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May 26, 2008 05:35 AM

Patsy's - Regular or shredded?

Hello all...just a question out of curiosity :). I will be heading to Patsy's in East Harlem (OF COURSE the original) for the first fact, its my first trip to a pizza place in NYC as it is my first trip to NYC. I've heard they have 2 types of mozz there: Regular and shredded. Now, I know the difference between the 2, as I have conducted research before posting this. My question isn't what's the difference; but rather, which one is better? My father and I will probably be splitting a whole pie, and want the best experience Patsy's has to offer. Along the same lines as which type of mozz, should we get any toppings? Thanks for the responses :)

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  1. personally - i think patsy's is WAY overrated. i tried it a few times, trying to convince myself it was an off day each time i tried... but i can't lie to myself that often. I found the crust too thin, and flabby. the sauce was was insipid and watery.


    but - in general, to really appreciate NYC pizza, no toppings are needed, and shredded is more traditional than whole

    1. First, Patsy's pizza is may each want to get your own pie.

      Second, both types of cheese have their merits. Personally if I am having a straightforward Margherita I like the fresh mozz. If I am getting a sausage, I like the shredded.

      1. THEW is right.
        Patsy's is pretty ordinary pizza. It is about as good or maybe a bit worse than any number of nothing special joints in Brooklyn or Staten Island or the other boroughs served when I was a kid.The variation in cooking times of the pies from one to the other is large and I suggest that if you waste your time going there, to ask for it well done. The barely cooked versions are pretty bad. You need some black on the crust. This style of pizza, the standard NY(but not from 80 years ago) is definitely suited more toward the American palate. Too sweet is the biggest problem. This is from too much sauce and a poor, sweet sauce.
        Again, if you insist, you can just go to the take out counter, try a couple slices and decide if you would like to order more. It is a cheaper experiment that way, $1.50/slice.
        And again, point to the pie you want the slices from, choose a more blackened one.
        Whatever cheese they use, it sucks, so the extra process of shredding is not a big deal.
        No toppings, please.
        I just realized there is a review on the site. But the above will do.

        4 Replies
        1. re: foodonlygood

          Slice price went up to $1.75, still a great buy.

          1. re: BluPlateSpec

            Was there in March, $1.50 still. Cannot say it is a surprise.
            I wouldn't call it a great buy.


            1. re: foodonlygood

              That's still cheaper then your average greasy slice these days.

          2. re: foodonlygood

            Well, then, where WOULD you go in Manhattan? Curious, you seem to have a very strong opinion on pizza. I have only eaten in the sit-down restaurant and found the crust to be very good. Hot, thin, a little fluffy, a little crispy, not soggy.

          3. Wow, you guys make this place out to be terrible :/. I don't know where else to go, though. Di Fara's is too out of the way (time constraints), Una is closed on Wednesdays, and I've heard other pizza places have turned into tourist traps

            13 Replies
            1. re: pastry634

              You're getting a very distorted view. Patsy's East Harlem is still among the best in Manhattan. Just do a search and you will find that thew and foodonlygood are definitely in the minority. You might also consider hitting Arturo's in the Village. I personally think you can skip Una Pizza.

              PS: If you can't get out to DiFara, I strongly urge you to hit one of the coal oven places in Manhattan. This is quintessential NY pizza -- the kind I routinely crave now that I no longer live in NYC.

              1. re: pastry634

                Your summary is pretty spot on which is why I don't eat pizza often and I love it.
                You will get some raves for some other places on here, though, I'm sure.
                It is a virtue to do without rather than cave in. Think of it that way.
                I am not sure where you are coming from with the time constrains such that Patsy's is not a big trip but if I were forced to eat pizza that I have not had before I would probably go with Isabella's Oven. Would have considered Luzzo's but that much uneven press cannot be good. Then there is the Artichoke nonsense. You can look through the boards and try to judge them. Good luck on your pizza quest.


                  1. re: kathryn


                    No, surely not and not because of that link.
                    Usually, after some filtering I think, Oh, I will try this place.
                    Then I don't for a few weeks and then I realize that I will be disappointed and I don't go at all.
                    I think Isabella's has mini pies which are cheaper and thus not as painful when the disappointment comes upon you.
                    Thanks for steering me away from another one and maybe pastry634, too.


                    1. re: foodonlygood

                      I think that you may be doing a disservice to an out-of-towner by telling him/her that the best bet they have for pizza is to go where it is "...cheaper and thus not as painful when the disappointment comes upon you." I notice that you discount places like Luzzo's and Artichoke without saying whether or not you have been there or why they would be bad choices. I would be very interested to know what you think is a good choice for a visitor to our fair city, foodonlygood.

                    2. re: kathryn

                      I went to Isabella's twice this weekend and it was quite good both times. The Margherita was very good and I love the San Daniele. Yeah, it might not be as good as the first time I went when Luigi was still working there, but it's still excellent.

