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Worst Slice of Pizza in Manhattan

Never met a slice I didn't like including Elio's frozen and Stouffer's French Bread. OK there was that one time I threw up the kosher slice (and I'm Jewish) and the time for my 13th birthday that dad tried to make me happy by ordering a pie with "triple cheese" from my local pizzeria. But other than those, every slice I've ever had had some redeeming quality. Saw Buona Pizza's bright neon light in the old DeMarco's space. I've already made the trek out to DiFara's since DeMarco's went under which isn't a bad thing since Dom is God but I was hoping that maybe they kept the DeMarco's spirit slightly alive which was at least inspired by DiFara's. Hard to believe that this pizza was even made in the same oven as the DeMarco's slices. Inedible! Oh well, I'll have to become a Joe's fan or else rent a small apartment on Avenue J. Thankfully there's also still Patsy's in Harlem

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  1. Where is this? Not that I often get a slice - but I'd like to make sure I avoid this one!

    2 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      West Houston next to Ushi Wakamaru which is far from being reopened judging by the construction.

      1. re: guttergourmet

        GG, Do not lose faith! Look around the room when Ushi firsts re-opens. You'll see me and many other diehard fans there to support their first night back with a nicer ambiance and the same prices. Love the Sapporo on draft, too!

    2. Funny that you referenced Joe's -- whenever I see a subject like this, I check to see if Joe's was the culprit. Every slice I've ever had from them has been terrible.

      7 Replies
      1. re: big o

        Even before the scale down to one store (Carmine & Demo Sq.), Joe's was basic maintenance. You had to wait stealthily until a new pie came out, which they resented and glowered over. Now that Joe got rid of the one or two guys who knew what they were doing, it's awful. Even reheated at Bleecker St Pizza on 7th Ave is better, and when the nonna comes ot fresh, there's no comparing.

        1. re: sing me a bar

          joe's was never the same after it moved from the corner. period. i still can't believe they opened in l.a....

          1. re: sing me a bar

            I've got to disagree. I've had thousands of slices at the old corner Joe's, and many more at the mid-block one. I will say that the slices for some reason seem to re-heat less well than they used to, but a fresh pie is really, I think, still the best street slice in Manhattan. It's not a Difaraesque artisnal thing, just a classic NYC slice. The sicialian is a real sleeper, too (agan, only when just out of the oven)

              1. re: sam_the_man

                I'm not a huge fan of Joe's, but your point about it being a quintessential street slice is well taken. I'd say Joe's, Pizza Box, and maybe Pizza 33 fall into this category -- not on the level of DiFara or Patsy's but better than generic slice joints with processed cheese and canned tomato sauce.

                BTW, has anyone tried Joe's grandma slice?

                1. re: a_and_w

                  Joe's doesn't have a grandma pie. Just regular, fresh mozzarella and Sicilian.

                  1. re: sam_the_man

                    That's what I thought, too, until I read their menu, which refers to grandma pizza by both the pie and slice. I also overheard them mention it at the Santa Monica branch the other day. Maybe you have to order it specially?

          2. i passed by a few days ago, and shuddered. to a lover of true italian pizza like myself, the place screams "knockoff". from the cartoonish sign to the linguistically incorrect name ( the way to say "good pizza" would be "pizza buona", not "buona pizza"), i knew not to step inside. it's a shame what happened with demarco's.

            7 Replies
              1. re: nativeNYer

                I drove by and saw them shuttered and the sign down. Hoping that they went out of business. La Famiglia Pizza opening on the corner of Carmine and Bleecker where Joe's used to be in its heyday was like John's Pizza being replaced with Chucky Cheese.

                1. re: guttergourmet

                  Evidence of God: The departure of Abitino's from the old Joe's spot on Carmine & Bleecker. What's the purpose of having 8 or so varieties of pizza if they're basically just dried out cardboard?

                  1. re: sing me a bar

                    i step out of the w 4th st. station at night, after a long dreary day at the office. i am tired, and often, annoyed. i round the corner onto bleecker, and pass the blacked-out abitino's sign above the poster that says "closed for renovations. reopening soon", and i smile. no, i grin, barely containing the cackle rising up from the pit of my stomach. poetic justice, indeed. i continue home, with new hope, and a renewed burst of pride for my neighborhood, and for my neighbors, because we didn't back down.

                    1. re: vvvindaloo

                      It's amazing- They had that motto "The Only Pizza Worth Eating" on their awning. F*** You!! It was the only Pizza worth totally avoiding!

                  2. re: guttergourmet

                    exactly, guttergourmet!!!! .... but aren't they scattered throughout the city?!?! i know there's one up by columbia on brwdy near W 110th or somewhere near there. there's another on columbus in the W80s and another on broadway in the W80s or upper W70s. i wonder if the chain is gone or, perhaps, slowly petering out. i will have to take a look.

                    re abitino's, they opened one on w70something and brdwy a few months ago and it is already replaced with another pizzeria. looks like they are totally gone.

