East Side Pies, other attempts at NY pizza [AUS]
- Brian Lindauer
Having lived in NYC for 9 years, I keep getting my hopes up when I hear that someplace has authentic NY-style thin crust pizza. Unfortunately, while East Side Pies has its strong points, the wait is not over. First the good stuff. The sausage is house-made and I thought it was outstanding. The mushrooms on the mushroom pizza were very tasty, not just run of the mill button mushrooms. The place is not at all pretentious, is reasonably priced, and sells pizza by the slice. They used good quality mixed greens in the salad, though the vinagrette was oddly spicy. I thought the sauce was too thick in consistency and too much was used. The crust just wasn't right. It was crunchy, more like eating a cracker. (For reference, my idea pizza is Grimaldi's in Brooklyn.) A perfect crust would be slightly crisp on the outside, with a nice chew. I'm not sure why nobody can imitate this type of pizza in Austin, but it must be harder than it looks because there's plenty of bad pizza in NY. The cheese was regular (not fresh) mozarella, which also deviates from my ideal.
For the record, I've tried most of the other puported NY style pizza places in Austin.
Home Slice - Comparable to a typical NY corner pizza place, but the crust "handle" was too big and the quality of the mozarella too low to qualify as the high-end NY pizza it wants to be. I do appreciate that they "get" that less is more with pizza toppings. The margharita could have followed that philosophy more, though.
Brick Oven - They don't even have fresh mozarella. The crust is good, but a little too crunchy.
Saccones - I've got to try this place. It's on the other end of town, though.
Enoteca Vespaio - I think this was the closest I've had to the type of pizza I'm looking for. The crust was very close to being right.
East Side Pies
1401 B Rosewood Ave
Hey - my folks are from NY, and my grandmother used to bring me pizza in her suitcase - individual slices foil wrapped. I pine for pizza, and the only pizza I have found "in town" is Saccones. Really worth the drive, and if you get a "half-baked" pie. you can finish it off to near perfection on a (big) stone in a hot hot hot oven. Gonna try Enoteca Vespaio... I hear such a variance of opinions on that place!
Boy, do I miss Grimaldis. Its going to be one of my first stops on my trip to Brooklyn this summer. And thanks for the heads-up about East Side Pies. I didnt get worked up about it because Ive been disappointed before-with both Home Slice and Saccones. Below I included a link to my earlier message.
I also really like the pizza at Vespaio, but thats a whole different genre of pizza.
I'm one year removed from my hometown so I am always on the lookout for "authentic" NY style pizza. We're actually lucky here in Austin I think, my brother lives in Dallas and the pizza up there is lacking.
I live near Yaghi's and it's passable if a bit dry. Order extra sauce. I've been on a Reale's kick lately, it's probably my favorite pie in Austin these days. It actually reminds me of the thick neopolitan pies I grew up eating on Long Island. Saccone's is good too.
You're not going to find anything to compare to Grimaldi's or even Lombardi's here. I lived near Arturo's in NY. I took some pics of a pie before we left and they still make my mouth water.
I'll check out East Side Pies, thanks for the rec. Also, I like the original Brick Oven on 35th. Tastes like pizza Texas style, smoky crust like a good brisket.
I just got a veggie slice at a lunch and it was rather dismal - limp crust, spinach had almost no taste, and the predominant flavor was from canned roasted peppers. I like Southside Pizza much better, have had it twice. Couldn't stop at two slices of the margherita plus artichokes.
Your brother in Dallas should try Scalini's in beautiful downtown Lakewood, the pesto pizza w/ sundried tomatoes is excellent with a thin, crisp crust and strong, well-balanced flavors.
Saccones is good by it is Jersey style. I think you will find what you are looking for at a place called "Reale's" Bob Reale (Dad) makes all the sauces, dough, canoli cream, etc. Gino (son) runs the place most of the time, Tina (daughter) waits tables and is the hottest little thing. anyway its in the Anderson mill shopping center, Anderson mill Rd. at 183 N
I know this is a really old thread, but FYI on why pizza is only good in New York (I'm a born and raised Manhattan native BTW). It's the water. Not sure exactly like, the chemistry or exact mineral compounds, but it's the water that makes great pizza crust, bagels, and soft pretzels (you know, hot pretzels from the stands?) It's why in Florida (lot's of retired NY Jews) some places will ship in water from New York to make bagels. Note: this could be a total urban legend and I haven't bothered to verify it, but it does make sense, right?
re: Brian Lindauer
Maybe i'm ignorant...I'm no NY pizza expert but when i was in NYC i ate a crapload of cheese pizza since there's a shortage of veggie options when it comes to NYC street food. The first time I tried Slices and Ices on Guadalupe it tasted just like NY pizza to me. I know the owner of the place is a new yorker, and I definitely get craving for their huge, floppy, (yet crisp on the bottom) pizza pie slices. Plus a dr. pepper mixed w/ some cherry "ice" w/my pizza is so perfect on a summer day.