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Grimaldi's hell

As a local, I really should have known better than to go to Grimaldi's, but I had friends visiting from out of town who really wanted to try it. I'm posting this to find out if anyone has had similar experiences and also as a warning to anyone thinking of going there anytime soon. The old guy at the door who organizes the line is incredibly rude and creates a degrading experience for everyone. We wanted a takeout pizza but were ordered to wait in line with everyone else (this was on a Tuesday at 6:30 pm). After making it to the front, after 40 minutes, we were told they weren't taking to-go orders at the time and that we'd have to wait more -- no explanation given, no time estimate given. When I tried politily to elicit some kind of explanation, he told me I was "being rude" and asked me to apologize. We had the impression that he was picking on us for no particular reason. Finally, after 30 more minutes, we were finally allowed to order, and then we had to wait 20 more minutes while they prepared the pie (which is fine). As for those who were waiting for a table, he barked orders at them and would get angry if they weren't followed to the letter. It's one of the worst restaurant experiences I've had in New York in recent memory. Lucali's had been our first choice, but, alas, it was closed.

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  1. I drove by there last Thursday and there must have been 40 people standing in line outside the door. There was a bus parked around the corner, and I think they must be taking in bus groups, among other things. Certainly no place to go if you want a quality pizza with the uncritical herds they are getting.

    1. No food is worth that attitude IMO. I would’ve left and gone Fascati’s on Henry Street in the Heights. No attitude, no double-decker crowds and decent slices. Some of their cooked dishes and sandwiches looked good as well. The place is all business and actually cares that their customers will come back, where as Grimaldi’s nowadays just caters to tourists who probably thinks the rude, boorish behavior is part of the Brooklyn experience.

      4 Replies
      1. re: MShapiro

        Unfortunately Fascati's is closed for the summer :(

        1. re: EJC

          Is Fascati's definitely opening again in the fall? Passed by there today and there were workmen tearing out the guts of the place. It's either a huge renovation, or Fascati's is history.

          1. re: oolah

            The sign on the door says it's a vacation until August 22 (I think that's the exact date) so hopefully they will re-open...I live around the corner and that's my favorite pizza in the area. Also, MShapiro, I've tried the eggplant parm and some other dishes - very good, solid, Italian cooking and reasonably priced.

            1. re: outside25

              Fascati's closes for three weeks every summer, so hopefully they're just doing routine renovations in there. I heard that the owners go back to Italy for their August vacation. Even if it's a rumor, it just makes it all the more authentic and charming. Their pizza is the best!

      2. Not to be rude, but why would you wait to place a take out order for over 40 minutes and then wait even more when they couldn't even tell you how long it would be until you could order and then put up with bad attitude? I would have just left....NYC service is unbearable. I know people knock the waiters in LA as wannabe actors, but at least they can do their job....

        1 Reply
        1. re: Huffy

          Believe me, I was ready to bail. But our friends -- actually, distant cousins from Moscow -- insisted on staying. As mshapiro wrote, I think they thought the attitude was very New York (I explained that New Yorkers would never put up with that sh--) . They really, really wanted to try the pizza there, so I did for them.

        2. I just sent this post to a friend who is a regular (he lives in dumbo) and got this response. "we had a Grimaldi's nightmare last night too, THE EXACT SAME
          PROBLEM. We had people over and tried calling for 30 mins, no answer,
          so walked over and were told rudely to get to the back of the line."

          1. You actually apologized to this clown?!

            1 Reply
            1. re: a_and_w

              Yes, I can't believe it myself. It was for the benefit of my cousins.

            2. I had a similar experience a few weeks ago. I'm also a local but got sucked in. I don't understand the waiting in line forever before ordering take-out. I certainly don't appreciate the attitude.

              When I was fuming some random guy told me to call my order in instead - which actually made some sense to me. When I called, they said the wait for the take-out order was going to be at least 40 minutes (this info was delivered with plenty of attitude) so we just decided to bail and not spend our money there. But if I find myself being a moron and get sucked in again, I'll call Grimaldi's in advance to avoid the nonsense.

              1. My question to you borzoi is this: was the pie undercooked and too doughy? I have found, as a 'friend' of the place, that they can respond to comments about the pizza itself. I have asked them to 'not undercook the pie' (which they do just because they are in a rush and are greedy). Lo and behold, I have found that when I ask they give me a much better pie, but then again, I wait until a slower time than tour bus hell hours.

                1. I do not understand the appeal of this place. The Pizza is either totally burnt or undercooked. It is filthy and the lines are outrageous. There are much, much better pizza places around

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: dawnfawn

                    I don't understand why locals go there, but IMHO it's perfect for tourists. The location is convenient with a great view, the tablecloths are red-checked and the attitude is "authentic noo yawk" -- it's like a theme park version of pizza.

                  2. My passive-agressive solution:

                    Go again, wait the ridiculous wait, take whatever slights come your way with quiet dignity. When you finally do get your pie, on the way out, throw it at the person who was most rude to you.

                    Have a getaway car ready!

                    1. Why would you even bother going there at all? Apart from the wait and the attitude; they pizza is so incredibly bad there that I wouldn't feed it to a dog. It's drier then the Sahara desert in the dead of summer. Hail di Fara!