                    1. re: guttergourmet

                      I meant Abitino's. If they're out of business there is a God. Now bring back Zito's!

                2. I agree Abitino's never had a chance. Who wants a big industrial model when you have a history of smaller, excellent models? Who goes in where there's a huge plastic sign, when you grew up spoiled by Joe's, (when it was edible), or John's? Incidentally, the Zito's are family friends. They are up there in years and weren't into keeping on. Once they entrusted the business to the idiots running it over the last years (sandwiches??), the party was over. Suffice it to say, it wasn't JUST the landlord and the lease. Now, for some insight on how desperate things are in L.A., dig this thread!
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/459222

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: sing me a bar

                    I have to agree with you on Zito's- the last few years of it's existence were dreary. I get most of my bread from Sullivan St. (I mean, Grandaisy) Bakery or Amy's.

                    1. re: guttergourmet

                      GG and VVV, just curious--when was the last time you ate at a California Pizza Kitchen?

                      I ask because I live down the block from the Park S. location, and while I haven't eaten at that one, I have been to the one near Bloomingdales. It was fine. It's just a chain, that's all.

                      And that area of Park S. doesn't have great pizza. I've been to Vezzo, La Pizza Fresca, Bravo, you name it and none are any better than average. I like Waldy's but it's a little further away and there's no service, etc. CPK, albeit a chain, fills a little void in the neighborhood and that's why it's crowded.

                    2. Two Boots Pizza sucks pretty hard

                      1 Reply
                      1. The worst I've had....Abitino's, Famiglia and Krunch.
                        On the flip side, I have discovered that Mariellas by Bloomingdales make a mean grandma pie.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jenniebnyc

                          Yeh, two boots might be the worst slice in Manhattan.. Place is garbage.

                        2. what about that $1 slice joint on 9th south of 42nd?

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: holland_oats

                            i agree on two boots. bleh. i tried the square pie everyone's been bragging about at dean's pizzeria (UWS) yesterday but walked out disappointed. perhaps i was expecting a thicker slice. although this place is affiliated with patsy's pizzeria, dean's pizzeria doesn't come close. beautiful space, though, but not too sure how long they'll remain alive.

                            1. re: nativeNYer

                              No way! The Two Boots Big Maybelline and Mr Pink are AWESOME!!!! Especially after 10 beers...

                              1. re: nativeNYer

                                I actually like the Tony Clifton, but that's about it. It definitely stretches the definition of pizza...

                              2. I realize that this thread has been dormant for a while, but I just ate a slice that warrants its reactivation: a pepperoni slice from Ray Bari Pizza on Third Ave and 56th St.

                                Name any part of the pizza--crust, sauce, cheese, toppings... all terrible. It's what I'd expect MRE pizza that needs no refrigeration to taste like.

                                The motto there is "The only pizza worthy of its family name." If you ask me, those are some pretty harsh words for the family name.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: jakew8

                                  worst places in my experience are:
                                  - giuliano's, broad & stone
                                  in an area with very few viable food choices, giuliano's stands tall as a beacon of awful food.
                                  - mariella, few locations.
                                  some people like this place. maybe i kept getting bad batches, but after several tries i never want to risk it again.
                                  - amore, union square.
                                  "like eating a hot circle of garbage"

                                  1. re: chet steadman

                                    holy @#$!

                                    i think there's an even more ancient thread on this topic, on which i tabbed amore -- which makes such an astonishingly bad array of pizzas that some sort of trophy (a bronze of a guy doubled over a trash can?) is in order. crust like stale supermarket-brand white bread, sauce runny and weirdly sour. the only pizza i've had that even approached that nadir was at a Welsh train station layover -- where there were no other options.

                                    "honorable" mention to the place -- name escapes me -- on seventh ave/49th near teriyaki boy. oy!

                                    1. re: david sprague

                                      That's a "Ray's Pizza" although it doesn't claim to be either famous or original. Finally some honesty from one of these awful joints!

                                2. Not sure if this counts, but Trader Joes is putting out some of the worst imitation of what I'd call pizza. Hey I'm no snob, I eat hot pockets and frozen pizzas when I'm working late and some are much worse than others.

                                  I had a TJ's frozen pizza last week the crust was like eating cardboard, and it was topped with a flavorless orange-glazy substance and one solid disc of 'cheese' that I've decided is less worthy of being called cheese than the 'processed cheese product' that they call Kraft singles.

                                  After two bites it was in the garbage.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Spends Rent on Food

                                    You're better off freezing your own leftover pizza -- I do it all the time.

                                  2. There's a place on the SW corner of 11th and B that charges Gruppo prices for pizza that would make Chef Boyardee pucker. No sauce, lousy bread, and like three sun-dried tomatoes, just for the illusion of gourmet. That place has been there for over a year now and it's always empty. I don't know how it's still in business. And just to be clear, Gruppo's up the block is great (although pricey).