvd
                                                        Carlsbad, CA 92008
                                                        (760) 434-4468

                                                        Near the beach, pitcher specials, are they related to Bronx Pizza? Because they have much better pizza than Bronx and laid back Calitude to boot.

                                                        They are related to Bronx, but in a detractor sort of sense...

                                                        From signonsandiego:

                                                        "Knockout specializes in New York-style pies with thin, crunchy crusts. The recipes originated at Bronx Pizza in Mission Hills, where owner James Markham worked before opening his own pizzeria in downtown Carlsbad."

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: stangoldsmith

                                                          There is also a Knockout Pizza on Mira Mesa Blvd. at the small mall with Indian Tandoor and Amarin Thai.

                                                        2. This would be the second splinter cell of Bronx. I mentioned Bonjurno's above in the Miramar area. Although opinions may differ, it appears that Bronx is the epicenter of NY style pizza in SD. So we have New York and Chicago covered, is there anywhere that serves St. Louis style pizza (ala the Hill)?

                                                          Cheers

                                                          1. Can someone tell me where Lefty's is?

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: rrwatson

                                                              http://www.leftyspizza.com/

                                                            2. Pizza-Nazis! If you think these guys are rude, you wouldn't make it in the real Bronx! lol
                                                              This is a great place, and typically if you go eastbound on Washington you can easily find a place to park within a block or two at the most right on washington. Love it!

                                                              1. Lefty's is on 30th in North Park. Darn good. Bronx has always been good, but the service has never been good. Bronx is hardly the best in S.D.

                                                                Luigis is so much better. Shhhhh. Just don't tell anyone.

                                                                A Brooklyn Pizzeria is also really good. It's next door to Souplantation on Mission Gorge.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: naven

                                                                  Agreed on "A Brooklyn Pizzeria." I find an excuse to go there at least once a week. Aside from the pizza, consider trying the philly cheese. It's great. Nunzio, the guy who runs the place, is the son of Alex from "Alex's Brown Bag."

                                                                2. I'm not sure whether the service complaints are related to "attitude" or actual service - getting the pizza quickly and made consistently. Perhaps you don't like that the guy at the door simply says "what do you want" or perhaps you feel rushed to order. But do they take too long to make a pizza? Do they mess up your order? Not likely - I get my pie in about 15 every time.

                                                                  Yes, quality isn 't the best in the world, but living in HC its nice to have at least a decent slice once in a while. I mention this all the time, but Arivaderci's pizza is damn good if you want more of an italian style pie (small and thin) rather than an authentic american slice.

                                                                  1. The horse is most certainly dead. But, has anyone here tried Etna's? They serve up a thick crust pizza, and there is something sweet in the crust, it tastes like cinnamon.

                                                                    MZack, I remember Alex's Brown bag. Haven't thought of that place in years.

                                                                    BTW has anyone here ever been inside Bronx when a customer asks for pineapple? What a crack up.

                                                                    Dagney

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Dagney

                                                                      I think the brown bag is now in the Mr. A's building.

                                                                    2. I work in UTC and live in PB so I have tried all the pizza around here. Hands down Bronx Pizza on Washington is the best Pizza in San Diego. I go to Regents for lunch sometimes, the crust is a thinner and the roof of your mouth gets a little sratched up, but it is very good. I just hate that parking lot, they have a gate and you have to get validated. I always have to go back because I forget to get validated, and that little scrawny parking attendent (I think he just got fired) drives me nuts, like he is God at the gates of Heaven when you are trying to get him to buzz your car through!!

                                                                      Anywwy, back on topic. for you guys that are around this same area, UTC to PB, you HAVE TO get a pizza from Volteros Pizza:

                                                                      Volteros Pizza
                                                                      5650 Balboa Ave
                                                                      San Diego, CA, 92111
                                                                      work 858-571-1550

                                                                      The guys are New Yorkers, so you get that chip on your shoulder attitude problem, and some really cheap ass signs like "No Drink Sharing" , "Bathroom not for customers" BS, but the pizzas are good.

                                                                      For PB, I've tried them all, they all pretty much suck. Your best bet is a new place called Tap House, or Tap Room, on Garnet close to the 7-11 in the middle of Garnet. They have this white stone pizza, mmm mmm mmm. Don't get the traditional, I had the mushroom and it was fabulous, they put like feta cheese on it, very different, but very good thin crust.

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: toy4two

                                                                        I have to disagree. Liberty Pizza on Mission Blvd. is really good. I have two friends from NY (who now live elsewhere) who independently called it one of if not the best they'd had outside New York.

                                                                        Of course this whole question of "authenticity" cracks me up anyway. Pizza is ITALIAN, not from New York, New Jersey, Chicago, or any of these other places. The best Italian-style pizza I've had is at Arrivederci in Hillcrest and Da Nino's on Morena Blvd, although neither really compares.

                                                                        Also, to those of you citing "the experience" of Bronx Pizza, if you really want to be treated like dirt by a New Yorker pizzaiolo and get good pizza (all in one trip!), just grab a $200 r/t flight on Jet Blue.

                                                                        1. re: mangiatore

                                                                          200$ is asking for a slow day =P.

                                                                        2. re: toy4two

                                                                          I agree. Voltero's Pizza is consistenly excellent and you can't beat a few bucks for a giant slice that fills you up every time.

                                                                          Go there. Get some.

                                                                          1. re: toy4two

                                                                            Since you work in UTC you should try Bongiornos on Miramar Rd. Their pizza is very similar (but better than) Bronx. I think the guy that owns the place used to work at Bronx.

                                                                          2. There is an "attitude" kind of charm to Bronx, but that's always been there. It's like getting straws thrown at you at Corvette Diner, it's just how they are.

                                                                            Once when I went to Bronx, I choked on something in a slice of pizza. Really choked. The guy who was making the pizzas came from behind the counter and gave me the Heimlich maneuver, and luckily I survived I still go back there after that. Can't figure out what I choked on.

                                                                            Take that story as either positive or negative, depending on how you want to see it. The point is, they're good people, and the pizza's good, and you won't choke to death.