Grimaldi's, Brooklyn--Excellent, But...
...it wasn't as good as the pizza I had at Lombardi's in Manhattan the other night. The pizzas are similar, as they both use slices of mozzarella and pieces of basil, and are thin crust pizzas cooked in coal-fired ovens, but the pizza at Grimaldi's was undercooked (charred very little on the bottom), the pepperoni wasn't as tasty (and also a bit undercooked), the dough seemed a bit more salty, and at least a couple of people I was with didn't bother finishing the crust because the outer crust was kind of doughy.
But it was still an excellent pizza, and one that would probably be considered better than nearly any other in the Boston area. I guess this shows how great those Lombardi's pizzas are, IMO...
I'm off to Pepe's today to complete the trifecta of top pizza places in the Northeast (well, not complete, as I didn't get to Patsy's, Totonno's, and others). It'll be my second time there in two weeks; hopefully it will be as good as last time!
I don't know what I was thinking, but I actually went by Grimaldi's last Saturday at 8:15pm. 8pm on Saturday is not the time to go there. It's become even more popular than I remember from when I used to go there regularly years ago. I counted over 70 people waiting to get in outside! And that included people who just wanted to order a pizza to go!
I used to put Lombardi's at the top of pizza lists, but since they expanded they've dropped considerably. Good, but not great. Grimaldi's gets no consideration in my book.
This weekend I enjoyed L&B and Anthony's, both very very good. Drove right by Totonno's without stopping and nearly cried.
Anthony's is in Park Slope, right? Darn, I was near there on 9th Street yesterday--wish I had known about it. Oh well, maybe next time...I'm unfamiliar with the area where L&B is located--that's near Bensonhurst? Does anyone else like these two places? I may need to hit at least one of them when I'm back in Brooklyn in a couple of months.
Grimaldi's and Lombardis are both pretty decent pizza. They certainly both beat out 99% of pizza places on this planet.
But, there are still much better places you should try.
Lucali blows them both away.
and, DiFara's blows away Lucali.
(also better than Grimaldi's or Lombardi's - Totonno's, Nick's, lazarra's, maybe franny's)
but, of course, thats just my opinion.
"the pizza at Grimaldi's was undercooked", sadly this is the basic standard for the place. However when they are not busy this problem is a little better (due to not rushing).
However, please, go to DiFara for a square pie and Lucali's as well before you make any
hasty decisions. I think you will be turned around on the whole Brooklyn pizza issue.
I dont think that the problems you noted with Grimaldi's are unusual. Lombardi's uses (at least to my knowledge) better ingredients and is still taking more care with the product. Grimaldi's is coasting on a reputation that is no longer deserved, in my opinion.
I also wonder how DiFara's managed to not be on your list. Just curious, as many of us think it to be better than any of the others.
re: Steve R
I went to Di Fara several months ago with high expectations, and it did not disappoint, though for me, anyways, I was a bit turned off by the sheer amount of olive oil that he poured on top of the pie. I know that many (if not most) people love it this way, but I almost think that Di Fara would have been my favorite of them all if not for the excess olive oil.
As it stands, my personal favorites in the area are (in order, more or less):
2) John's, Times Square
3) Arturo's, Greenwich Village
4) Di Fara
5) Joe's, Greenwich Village
6) Da Nico, Little Italy
BUT, I have not yet tried Totonno's, Patsy's, Lucali, or Una Pizza Napoletana, so my list isn't yet complete. Those will have to wait for my next trip, perhaps in early June or whenever I'm able to get to get tickets for a Cyclones game (my main reason for a next trip aside from pizza and visiting family).
P.S. I just had an early dinner at Pepe's, and man oh man, it was yet another unforgettable pie at that place. I may have to put it above all of the places I've been to in New York...