                      1. re: kathryn

                        I was at Isabella's Oven on Friday night and was disappointed. While it was not bad pizza, the crust was salty for my taste. In my opinion, Patsy's is among the top 5 pizzerias in Manhattan. The fresh mozz and shredded are both good and I think it just depends on what you personally like.

                        If you decide to skip Patsy's, I would choose Lazzara's or Artichoke as an alternative, although I think Patsy's on a good night is better than both of them.

                        1. re: kathryn

                          Hey Kathryn and FOG, and thanks again for the input on Babbo. Aaaanyway, let me just say, Pastry634, that Patsy's in East Harlem is fantastically thin, fresh, and delicious. Absolutely one of the best in NYC. There is little chance that after ordering that pie and putting a piping hot slice in your mouth, your reaction will be, "Nah- not for me." No way. It's an awesome pie. Head up 1st Ave and enjoy yourself.

                          And Kathryn, I STRONGLY stand by FOG's nod for Isabella's Oven. It is really one of the most delicious, fresh individual pies I have put in my mouth in a very long time. I have a photo of the Margherita pie on my new food blog. Check it out, and make your way over to Isabella's as soon as you can get yourself there- it's awesome.


                        2. re: foodonlygood

                          To clarify, fodonlygood, have you actually tried either of the places you just recommended (i.e., Isabella's Oven or Luzzo's)?

                          1. re: a_and_w

                            I thought I wrote that those choices were if I were experimenting with places I have not been. They were not recommendations based on my personal dining. Sorry for the poor writing.
                            So you agree with that link posted by Kathryn that Isabella's has gone down? Thanks for the note.


                            1. re: foodonlygood

                              No, I haven't been to Isabella's or Luzzo's, which is why I didn't comment on them. I'm confused why, and on what basis, you would recommend places you've never been. Are there any pizzerias you *have* been to in Manhattan that you can recommend?

                              PS: You also criticized Artichoke. Am I correct you've never been there, either?

                              1. re: foodonlygood

                                Agreed with a_and_w. You cannot go about criticizing or recommending places on this board based on some regression model. You should eat at these places, even if it means enduring the "pain[] when the disappointment comes upon you."

                                Some very respected board members love Artichoke. It seems that you deplore it simply because it is "hot" right now.

                                Also, with regard to Manhattan pizza in general, of course most of it will cater to the American palette. Most of the patrons are, at least for the time being, Americans.

                          2. re: pastry634

                            You've just hit on a controversial topic for suggestions. People rarely have the same taste in pizza, and yet they can get a bit passionate (dare I say snobby) with their likes/dislikes of places. If you're looking for an old place selling tasty pizza that's within Manhattan limits, and fairly accessible then don't rule out Lombardi's. Artichoke is making great pizza by the slice right now, and depending on when you go, it can be a little hectic/slow. Just go with a good sense of humor, try one of each slice, and you'll get a good sampling of a NY Slice for sure.

                            Arturo's and John's aren't so unique to New York in style, but if you like a thin crispy crust with a full layer of standard shredded cheese, then both places have their fans. To me, a really special NY style pizza is more along the lines of fresh mozz., fresh basil and a rich flavorful sauce. It really depends on your expectations and preference in picking the cheese, and the best thing to do is look at pictures and see what appeals to you personally. I'm a crust person, and love a good char....others here might like a thin almost non-existant crust with a light bake. I don't think anyone has a real tip about how to maximize your order at Patsy's though. It's probably a bit less fashionable then some of the other old timers, but who cares, it's pizza, for goodness sakes, and the truth is, "NY pizza" is a myth. I'd say ordering a Margarita style will at least make it feel more New York.

                          3. depends on the style of pizza you want. for instance i like arturo's but would never consider in a quintessentially new york style pizza. to me coal oven pizza like that is a completely different animal. not bad, very good in fact, but to me, not the platonic ideal of a NYC slice.

                            My experiences at patsy's may be atypical, but they are still my experiences. I was never wowed when i went there, indeed 2 of the 3 times i tried it i found the place dismal and the pizza passable at best. If you like it more power to you. not me.

                            on the upper east side i like italian village. i also like gotham, but that has that cornmeal-y crust ala twoboots - so i wouldn't consider it a good contender for getting the taste of real NYC pizza. mimi's used to be ok, but i have not been there in years. delizia used to be great, now i find them so so.

                            there is a look to good pizza, not too thin a crust, not overcooked or dried out looking, the right cheese to sauce ratio. I don't think i can describe it, but if i want pizza, and i'm not around places i know, that look is what i have to go by.

                            johns pizza downtown used to be good, i hear it still is, just haven't been there in a long time so i can't say. same thing applies to tom's on the UWS.