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Aug 28, 2009 06:56 PM

Lucali is a Tourist Trap.

Tonight I went to Lucali in Bk and was really disappointed. Not only was it expensive but it really didn't taste very good and had little to no substance. I cant understand how this place is ranked so high, the pizza itself tasted generic and as I said earlier, it was so thin and had so little cheese that i felt ripped off. I ate 4 of the 8 slices and was still hungry afterwards. I could have knocked out a whole pie, easily and still would have been hungry

We ended up going to another pizza shop, to fill ourselves on the way home.

I give this place 1 of 5 stars. I feel one can get better pizza at 99% of the shops around the city. I feel this place is simply a tourist trap. I am also really starting to question the recommendations on chowhound, from this place to Katz deli. Ive been recommended places and they always end up being worse and more expensive than what I am used to.

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  1. not a fan by any means.

    but how did the tourists get hip enough to put this on the same level as babbo or wd 50?

    2 Replies
    1. re: david sprague

      While the crust seems to be verging on cracker-thin and tastes a bit less flavorful lately, I was there last night and found the sauce to still be tangy and well-balanced, the cheese mild and soothing save for welcome notes of salty parmesan/pecorino, and the peperoni, garlic, and basil toppings all as fresh and harmonious as ever.

      And the calzone may well outshine the pie - that ricotta is downright decadent.

      Lucali is no longer cheap by any means (please don't order the ridiculous $8 toppings if you're looking for value), and the waitlist is invariably long and vexing to navigate. But the atmosphere is still charming, the waitstaff flighty, fidgety and endearing, and the quality remains tightly controlled by a man who cares deeply about his customers' experience. If you had a problem with the pizza, you had every opportunity to tell him about it as he made his next pie there in front of you.

      Perhaps chowhound is not where you should be going for advice given your particular preferences? The title of your post seems somewhat incendiary, so it's possible you don't want to take the discussion in constructive directions, but it would be helpful to know which places you've found that offer a similar experience at a better value.

      I feel the BYOB policy keeps the value proposition at Lucali much friendlier than what I find at 90% of the artisan pizza restaurants that pass for affordable throughout the city. I'll continue giving them my business and vouching for the cozy South Brooklyn atmosphere they cultivate until something better comes along.

      1. re: CalJack

        i find it interesting that the op calls it a "tourist trap". i never thought of it that way; my impression is that it is a local gem. i am a big fan of that type of pizza--thin being key for me. people prefer different things. it sounds as though lucali does not offer the style of pizza that recursion favors.

        as for it being expensive--it is. however, i find the quality, atmosphere, etc so to my liking that it is worth the price. the byob policy makes up for a lot, as well. if that went away i would definitely go less often.

      1. re: noisejoke

        It is worse that what he is used to.

        1. re: scooter

          Well, all righty then! Glad we got that straightened out! XD

        2. A "tourist trap"? The place is filled with locals who are willing to wait for a good slice. If you set your standards on the heavy, over-cheesy fare "99% of the shops around the city" serve, than you're right, Lucali's will disappoint. It's so much better than that.

          1. The original comment has been removed
            1. It sounds like the OP is not happy with CH recs. I have found them thoughtful and helpful in finding new places, and seeing how old favorites are holding up.

              "tourist trap"? You must be kidding! What tourist would go deep into Brooklyn for a slice of pizza?

              LUCALI serves a traditional, far above average, NY style pizza which should have a very thin crust..In NY the thinner the better, high quality sauce and real cheese.

              The measure of a good pizza is not the amount of "stuff" thrown on top of it, but the balance of the thin crackly crust, mellow tomato sauce, and fresh tangy cheese.

              Cheap pizza abounds in Brooklyn, and the rest of NY. But by necessity it uses sauce that is industrial, not homemade, processed, pre-packaged cheese, not the real deal.

              As for KATZ's Delicatessen; there are so few authentic Jewish Delis left in NY, let alone none in the rest of the country, KATZ's remains a gem.

              Corned Beef and Pastrami are expensive meats, requiring long, elaborate preparation and man hours. They are hand sliced and served on top quality authentic Jewish Rye with seeds. The sandwiches are gargantuan, enough to feel three or four people.

              The price of restaurants and all food places in NY has gone up, but supermarket prices have gone up as well. Restaurants are struggling to keep their quality and service up, and their prices stabilized. A difficult task in this economy.

              8 Replies
              1. re: Fleur

                Well and simply put, Fleur. I'm still waiting to hear what pizza places and delis the OP prefers. I've never been to Lucali and I suppose I should. But I'd sure love to hear what might compete with Katz's pastrami. And where else I can get stuffed derma (though I know I've never really looked very hard)? In fact, since we're on the Outer B board, where can I get a decent stuffed derma on Kings Hwy or 18th ave or wherever around Midwood and Boro Park?

                1. re: noisejoke

                  Since the demise of the 2nd AVENUE DELI, KATZ'S and CARNEGIE DELI are the only other options.

                  Some friends visited from Bermuda, and went to the STAGE DELI this weekend, and loved it. My family from Texas loves JUNIOR"S for Pastarami and Cheesecake, and loved it. .

                  1. re: Fleur

                    Actually, 2nd Ave Deli came back! It's now on 33rd St. My ex took my daughter a few weeks ago and said the brisket and chopped liver were great. There's grivnas on the table and a little egg cream to finish.

                    1. re: noisejoke

                      Yes, we have been to the "new" 2nd Avenue Deli, too. It was last year and I made no notes, so I cannot give you a detailed report, but all 3 of us liked it. The matzo ball soup was excellent, according to the matzo ball soup enthusiast in our group (although "not as good as auntie Ruth's").

                      1. re: noisejoke

                        It is back and it is way better than Katz's, IMO.

                      2. re: Fleur

                        I'd take the pastrami at David's any day... half the price and every bit as delicious.

                      3. re: noisejoke

                        Is Adleman's still on Kings Hiway right there? Downhill? I havent been in over 5 years so I have no idea, but it used to be good. The only go to place on that side of Bklyn, in my opinion, is Mill Basin Deli, which isnt close by (Ave T in the E.50s) but good enough to make the trek. I think Coney Island Ave around Ave J still has a deli serving stuffed derma as well ("Essex St Deli"?) and then there's one on the corner of Nostrand and Ave M that looks good to me every time I take my car in a block away... I've never tried either.

                      4. re: Fleur

                        Well said, Fleur. I was just going to post something along the same lines, including being surprised at the thougt that tourists would be able (or willing) to even find Lucali.